Chapter 9 – Dead Star Shine

Nothing’s Gonna Change My World

It was the last night in my house, now Jason’s house.  I felt lonely as I cleaned the floors one last time.  Sure, they would get scuffed again, but at least there wouldn’t be any of Tina’s fur hiding in the corners.  Thinking of my kitty, she followed me around the house, only mildly interested in what I was doing.  But at least she was with me.  The whole house was packed and ready to go except for what I was going to wear tomorrow and some food I’d left in the refrigerator.  I wasn’t mean enough to take it with me and not leave it for my brother to have.  After all, the house’s buyer was the only family I had left in this world.

The floors were drying inside the house when I decided to spend one last lazy night looking at the stars, sitting on my porch swing.  My brother’s porch swing, I corrected myself.  Tina followed and sat on porch’s railing.  She didn’t like to swing.

I looked at what I could see of the heavens.  It was a clear night, not too warm.  The fall was making its way in and it felt comfortable in the low seventies.  The house didn’t have central air, but Jason’s did (now mine, I reminded myself – this would take some getting used to).  Once I moved over there I would have to make a decision on whether or not to run the air conditioner on nights like this.  I probably wouldn’t.

“I wish you could tell me whether you approve of my choices,” I said to no one, but I addressed it to Gran, looking at a twinkling star that shone through the trees that bordered the house.  “I didn’t sell the house to a stranger.  I want Jason to have a family here.”  I sighed, remembering Jason’s first wife and their unborn baby, both of them dead on that cross.  Neave and Lochlan had done that.  Maybe in this timeline I could help Jason avoid all that heartache.  I wondered… I couldn’t prevent deaths, but could I prevent conceptions?  I shook my head.  This was obviously bigger than me.  Every new action and new decision I took that varied from my “first life” would take me in a new direction.  I’d been given the gift of reliving my life, but the purpose… I had to save Eric.  My wish had been to save the one I loved, not EVERYONE I loved.

“You should have used it, Gran,” I said to the sky.  “Who would you have saved by using the cluviel dor?  What would you have used it for?  My grandfather must have loved you very much to have given you something so powerful that it made me a time traveler,” I murmured.

Tina was listening until her ears moved to the side, like satellite dishes trying to find a signal.  I figured she must have heard a raccoon or a night bird in the cemetery.  She returned her undivided attention to me.  “You’re a good kitty,” I praised her and extended my hand.  She extended her body until her nose touched my fingertips.  The connection lasted only a second because she was startled by something in the woods and ran under the house.  I was startled too, thinking of all the bad people that could be coming this way.  I was getting ready to make a run for it when I saw Bill breaching the tree line.  I sat back down on my swing, watching Bill as he reached the porch.  He stood right in front of me, separated by the railing.

“Good evening, Sookie,” he said and bowed.

“Hi, Bill,” I said.  “You don’t have to be so formal.”

He looked at me curiously and then nodded.  “Yes, I do.  You belong to my sheriff.  I am merely here to politely ask how you were faring.”

Bill’s formal tone was annoying.  “I’m okay,” I said, knowing it would irk him that I hadn’t been as formal as he.  I smiled to myself and he caught it and smiled too.  Maybe I could reach the Bill that had liked me.  Correction: maybe I could reach the Bill that I had liked.

“Who bought your house, if I may ask?”  I wasn’t sure how Bill had found out, but house sales are a matter of public record, and Bill had been working on his database, I was sure of that much.  Jason and I had closed a few days before.  It must have already been recorded.

“My brother and I exchanged houses.  Tomorrow he’ll be moving in and I’ll be moving out,” I said, thankful that Bill didn’t know Jason’s house.  At least, I thought he didn’t.

“I suppose I won’t see you unless I go to Merlotte’s,” he said hopeful.

I frowned.  “You weren’t very nice to me last time we saw each other at Merlotte’s.  In fact, you were very rude.”

“I apologize.  I was hurt,” he said immediately.  “I wasn’t expecting you to forget about me so suddenly.”

