Chapter 23 – Ashes to Ashes Again

Nothing’s Gonna Change My World

~Six Months Later~

Although many months had passed, I was still getting used to being a completely different creature than what my mother had birthed.  To be honest, it had been fairly easy psychologically, just as Pam had said it would be.  Physically, though, it would still take some time to get used to the hunger, the formidable strength, the amazingly improved senses, plus the additional power of my own mind.

With Eric’s more than patient guidance, and Pam’s bold presence, I slowly became exactly what they had both seen I could become: powerful.

The ability to read the minds of so many people from so many cultures had broadened my horizons, just as kissing the doctor had given me a glimpse of a kind of mind that I’d never encountered.  That night seemed so long ago.  My very limited experience inside my very small town no longer colored my perception or even my actions.

I had grown ever closer into accepting my new reality, the reality I had created, but also with the full understanding that what I had done had been selfish, yet justified.  Using the cluviel dor had saved Eric’s life as well as improved my own quality of life, and had also provided me with the means to attain everlasting life.  Whatever happened now, a part of Eric lived within me, and that would never change even if he did die.

Over the very long nights in the northern hemisphere, Eric, Pam, and I had spent a considerable amount of time studying the future as I knew it, wheedling out and exploring options, as well as becoming thoroughly well-versed on whatever Eric had set in motion for the two months that he had spent in Louisiana.  He was completely open with me now and I treasured the information as it flowed freely from his mouth.

The demands on my body, the hunger in particular, were something that took longer to control.  Thankfully my mind and my abilities were becoming even more powerful as the weeks and months passed.

My mental shields, if I could even call them that, held fast and strong.  It was a complete reversal of what I had experienced as a human.  As a vampire and true demon, my ability to read minds was something I had to call forth.  At no point was my mind ever invaded again by someone else’s thoughts, ever, not unless I willed it to be so, and even then I didn’t need to read every single little thing that was passing through that person’s mind at the time.  I was learning to hone my skill and I could sift through memories and thoughts to find the information that I needed.

Most nights when I had to feed, I would do so from either willing participants, those who I had actively selected who would not object, or from people who needed to be punished.  Eventually, I drained those who deserved to not live.

Pam called me the angel of death.  I found that I didn’t mind killing someone as much as I thought I would have.  My human life did not dictate the way I felt about killing someone, particularly the people I chose.

The very first time I drained a person, Eric stood beside me ready to do damage control on my emotions.  When I explained what I’d found in the man’s mind (countless victims of despicable acts), he relaxed and waited for me to come to grips with what I’d done.  That was easy enough.

“He molested children,” I shrugged and moved on.

Another realization, call it a conviction, had finally settled inside me: if I killed somebody, it was because they were meant to die.  Just like my grandmother had been meant to die that night and no other, and Lafayette, and my cat.  We had gotten word that a witch named Harlow had died at the hands of the Shreveport pack of Weres, for example.  Jason called me that he had gotten some paperwork regarding our cousin Hadley’s estate.  She had died as well, exactly when she was supposed to.  At around the same time, Mr. Cataliades had contacted me directly to let me know that Gladiola had perished in a car crash.  She had evaded Peter Threadgill’s second-in-command, but nevertheless it had been her time to go.

All of it made me realize that whatever I did was meant to happen.  I would never kill somebody that wasn’t meant to die, no matter who I chose to drain.  Pam called me the finest nihilist she’d ever come across, and I had to research the term.

To reward me for my magnificence, I supposed, Eric and Pam treated me to a romp in the Scottish Highlands.  There, they said, we’d find fairies.

At first, understandably, I was reticent (Word of the Day).  I didn’t think it would be a good idea at all.  Could I kill one of my own kind without feeling remorse?  Was I even related to fairies anymore?  My mental powers might not work on a fairy, or the fairy might be stronger than me.  Eric said it could be a possibility, of course, that a fairy would be stronger than me, but that he would be there and no fairy was stronger than him.

In the middle of the Scottish summer, when the fairies were more apt to be around, we secured an apartment in Glasgow, purely as a place to return to, but packed backpacks with supplies to stay in the wilderness.  Yes, it’s easy enough for a vampire to dig a crawlspace into the earth to use it for sleeping during the day, but it’s way easier to dig said hole using a small shovel.  Also, there was no guarantee that I would find a fairy, so I needed some sustenance in case we didn’t find anybody at all – not even a human.  Our supplies consisted of True Blood, shovels with collapsible handles, blankets, and one other very important thing: iron stakes.

