Last time on FauX…
“My name, sir, is Princess Susanna Brigant. I don’t know what a Sookie is, or where you might find one, and I would thank you to keep your hands to yourself!”
“Princess…” he said softly, his eyes wide and filled with fear and wonder as he stared at the stranger before him. “…Susanna Brigant.”
“Yes, that’s right. Who the hell are you?”
FauX- The Princess & The Vampire
Her eyes darted around the large empty room while she waited for this stranger to explain himself to her. She had no idea where she was or how she had gotten here. The last thing she remembered was being at the palace, thinking of running away. The next thing was waking up in this stranger’s arms. She looked at him then, scanning his appearance for clues of who he was and why he was there with her.
Her eyes widened when she recognized that he was covered in dried blood and other unpleasant things. Immediately concerned for her own clothing she looked down and huffed indignantly to discover that he had also ruined her outfit. Stamping her foot on the floor, she looked up at him, ready to give him the tongue lashing of his life when she suddenly realized she was standing in front of a vampire.
Her rage turned to abject terror as she recalled all the warning stories from her kin about what happens when a fairy comes to close to a vampire. Her hand came up to her mouth to stifle a scream and she took a step back away from him, trying to gather herself and teleport away before he came at her full on with his vampire speed.
Perhaps he had already killed her kin and it was their blood he was covered in!
The absolute terror he felt from her through their fledgling blood bond brought Eric to his knees. He had handled being able to walk in the sun, and was prepared to assist her in any way he could with what had happened to her, but this last thing, feeling her fear of him sent him sailing over the edge of his reason.
His face a mask of pain he sensed she was about to go, teleport away from him and this place. Searching his mind for something to say that might buy him the few precious moments he needed to figure out what was going on he said the first thing that came to his mind to try and ease her fear.
“Geronimo.” She cocked her head to the side, shocked now more than scared of the large vampire on his knees in front of her. How did he know to say that?
“What does that mean to you, vampire?” she demanded eyes narrow and cold. She was curious enough to linger a moment, but not trusting enough to believe that he understood what he had just said.
“It means trust me, S-Princess. It means trust me.” Her accent had changed along with everything else about her. To the uneducated ear she sounded like upper crust British citizenry, but Eric knew that it indicated Fae royalty. She wasn’t kidding about being a princess.
Why was a princess working at SIN, under an assumed name? Why hadn’t she told him? “It’s your word, Princess. You told me that if you trust someone you have just jump in and do it, and that you say, ‘Geronimo’ to yourself when you do. It’s kind of become our watchword since we met.”
“And when did we meet?”
“Two nights ago in Dallas.”
“Dallas…Texas?” her face was scrunched up now, clearly disbelieving him. “Is that where we are now?” She glanced around again.
“No. We are in Shreveport, Louisiana, now.”
“Doing what? What are you to me?” He opened his mouth to answer and then hesitated. He had no idea what they were doing right now, and he had no idea what he was to her. Less than an hour ago he had been her lover, her only lover, and her partner, and they had shared blood.
What happened to my Sookie? His mind cried out in anguish, feeling the hole that had appeared in his chest when she asked him who he was grow by exponential proportion and threaten to swallow him from the inside out. Oh, it hurt. It hurt a lot. Oh, it burned!
Wait. The burning was on the outside. He glanced down at his skin and saw that his vampire SPF factor was fading.
“Oh, I don’t feel…feel so good.” Seeing her micro-tell as she read him immediately followed by a look of genuine concern on her face, he watched as she took a tentative step toward him.
“Do you need help?” Her eyes were wide and again he could sense fear and doubt from her. He nodded and rose to his feet, the sheer size of him scaring her back another step. He looked around and saw that there was nowhere he could go here in this building to hide from the sun. He grunted as he started smoking.
“Sir, you are on fire!” That would have meant something so different just a few hours ago he thought sadly.
“Will you teleport us to someplace safe? Someplace that we can figure out together what is going on? Please, So-Princess.” He knew about Geronimo, and he knew that she could teleport herself and someone else. He kept getting her name wrong, but it seemed to bother him much more than her.
“Very well,” she said, stepping closer to him and looking up and up and up until she finally found his eyes again. “Picture-“
“Where I want to go in my mind. I know.” He was in tremendous pain from the sunlight, but her not remembering they had teleported together seemed to hurt him so much more than any sunlight ever could.