Now my mind was doing overtime.  I had two scenarios to play with: one was Bill truly feeling hurt by my decision to go with Eric.  The second was Bill trying to gain back my affection so he could continue doing the job that the Queen had set for him.  I had no way to fix the first, and the second was a bit scary for me.  Decision time…

There was no need to decide anything at that moment.  A silver sedan pulled into my long driveway and made me forget whatever Bill and I had been talking about.  The car looked familiar.  I smiled when I realized it was Pam’s Toyota.  She parked in front of the house, got out with distinct grace, and walked over the uneven gravel as if it was a smooth marble floor.  She looked like she hadn’t been to Fangtasia at all tonight: khakis with a pink and purple plaid shirt, and sensible flats.  She looked like a model for L.L. Bean.  I couldn’t see if her hair was pulled back into a regular braid or a French braid.

“Hello, Sookie!” she waved as if we were long time friends.  She shot Bill a hard stare that lasted all of a second, and then continued walking up the porch steps.  “I came to talk about your job.  I tried calling but you didn’t answer,” she said, as she finally reached my side.  “Good evening, Bill.  I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

I knew I had to answer quickly.  “Bill was wondering who had bought my house.  He lives across the cemetery,” I said, pointing to my left towards Home Sweet Home Cemetery.  And everybody in it.

“How nice,” Pam said, though she didn’t mean it.

“Have a good night, Bill.  I have some business to take care of with Pam,” I said, trying to be polite and shoo him away at the same time.  It worked.  Bill bowed to both of us and left.

I went inside, fully expecting Pam to follow, since Eric was invited to come in and Pam was his child, but I turned around to find her standing at the door.  She had an amused look on her face and was holding her hand up against… thin air, apparently.  I frowned.  That was odd.

“You’re welcome to come in, Pam,” I said, and watched as she tried to push the air in front of her again.

“I’m afraid you no longer think of this house as your own, Sookie,” she said and gave me a half smile.

I blinked dumbfounded.  That had never happened to me before.  “I’m so sorry,” I said, genuinely embarrassed.  I’d never had a problem offering hospitality to anyone of any species.  What a strange problem to have!

“It’s all right, Sookie.  We can sit on your porch,” Pam said and disappeared.  I found her sitting on the porch swing looking like a lady.  It truly was unbelievable that she was able to rip people’s throats out with just her hand.

“Can I offer you a True Blood, at least?” I said in a small voice.  It dawned on me that I had declared the house as Jason’s and that was why I couldn’t invite Pam inside.  I was sad in a way.  I turned my head to look through the front door into the house, and my sight was met by a mess of boxes awaiting the U-Haul truck I was renting tomorrow, and a few able-bodied men that would put them in it.

“Please, Sookie, don’t bother.  Sit.  It looks like you’ve been working all day,” Pam said, patting the empty part of the swing beside her.  I joined her and she turned her body so we could talk.  “Why didn’t you answer your phone?  I was becoming concerned.”

“I’m so sorry,” again.  “I put it in my purse earlier so I wouldn’t lose it during the move tomorrow.”

“You should keep it close, Sookie.  Keep it in a pocket.  I worry about you, but imagine if Eric had been the one to try to reach you.”

Pam had a point, so I nodded.  We began talking about my new job.  She had gone ahead and signed the lease for the office I’d seen inside the shiny building, knowing that I wouldn’t like any of the others once I’d seen that one.  “You have good taste, I can tell,” she allowed.

“You chose it for me,” I pointed out, “so you’re the one with the good taste.”

Then we spoke about the first few nights.  She was going to work closely with me and show me everything so that I could hire the very first person that was needed: my assistant.  After that she would start giving me everything and letting me handle it, slowly transferring all the duties.  I was very pleased by her attention to detail, and because her mind was completely silent, I was able to follow this very important conversation easily.

“I have a feeling that I shall enjoy working with you,” she said giving me a sly smile.  I smiled back, trying to take the compliment in stride and failing miserably.  She noticed and changed the subject.  “So, Sookie, how do you know the future?”

My smile froze in place for a second or two, and then was swiftly replaced by my lunatic smile, the one that made its appearance whenever I was nervous.  “Why do you ask?” I said, tilting my head.  I was trying to buy time, actually.

“Eric has been on a manhunt for over a week, looking for his maker because of something you told him.  All he will say is that he must find his maker, and won’t give me specifics…”

“Don’t you think that’s his prerogative?” I interrupted.  I was still playing a part.  So far all I’d been told about Eric and Pam was that Pam was Eric’s business partner.  Nobody, not Eric nor Bill, had told me that Pam was Eric’s child as well.  I had to pretend I didn’t know that.