We traveled distances by foot at night, asking for directions from either fellow vampires or humans at tiny pubs in rural towns.  Eventually we gathered enough information that fairies would probably choose remote locales like small islands inside lakes.

It is worth mentioning that very, very few vampires actually develop the ability to fly like Eric.  It isn’t necessarily maker-specific and, just like the randomness of genes, it can get passed on or not.  Pam couldn’t fly; neither could I, or at least not yet.  Eric hadn’t been able to fly when he was first turned and wouldn’t go into detail as to how he found out that he possessed the ability – which, if I were a betting person, I’d wager it was during a particularly gruesome or upsetting time for him.

Since not many vampires have experienced horrible times and been forced to fly away to protect life and limb, and since the ability to fly is uncommon at best, fairies figured they would be safe in the smallish islands inside the lakes of Scotland.

Also worthy of mention is that many vampires wouldn’t want to announce their arrival at one of those islands – though many tried – by swimming or boating in.

We chose a very dark, overcast summer night with a new moon and ran all the way to the edge of Loch Earn, simply to try our luck.  I imagined the night looked like any of countless nights that Eric would have experienced throughout his existence and before the industrial revolution with its light pollution.  Our dark nights were counted, though, because as soon as the moon made its appearance we would no longer have the benefit of the darkness.

Pam and I climbed on Eric and held on tight as he silently rose far above the lake.  It made sense to go up as far as possible, cross to the island, and then descend from very high, as opposed to drifting close to the water.  When we landed it was quietly, with Eric taking care to land among trees, and us letting go at the right time so that we could each pick a branch and stay aloft within the tree canopy.

Our collective senses were immediately on alert.  As soon as we each took a breath the smell assaulted us, and it was divine!  In human terms it is hard to describe.  I’d been around my fairy family and I’d smelled them plenty, but nothing prepared me for how a fairy would smell to a vampire.  It was a mixture of patchouli, vanilla, spice, citrus, all of it delicious and all of it wafting to us on the mild breeze.

With the lure of the heavy scent, I almost lost my composure and followed my nose like a dog would.  Only Eric’s age and silent command kept Pam and me motionless.  If our maker had been any younger, we would have all lost control.  We were to take our cues from him and only him, letting our instincts take a back seat for the time being.

“You will eat a whole fairy,” Eric had said the night before.  “Then the fun begins.”  His declaration had been a promise of delights I had yet to experience.

Somewhere in the not too far distance there was a group of fairies.  We could hear several voices in conversation: a mating ritual was taking place.  These were not sky fairies.  These were the same kind of fairies that had killed my parents: Breandan’s kin; water fairies.  The realization excited me and I smiled to myself.  I wished I’d been able to speak so I could share the good news with Eric and Pam.  I was sure they would be happy to help me avenge my parents’ deaths.

We watched and waited for Eric’s signal.  The ceremony was reaching an end soon.  In the natural course of many mating ceremonies, including weddings, once they are over there is a small reorganization of the people there present.  This is what we were going to wait for: the short time when everybody in attendance would rejoice and move on to a celebration.  That short window of time during which there would be a mild chaos would give us the opportunity to attack.

The longer we waited for the chance to attack the better our plan congealed.  Without the benefit of speech, we were relying on our connection as a vampire family.  Eric as maker directed his children’s movements, mine more than Pam’s because I had more of his blood inside me by virtue of us being bonded.  But Pam, of course, had been in battles with Eric before and knew what to do.

Eric put his hand up, getting ready to give the signal to attack.  One moment the fairies sealed their vows, the next moment their fairy kin rejoiced, and a split second later their joyous cries turned into screams as three vampires moved among them taking victim after victim.

Moving vampire fast is like stopping time.  I don’t yet understand the magic or strength behind it, but I know what happens when I move faster than anybody else.  My victims, two of them, looked about as old as Claudine and Claude; about my age.  I moved so quickly between them that they died just as they were about to scream.  Others saw what was happening and disappeared, popping themselves out or running away into the night.  In the end we had netted ten fairies: my two, Pam had three, and Eric five.  All had perished from broken necks.

We stood in the small clearing within the island for only a few seconds before descending on our victims.  I drained the first one quickly, having already practiced doing so on humans.  Just as I finished, the effects of the fairy blood took over my body, nearly electrifying each atom of my being.

