My dearest Eric,
I’ve decided that I want to have a child of my own.
If you were here, I’m sure you would raise your eyebrow in silent question and give me that smirk that made me want to slap you and kiss you at the same time. Granted, you’d probably like it if I did both. You once told me that you found my touch soothing and arousing at the same time; that when I touched you, you felt at peace. At the time, I didn’t understand what you meant, thinking it was only the Eric without his memories speaking, but I’ve since come to understand very much what you mean, to know that your touch inspired the same feelings in me. The entire world could be falling to pieces, which it often was around us, but one touch or even a look from you made it all better. I’d give anything to know that level of piece and comfort again…to feel love unconditionally and give love unconditionally in return.
And that is why I’ve decided to have a child.
I’ve been pregnant before, and I’m not really too keen on going through it again. Heartburn all the time, nausea for weeks on end, and every part of my body swollen as an alien life form grows inside me. When I was pregnant with Hope, I didn’t really enjoy the whole process. I never felt that maternal instinct kick in. Perhaps it’s because I knew the baby wouldn’t be mine when she was born. Or maybe it’s because I kept thinking labor was going to look like that scene in Alien where the creature rips its way free from the human body. Whatever the reason, I didn’t enjoy the process of being pregnant. I certainly didn’t have that glow everyone says pregnant women get. And labor….don’t get me started on how painful that was! I’ve almost died several times in my life and none of them were as painful as having Hope’s ginormous head rip its way through my vagina.
This time I’m doing Caesarian all the way!
Of course, Dr. Ludwig said this time I should have an entirely different process being pregnant. She said the first pregnancy may have been so hard for me because my fairy self recognized the fetus as being a foreign object in my body. Hope was a test tube baby; Lafayette and James picked the donor egg and sperm they wanted to use and then the fertilized embryos were implanted in my body.
Honestly it all felt like a science fiction movie.
But this time it feels different. This time, I feel different. I’m excited and nervous. Will I be a good mom? My mother wasn’t a very good example, but Gran was. I hope that I can be half the mother to my child that Gran was to me. I know I will love my child with everything I have, but I worry that it won’t be enough.
I worry that my son (I told Dr. Ludwig I wanted a boy) will feel cheated because he doesn’t have the love of a father. I know my daddy loved me, in his own sick, twisted way, but it hurt like hell when he rejected me for being different. Ok, he tried to kill me, twice, for being different; a little extreme but he thought he was doing the right thing trying to protect me from Warlow. Is it selfish of me to bring a child into this world knowing that he will never have a father? There is only one man in this world I want to be the father of my child, and if I can’t have you, Eric, then no one else will do.
I know it’s presumptuous of me to think that if we were together as a couple that you would even want to act as a father to my child, but deep down I know you would. I’ve seen how you’ve treated Pam as a daughter, just as I saw Godric treat you as his son. Granted I doubt you would teach a child the usual things a human father teaches a child – somehow I can’t picture you in the backyard playing football or out on a lake fishing – but I think you would teach a son the lessons that are most important in life.
How to be a good man.
And you are a good man, Eric Northman, and nothing will make me change my mind. Sometimes you get lost or misguided along the way, but I know deep down, there is love and honor inside you. I’ve seen you put others happiness before your own, and I’ve seen you willing to sacrifice yourself for those you love. You are probably the best man I have ever met and will ever meet.
God how I miss you! I wish you were here by my side to experience everything with me. I so want to share my child with you. Willa thinks I’m crazy because of how devoted I am to you; she is adamant that you don’t deserve my love and loyalty. She asked why you would want anything to do with a child of mine since you’d abandoned the second vampire child you made. Bless her heart! I know she’s hurt and angry about how you treated her, and she has every right to be. The only reason I didn’t tan your hide myself over everything with her is because I know you weren’t in your right mind. You were thrown in an impossible situation; you were just trying to do the best you could with the hand you’d been dealt. We didn’t have it easy those few years, and you lost so much! It’s no wonder you seemed ready to give up when you’d been infected with Hep V.