She studied me briefly, trying to phrase her statement correctly.  “If I knew why he was searching for his maker, I might be able to help him.”

“I’m very sorry, Pam.  If he won’t tell you, then I don’t think I’m at liberty to tell you either,” was my answer.

She narrowed her eyes, but not in anger.  She was now assessing me, judging me and coming up with an opinion of me.  “Yes, you are correct.”  I nodded, feeling a weight lift off me.  I almost sighed in relief until she spoke again.  “But things that affect him, affect me.”

“Why?” I asked immediately.  “I mean,” I continued, “I know you’re business partners, but what I told him was personal.”

Pam looked away, pensive.  She seemed to be staring at the trees that lined my property (Jason’s property, I corrected myself again).  When she looked back she was as serious as I’d ever seen her.  “You must not tell this hither and thither, this information is only for you.”

“I would never…” I shook my head.  “Pam!  I’m a telepath!  Keeping secrets and staying quiet is like my job description.”

“I apologize,” she said.  “It’s not that I forget you’re special, but I cannot imagine what your life is like.  It’s not normal.”

“I only feel normal around vampires,” I mumbled and looked away.  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever confessed that to her.  Or to anyone.

“You’re not even offended by my words.”

“Not if they’re true, and they are.  I’m NOT normal.”  I shook my head again.  “Tell me what it is you want me to know,” I said, trying to change the focus back on her.

“Eric is my maker, my master.  I would do anything to keep him safe,” she said quickly, almost too quickly.  I had to let my brain decipher some of the words and fill in the gaps.

“Oh,” I said, trying to act more surprised than I felt.  “That explains a lot, actually.”

“So now, will you tell me?” she asked.  I turned to her to see her looking expectant.

I closed my eyes.  She had gotten badly hurt by Alexei when Appius Livius Ocella had come to visit Eric and deliver the news that he had arranged his marriage.  If I could save her from that…  “You will never have him,” Ocella had said to me.  I had a few choice words for him.  Too bad it would be a couple of years until he met the true death.

“Have you met Eric’s maker?” I asked Pam, trying to decipher how much she knew, and how much I had to tell her.

“He travels with a demented kid, that’s all I know.  Eric has managed to keep me away from both.”

I nodded, she knew enough.  “He is going to arrange for Eric to marry the Queen of Oklahoma, and there won’t be anything Eric can do about it.  I told Eric that if he waits until his maker arrives on his own, it will be too late to undo the arrangement.”

Pam’s eyes widened as if in shock.  “What else do you know?” she asked like one who has just witnessed a miracle and doesn’t want to look away.  I don’t think she blinked.

“I know a lot, but things can change, events are not set in stone, only deaths,” I said.

“You know when we will die…” she whispered.

“Not you,” I said, and knew immediately that I’d made a mistake.

“You know when Eric will die?” she asked jumping in her seat as if bracing herself.  I knew the death of a maker was painful, and for Pam it would be doubly so because I knew how much she cared for Eric.  He had been a good maker to her, all things considered.

I shook my head and looked down at my hands on my lap.  I couldn’t keep up the pretense and finally nodded.  I didn’t look up when I heard Pam gasp in horror.  I wasn’t able to look at her, and that had a lot to do with my tears, which had started to flow freely.  The memories of that fateful night were fresh and still hurt.  “I think I can prevent it,” I said in a small voice, “but it’s a long shot at best.”

“You must tell me when,” Pam demanded.

I looked up.  “You can’t tell him, Pam.  It won’t do any good.  If it doesn’t happen the way I saw it, it will happen another way.  I may be the only one who can prevent it.”  I sounded like I’d already given up.  I could hear it in my own voice.

“How will it happen?  At least tell me that, please,” Pam said.  She looked stricken.

I didn’t have it in my heart not to give her the particulars.  “May third of 2011, Felipe De Castro, the King of Nevada, Louisiana, and Arkansas, will set up a trap and call us all to Fangtasia: Eric, you and me.  I killed his second and regent of Louisiana, Victor Madden, with your help.  Eric will say he did it.  Felipe will stake him and claim me as his telepath.  You will be set free.”

Pam was quiet for a long moment; her brain was working overtime.  I had given her a lot of information in just a few sentences.  “You have to tell Eric… everything!”

