Jealousy and anger bolted through Eric’s mind as she saw Sookie smile invitingly at another man. He growled inside and outside of the dream pulling her draped form closer to him in the bed. She responded without waking pressing closer to him. That’s not me, Eric, she thought to him. Confusion replaced his anger leaving him uncertain. It’s not me, she told him again, pressing her dream body closer to him as well, sighing when she felt him respond to her words in the dream. As always when she was close his head became clearer and he felt he could breathe again.
He leaned down in the dream and placed a kiss on the top of her head. You said there was another Sookie, she reminded him covering his hands on her waist with his. This must be her. He looked at the other woman again and marveled at the similarity to his own Sookie.
Older Eric said you looked like her, fought like her. Yes, this must be Older Eric’s Sookie, sent back to her.
Looks more like Warlow’s Sookie to me, she thought raising an eyebrow as she watched the Dark and the Light circle each other. I know that look, she told him. It’s how you look at me sometimes. What does it mean when you do that?
It’s the reflection of your fire in my soul, he told her, kissing her head again as she purred at his words. She let her eyes float shut a moment only to open them to a new scene. Now they were in large Dark palace, Sookie and Warlow sitting in front of a roaring fire their hands entwined as they spoke in low tones.
“We lost our parents to the Light raiders when my brother Daletheon was small. I was all the family he had left in this world. I was older, nearly fifty when it happened, so I raised him as my own.”
“Fifty?” Sookie said, her tone wondrous. “You were but a babe yourself, Warlow.” He smiled at her and raised her hand to his lips.
“I was full grown and able to manage well enough. He became my whole world. His pain over the loss of our parents was a wound that would not heal. A wound that we saw on the faces of all Dark Fae who had lost a loved one in the raids. Family is everything to the Dark as it is to the Light. Surely, you understand this Princess?”
“I do,” she assured him. He sighed raised a hand to her face.
“It was because of Daletheon that I picked up a sword for the first time. I promised him I would reunite our family, all the families that had been torn apart by the Light raiders.” She moved closer to him in front of the fire.
“And you did!” she said, her hand coming up to his face. “You saved them all, my darling.” He studied her face for a moment and then cocked his head to the side.
“I want you to meet my brother, Princess.” Her eyes grew round in surprise as her smile widened and she nodded.
“I would like that very much!” Eric could feel her with his gift of empathy and understood immediately that Warlow’s words warmed her to the core. She felt not only his great affection for her but his trust of her in the offer to know his kin. Sookie felt it as well as she searched the blood tie between herself and Eric, but could only imagine its true meaning. She had never had a sibling to care for, the closest thing to family she ever had was in Eric. The warm emotions flowing over her made her press closer to him again.
She turned her head to see a finely made Fae come into the room. His resemblance to Warlow removed any doubt as to his identity. She and Eric watched silently as introductions were made. Everyone was surprised when Sookie embraced Daletheon holding him close as tears came down her face. “It’s so nice to meet you, brother,” she said to him causing both men to smile at her exuberance. “Warlow has told me so much about you!” she said cupping his face between her hands as she peered into his eyes.
“And I have heard much about you as well, Lady.” She flushed and dipped her head.
“Oh, my. Do I want to know?” she asked laughing softly.
“Yes, because it was only the best things. Knowing you has made my brother a new man, Princess. You have made him truly happy for the first time in a very long time.” She blushed deeper. “He loves you very much,” Daletheon finished. She glanced at Warlow, her head still down. “You were right, brother, she is even lovelier when she blushes.” She swatted Daletheon on the arm playfully and turned into Warlow’s waiting arms hiding her face in his chest. He kissed her head as Eric had just done with his Sookie and smiled warmly at his brother as he held her close.
“She truly is,” he said before he picked her up and swung her around her feet leaving the ground. She squealed in delight and spontaneously leaned up to give his lips a quick peck as soon as her feet were back on the ground. He pulled her back and kissed her deeply, his hand tangling in her long blond hair.
I understand what a kiss like that means, Eric thought to Sookie.
Yes, she answered and they watched as the scene changed again. Now Sookie and Warlow were wrapped in dark velvet covers, limbs tangled together in post coital bliss. Warlow’s fingers were playing with a strand of her hair as she reclined on his bare chest.
“It could work out for us in the end,” he said quietly to her. She turned her head up to look at him, her cheek still resting on his chest. “There are more rumors of war with the Demons every day. If they do make a play for Fae, opening the portals to claim our lands then only a union of the Fae both Light and Dark will be able to save us.” He paused a moment, letting her hair fall.
“As horrible as war is it will give us chance to show your father the man I am and gain his acceptance of our union.” She looked very sad and Eric could feel her fear clearly.
“I am not sure that Niall would ever accept our love, Warlow. He clings to the old ways of his fathers before him. His thoughts are…in the past.”
Sookie jumped in Eric’s arms. Niall? Could it be the same one who trained me? Eric didn’t respond, there was no way to know.