There were plenty of times along the way I wanted to give it all up too. Sometimes it was easier to think that if I weren’t here, then all this craziness wouldn’t be here either.
Given how crazy my life has been these last few years, I wonder if bringing a child into this world is the right thing to do. Will I be able to protect my child? What if he’s like me and has the fairy spark? Will I be able to keep him safe? All these worries keep swimming around in my head. I know if you were here, then you’d tell me everything will be alright; that you’d protect us both. But you aren’t here, and it’s just me. Will I be enough? Funnily enough, it was Jason that set my mind at ease. The good lord has seen fit to bless, or curse depending on how you look at it, my brother with three daughters. I think it’s payback for all the years he was a manwhore. He’ll get to know the joys of trying to keep his girls away from guys like him. Jason’s already worried about such things, and I think he’s stockpiling all the weapons he can in order to threaten any boy that tries to date his girls. He already scared the ever loving crap out of a little boy in his eldest daughter’s kindergarten class, saying that Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny would never visit the little boy again because he’d kissed his daughter’s cheek.
That didn’t turn out so well for Jason when not only the boy’s parents but his own wife kicked his ass for being an idiot!
Anyway, Jason told me that all parents worry about keeping their children safe. From the moment he first held his eldest daughter in his hands, Jason told me that the world stopped revolving around him; that it now revolves around his girls. They are the center of his universe and he will do anything and everything for them. Sometimes he’ll mess up, but at least his girls will know that he tried to be the best dad he can be. They will know that he loved them with every fiber of his being.
If my idiot brother, God love him, can do it, then so can I.
Eric closed the journal with a snap. His eyes closed as he leaned his head back against the wall. After seeing the picture that Sookie’s son had drawn him, he’d felt raw. He needed to feel connected to Sookie in some way, so he’d turned to the precious journals she’d painstakingly written over the years. To him, those bound sheets of paper are worth more than any painting, sculpture, car, or business investment he owned.
He wouldn’t let himself think that this might be the only connection he would have to her. Eric refused to accept that they wouldn’t get her back. Sookie’s son needed his mother; her friends needed the woman back that was always there for them, giving everything of herself and asking nothing in return. Most importantly, he needed her. Eric was through wasting time, through letting misconceptions keep them apart. He wanted to be with the love of his undead life, and he was going to do everything possible to get her back.
And if Sookie didn’t come back, then he’d make sure she was avenged, that her family was taken care of, and then he’d join her in the afterlife so that they could finally be together as they were meant to be. Free from the interference of others, free from their own stubbornness, and free from the insecurities that kept them from saying what they should have been saying all along.
“I never could understand why she loved you.”
Eric opens his eyes to see his only living progeny standing in the doorway of her bedroom. She’s showered and dressed for the evening. Eric had been so engrossed in Sookie’s journal that he’d failed to note that the sun had set. They will be meeting with Niall and Hunter again at Jason’s home later that night. While the vampires were dead for the day, Niall and Hunter were teleporting to Nevada, hoping to find anything useful in their quest to free Sookie from de Castro’s clutches.
“To be honest, I do not know why she still loves me. I have done nothing to deserve her love,” Eric admits quietly as he lovingly strokes the spine of the journal.
“I don’t understand it! If you loved her as much as you claim, then how could you have stayed away so long? How is it you could go about your life as if Sookie didn’t even exist?” Willa’s voice is full of rage as she hurls her questions at the one to give her the gift of immortality. Willa viewed Sookie as more than a friend, even more than a sister. In some ways, Sookie filled the void in Willa’s life that had been there because of being abandoned not only by her vampire maker, but her human parents as well. Sookie never judged Willa for the things she did, or how she felt. The only thing that would ever cause a fight between the two women was the blond vampire sitting inside Willa’s home. Willa never could understand Sookie’s unwavering devotion to Eric Northman and often criticized Sookie for being so loyal to him. Sookie, no longer inclined to let others dictate how she should think and feel, told Willa that you can’t help who you love, and it didn’t matter whether her friend approved or not. Sookie loved Eric Northman and would love him until the day she died, and maybe even beyond.
