Chapter 31

Flashback

It is a beautiful morning; the sun is shining, birds are singing, and everything seems at peace.   Looking through the window of the house shows a couple sharing a quiet morning in the kitchen.  Adele stands at the stove cooking breakfast; Fintan sits at the kitchen table watching her. 

Fintan knows that Adele will soon pass from this life.  He can feel her light fading from him.  He has begged her to move with him to the Fae realm; time moved differently there.  She has been steadfast in her refusal.

He watches the love of his existence with concerned eyes.  It does not matter that she has aged; to him, she is still as beautiful as the day they met over six decades ago.  She is his heart, his soul, his everything.  Adele sets his plate in front of him.  She sits down next to him with a glass of tea.

He looks at her sadly. “Are you not eating?”  Her appetite is non-existent lately.

She shakes her head and smiles softly.  “I’m not hungry darlin’.”  Fintan looks at his plate, but does not touch his food.  Tears well in his eyes.

“Fintan, don’t,” Adele admonishes him.  She pats his hand lovingly, “I’ve had an amazing life.  I had two beautiful children that have given me three wonderful grandchildren.  I’ve had my share of good times and bad; the good have far outweighed the bad.  And I have been so very blessed to find the man I love with everything I am.  You, my love, have given me a love that most people only dream of.  I have no regrets.” 

Fintan grips her hand in both of his.  “I’m not ready to let you go.”

“You and I both know it’s my time,” she says gently.  “Jason and Sookie are going to need you in the days ahead.”  Adele moves to his side and kisses him softly on the lips.  Fintan wraps his arms around her, holding her close.  “I’m tired,” she says with a sigh.  “I think I’ll go take a nap.”

Fintan slowly eats his food.  He then washes the breakfast dishes, dries them, and puts them back where they belong.  He walks back to their bedroom to check on his beloved wife.  She is sleeping peacefully, a smile on her lips.  Fintan crosses to her side and bends to kiss her cheek, but something is wrong. Her light inside him has faded away, like a candle that has been snuffed out.  He pulls back with tears falling down his face as he realizes his beautiful wife is gone.  

End flashback

Adele Stackhouse’s funeral was attended by nearly every man, woman, and child in Bon Temps and the surrounding communities.  She had been admired and loved by many.  She was known for her generosity, her kind heart, and her selflessness.  She would be greatly missed and remembered as one of the last great Southern ladies.

The graveside service was held at noon.  Many had stepped forward to say a few words about Adele, sharing a story of how she had touched their life in some way.  The family members, which included Tara and Lafayette since they had been taken in by Adele, sat huddled together in the front row.  None of them offered any stories about Adele; they were numb with their grief.

After the service, the mourners moved to Merlotte’s for the repast.  Sam Merlotte offered to host the service in honor of Adele; he refused to accept payment from her family.  Adele Stackhouse had welcomed him to the community with open arms.  It was the first time in his life that he had felt accepted by his peers.  No one was surprised when her husband and grandchildren did not attend the meal service; she had been the glue that held the family together.  Without her, they were lost.

Two hours after sundown, guests begin arriving at the Bon Temps cemetery for a night time service in Adele’s honor.  Even though she was human, she was well-respected in the supernatural community, both for being Fintan’s wife and because of her own merits.

Godric, Eric, and Isabel walk sedately along the path that leads to the cemetery.  Both male vampires are wearing black suits, black shirts, and black ties.  In a nod to her heritage, Isabel is wearing a black dress and a black lace veil covering her hair.  Approximately one hundred yards before the cemetery, the vampires are stopped by a magical barrier.

Godric demands, “What is the meaning of this?”

A Were appears through the magical barrier.  He is wearing a security detail outfit from Extreme (ly Elegant) Events, or E(E)E, the company that specializes in coordinating supernatural events.  “Good evening.  Before any may enter the cemetery, each person must sign this contract.  Each being agrees to keep the peace at tonight’s service.  Failure to do so will result in severe consequences.”  A scroll of parchment and quill appear magically in front of the vampires.

“It is to maintain the safety of all those in attendance,” Desmond Cataliades says as he appears from the other side of the magical barrier.  “It is a precaution, but necessary given the attendants of tonight’s service.  I will not allow Adele’s service to become a supernatural free for all.  She discriminated against no one, and I will see her memory honored with the dignity it deserves,” Desmond declares passionately.

Each vampire stabs the quill through their arm so that they can sign the contract in blood.  Desmond gestures for the three vampires to enter.

“I wish I could have known her,” Eric murmurs quietly.  “She sounds like a very great woman.”

“She was indeed, Mr. Northman.”  Russell Edgington, the King of Mississippi, moves forward to greet the new arrivals.  He is resplendent in a black pinstripe suit, black shirt, and white Ascot.  He carries with him a walking stick that has gold ends.

The three vampires bow towards the monarch, but he waves the action away.  “Not tonight, this is about Adele.  I can put my ego on the shelf for one evening,” he says with a sly grin.