“Yes I do,” I agreed.  Duh, I thought to myself.

Pam seemed to get a grip on her emotions.  She’d always been less of a hothead than Eric and better able to see strategy from the get go, while it took Eric a little longer after the initial shock.  I felt better for having told her, but I also felt selfish to have put that burden on her as well.  I told her as much and she looked at me like I was a lunatic.

“Don’t keep things like that from us, Sookie.  I hate to insult you, but you’re only a human.  We’re better able to handle this than you are.  Besides, it’s not your burden to bear.  This is vampire politics.  I thank you for telling me, and it’s admirable that you thought you could handle it on your own, but you have to admit that you cannot.”  Pam, the voice of reason, said.

I swallowed and wiped my face with the heel of my hand.  Pam didn’t make faces at my sniffling or my tears.  She regarded me with… something close to pity, if I didn’t know better.  Maybe I was reading too much into her expression.

“Sookie, I mean it: thank you,” she said out of the blue.

“I wish I could do more than tell you,” I confessed, even though I knew she was right.  There was no real way for me to help.  I was mostly human.  I glanced past Pam in the general direction of the woods to the east of the house.  That’s where the fairy portal was located.  A sudden fear entered me, an unfounded one.  I still had a few months until Claudine would find me and reveal herself as a fairy.  I looked away quickly and refocused.

“You… care… for Eric,” she said after watching me for a moment.

“I do.”

“He cares for you too.  I can see why,” she said and ran her eyes from my crown to my hands on my lap.  “I’m sorry I have to go.  Now that you’ve given me this information I have to set some plans in motion.”

I nodded.  Pam was within her right to want to help with the largest of all the problems.  If anything, she had more right than me.  I watched as the red car lights receded, wondering what she would do, what she would tell Eric, and whether she would include me.

The twinkling star was in the same place in the sky.  I imagined it was my Gran, looking down at me.  “This is my life now,” I whispered.


Jason’s house (MY house, I corrected myself for the umpteenth time) was a chaos of boxes.  Everything was where it should be awaiting unpacking; I just hadn’t realized that my new house was significantly smaller than my old one.  I couldn’t imagine where I would have put all the stuff I’d given away.  I would have to give away some more, it seemed.

The sun had set about an hour before, and still no Eric.  He’d said he was going to meet me at my new house.  There were several things still at Jason’s… like my bed and my clothes, the things I promised Eric that he could move to avoid jealousy.  My cell phone beeped.  The text message announced that Eric would arrive in about ten minutes.  I was ready.  I had already showered the day’s work off my body and hair, and I had changed into something nicer than a ratty shirt and skimpy shorts.

I called Jason real quick to remind him that I hadn’t been able to grab Tina and to keep an eye out for her.  She had been skittish with all the men moving in and out of the house.  I was sure she’d spent the whole day under the porch, but I wasn’t able to find her when it was time to make the drive to my new house.

“I’ll bring her to you as soon as I find her,” Jason offered, which was nice of him.  “Hoyt’s still here.  We’ll go out and call her, okay?  See if she comes out?”

“Thanks, Jason,” I said, though I doubted they’d have much luck.  Tina wasn’t the type to come when called unless there was food involved.  I had a feeling I’d have to go over the next day and spend some daylight hours luring Tina out from her hiding place with a can of tuna.

A horn announced Eric’s arrival.  It wasn’t the Corvette’s, though.  I stepped outside to see a yellow Penske truck parked next to the white U-Haul that I had to return tomorrow.  A blur of movement from the cab to the box told me a vampire had been at the wheel, alright.

“You could have just taken the U-Haul truck.  You didn’t have to rent another,” I called to Eric, who was now busy opening the rolling door of the yellow truck.

“Great idea, but I needed this one,” he said, letting the door roll all the way up and joining me vampire fast on the porch.  “Hide your eyes for a few minutes, can you do that?” he asked and bent to give me a quick kiss.

I pursed my lips, but I wanted to smile.  “Why?”

“I have a surprise for you.  I went to your old house and your brother helped me with your remaining items.  I have to unload those as well as your surprise,” he smiled like a little kid.

“I can’t say no to you,” I muttered and threw my hands up in the air.

“I am very well aware of that, and it is one of your best qualities, lover.”  The way he said lover, coupled with the open mouthed kiss he landed on my neck, almost made me fall right where I was standing.