Eric sets the journal to the side, rising slowly to his feet before walking towards Willa. He smiles ruefully at his progeny. “I have had an eternity to perfect being stubborn. Not a day has gone by that I have not loved Sookie Stackhouse that I have not ached to have her by my side. You want to know how I could exist without her? The truth is, I could not. I finally came to understand how my maker willingly chose to meet the sun. I no longer found joy in this existence; I no longer wished to continue moving forward as I have done for a thousand years. I was tired. For the first time as a vampire, I truly felt dead,” he ends flatly.
Willa gasps in surprise. She swallows hard before she stutters out the question at the forefront of her mind. “Would you…I mean…you wouldn’t have committed suicide would you?”
“Not tomorrow or even next week, but eventually. What is the point of living if it cannot be with the one you love above all others?”
“But you’re a vampire! I understand that it will hurt when those we love pass on, but that doesn’t mean we won’t love again. How do you know you won’t find someone you love again next year or a hundred years from now? There’s no need to go be like Romeo if you hear of Sookie passing on,” Willa declares vehemently.
“Willa, you are still very young,” Eric responds with an indulgent smile. “When I was a new vampire, the idea of eternity intrigued me greatly. The idea of being able to travel the world, to experience all of its wonders, and to never fear growing old or sick was intoxicating. Throughout my existence I have known thousands if not millions of people, human and Supernatural alike, yet in all that time, there has only ever been one that I have loved. One woman out of millions. I have experienced lust, infatuation, friendship, and kinship throughout my years on this planet, but only when I saw a blonde telepath walk through the doors of Fangtasia wearing an innocent white and red sundress was I finally struck by love’s arrow,” he says with a mocking smile.
He sighs and his shoulders slump as his voice becomes somber. “There have been many in my existence that I have mourned the loss of, none more painful than the loss of Godric and Nora. Losing them broke something inside of me, changed me irrevocably, yet I found a way to move forward. Even though we were not together, Sookie helped me move on from Godric’s loss. I was drawn to her as the Earth rotates around the sun. When I lost Nora, I was fueled by my need for revenge. When the camp was destroyed, I had nothing left to comfort me. Sookie was not mine; she had said her good-byes to me before I turned you. She said she wanted to get back to being the girl in the white dress, which was why she rescinded my invitation to her home. Then when I came back here after being infected with Hep-V, my heart soared when Sookie embraced me, crying for me not to meet the True Death. The way she looked at me, the way she acted…it seemed as if she and I were finally on the same page when it came to loving each other. Of course my hopes were dashed when I came back here cured and found her in the arms of Compton. He was like an STD, Sookie’s affection for him would be gone for a while but then it would suddenly flare up again and be horribly out of control. Bill is actually the one that convinced me to stay away from Sookie, to give her a chance at a normal life. It was one of the dying requests he made of me. I’ve been living a half-life without Sookie, a shell of the vampire I once was. I do not have it in me to find a way to soldier on if Sookie dies,” he ends bleakly.
Willa remains silent as she watches Eric struggle with his thoughts and emotions. She knew all about Sookie and Eric’s relationship from Sookie. Her friend took much of the blame for the demise of her relationship with The Viking. Sookie stated that she’d repeatedly pushed Eric away, so she couldn’t blame him for finally walking away from her. There are only so many times you can turn your back on someone before they turn their back on you.
None of what she has heard tonight erases Willa’s feelings of resentment, anger, and hurt towards her maker, but she’s able to find a kernel of compassion for him. It’s a start, albeit a small one, towards Willa being able to move past everything that has happened between her and Eric. She doesn’t have much of a choice though. When Sookie comes home, Willa is going to have to make peace with the fact her maker is going to be a permanent fixture in Sookie’s life and thus her life.
“Stop being so fatalistic,” Willa commands. “We are going to find Sookie, and we’re going to bring her home! So you’d better start practicing how to grovel! Now go clean up. We don’t want to be late for our meeting. I know I’m anxious to get to Nevada and kick some ass,” Willa declares fiercely.
