The Big Bang- The Man Behind the Curtain
Eric picked her up and carried her into his light tight chamber. Dawn would be here in a couple of hours and he didn’t want to leave her until she was ready to be without him. She could even stay here today if she wanted. Put it down, walk away he told himself when confronted with another errant thought like sharing his sleeping chamber with her. She had the combination, she could come in whenever she wanted. Offering to share this space with her means nothing.
Keep telling yourself that.
He laid her down on the bed and curled up around her, pulling her against him. He covered her with his body, an arm across her middle, a leg over hers, demonstrating wordlessly his desire to protect and shield her. “How did you discover the truth of Reveal, Sookie?” he whispered into her neck Her hands came to rest over his in her middle and she snuggled back closer into him telling him wordlessly that this was not a happy memory for her.
“Tell me what you know of my family, Eric.” Again, she was asking him to start the story.
“You are a member of the Royal Family of Sky Fae. You father was Fintan, son of Niall and your mother was Adara of the Royal Family of Earth Fae. She was killed in the Fae War between the Sky and Water clans when you were very young. Fintan was often called away to fight, eventually dying in battle and you were raised in the home of your Grandfather Niall and your Grandmother Morgana, heir apparent to the Sky throne. You were always destined to be a Queen, from the moment you were born. Oklahoma must seem small in comparison.”
“Perhaps it should, but when I left the Fae realm to come here I was already two hundred years old. It was supposed to be a visit but, I felt more at home here than I ever had at the Palace of Aeon. I knew the moment I picked my first flower, and ran through my first field in the bright yellow sun that this was where I was supposed to be.” Eric’s vision from earlier returned and he allowed himself a bitter sweet smile since she her back was to him. The pain also returned, lancing into his chest before he pushed it away to focus on what she was saying. “My Grandfather insisted that I return to Aeon but I argued and eventually he surrendered allowing me to return to stay. Morgana had a lot to do with that, I think. She and Pythia had told me stories of this realm and its beings almost from the day I had been born. I could not help but want to be here.”
“Pythia?!” Eric’s tone caused her to turn toward him.
“Yes, she is my God-mother. My Grandmother Morgana’s closest friend. They have been part of The Council and have for as long as I can remember.”
“Your God-mother is The Ancient Pythoness?” The shocks just kept coming tonight. She nodded.
“It is a closely guarded secret that she travels to Fae, and that there is such a bond between them. Few know beyond immediate family and The Council members themselves.” Eric turned that over in his mind.
“I can see why that is not something just anyone should know.”
“The Council in its infinite wisdom for all supernatural races have always tried to act toward each other in the way that they would have us all be. They are the guardians for us all, and as such need to have a deeper understanding of truths inherent to each race. They all travel among the realms and areas to know each other’s hearts and ways. How else could they stand in judgment of transgressions among our kind? “
Eric shook his head, reeling from this latest revelation, while at the same time he saw the flawless logic behind it. “The Council has always been something to avoid, or to accept if they entered into my existence because their rule is absolute. From my perspective, if you were doing something that drew their attention, you had better not be doing it when their Emissaries arrived looking for you.”
“But you were a Sheriff in Louisiana, weren’t you? That is a position of some political clout among your kind I thought?” He nodded, running his hand through his hair abstractedly.
“Yes, but I reported to the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, and she interacted with The Council. Rarely, if ever did anything happen at my level that required their auspicious presence. I have met some of them before when I was an enforcer in Europe in the eighteenth century after Appius released me, but never in a formal sitting. Even then I reported to the King or Queen who had hired me in their areas. Sometimes they were traveling through the area I was working in and they would stop to visit with my regent for an evening or two. I met Pythia once in the court of Ethan, the Vampire King of England.” He stopped speaking as memories of that evening filled his mind.
Ethan had motioned him forth at Court and introduced him to the oldest vampire he had ever seen. He had bowed deeply, and wondered what she was doing there in the court of his king and what it might mean to him. She had stared at him with her blind eyes and then smiled. It had chilled him to the bone. It felt like she could see through every mask he had ever manufactured to protect himself over the last eight hundred years. Not being able to flee, despite wanting to and feeling that he should he stood his ground and stared back, waiting. When she finally spoke it had startled him almost as much as her words.