My first instinct was to laugh, giddy and happy without a care in the world.  My second was to run, and twirl, and take off my clothes, and jump, and dance, and sing completely off key and at the top of my lungs.

I’d never done drugs in my life.  Drinking fairy blood was as close as I would get to actually getting high through the whole of my existence.  Yet it was like nothing anybody could experience as a human.  It was like being drunk, but not.  Like a marijuana high, but not.  Like taking ecstasy, but… not!

As I ran lightning fast around the island, another instinctual need surfaced: I needed sex.  Rather than go in search of a willing companion, I simply stopped where I was and waited.  Half a second later Pam reached me, looking as lovely nude as I’d ever seen her clothed.  Eric joined us too, naked and glorious and willing to share, just this once.

At any other time, the sight of Pam delivering a searing kiss to my mouth would have made Eric tear her limbs off.  Now he watched and approached us, as much in command of us as ever.

I kissed Pam back with everything I’d ever given Eric, tasting the blood of the fairy that she had drained.  Her small hands caressed my skin, every touch soft and careful.  I wanted to touch her too, because I’d never touched a woman in lust and never thought I would.  At that moment I wanted to explore a new body, taste the female skin, what it was that a man was seeking whenever he looked at a woman.

Eric’s stronger hands and larger frame reached from behind me as he positioned himself whichever way he could in order to enter me.  Before he did, however, Pam beckoned me to follow as she lay on the ground.  I knelt between her open legs, admiring her soft feminine curves, the way her smooth breasts moved, the way her pale skin shone with preternatural light.  She was beautiful.  I didn’t know I could ever be attracted to a woman as I was attracted to Pam at that moment.

Planting soft kisses and licking, tasting her skin, became my new favorite pastime that night.  Eric had found his place behind me, taking me slowly as he admired the two women below him.  Everything I’d learned from Eric about what made me feel good, I put to good use to pleasure Pam, just to hear her cries of delight and make her writhe.

With my inhibitions completely gone and a newfound curiosity, I tasted Pam’s center only to find that her sweetness reminded me of the way I tasted.  The countless times that Eric had kissed me after pleasuring me had given me an idea of my own sweet flavor.  Soon it was the only thing I wanted on my tongue and lips, and even my fingers.

My own pleasure had taken control of my body, with the fairy blood increasing the way I felt every caress, every touch, every thrust of Eric’s gracious plenty.  Just thinking about what we were doing made me climax over and over.  The same thing was happening to Pam under my mouth.  As soon as I pressed a finger inside her she climaxed, her trembling muscles holding onto my digit the same way mine were holding onto Eric.

At the height of our collective orgasms is when it happened – what every vampire strives for when consuming fairy blood, but many don’t ultimately achieve: pure, immaculate euphoria.

We had achieved a higher state of consciousness together: peace, happiness, all those superlative good emotions had been delivered, wrapped up in a shiny package of the ultimate physical delight of a shared orgasm.

For the next several hours we continued imbibing fairy blood, even bathing in it before making love to each other again.  I even shared Eric with Pam, because at the time I wasn’t thinking that I would be jealous later on and, besides, he had shared me.

Many days passed while we remained on that island, basking in the bliss of consuming fairy blood.  Finally, when the fairy bodies were no more and our high had run out, we decided it was time to return to civilization and our apartment in Glasgow.  Not until then did I understand the significance and repercussions of what we’d done.

So much death!  So much violence!  So many rules broken!  And ultimately nothing to show for it.  I gave voice to what I felt, only to be met with Pam’s anger at my own hypocrisy and Eric’s quiet exasperation.

“You avenged the death of your parents!” Pam argued.  “You said so yourself.”

Obviously she didn’t get it.  My jealousy was clouding my thoughts more than any feeling of guilt over killing fairies.  But, since I refused to talk to her, I didn’t explain and turned away from her and looked out the window of our small apartment and into the last of the darkness of that night.  Dawn would be upon us soon.

“You’re acting like a petulant child, Sookie Stackhouse,” Pam said to my back.

“Enough!” Eric bellowed and made Pam leave and settle for the day.  He took my hand and led us to our room so we could do the same.

“You are jealous,” he declared, opening the coffin we usually shared.

“Extremely,” I said.  There was no sense in hiding it; in fact, I needed to talk about it because I didn’t know how else to make sense of my emotions.  Sense and sensibility don’t often mix.  “I knew that you and Pam had been lovers, but I didn’t want to think about it too much.  Now I can’t stop thinking about it at all.”

