Chapter 1 – A Gift Given

Eric just could not believe it. He tried really hard to wrap his mind around this concept but could not do it. Sookie truly preferred Compton over his glorious self. He watched as she looked at him so lovingly as they sat together in his bar. They were saying goodbye to one another, unfortunately not for good. They had all just gotten back from Dallas and unbelievably even after the whole Lorena debacle Sookie had found it in her heart to forgive Compton everything. He just did not understand it. As Sookie finally exited the bar he rose from his throne and made his way to his office followed by Pam, Compton, and Compton’s annoying Childe Jessica. They were all to be present for a conference call with Nan following the Dallas mess, and the demise of his maker Godric. He thought he would most likely never truly get over the fact that he was gone, but the world still moved on even without a vampire of such power and grace as his maker.

He pushed into his office and took his place behind the desk, waiting for all of the others to file in so they could begin. Once the door was closed behind Jessica he opened his mouth to explain the ground rules for this conversation, mainly that there be no mention of any of the baby vamps personal shit, which could make him look bad. The last thing they all wanted to listen to; especially Nan, was a baby vampires love drama.

But before a single word of warning could leave his mouth the very air around them grew cold and the shadows across the walls seemed to converge and create the outline of a large lumbering figure that had not been there before. With all the speed gracing their race everyone stood at once bracing for an attack, should there be one. Well, everyone save for Jessica who got up only to cower behind her maker.

“You are trespassing, leave now and return with civility and respect or I will rip your heart from your body.” Looking it up and down he realised the creature may not be put together like most humanoids, it certainly did not have the look of any other he had seen before. “Wherever it may lay.” He did not like uninvited guests, but he knew better than to simply attack without cause. Godric had taught him well when it came to facing the unknown, never attack first but never back down. He did not live to be as old as he was now by making such rash decisions. He left such foolish mistakes to Compton, he excelled at them.

“I have come to give you a gift, Viking.” The creature’s words were slightly slurred, likely due to its lack of any true lips, but strong and assured.

“What sort of gift?” He knew that something was off by the sheer fact that everyone including himself still stood exactly where they started, he wanted to move around his desk to stand closer to his childe should his protection be needed but found himself entirely still, the urge was there but his limbs would not obey. 

The “man” was at least a foot taller than he was, with no hair anywhere visible on his body. His eyes were a bright red encircled with orange, and his mouth was nothing but fangs. His skin was even more deathly pale than any vampire he’d ever met and his hands were curled into claws. This thing was grotesque, yet somehow not altogether unpleasant, the worst sort of predator in his experience.

“I have come to give you the gift of knowing your future.” Rather than sounding all-knowing or condescending as the statement usually would from any other. From the creature it almost sounded off handed, like it was of no consequence at all. Such casual power did not bode well for them.

The things voice was deep and rumbling, like it had spent the last decade gargling gravel, seemingly from lack of use, given his appearance one didn’t have to guess why. One look and most living beings would run screaming not try to strike up a conversation with him, assuming he allowed them such movement.

“Really, and how is it you know our futures? Why have you chosen us to bestow such a momentous gift upon?” When in doubt, always try not to offend in the magical community. One never knew what the other’s diet might be.

“I knew Godric, Northman. He and I crossed paths many times during our long lives, each offering the other aide and companionship from time to time. He was a stunning and passionate conversationalist. His passing causes me much sorrow and likely will continue to do so for many years to come. To help ease my melancholy I have decided to give you, his favored Childe, the gift of knowing your future as a way of honoring my fallen friend. He always loved knowing everything he could learn. Brace yourselves.”

Before any of them could say another word a bright blinding light flashed throughout the room causing all of the inhabitants to flinch and close their eyes in defense of such an onslaught. Once they could finally open them once more without the blinding pain of sensory overload they were all still standing in his office at Fangtasia, only the beast was gone.

The annoying one was the first to find her voice. Not surprising seeing as how all she ever seemed to do was talk.

“Did anyone see their future?” As they all shook their heads in the negative, they naturally began to assume that it did not work, that the intended gift was beyond the creature’s power to impart. It happened quite often truly, and was often met with ridicule and laughter. Yet on closer examination he began to feel uneasy, this was his office he recognized the layout of it, and yet the decor was slightly different. Small things really, either added or missing, things that would ordinarily go unnoticed if not for the sheer abundance of them. Before anyone else could say anything there was a knock at the door without thinking he called for the person to enter as he always did and in walked Ginger.