“Go west. Don’t stop until you find your sun.”
She had offered no further explanation and he had been shocked at her suggestion that he would meet the sun. He had not survived Appius to fall victim to suicide. Over the years he had thought of her message many times, wondering at its meaning and promising himself each time that at least this once the AP would be wrong. He would not surrender to the sun.
“What did she say when you met her,” Sookie asked softly, bringing him back from his memories.
“What does she ever say? Half-truths veiled in mystery designed to drive her victims insane.” His frustration was still there even after all these centuries.
“But what did she say?” Sookie persisted.
“Go west. Don’t stop until you find your sun.” Sookie smiled.
“Bet a big strong stubborn enforcer like you loved that!” He looked down at her now, and felt her amusement through their tie.
“Yes, it was, as the humans say, ‘the best time ever.'” She rubbed his hand and kissed his lips softly.
“So, Niall, Morgana, and Pythia all had a hand in bringing me up.”
“That explains a lot!” Eric whispered, pulling her closer and kissing her neck softly to show he was teasing. She laughed softly.
“Perhaps it does. I made a life for myself here in this world for centuries. Like you I saw the terrible and the beautiful in their wars and their arts. In their humanity and in their monstrous natures that bubble just below the surface in some. I saw the Industrial Age dawn and bring technological advances at stunning rates. I saw it all here alone, and I was shattered and reborn with each advancement and each change. They may have brought me up, but the woman I am was formed here, in the dirt and the ashes of this world rising up.
Sometimes they would come and visit me. Pythia was on her way to see me in Florence when she stopped off in England. When she arrived she mentioned that she had made the acquaintance of The Viking. I nearly lost my mind begging her for details about you. What were you like? Were you as brave and strong as she had always told me? Were you handsome and wily like the tales they had spun for me when I was a babe? She finally threatened to leave early if I didn’t let her be on the matter.” He raised up in the bed then and pulled her all the way around to face him.
“When I asked you why me you said-“
“Bedtime stories,” she finished his sentence. “Morgana and Pythia used to tuck me in every night with tales of the Viking Vampire and his life as a human, his life as a vampire.” His masks of a thousand years were shattered as he looked at her with new eyes. She had always known of him, and that was why she had sought him out to stand at her side now. It’s how she knew just how to trick Appius into delivering what she had wanted since she was a little girl, to meet him. His voice was deep and filled with emotion when he spoke again.
“When I met Nevada you told me-“
“I told you that he was not you, and that I belonged to you even when I was with him. I have always been yours, you just didn’t know it until now.” A million questions bubbled up in his mind and he was literally frozen from the weight of them and the weight of her words.
“Why…why not sooner?” he finally managed to get out.
“Because while I have always wanted you, now I need you.” She raised her hands to his face placing one on each side and bringing her nose up to touch his, offering him comfort and silence to process what she had just revealed. After a few moments, she pulled back and took a deep breath. “There is a little more I need to tell you, and dawn is nearly here.” She was waiting for him to decide if she should continue. He pulled himself from his reverie and nodded, bracing himself for what might come next.
“Once the Great Reveal had been decided there was a lot that had to be done here in this world. Since I was its longest standing Fae resident I was appointed to lead that effort. It was a very happy and exciting time for me and I was lost in the joy of anticipating what we might be able to do to help once we made our presence known in this world. It became standard that Niall would visit me every few days to check in and see how things were progressing.
“Spending time like that with him again after so long on my own was a joy in itself. He had been my father for as long as I could remember and to have him here in this world, working with me to help bring about positive change for every being was almost more than I could stand. It was like a dream. It was a dream.
“It was on one of his visits that he let his guard drop and I learned through my telepathy the true reason for the Great Reveal, and that Niall Brigant, my grandfather, my father was the leader of what would become The Ciar.”