Who was the vampire? Who was this vampire to her?
She looked into his mind and found the place he wanted to go. “Hold on,” she said, and they were there a moment later. She barely got a look around before a gust of air told her that she was now surrounded by vampires. Instinctively her hands lit up and crouched down ready to blast away at whatever wretched vampire dared touch her.
This one was shorter than the behemoth she had just teleported. Closer to her own height, with beautiful eyes that seemed to radiate calm. His short auburn hair framed his pale face accentuating his cheek bones and his fangy smile.
“Hold, Majesty,” he said raising a hand in a gesture of peace and good will. She dropped her hands and rose before him.
“Am I supposed to know you, too?” she huffed, clearly upset that she was out of the loop on whatever was happening.
“We did meet once long ago, and recently as well, but you did not seem to remember me. I am Godric.” Before she could reply the second vampire turned to the first. “Report, Eric.”
Eric…something flickered in her mind, and then it was gone. Frustrated and still uncertain what we happening she turned to the one called Eric and waited to see what he would say. Part of her was relieved to see that he was now healing, though she was not certain why she cared for his welfare.
“When our call was interrupted I was attacked by four werewolves who I dispatched after learning that Sookie had been lured into a trap. I discovered in the course of battle that I was immune to sunlight I went to her immediately. However, I was too late.” His tone told her that he was anguished over his tardiness.
“What do you mean?” the second vampire pressed.
“Something has taken her memory. She does not recall who she is or what has been happening or…what we were to each other.”
“What do you mean? Of course I know who I am! I told you I am Princess Susanna Brigant! Are you daft? What is happening? What do you mean ‘what we were to each other?” She stamped her foot, and her hands lit up again. “I demand that you explain yourselves to me now!” Eric rounded on her fury with his own.
“You are my Sookie, goddamnit! You are a SIN agent, and we were working together to find the makers and distributors of a drug called FauX! Hours ago you…we…FUCK!” He clenched his fists and towered over her as if he could force the breaking of this maddening spell with his will alone.
“DON’T YELL AT ME YOU CRETINOUS LOUT! I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE! TALK SENSE! I WAS JUST AT THE PALACE AND NOW I FIND MYSELF SURROUNDED BY VAMPIRES! YOU WILL TELL ME THE TRUTH OR I WILL TAKE IT FROM YOUR MIND!” She was standing toe to toe with him, refusing to back down or away no matter how frightening he was in his madness.
“THEN TAKE IT, PRINCESS!” He demanded, saying Princess like it was a word that tasted terrible to him. “LOOK INSIDE ME AND SEE THE TRUTH OF WHAT WE ARE!”
No one spoke to her that way, not even her father! Who did he think he was? Lost in her fury she reached out with her hands alight and placed them on his face, freezing him and stopping the flow of words from his lips.
She saw herself dancing practically naked on a stage surrounded by commoners and she heard and felt what he thought what he saw her.
She gasped and went further, moving faster. The fight, the blast of light, the kiss on the street, the flying. She could not believe that she was this person he saw to her to be. This SIN Agent Sookie Stackhouse. She pulled away from the horrible memories of the photos of the victims of FauX, the corpse they had found, rushing past them only to find…herself.
She saw the memory of her removing her clothes and offering herself to this man before her, this vampire. She gasped then and went to pull her hands away, but the lessening of her freezing spell allowed Eric to move.
“NO!” he thundered at her, his large hands coming up to cover hers. “YOU LOOK! YOU FUCKING LOOK! I WON’T LET YOU LOOK AWAY. WHATEVER YOUR NAME IS YOU ARE NO FUCKING COWARD! LOOK! SEE!”
“No,” she whispered, seeing what had transpired between them, how happy she had been, the pleasure they had shared. The way she had taken his hand the next morning, the sharing of blood before she left. His fear for her, and what had happened with the werewolves whose blood he now wore like a badge of courage.
His only thought had been Sookie…no his only thought had been her. No matter what her name was, to him she was Sookie, and his only thoughts were of her as he fought to evade capture, as he risked himself in the sunlight, as he called her name to wake her in his arms.
She felt his fear for her safety turn to pain when she did not recognize him, a pain so deep and biting that she whimpered and again tried to pull back. This time he let her go. She stepped back, her eyes filled with tears as she looked at this person before her that held such a large part of her that she had no memory of at all.