Eric sat on the bed that we hadn’t used, putting his elbows on his knees looking defeated.  “I don’t know how to help you.  I love Pam the same as always and it doesn’t compare to what I feel for you.  But, as you like to point out, none of us have another cluviel dor.  I can’t turn back time and undo what we did.  All I can do is swear that Pam and I have not had sex in over a century and will not have sex again.  You and I are one, Sookie.  You had sex with her too and you don’t see me in a jealous rage, but I have just as much right as you do to be jealous.

“Consider this,” he continued.  “You are more upset because I had sex with Pam, in front of you, with your consent, than you are about the people that we killed.  Doesn’t that seem irrational to you?  Because it does to me.”

He stood up and got inside the coffin.  “Are you coming?” he asked in an angry voice and waited until I’d settled on top of him, like we usually did, before closing the lid of the coffin and locking it from the inside.

The silence stretched as we waited for the day to take us.  I breathed because it still felt wrong not to, but Eric didn’t move at all.  Meanwhile, I thought about his words.  I had been just as excited to join in the hunt of the fairies, once Eric had said that no harm would come to me.  I had killed two fairies with my bare hands and drank their blood knowing that I would have no control over what would happen afterwards.  And, I had also known that there was a distinct possibility and high probability that Eric, Pam, and I would have sex with each other because fairy blood had that effect on all vampires.

So, yes, it did seem like there was some cognitive dissonance going on between what I ought to have felt and what I actually felt.

“I can’t help the way I feel,” I concluded.  “But I will not bring it up again.”

Eric seemed to understand, but needed to offer his own pearl of wisdom.  “Pam is your friend, your sibling, and your family.  Our relationship to each other works differently than it does in humans because we are different creatures.  What you should have done was to listen to my thoughts or Pam’s while we were with each other.  Why do we have to keep reminding you that you possess that ability?  You seem to have forgotten.”

And since he had a point, and I had the means, I did exactly what he suggested.

My fairy blood offered me one final gift when I became a vampire: the ability to spend some extra time awake, even while my maker slept.  It wasn’t long, just a few minutes, but that morning I put my ability to the test and sifted through Eric’s memories of our escapade.

Even though he had been having sex with Pam, what he had been focusing on was Pam’s mouth and fingers as they had roamed over my body and given me pleasure.  His body felt good, but his mind was otherwise occupied with me.  I was his turn on, the one that ultimately made him feel good.

The day took me, though I was already feeling better and knew that I owed both Pam and Eric an apology.

Next Chapter

Special thanks to Jan of Arc for her help in selecting the locale!

12 thoughts on “Chapter 23 – Ashes to Ashes Again

  1. So good to see a new chapter of this story! I loved the do-over part and now really enjoyable to see how Sookie adapts to vampire life esp. with her enhanced powers. I know jealousy is not a pretty feeling but I think it is telling that Sookie got over her reluctance to kill evil people/creatures but can still be jealous of any woman (even Pam) with Eric. I think it shows how deep and perhaps a tad possessive and obsessive are her feelings for him, especially enhanced now that she is a vampire. She is a baby vamp and even if she manifest high self control most of the time her emotions are going to be a bit all over the place and go crazy when touching a sensitive spot. And for her, Eric is that spot.

  2. Followed you from FanFic. Lovely story. Really enjoying reading about Sookie’s ‘back in time’ experiences. Was delighted to read their romance. Impressed with how you had her turned into a vampire. Especially with her heightened powers. Like how you have her describing her vampire life now. Looking forward to reading how they deal with the Queen & De Castro. Is Eric going to be King of one & Pam Queen of the other? Looking forward to reading further chapters. Thankyou.

  3. I’m so happy you are back to writing this. I’m hoping that Sookie can still save Eric since that was what she was wishing. We all need a HEA after the way the books ended.

  4. SO happy to see an update! Yay!

    I can certainly understand why Sookie would be conflicted — she hasn’t been a vampire for very long, and her human values are still so very prevalent in her mind.

    Well done!

  5. Nice to see this one again. It occurs to me that not all of the water fairies are like Breandan and his cronies, no more than all humans or vampires are alike. If those who were killed were part of the bad group I can see satisfaction in killing them. I feel sort of bad for them, though. You also reminded us that death for some people is inevitable, whether by design or by accident. Sookie made her wish on the cluviel dor just as Felipe stabbed Eric in the heart. To me that means he wasn’t killed. I still have hope that he won’t be.

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