He was about to move away when I caught his hand.  He returned to me and let me pull him down for a proper kiss.  When we separated I held his face in my hands and made sure he was looking in my eyes.  “Whatever it is, I thank you.  I like surprises,” I said, watching his lips part in a satisfied smile.

“Don’t look,” he said, barely able to contain his excitement.  He liked giving me things.  Whatever he’d brought was big enough to necessitate the use of a box truck.  I shook my head and turned to stare out of my new porch.  From where I was standing I could see the small man-made lake that my dad had built when he built the house, and the light at the far end reflecting in the water.  It reminded me of the Great Gatsby.  Maybe I would switch the light from a bright orange to a green one, just like in the novel.  I was about to say something to that effect to Eric when my phone rang in my pocket.  It was Jason.

“Sis,” he was short of breath, “meet me at the Minden pet hospital.”

My heart sank and my blood ran cold.  “Tina…”

“Hoyt didn’t see her; he had no time to stop.  She ran right under his truck as he was leaving.”  The pain in his voice was evident.  He was worried about me.

“I’m on my way,” I said and ran inside the house, nearly knocking Eric who was about to come out.  I explained everything to him as best I could.  “I’ll be back.  You stay in your home,” I said, which was something my grandma used to say whenever Jason or I had friends over and she was going to bed before they had left.

“I’ll wait as long as I can, but please keep me informed,” he said and kissed my forehead.

“I will.”  With that I ran to my car and gunned it to Minden.  The small town had the only pet hospital that was open twenty-four hours, other than going all the way to Shreveport.

When I got there I saw Hoyt sitting next to Jason.  Hoyt’s shirt was covered in blood, and it took me a while to realize that it was Tina’s blood.  He looked so miserable about what had happened, and his eyes said even more when he looked at me.  “I am so sorry, Sookie.  I should have been more careful…” he said and looked away.

Jason got up from the chair he’d been occupying and put his arm around my shoulder.  I was too stunned to talk or think.  Instead I let him guide me to a chair while he sat next to me.

I don’t know how much time passed from the moment I arrived until the veterinarian called us into the room where they had been trying to save my kitty.  I can’t even remember if the vet was a man or a woman.  All I remember is Tina’s furry body looking worse during this death than the first one.  Did I want to keep the ashes?  Did I want to take her home?  Did I want to arrange for her to be buried in a pet cemetery?  When I had finally made my decision… did I want to pay cash or credit?  I almost, almost yelled at the receptionist/vet assistant, but Hoyt stepped forward and handed her his credit card.

I could feel Eric’s eyes on me when I returned home a couple of hours later.  He was watching as I made my way to a shed behind the house, which still had Jason’s garden tools.  I took out a pick and a shovel, and marched with both of them to a particular spot.  I figured I’d done this once, I would do it again.  I dug a hole.  Tina’s small body fit into it perfectly.  The vet had wrapped her in a small blanket, and that’s how I left her.  I covered the hole myself, this time, keenly aware that my boyfriend was very close and witnessing everything.  He was smart, though.  He didn’t offer to help.  He knew I would ask for it if I needed it.  I didn’t need it, so I didn’t ask, even though I knew he was itching to grab the shovel from my hand.  At last I let him, and he helped by putting the tools back in the shed.

Eric returned to find me saying one last prayer for my kitty.  I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do, to pray for an animal’s soul, but I figured cats had even more right to go to Heaven than humans.  Tina, in particular, had been a very loving kitty.

I felt Eric take my hand, and I let him guide me back into the house.  He walked me to the kitchen sink, and settled himself behind me.  He washed my hands gently, making sure I had no dirt left under my nails.  He dried my hands with some paper towels and then turned me around to examine me.  He didn’t ask if I was okay.  He could see I wasn’t.  He knew what I needed, he gave it to me.  His kiss on my lips was deliberate and slow, only our lips meeting over and over.  I clung to him, trying not to think of his death.

“I’m saddened that you cannot enjoy your surprise under better circumstances,” he said, putting his forehead against mine.

I gave him a half smile.  “I would like to see it.”

After giving me a soft smile of his own he turned me around and covered my eyes.  We walked like penguins down the hall and stopped, presumably in front of my bedroom door.  I had an idea of what his surprise could be… but when he took his hands off my face what I saw was nothing like I imagined.