How could a stranger know her better than she knew herself? How could this have happened?
“Do you see now?” He asked her, taking a tentative step toward her. Her head was banging with pain, and her heart was breaking but she didn’t know if it was for his loss or hers. She took a deep breath and meant to speak but instead only sobbed out loud.
He watched as she tried to speak, so overcome by what she had seen that words were beyond her reach no matter how much she wished them to come to her. Completely overwhelmed and lost, she felt the world start to dim and swim in her line of vision. The last thing she saw was his face change from anger and pain to concern and then everything went black.
Eric caught her before she could hit the floor and picked her up in his arms before turning to his friend of over a thousand years with tears of blood on his face.
“Godric?” he whispered, before falling to his knees at Godric’s feet, careful to keep Sookie safe in his arms.
“We will fix this, my friend,” Godric promised him, squeezing his friends shoulder to offer what little comfort he could.
After settling the Princess in a room Eric and Godric sat down in his office and started working through what had happened.
“Why was Sookie alone?”
“Alcide, her second in command had been sent on a special assignment by Desmond.”
“I don’t know. I don’t think she did either.” Eric rubbed his eyes and sighed. “You knew who she was. You were going to tell me when we were interrupted.”
“And you didn’t think to tell me when you made us partners?”
“I didn’t know it would matter. She has more than demonstrated her competence in the intelligence community, and I didn’t know that you were personally invested.” Eric scoffed.
“Well, I am.”
“Yes, I can see that. Would knowing have changed that?”
“Yes! No! Fucked if I know! What does it even mean that she is Princess Susanna Brigant?”
“I first met her nearly two hundred years ago at a state event for The Council. She had accompanied her father, Niall Brigant. You have heard of him?” Eric’s eyes grew large in shock.
“Everyone knows Niall Brigant.” Godric smiled. “And Sookie is his daughter?!”
“Yes, and his heir.”
“Yes, she is to be the Queen of Fae when he steps down.”
“But that would mean that she is to marry a fairy and continue the royal line?”
“Which rumor has it is why she ran away.”
“Ran away? If you knew who and where she was then she must not have done a very good job at running away.”
“No, I don’t suppose she did.” He paused then, staring into the fire that was burning in the room. “Her rebellion at her supposed destiny is legendary among the immortals. She fought the notion of marrying for state reasons. She wanted to be free to choose her own mate, should she ever be so inclined.”
And she chose me, Eric thought, feeling a moment of elation followed by another sharp pain as his next thought followed. And then she forgot me. Godric read the expression flying across his face.
“She didn’t choose to forget you, Eric, or the life she had made for herself. It was taken from her.” Closing his eyes a moment and trying desperately to find his professional detachment he turned his mind to the facts and pulled them tightly around him to bandage his bleeding soul.
“Does Desmond know who she is?”
“Since he is a long standing friend of the Brigant family I believe so, yes.”
“Then why let her assume another identity?”
“To protect her? To keep her close? To allow a controlled rebellion in hopes that it would pass in time.”
“How long as she been pretending to be Sookie Stackhouse?”
“About ten years now.”
“And Desmond gave her the rank she has now, to pacify the Princess!”
“Quite the opposite. She has earned everything she has now on her own merit. She came into SIN as any other supernatural would, and made her own success.”
“But why? Why when she could have anything and everything that she wanted? Why do it the hard way? Hell, why do it all?”
“I believe I did it to prove something. At least that is why I think I would have done it.” Both vampires rose to their feet suddenly, embarrassed that they had not heard her approach until she was standing in the door.
“Prove what?” Eric asked, unable to stop a step toward the woman who looked so much like the woman that he had fallen in love with. She held her ground, but did not beckon him closer.
“That there is more to the worlds than what I am wearing to the next ball. That there are more important ways to make a difference than sitting on a cold throne where I am a slave to the masses, but remain nothing more than a figure head to them, separate and aloof.
“To prove that I am real, and not a fake person who is nothing more than a title and an obligation that I was born into and never asked to be a part of. I wanted to be someone real.” She had stepped further into the room with each reason she added to her list and found herself standing before the beautiful vampire that had held her when she had first awaked into this mad world.