“Then we will change his mind!” Warlow said passionately, sliding down in the bed to face her. “We will make him see that the Dark has a right to be free and that we are not lesser Fae than those of the Light!” He looked at her intently, his face showing the full radiance of the love he felt for the woman before him. “He will see the man I am when he looks me in the eye and sees that my heart is full of only you, my love.” Eric felt the Princess’ fear recede but noted that it did not completely disappear. She was afraid of her father and not at all sure that he would be convinced by the love she had for the Dark Fae King.
“I want to teach you to fight, my love, so that if the war we fear does come I will know that you can take care of yourself.” She smiled again.
“Niall has already trained me well,” she assured him, but he would not be put off.
“There is always more to learn, and I would know that you have everything you need to meet me on the other side. I want to know that I am fighting for our future together when I stand on the field of battle. Will you give me this small peace, Princess?” His plea was so plaintive there was no way she could deny him. She nodded and kissed him with all the love she felt for him.
The scene changed again, this time there were outside in Dark Fae, the sounds of metal on metal clanging through the Dark woods. Eric and Sookie turned as one toward the sound and beheld two warriors battling. “You must move faster, Princess! Stop thinking about the moves you are going to make and give your body over to them!” She pressed harder toward him, her hands moving at a blur as she fought him with a sword in each hand.
Those are my swords, Sookie thought to Eric. He picked up on her desire to hold them and held her tighter to her him to soothe her.
“Let your hands be swift as Vengeance and Death when you come at me!” Warlow called to her, holding his ground as she pressed for an advantage. “Know your limits and then exceed them! Use all your gifts to crush your opponent!”
She screamed her frustration and rage just as she turned, releasing one of the swords into the air. They watched it travel up for a moment and then were pulled back to Sookie and Warlow in time to see a blinding flash of light leave her empty hand and hit Warlow dead center in the chest, knocking his large frame to the ground. She caught the sword as it came back down and stepped forward in one fluid motion placing the blade at his neck for the killing blow. Warlow looked at her a moment before a slow smile spread across his face. She was panting, her hair damp with sweat hung around her face which was fierce with triumph to have bested him.
“I love you more than anything, woman,” he told her. A shudder racked her body a moment before she dropped her blades to ground and fell into his arms still panting from her exertions. She clung to him sobbing softly while he soothed her and whispered of his pride in her ear.
“You are ready now for anything, my Princess.”
Eric and Sookie both awakened with a jerk. She was still resting atop his large frame and from the dim light in the room and the soft sounds of rain on the roof they had not slept for very long. She blinked and looked at him rising to meet his eyes. The Tempus Key around her neck swung forward catching the dim light and reflecting it sharply. Both of them looked at it intently a moment their gazes fearful and curious as it swung gently between them.
After a shower they sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee each lost in their own thoughts. Eric broke the silence first. “Was that just a dream?” She set her cup down her brow furrowed.
“It felt real.” He nodded.
“But there is nothing in the information that Older Eric provided about this history of his Sookie and Warlow.” She shrugged.
“Maybe he didn’t know, or he thought that it was of no value.” Eric sat back, exhaling loudly.
“That is helluva thing to leave out!”
“Maybe she never told him. How long ago do you think all that happened?” Eric did some quick math in his head thinking out loud.
“I know that Warlow waged a war against the Light Fae for hundreds of years before they came this world. Obviously, there was more to story if this was not just a dream so, maybe like a thousand years ago?”
“And if the dream was right he was three thousand when she met him. By then he had won a civil war with the Light for the freedom of the Dark and faded into legend. So, I’m guessing he would be over four thousand years old now? It is hard to say how long they were together before he turned on the Light and banished them from Fae.” Eric was silent for a moment and then he started to giggle. Sookie looked at him not sure what was funny and then she felt his hysteria blow through her from their blood tie.
“Five thousand years old,” he started laughing harder, unable to control himself as the terror and absurdity of the situation before him became clearer. “I am up against a five thousand year old Dark Fae who is hell bent on destroying my entire world and all I have to hide behind is degree in Communications.” He let loose then guffawing as he bent over clutching his sides, tears forming at the corner of his eyes.
Sookie let him go, he needed to get past the hysteria and feelings of hopelessness before he could focus on whatever came next. Eventually he calmed, leaving only the occasional giggle to escape him as he tried to sip his coffee and compose himself.
“What else do you know?” she asked him, working hard to get him centered and back on track. Suddenly he was completely serious and she felt the fear he had been fighting since they had awakened overcome with a deep banging ache of pain. Another tear slipped from the corner of his eye as he looked at her.
“I believe from what we saw that he truly loved her, more than anything, because I could feel it.” He paused, swiping his face and sniffing. “I believe that he needed her to be able to protect herself because he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. I guess he didn’t teach her well enough because…” he stopped and his attempt at a grin turned into a grimace. “In the end, he was the one who killed her.”