The huge, canopy, blonde maple bed was sitting prettily inside the room, together with a dresser and a bureau made of the same wood.  The mattress was nude, but hanging from the carved canopy was the mosquito netting that gave it the most romantic look I could ever have imagined (mosquitoes notwithstanding).  I knew Eric had spent way too much.

“Eric… this is beautiful, gorgeous… but I feel so bad about the expense,” I began, only to be interrupted.

“Lover, I warn you.  You and I might have fit on your twin size bed, but we shall be infinitely more comfortable in this king sized one.  Do you really like it?”

“I do, I like it very much.  It’s breathtaking… but I don’t have sheets for it…”

“They’re in the dryer.  I bought you brand new sheets,” he said, all proud of himself.

Once again, he’d done it.  His first gift to me had been spot on.  It not only was something I needed, it was something I would have picked for myself had I had the money.  Absolutely perfect.  I told him so, over and over as I kissed his face.  He held me tight and accepted my gratitude.

“But just to be clear, I’m not with you for your money,” I said, still clinging to his neck.

“So you’re with me for my good looks and oversized ego?  I knew it,” he said with a smug smile.  I nodded and he lifted an eyebrow.

When the sheets were ready from the dryer, he helped me make the bed.  They were a light green, and they were cotton, but they were soft as a caress.  He’d even chosen a quilt to match, with a subdued pattern of greens and blues.  It was very much me, but a little bit of him.

And the moment the bed was made, we proceeded to unmake it.  We made love, for that was what it was, in my new bed, in my new bedroom inside my new home.  Eric was very gentle, knowing I’d had a rough night.  We were building a relationship; we were getting to know each other.  I was surprised about the things I hadn’t known about Eric, about his likes and dislikes.  He was more open, more willing to teach me how to make him feel good, and I was a quick study.  I, in turn, learned a few things about myself and wasn’t afraid to tell Eric where to touch me and how.  The ecstasy of our mutual bliss was that much greater this time than many of the others I remembered.

We were a tangle of limbs and sheets, his head resting on my chest, my lips kissing his hair once in a while, when he first asked.

“Why didn’t you tell me you had seen my death?”  His voice was soft.  He wasn’t accusing me of anything.

I winced, took a deep breath, and answered honestly.  “I didn’t know how.  I didn’t want to scare you.  There is a possibility that I might be able to stop it, but if the possibility exists, then I’m the only one who can do it,” I said, thinking of my wish.  It had been MY wish to stop Eric’s death.  “I told Pam not to tell you, but she knows you best,” I said, my voice quiet.

“I am not afraid.  I have a long time to come up with a solution.”  Eric moved so he could look at me.  “You don’t have to keep anything from me.  I think you are remarkable.  Your gift is spectacular.  And you, Sookie, are amazing in a way I never thought possible for a human.”

“What way is that?”

He paused.  I had a feeling he wasn’t going to answer.  My feeling was correct.  He climbed over me slowly, ready to take me again.  I forgot my question, ready to take him again.  This second time it was more frenzied, more passionate.  As I was about to be swept out to sea, Eric bit his arm and offered it to me, bringing it across and placing it on my mouth.  I drank greedily at the same time that he bit into my breast.  We both reached our climaxes noisily.

In the silence that followed I wondered at Eric’s reticence (Word of the Day) at answering my question, yet his willingness to give me his blood.  I was starting to feel the connection returning.  Even though we hadn’t actively exchanged blood but only twice, he had healed my body and put a little bit of his blood inside me during our first night making love.  It was enough to establish a fledgling blood bond.  I was sure he was aware of what he was doing.  The feeling of contentment that told me he was near made me snuggle closer, and Eric held me closer too.  From my vantage point I could see out the window.  The house was remote enough that I could leave the curtains open if I so wished.  Besides, it was dark inside, so there would be nothing to see from the outside… and my boyfriend was a vampire who could detect any visitors around my property.

Outside the window the night sky was still bright with stars, and not one cloud.  I could see many stars, but one in particular was shining brightest.  I stared at it until my eyes started to close on their own.  Even with Eric’s blood, there was no cheating fatigue.

“Do you mind if I fall asleep on you?” I asked, just in case.

“Sleep, my darling,” was his answer.