He was cleaned up now, and while she had been aware of him under the blood and anger, seeing him now captivated her. He looked at her with the same expression on his face and Godric had to suppress a smile at the very obvious connection these two still shared despite the magics that had tried to separate them.
“You were someone real, Sookie.” Eric’s voice was soft as he looked down at her now, standing so close to him. “You are someone real to me.”
“But, I’m not the person you knew. I am not Sookie Stackhouse, and unless I can find a way to remember her, I will never be her. She is the sum of her experiences and I have been robbed of those events that formed her.”
“I see her in you,” he took a step closer.
“Yes. The reckless temper, the confidence, the demanding nature.” A frown crossed her lovely face.
“And you care for this graceless creature you describe?”
“Deeply,” he said, rumbling in his chest as he held her gaze. He saw her tell and knew she was listening to his thoughts, seeking absolute truth.
More than anything.
“More than anything.”
“Why?” her tongue came out to moisten her lips.
Because she is also brave, and good, and bold about what she thinks and feels. Because I have waited so long for her that there is no way I could fail to recognize her when I finally found her at my side.
“So long?” she asked softly.
I wished for you on a million stars, in a thousand lives, across oceans of time, your name matters not. I can see your soul, woman mine.
“You could just call me that, if…if I never get my memories back. If you still want to I mean?”
Call you what?
“Mine?” She reached a hand out to him then, and he met it lacing his fingers through hers. She closed her eyes, sighing softly, feeling something right itself inside her that had been off since she had awakened in his arms.
“Mine!” he said fiercely, stepping closer to her, pulling her against him with his large hand spanning her back. Feeling that gesture from him triggered another ghost of memory in her mind. She had felt that hand before, and though she could not remember when or how, she knew that it had felt just as good and comforting as it did right now. She rested her head on him, her hand open flat on his chest beside her face, while she squeezed the fingers that were locked with hers.
Her eyes were closed, the images she had seen in his mind flitting past. “I don’t know who I was, but even as the woman I am now I know that I have wished for you as well.” He hummed a little as his head came down and he placed a kiss on the top of her head. She sighed and snuggled deeper into him, knowing that it was foolish, and dangerous and also knowing that never in her long life had she felt as safe and cared for as she did right now in this moment.
“Geronimo,” they said at the same time.
“Jinx,” they said at the same time.
She looked up at him the first smiling for the first time since her memory had been taken, and saw a matching expression in his face.
“Tell me, what do you want, woman mine?”
“My memories of you back.”
“Done.” He leaned down slowly, giving her a chance to pull back if she wasn’t ready. She rose on her toes to reach his lips that much sooner. It was a tentative kiss at first, but she was having none of that, moving her hand up to his neck to pull him deeper into the kiss she felt her body tingle all over and she wanted to be closer to him. When he finally pulled back she took a shaky breath and brought her hand down to her lips that were still vibrating from his touch.
Oh, my beautiful vampire. I think I am going to love you, she thought.
Eventually, they remembered that Godric was in the room and soon they were all three putting their heads together to figure out what had happened and what they were going to do next.
“Eric, how is it that you could move about in sunlight?” Godric asked, his tone filled with awe at the notion of such an event. Eric thought a moment.
“I don’t know for certain, but the only thing new in two thousand years was that she shared her blood with me.”
“Yes, there are myths about how the blood of the Fae could allow such a thing,” Godric said thoughtfully, his expression distant as he searched the archives of his vast mind.
“I should contact Desmond,” she suddenly blurted. “He must be so worried about me!” They stared at her. “What?”
“I’m not certain it is safe to let anyone know where you are at present, Princess,” Godric said, his expression now serious and dark.
“But I heard you when I came in. You said that Desmond had helped me when I ran away, that he had given me a job at SIN. From what I saw in Eric’s mind, this case is dangerous. He would be worried, wouldn’t he?”
“Yes, he should be worried. But I wonder at the coincidence of his special mission for your back up when you were being lured into a trap.”
“I have known Desmond since I was a child! You couldn’t possibly be suggesting that he would do me harm?” Eric rubbed her arm soothingly.
“One could suggest that no harm has been done to you.” She looked at Godric frowning.
“No harm? My life has been taken from me! How is that not harmful?”
“Your false identity as a SIN Agent has been taken from you, I agree, but you remain intact as the Princess Brigant. I wonder, why go to the trouble to take only the part of you that could be of benefit in finding out who was behind FauX?” She gasped.