A true smile graces Eric’s face as he stares at the vampire he made and cast aside. She is beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate but she is still a fierce warrior with a thirst for vengeance. Eric cannot help but wistfully think that Godric would have been pleased with Willa. Though Godric had never met Pam, he knew her, having observed her from afar when he’d been shadowing Eric shortly before they reunited during World War II. Godric had been disappointed in Eric’s first choice in progeny and had not wanted to meet her, a fact that had hurt Eric deeply. Godric would have liked Willa, just as he liked Sookie.
Eric walks towards the bathroom, intending to shower quickly before tonight’s meeting. He stops when he is standing beside Willa. Only once she has craned her neck up to look at him does Eric speak. “I am truly sorry for everything, Willa Burrell.” He briefly touches her cheek affectionately before vamping to the bathroom and closing the door.
The gesture and words, as small as they may be, bring tears to the eyes of the young vampire. It is the first time she has ever felt a true connection to her maker.
Later that evening, somewhere in Nevada.
“Shall I tell you a story? Perhaps something from when Godric and I were newborn vampires. We had some wonderful times together,” Appius offers in a fond tone as he loses himself in the vast expanse of time. Earlier that evening, Victor had delivered Sookie to Appius at his maker’s request. The sycophantic vampire had hoped that his maker would invite him to participate in the evening’s activities involving Miss Stackhouse; after all, Appius had a reputation for being one of the cruelest vampires to walk the planet. Victor Madden had even heard Russell Edgington once upon a time professing his admiration over the younger vampire’s highly trained skill set when it came to inflicting pain and suffering. However, Victor was sorely disappointed when his maker had ceremoniously dismissed him before he could even cross the threshold of the room where Appius was waiting for Sookie.
Sookie still finds it hard to believe that Appius and Godric were created by the same vampire. Physically, they are similar in appearance; both around five and a half feet tall, dark hair, and lean, muscular bodies that came from years of hard work. However, that is where the similarities between the two vampires ended. To Sookie, it is the eyes of each vampire that tells the story of who they truly are. Godric’s eyes had held sorrow; one could get lost in its fathomless depths. His eyes had been the reason Sookie had been so drawn to him. She wanted to comfort him. The grief she’d recognized in his eyes was akin to the grief she’d felt over losing Gran. It was buried deep inside her, hidden away from the prying eyes of others. Her grief was her own, but it recognized a similarity in Godric.
Appius’ eyes though tell a very different tale. His eyes hold neither happiness nor sadness; they do not reflect a sense of boredom as she has seen in the eyes of other vampires. His eyes are so dark that they nearly look black. Maybe it’s the sinister, calculating look Appius always possesses. He looks as if he has an ulterior motive.
It’s what makes Sookie reluctant to trust him.
But what choice does she have?
Her circumstances are dire to say the least. Her options here are Felipe de Castro, Victor Madden, or Appius. Of the three, Appius is the only one that hasn’t harmed her in some way, nor has he looked at her as if he wants to drain her dry. In fact, he rarely looks at her. Sookie doesn’t understand what motivates him. She’d asked him flat out what he wanted in all of this, and he has yet to answer her. She knows he isn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart; she’s not even certain he has a heart.
“It was during the fall of the Roman Empire in the Balkan countries during the reign of Constantine I. Time has held little meaning to me since I was turned, but historians have said this period of time was in the early fourth century,” Appius continues bringing Sookie out of her thoughts. It boggles her mind to think that the man before her speaks so cavalier about a period of time seventeen centuries ago. Sookie wasn’t a very good student in school due to her telepathy, but thanks to Gran, she’d read nearly every book in the history section of the Bon Temps Library. Granted, most of the books were about the War Between the States, but there had been a few about European history. Sookie had been particularly fascinated with The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. She’d struggled with some of the archaic text but it captivated Sookie to learn how modern civilization could be traced back to the Roman Empire. How could much of Europe, Asia, and Africa be controlled by the Caesars? The name Constantine had stood out to Sookie because of the city Constantinople. For weeks, she sang, “Istanbul is Constantinople . . .” as she’d read about the emperor referred to as “Constantine the Great” or “Saint Constantine”. To think the vampire in front of her was actually there…it is awe-inspiring!