“There’s a first time for everything, old friend,” Godric says with a small smile on his face.

Eric looks around the cemetery for Sookie but does not see her.  He does see members of the Dae, Fae, Were, and vampire races interacting with one another.  Members of several different covens are also present.  Eric notices that Jason Stackhouse is standing near the front of the seating area talking with several Fae.

“Amazing isn’t it?”  The Ancient Pythoness suddenly appears by Eric’s side.  “One extraordinary woman could be blind to the differences in us all.”  Before Eric can respond, John Quinn, the host, gains everyone’s attention, asking them to find a seat.

After everyone is seated, a shimmering light appears at the front of the cemetery and a popping noise is heard.  Niall Brigant, Prince of the Fae, and the royal family appear; five members in all.  Each member of the family wears the royal robes of the Brigant family.  Each person removes the hood of their robe as they sit in the front row.  Niall sits on the end of the row with Fintan next to him.  A male Fae that looks to be Jason’s twin sits next to Fintan; next to him is a dark-haired slender female Fae.  Sookie sits next to her, and Jason is on the end.

Desmond Cataliades moves forward to address the gathering.  “Good evening to you all.  We are here to celebrate the life of Adele Stackhouse Brigant.  Many of you had the opportunity to meet Adele over the years, and knew her to be a kind, generous, intelligent woman.  She never judged us for what we are; she judged us for who we are and our actions.  I would like to invite any that wish to say a few words about Adele to please come forward.”

Many in attendance rise to speak in honor of Adele Stackhouse Brigant.  Most of the stories are about how she had provided advice or help to those that needed it.  Everyone shared a laugh when Dermot, the Fae male that looked like Jason, recalled some of Adele’s more humorous expressions.  Russell shared the story of the night he first met Adele and how she shoved a bar of soap in his mouth because of the vulgar language he was using.  Russell recalled that they had all laughed at the daring of a human woman to bring a three thousand year old vampire to task.  To show his appreciation for her, he had sent her a pallet of bar soap, with the note that he was helping her prepare for his next visit.  Everyone was laughing by the conclusion of Russell’s story.

Jason rises to speak after Russell.  “Evening.  I have so many stories I could tell about my Gran, that I don’t know where to start.  She was more than my grandmother; she’s more like my mother.”  He looks around the cemetery, and his voice falters.  He takes a deep breath before continuing. “I’m not real good with words, but I found something I thought could say everything I wanted to say.”  He clears his throat and begins reading.

“At the rising of the sun and its going down, we remember you.
At the blowing of the wind and the chill of Winter, we remember you.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of Spring, we remember you.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, we remember you.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of Autumn, we remember you.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember you.
As long as we live, You too will live; for you are now a part of us,
as we remember you, for now and forever, Amen.”

The sound of tears and sniffles are heard around the cemetery.  Jason moves to his seat and sits.  He puts his arm around Sookie’s shoulders and pulls her close to him in comfort.  Niall stands and faces the crowd.

“Tonight, I do not speak to you as a leader.  Tonight, I speak to you as a grieving father.  Adele was as close to me as my two sons,” he says as he gestures to Fintan and Dermot.  “Adele loved her family fiercely, and would do anything for them.  My son,” he says looking at Fintan, “was so very fortunate to have found his mate.  Not many of us are lucky enough to find the one that completes us.”  Niall looks at Sookie and then Eric with a smile gracing his face, “Looking at Fintan and Adele, and now at Sookie and Eric, it gives me hope that each one of us can find that happiness.  If you take one thing way from Adele, please let it be her ability to love completely and without prejudice.  On behalf of my family, I would like to thank you for coming this evening.”

Everyone in the cemetery rises knowing that concludes the ceremony.  Niall and his two sons pop away; Sookie and Jason are left to greet those in attendance.  Godric, Isabel, and Eric are the last to approach Sookie and Jason.  The two siblings both look exhausted but composed.  Sookie, upon seeing Eric, loses her composure and falls into his arms weeping softly.  Eric wraps his arms around her gently and rubs his hand up and down her spine.

“NO!” A scream is heard among the mourners.  A male Fae has drawn a dagger from his side and tries to charge Eric and Sookie; his face contorted in rage.  Before anyone reacts, he is ejected from the magical barrier that surrounds the cemetery and is held immobile just beyond the border.  Members of the E(E)E security detail secure the Fae in iron handcuffs and take him away.

Godric asks, “What just happened?”

Sookie pulls back from Eric and explains.  “Remember the contract that everyone signed?  It is tied to the wards around the cemetery.   The wards are designed to expel anyone with harmful intent.  We felt it was a necessary precaution to make certain that everyone remained safe this evening.  Once the ward ejects you, it will hold you immobile until the security team can move you to a holding area.”

Isabel questions, “Who was it?”

“Preston Pardloe; he’s been chasing after Sookie for years,” Jason answers. Sookie glares at her brother, but he just shrugs.  “What?  Sook, you know Preston has been after you since the day he met you.  He even went so far as to ask Niall for permission to marry you.  When he was denied, he went off the deep end.”