“You think I found out something that made it necessary to remove my memories!”
“Likely, yes. Would you give me some time to check out some things? I have my best team on the information that you and Eric had provided to me before this happened. They were looking into the background and financials for Hallow Stonebrook. We know that she was the were at Crème the night you and Eric met, and the evidence indicates that she was there to capture Eric. You believed this morning that introducing the blood of a vampire as old as Eric would stabilize their formula for FauX.”
“Yes, and if you were right then there must be some evidence that we can find of where she has been and who she has been working with outside of Ravenscroft and Compton.”
“They’re vampires, right?”
“Yes.” She looked at him sharply then.
“Forgive me, Godric, but you are as old as Eric, aren’t you?” He nodded, smiling slightly at where her mind had gone. She may have lost her training and experience as a SIN agent but it was clear that she had a natural aptitude for the work.
“Yes, which means that I, too could be a target.” She stood quickly.
“We should leave this place then.”
“I have an excellent security system and a team of wolves that guard my property, Princess. I assure we are quite safe here.” She looked around skeptically, and then resumed her seat beside Eric.
“How long before you hear back from your team?” Eric asked. He shared her sense of urgency to do something, and felt a growing sense of frustration at having nothing to do at the moment.
“I expect to hear something in the next few hours. Perhaps you and Princess Brigant could use this time to reacquaint yourselves?” She looked at Eric, his memories in her mind. “You could avail yourselves of my training facilities?”
“Sparring?” Eric asked.
“For a start. Perhaps her training will come back as you put her to the test.”
Godric’s training area was huge room, almost like a dance studio with its open wooden floor and mirrors that ran full length along one wall. The opposite wall was covered with weapons of every era and style. Countless swords, knives, maces, bows, guns, it was a psychos cornucopia, or the room of an ancient who had fought his way through time.
She felt a new layer of wonder descend on her for her host and the vampire that stood in front of her. It was one thing to know that they were so old, it was another to be faced with tangible physical evidence of who they were.
She was wondering which weapon Eric would choose to test her, and considering the danger of iron content when he spoke to her in a quiet voice.
“I wish you had told me.” His back was to her, and his broad shoulders were hunched in the pain and disappointment that she could hear in his voice.
“I wish at least you could tell me why you didn’t trust me enough to share who you were with me.”
“Is that all you can say?” He turned to her then, standing tall as he faced her, anger in his eyes. Inside he knew that his feeling was not rational. She could not change what had happened, nor could she truly answer him. Regardless of these facts he could not deny the sense of betrayal he felt. It came and went, and he disliked feeling so unsettled and uncertain.
He had mastered emotional control hundreds of years ago, and it only angered him further to be so vulnerable now, when he could least afford it. She took a deep breath and crossed her arms over chest, protecting herself from his questions. Then she dropped them, coming to some internal decision.
“You have known me less than forty-eight hours, do you think it reasonable that you would know all of me in that short of a time?”
Hadn’t he said something like that to her when she confessed her telepathy and grew angry at him for not revealing that he knew? Was this what it had come to? That he had lost so much of his control that a mere three hundred year old infant needed to school him in patience and reasonableness?
It was wickedly funny, and it cut him to the bone feeding his resentment and anger at her deliberate omissions and deceptive seduction.
He had not known that being alone with her would have this effect on him, but he was here and in it now, and he was lost.
“You tricked me into falling in love with a woman who doesn’t exist!”
“Stop. I was in that room with you a short time ago. I felt you! And you felt me! I can’t tell you things I don’t know. Tell me what is bothering you, don’t obfuscate and play games with me, Eric.”
“You are to marry another!” Oh, she thought. She had been listening when Godric filled him in on her destiny.
“That was my father’s plan, yes.”
“You made me think…you let me think…I felt…WHAT THE FUCK, SOOKIE? Oh, right, not Sookie. I forgot. You’re not Sookie, and I can’t ask her why she played me, BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST!”
“So, all your talk of knowing me when you saw me was just talk then?” she fired back at him.
“You dare ask me to call you mine and fool that I am in that moment it was all I wanted so I did, but the truth is, Princess Brigant, you are to marry another and bear an heir to the throne of Fae!”
“Again, that was my father’s plan, yes! What is your point?”