“Godric and I fought as brothers tend to do. I was older than he, but our maker favored him more,” Appius says with a shrug. “It mattered very little though. Our maker enjoyed watching us being pitted against each other. He enjoyed watching us fight. The only thing our maker enjoyed more was watching us fuck,” he ends bluntly.
Appius chuckles seeing Sookie shift uncomfortably in her seat. “Oh come now, Miss Stackhouse, my honesty cannot be that difficult for you to stomach. Godric was a vampire; I am a vampire. You know how insatiable our needs can be. I’m quite sure the Norse Man was quite frenzied when he was your lover. Fairy blood during sex…” Appius shivers with longing and his fangs descend. “That must be ecstasy,” he says with barely controlled hunger.
“It wasn’t like that,” Sookie declares firmly. At Appius’ sardonic raising of his eyebrow, her hands clench into fists. “I’m not gonna talk to you about my past with Eric. What we did is no one’s business but our own,” she states emphatically and lifts her chin so that her head is held high.
Appius shrugs again before raising his glass of blood. The way he drinks the glass of blood reminds Sookie of people she’d seen on Food Network savoring a bottle of fine wine. Appius first sniffs the aroma of the blood, he then swirls the contents of his glass before taking the smallest of sips. Appius holds the liquid in his mouth, letting the flavors rest on his tongue before swallowing. He murmurs in approval as he licks the remnants from his teeth and lips.
“Blood today tastes very different than blood back then. Today blood is polluted by hundreds of millions of chemicals. It tastes as synthesized as that swill the Norse Man peddles in those horrible infomercials,” Appius remarks with distaste which makes Sookie snort inelegantly. She too thought Eric’s commercials were horrible. The first time she remembered hearing the commercial for New Blood, she’d been in the kitchen doing the dishes when Eric’s voice had floated through the air to her. She’d dropped the plate she’d been drying, shattering it against the linoleum floor, but she didn’t notice just as she didn’t notice the shards of the broken dish that cut her feet. Sookie had run to the living room, skidding to a halt when she’d seen Eric’s handsome face gracing the large screen TV he’d installed in her home. Sookie had been hypnotized by his blue eyes, so vibrant in color yet so emotionless. He looked like the cold, hard stone she’d once accused him of being. She’d stood staring at the television long after the commercial had faded away. That first time seeing the commercial had been so hard for her to deal with. She’d been OK with their separation thinking that Eric was happy in his life, but seeing the commercial had shown her a man empty on the inside. As time passed, she was able to laugh at the infomercial, thinking that Eric’s whole routine seemed downright cheesy, a cross between a game show host and a used car salesman.
“I digress. As I said, our maker enjoyed watching us fight. It was during this period of time that the Gaul’s were rebelling against the Roman Empire. Godric, having been enslaved by the Romans, fought like mad to aid his people. I having been a soldier of Rome fought for the emperor. As you can imagine, the fighting between the two of us was quite fierce. Our maker did not side with either faction in the war; he enjoyed watching the carnage and gorged himself on the blood of the dying. We all did as battlefields were the most inconspicuous places for vampires to be. There were no doctors then, and most of what healers did caused death rather than prevented it.” Appius pauses to take another sip of his blood. He stares at the dark red contents of the glass as if it were a crystal ball that holds his memories. He shakes himself out of his reverie and continues his story.
“Eventually, Godric grew tired of the fighting, and with our maker’s permission, he left our nest and traveled on his own. Several hundred years passed without me seeing my blood brother. I found him in the British Isles, living off of the casualties of war between the British and the Vikings as they have been named thanks to historians. It was good to see Godric again; good to feel part of a family again. However, our reunion was short-lived. It was in Britannia where we had our falling out, and I did not speak to him for over a thousand years.”
Sookie’s eyes widen in shock. Talk about carrying a grudge! “What on earth could have been so bad that you didn’t talk to him for all that time?”
Appius’ eyes narrow and his lips purse in anger. “He stole from me the human I wanted to make my progeny.”