Russell escorts The Ancient Pythoness to their group.  Even though she is blind, she looks unerringly at the spot where Preston was ejected.  “Damn fool.  All in Fae know of the prophecy.  There is no use fighting destiny.”

Sookie groans. “Not this again Aunt Katie…Can’t I have just one day to be a normal human being?”

The Ancient Pythoness smiles at the young Fae-hybrid.  “You cannot hide from what you are child.  True, you are part human, but the essential spark that marks you as Fae is stronger in you than in most full-bloods.  Events have already begun.  ‘Time nor tide tarrieth no man’…even for one such as you.  There are things that we all need to discuss, but not this night.  Tonight is for Adele.  We will discuss everything soon.”  And with that, The Ancient Pythoness pops away.

Godric chuckles ruefully. “She still knows how to make an exit.”  He turns to look at Sookie standing in the shelter of Eric’s arms.  He smiles at her gently. “Little One, what do you need of us?”

Sookie looks at her father with bloodshot eyes, “I just want quiet.  My shields are in shambles and I cannot focus.  Jason?”  She turns in Eric’s arms to look at her brother.

“I think I’m gonna go home.  I don’t feel right bein’ at the farmhouse without Gran,” he says sadly.

Isabel nods.  “Godric and I will make sure you get home safe.  Eric, why don’t you take Sookie?”

Eric nods.  Sookie moves out of his arms to give her family and friends hugs good-bye.

Sookie hugs Russell last and whispers her thanks that he came.  He pulls back and pinches her cheek lightly with his fingers.  “Peaches, this is where I was meant to be tonight.  I had thought to return to Mississippi tonight, but the old girl asked me to stay.  She said I needed to hear whatever it is that needs to be discussed.”  Russell kisses her on the cheek and vamps away.

Eric growls in disapproval.  He understands that Sookie is close with Isabel and Godric, but his possessive nature still has issues seeing her being affectionate with them.  Seeing Sookie in Russell’s arms made Eric see red.  Godric looks at Eric with amusement.  Sookie turns to Eric and rolls her eyes.

“Get over it Viking,” Sookie sasses Eric.  “I’m an affectionate person, and I’m going to hug my friends.  And I have a LOT of friends,” she says while moving back to his arms.  Everyone chuckles at Sookie’s words.  Shortly after, Godric, Isabel, and Jason say good-bye to the couple.

Eric touches his forehead to hers.  “You cannot fault me for wanting you all to myself Lover.  I feel at a slight disadvantage with all these other beings.  They have known you for years and have relationships with you that I cannot begin to understand.”

Sookie kisses his lips softly.  “Eric, it doesn’t matter what these other people are to me.  All that matters is that I am yours.”

Eric tightens his arms around his mate.  “And I am yours.”  He kisses Sookie gently again.  “Let me take care of you tonight Lover.”  Sookie whispers her agreement and clings to Eric.  He lifts them gently up in the night sky to carry her home.

AN: The poem that Jason read is an Irish proverb that is commonly given during a eulogy.  ‘Time nor tide tarrieth no man’ is the first recorded version of ‘time nor tide wait for no man’.  The expression is attributed to St. Marher in 1225.

 

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16 Responses to Chapter 31

  1. Pingback: ADL – Chapter 31 | mistressjessica1028

  2. kleannhouse says:

    it was a good addition to the story and needed…. Adele was/is an important figure it what transpired and I wonder what Aunt Katie has up her sleeve since she asked Russell to stay… UNtil you post again… KY

  3. bbrock525 says:

    Aunt Katie very cryptic. Eric is too funny with his jealousy.

  4. Loftin says:

    That was a great chapter. I love how Adele touched everyone in she met.
    Jason’s poem made me all teary. Sniffle sniffle… Can’t wait for more.

  5. theladykt says:

    Skankya anne and whorena have no idea the families and friends they are messing with. Sweet ceremony. Glad so many came to pay their respects

  6. georgiasuzy says:

    That was a beautiful service. I’m glad they had the magical wards in place to take care of Preston.

  7. msbuffy says:

    I knew there was a reason I was enjoying this so much! I’ve read it before and loved it! Oh my! Getting old & losing more brain cells is a terrible thing! I recognized the Irish proverb as one read at my grandmother’s funeral and I wrote it down when I read this before. This was on FF.net, but was it a PG version? This one seems a little different; then again, it could be my dementia…

  8. vamplover669 says:

    The flashback was just as touching as Jason’s poem poor Fintan. The magical barrier was very smart it’s a good thing Bill wasn’t there to spy what a story for QSA huh? The Preston “attack” was a surprise will he want revenge and partner up with Lochlan & Neave? I can’t wait to hear what the AP wanted to discuss.

  9. itskiniki says:

    Loved Russell’s Adelle story!

  10. fffbone says:

    This chapter was really good.

  11. kleannhouse says:

    the next button takes you back to this chapter my dear. KY

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