“I CAN’T GIVE YOU A CHILD! I CAN’T BE THE ONE TO MARRY YOU, PRINCESS! I CAN’T! AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WISH IT OTHERWISE I JUST FUCKING CAN’T DO THAT!” The walls shook with his pain and anger, and so did Susanna.
“Oh, my beautiful, Eric,” she said softly moving toward him.
“NO! DON’T TOUCH ME!” he screamed moving back from her, a look of horror on his face. This must be how he felt when I pulled back from him, asked him to set me away from him. It burned because all she wanted to do was console him. “I CAN’T BEAR FOR YOU TOUCH ME AGAIN, KNOWING THAT YOU WILL SOON LEAVE ME!” Refusing to give up and needing desperately to end his pain she searched her mind to offer him the best explanation she could under the circumstances.
“Last night, well, to me it was last night, I thought of what it meant to be Princess of Fae, and I felt the obligation and emptiness nearly swallow me whole. I knew in that moment that for all the things that stood before me I wanted none of them. I wanted none of that.
“I had been courted by hundreds of suitors, and felt nothing for them. Not one in any of them moved me and touched my heart. I thought…I thought that I was simply not able to feel that kind of passion. I would think that now, but for the memories in your mind.
“In your mind I see a strong woman who saw a man that touched her soul and she wanted him to touch her body. She gave herself to you because she wanted you as she had never wanted another in all her long life.
“I may not be who I was in that moment, but in that moment she was ME. She knew everything that I know right now, and she chose you.
I chose you, Eric, above all things, above all people to share myself with. I regret more than I can say that I don’t have the memories of that moment or the ones that led to that decision but I was there. I am not her, but she was ME!
“In the ten years I don’t recall, I can tell that only you moved me that way, because I had never taken another lover. I took you, I wanted you. I want you.”
“No, there are no buts, Eric. I want you. Is that all right?” He made a sound like a sob then. “What? What did I say?”
“The first time you told me that you wanted me, you asked me if that was all right.”
“And was it?”
“More than all right,” he said, a single tear sliding down his face.
“Now I am not sure that you didn’t tell me who you really were because you planned to leave me and return to your destiny.”
“If I chose you then I already knew that you were my destiny.”
“No, no buts. Others may have plans, and they have decided what they think I should do, but this is my life and I chose you. I choose you.”
“Are wonderful, and fun to play with, but not something I have ever wanted. The only thing I have ever wanted was you. Please hear me, Eric. I don’t know why I didn’t find time in the forty eight hours of chasing witches and vampires and being spelled to tell you my whole life story, surely I could have squeezed in a couple of hundred years if I had really tried. I guess I fucked up, but it’s done. She is gone, but I was there when that choice was made.
“I am here now.”
“And tomorrow?” he asked her quietly.
“Probably punching you in your stubborn face if you still aren’t hearing me, but still here none the less.” He opened his arms then and she ran into them, pressing herself as tightly to him as she could. She looked up at him about to say something that she hoped would make him smile when suddenly the room exploded in light.
She knew who it was before he spoke and she turned to face him, placing Eric at her back shielding him with as much of her body as she could.
“Susanna!” Niall called out in a loud commanding tone. “You will come with me now!” She reached back for Eric’s hand, threading her fingers through his and giving a squeeze before she replied.
“Father,” she acknowledged, dipping her head but not stepping away from the vampire whose very life she now feared was in danger.
“I won’t ask again, daughter!”
“I am not returning with you, father.” His face registered first surprise and then anger. “There is much that needs to be done here, and I mean to stay and see this to its end.”
“I was told this farce was over and that you were ready to return to Fae!”
“Who told you that?”
“Well, he is wrong, father.” She stopped then, tilting her head to the side. “You knew I was with SIN all this time?”
“Of course I did.”
“Then why not come sooner?”
“Desmond and I thought it was a passing fancy that soon you would return home once it was out of your system.” I’ve heard that before…but where?
You weren’t supposed to be this good, Sookie. I thought it would be a passing thing…
Who had said that to her? It was right there, almost…
“I’ve waited long enough! You will return with me to Fae at once!”
“No, father. I shall never return to Fae. I shall never take the throne and I shall never bear the next heir to Fae.”
“Nonsense! This is your destiny!”
“My destiny stands here with me, father. His name is Eric Northman, and I am his.”
She expected any number of things but got the one thing that she would never have guessed in another three hundred years. Niall Brigant laughed.