Except she wasn’t the Ginger from earlier in the night, her hair was longer with streaks of different colors in it and she was plumper. Mentally shaking himself for his choice of words, spending so much time around the ever polite Sookie was rubbing off on him, he focused instead on the waitress who seemed so different now than she had been only half an hour before.

“Oh, forgive me sir I didn’t know you had company. We’re just about done closing up, do you need anything else before we go?” That too was strange she was Ginger without any of the double entendres and lusty looks, she was a version of Ginger that seemed to have a modicum of self-respect, suddenly a disturbing feeling settled in the pit of his stomach and he had to force the question past his lips before she left.

“Ginger dear, what is the date today?” He had the inescapable feeling that he wasn’t going to like the answer she gave, because he was fairly certain he already knew what it would be.

“October 29th 2014 sir.” Everyone remained quiet as she left, all too stunned to even utter a syllable let alone a true sentence, but we all thought the same thing. Five years.

When the beast said we would know our future he wasn’t kidding.

Questions were being fired from every direction until Jessica’s voice was heard about the den of noise and the others had to stop and actually try to figure out an answer.

“Where do we live now?” She was right, it was unlikely that they all still lived where they had five years ago. A vampire who remained in the same resting place for longer than a few months was easily targeted and even more easily eliminated. Who do they turn to for information, who would they still trust after five years?

Both he and Bill had agreed, which in itself was enough to make him think twice about this, but they had no other options. Sookie was their only hope, even though he was not looking forward to seeing her and Bill all lovey dovey in any timeline. As the farmhouse came into view he was stunned, and from the looks on the others’ faces he wasn’t the only one.

The place looked brand new, the driveway was smoothly paved, and out front there were several cars, none of them that disgusting yellow thing Sookie drives. For a moment they all panicked slightly thinking Sookie might not live there anymore but of course the only way to know for sure would be to go to the door.

Jessica was the one to knock as the others looked at all the newness of the place they all knew but no longer recognized. As vampires they were all too familiar with the fact that nothing stayed the same for long but for some reason they all thought this place would. As the door began to open they all hoped to see their perky blonde companion but were disappointed.

“Hey, guys what’re you knocking for? Come on in.” Strangely the unknown woman was speaking to Eric and Pam as though she knew them, and completely ignoring Compton and his Childe.

As they stepped through the doorway they were again floored. While Eric and Pam had only seen the inside of Sookie’s home the once they knew that while some of this looked like something Sookie would do other parts did not resemble her personality at all, it was as if she’d mixed her life with someone else and it spilled over onto her walls.

The wall paint was dark yet bold which was so different from their bright and vibrant friend and yet the pictures on those dark walls were of Sookie and her loved ones. The furniture was mostly modern but with several old obviously handmade pieces mixed in that most likely had been in the Stackhouse family for generations. Their Sookie was living with someone and yet the only someone they saw was this mysterious woman. Pam voiced their thoughts first in a side whisper.

“Do you think goodie-two-shoes has switched sides on you boys?” She was grinning as she said it, but as Eric looked into her eyes he saw her worry for him as clearly as he felt it through their bond. As though the knowledge that Sookie would never be his would kill him. Looking over at Bill he saw the man looking a little green around the gills at the prospect himself. Bill’s expression almost made him laugh, but until they found out who was living here with Sookie he doubted any of them would find much amusement in this situation.

The woman was not very tall, but to Eric everyone was on the short side, her hair was short and kind of stuck out away from her head, as though the hair its self were trying to escape the rest of her in a way that should have looked idiotic yet somehow managed to look appealing , and she resembled Sookie in her tan, none of which told him who she was. When in doubt try not to offend, it has worked so far, no reason to change the game plan now.

“Umm, yes is Sookie here? We would very much like to speak to her.” He stressed the we, hoping that even if she had switched sides as Pam liked to put it she was at least on speaking terms with one of them.

“Yes she is and I’ll go get her but if the outcome of this is another cancelled date because of vampire politics I’m gonna kill you all. Mmmm Kay?” The look on her face as she made the comment told him that she hadn’t meant it as a serious threat, but the rest of her statement made his head begin to pound. She and Sookie were planning to go on a date tonight? He was so confused and looking over at his companions he saw the same confusion on their faces. At least he wasn’t alone, that was something, not much, but still something.

Hearing movement on the stairs they all turned as one to see Sookie walk into the living room to join them. She was dressed to the nines.