I drifted off into a dream.  Something I’d been thinking about must have triggered it.  I remembered being inside that old house at the mercy of Neave and Lochlan, the demented fairies who had tortured me.  This time my nightmare, stopped, rewound, and repeated one scene over and over: the very first moment when my mind understood that Eric wasn’t coming for me.  It was the moment that I knew I would die.

I woke up shaking in Eric’s arms, listening to his voice trying to soothe me.  My body was still racked with adrenaline, but my mind was processing the dream trying to make sense of it.

Of course!  Eric knew when he was fated to die, but yet he took it calmly and probably had a plan in place to avoid the final death.  His cool demeanor in the face of such adversity was admirable, to say the least.  I wondered if it was a function of being alive over a thousand years, or if he had the kind of fortitude necessary to keep on living even when the chances were stacked against him.

“I’m sorry,” I blurted out when I was feeling well enough to speak.

“The past month has been very stressful for you, I dare say,” he said, caressing my hair.

One thing was to tell him about something that affected him, another was to tell him about what was going to happen to me.  Moreover, I had no intention of letting it happen, because I had no intention of letting any members of my fairy family into my life.

“Eric, just promise me something, please,” I begged.

“If it’s in my power…”

“When you get a call from a relative of mine that is not human, do not let him know where I am, how to reach me… don’t even let him know you know me, if at all possible.”

Eric’s eyes widened.  “I promise to do this if you tell me why.”

When I’d woken up that day, I knew it was going to be a momentous day for me.  I would be moving out of Gran’s house for the first time (willingly), and I would start a new life.  I hadn’t imagined that it was the day for Tina to die.  And I hadn’t imagined it was the day that I had to make a decision regarding the information I was willing to share with Eric.

Before I told him I looked out the window once more.  The brightest start twinkled, and I could almost imagine it was my grandmother watching over me.  I could blame her for everything that had gone wrong in my life.  I could remove my burdens and place them all on her and her moments of weakness.  But was it weakness to love?  No, I couldn’t believe that, and it was my love for Eric that eventually helped me spill the beans.

Next Chapter 


13 thoughts on “Chapter 9 – Dead Star Shine

  1. I’m hoping she just comes clean about everything. Eric is a great strategist if he knows everything he can plan much better.

  2. Really great chapter. I love that Eric gifted Sookie a bed that will be “theirs”. Will he have a hidey hole at the new house?
    Really interested to see how Eric reacts to finding out about Niall and the torture twins.
    Can’t wait for the next chapter and hopefully soon a bonding!

  3. The changes she is making in this life are all for the better. I keep hoping that what she is doing will ultimately change the outcome she fears so much. I think about Rhodes, if she had discovered the bomb plot earlier, she could have prevented the explosions, and Sophie Anne would not have been injured and thus an easy target for a take over. Of course Felipe might still have tried to take Louisiana, OR married her and then had it from a different many possibilities for their future. And the first step is what she is doing now, telling Eric everything. Wonderful chapter as always

  4. Love the changes she is making in her life! Poor Tina, I know that Sookie feels bad that she cannot stop the deaths that she knows about. Glad she told Pam about what she knows about Eric’s future. Loved Eric’s housewarming gift. Wonderful chapter, thanks.

    Also love the website!

  5. Our cliffy Queen strikes again!! Awesome chapter, she is getting smarter. Sharing the bit she did with Pam and seeing Pam’s reaction must have given her confidence to share with Eric. I’m glad she realizes she will need their help to manage all this, such a positive change. It was so touching that she let Eric enjoy surprising her, and that she was truly grateful. I could “see” his happiness in your words. Correcting that ridiculous behavior of hers is one of my favorite things you’ve done in this story. Things are really falling into place, she will be working with her vamps and is more willing to be seen as Eric’s and she is attempting to limit the Fae in her life. I’m so excited for more!!! I love, love this story, you are a brilliant writer! I won’t whine or beg for the next chapter because I know you have lots going on, but I do hope it will be soon! Kathy

  6. Wow, I don’t know that I’d be strong enough to go through every loss in my life twice. I love the chappie, can’t wait for the next one.

  7. Love the new chapter but doesn’t Sookie wanted to warn Niall of Fintan death and the on coming war? and Claudine, I like Book Cludine, oh and Clautte? It’s sad that she be cutting the fairy family member out. Still guess it’s a good thing she has full focus on just Eric.

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