“Oh, Susanna. A vampire? Seriously?” She raised an eyebrow and waited for him to collect himself. After a few minutes he saw that she was indeed serious about the large undead man who stood behind her with a furious look on his face. The insolent bastard has actually dared to drop fang on him! “Enough, we are going now!” The last of his humor left him when he saw her hands light up and her stance change to readiness for attack.
“Yes, I dare. I have chosen, and I mean to stand behind that decision come what may.” Niall knew that tone, and that expression. He had heard and seen them from himself many times. She would fight him to the death if he tried to take her, and if he harmed the vampire that she claimed the result would likely be the same.
How could Desmond have been so wrong? He told me that her memories of her time in the mortal world were gone and that she was ready to return home! I thought she was being held against her will, but clearly she is here of her own volition.
What had happened?
“Father, what were you told of my memories?”
“That you had been spelled and that you remembered nothing of your time away from Fae.”
“This is true, I do not.”
“And still, you have no wish to return?”
“It would be more likely that I would return if my memories of Fae had been wiped away, alas, I retain them all. Including our last conversation, father.” He cringed as he too recalled that last fight between them. It had been particularly ugly, and was the main reason why he had allowed her to take her time away working for Desmond at SIN.
He had kept a close eye on her, to be sure, and had even felt a certain sense of pride as he observed her accomplishments, but had consoled himself with the notion that it would all loose its luster and she would return humbled to Fae, ready to accept her role as leader of their people. Some nights he even went so far as to believe that this time away and experience in leading would benefit her monarchy. Seeing her now, hearing her now, he realized how wrong he had been.
She would never take her rightful place. She had turned her back on him and Fae once and for all.
“Susanna…?” He reached toward her.
“I will love you always, father.”
“And I you as well, Susanna.” He was gone in flash of light. She let out a breath and fell back against Eric. His arms came around her a moment before turning her to face him.
“You’re still here,” he said reverently, touching her face softly with his large hand, so gentle that it made her ache inside. She captured his hand and turned it to kiss his palm.
“And I really wanted to punch your stubborn face,” she teased him.
“Would you settle for kissing it instead?”
“Yes, but later.” He smiled.
“There’s my girl, always with the later.” She pecked his cheek and took his hand leading him from the room at a run. They burst into Godric’s office just as he was hanging up the phone.
“I have just received word that Hallow may be working with –“
“Desmond!” Susanna declared, cutting him off.
“Yes, how did you know?”
“Niall was just here, he told me that Desmond had told him of my memory loss, and since you had convinced me not to contact him-“
“The only way he could know was if he had been one who took them!” Eric finished, sounding furious.
“We’re missing something,” Susanna said, pacing the room frantically. Eric felt his undead heart warm at seeing such a very Sookie action from her. Luckily, Godric was not smitten.
“What do you mean, Princess?’
“Susanna, please?” she said, pausing to smile at him. “I have officially abdicated the throne.” His face registered shock and then he looked at Eric and smiled knowingly.
“I see. Then, Susanna, what do you mean?”
“Why tell Niall?”
“I’m not following, lover,” Eric said, stepping up to place his hands on her shoulders and stop her pacing. She smiled at him.
“Oh, I like that better than anything else you have ever called me.”
“FOCUS!” Godric called out, trying to get them back on track.
“Right,” Susanna shook herself, and closed her eyes, concentrating to see the pieces come together. “Niall knew I was at SIN the whole time, but left me there. Desmond took my memories and told Niall that I was ready to come home. Niall came to me immediately to take me home.”
“How did he know where you were?” Godric asked, for the first time seeming to register that his security had been breached.
“I could never truly hide from Niall, it was why I hadn’t tried to run away sooner. Fae blood calls to Fae blood, you see. There is no way I could ever hide from him.”
“And Desmond knew this, too?”
“Yes, he has been father’s closest friend for centuries.” Her eyes widened. “Oh, no!”
Just as she realized why Desmond would send Niall to get her she felt the air shimmer around them indicating the arrival of demon teleportation. A moment later clouds of silver gas filled the room, dropping both Godric and Eric to the floor, their skin burning wherever the gas touched. She moved toward Eric and reached him just as a gunshot rang out in the room.
She felt the bullet as it entered her side and heard Eric scream her name before everything went black.