Her hair was swept back and clipped at the base of her neck with a stray stand or two hanging loose against her face. She wore a black and red patterned dress that hugged her curves and fell to her thighs; finishing the look with matching spiked heels that seemed to make her toned legs seem endless. She wore no jewelry but in his opinion she didn’t need it. Her face was bare of make-up, but from what the other woman had said it was possible she had yet to have time to put any on, though again in his opinion she didn’t need any. She was perfect no matter what she chose to wear, because underneath it all she was still always just Sookie. As Bill drew breath to speak she walked right up to Eric.

“Is everything alright honey? Amelia said something about you canceling our date.”

He was floored and from the open mouths around him he wasn’t the only one. Sookie belonged to him? Her date was with him?

Sookie stepped a little closer while Eric continued to stare, seeing Eric with his mouth hanging open like this was rare and very amusing, but for the life of her she couldn’t figure out what had stunned him so completely. She’d already made her feelings about him canceling at the last minute very well known, hell at the volume of their last discussion about it she wouldn’t be surprised if the entire state of Louisiana knew about it by now.

Glancing to Pam for some hint she found another dumb founded expression, another rarity, but seeing who was standing next to Pam caused her own expression to turn thunderous. Quickly turning back to Eric she scowled up at him, they had already had this discussion as well, a dozen times at least. For a thousand year old ladies man he didn’t seem to listen very well.

“What are they doing here?” She demanded thrusting a finger accusingly at Bill and Jessica.

“Uh.” That articulate response just fanned the flames of her fury; he didn’t even have a good excuse for inviting them to her home. Her Grans home.

“No! No uh allowed in this conversations. You know I don’t like them in my home, if you have to deal with them for some stupid vampire business that’s fine, I know that’s unavoidable on occassion, but you do it at Fangtasia. Not in our HOME!” With that she stormed off upstairs. Maybe it wouldn’t be him canceling their date after all. She was so furious with him right now, if he knew what was good for him he’d just leave right now.

Eric watched her storm from the room, but made no move to stop her, he was too busy trying to calm his whirling thoughts. This was their home. He shared this home with Sookie. Sookie was his. All of these facts kept circling in his mind. He was quickly jerked out of his astonished joy by Pam.

“Wow, Little Bo Peep was not happy with the two of you, was she Bill? Not that you’re on much better ground at the moment Master. Maybe we should get some information from the blood bag that opened the door.”

She was right, while they knew more now than they did even twenty minutes ago they were still virtually in the dark. Just as he opened him mouth to agree with his Childe, two things happened simultaneously. One, the blood bag that opened the door came back into the room, and two, Bill launched himself at Eric in a rage.

“You did this! You have done something to her. What did you do?” The question was completely ridiculous since he had about as much knowledge about what happened with Sookie as the rest of them, but he was starting to see some of the possibilities of finding out what happened. If he knew why she left Bill for him when they returned to their own time he could recreate those circumstances. Just as he was about to knock Bill back, the blood bag beat him to it. Apparently his lovers little housemate was a witch.

“There will be no violence in this home. Least of all from you Compton.” The girl’s voice was cold as stone, if he had been less than he was he may have been frightened, good thing he didn’t have such a problem.

“Eric, I doubt that after this mess Sookie will be up to your date tonight. It’s almost dawn so I guess you and Pam will both be staying here today.” Her eyes were warm with friendship as she spoke to Pamela and him, she sounded almost sad about the date being ruined. As she turned to face Bill and Jessica her gaze cooled considerably and became hard with hatred. “You two can bake for all I care, but at the very least you will take your sorry asses across the cemetery to do it.”

With a wave of her hand both Bill and Jessica flew backwards out of the house against their will, almost as though their invitations had been rescinded. She turned back to him with a look close to accusation in her eyes and voice.

“I never would have invited them in had I known you had not warned her they would be here. You are gonna have a lot of groveling ahead of you to get yourself out of this one.”

With that the little witch, Amelia his lover had called her, turned and walked up the stairs after his lover. Glancing at Pamela he saw her amusement and shared it. He may have taken a slight mis-step just now but who cared, he would make it up to her and find out the reasons for her fall out with Compton when he rose in a few hours. He and Sookie lived together and the very sight of that pompous weasel Bill filled his future lover with rage. Oh yes the future was bright indeed.

Next Chapter

4 thoughts on “Chapter 1 – A Gift Given

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