Sookie woke up to her cell phone alarm at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning and rushed into Gran’s old room, opening the door of the old wooden closet. Hanging up were her Gran’s clothes, at least the ones that were left after the Maenad’s reign over the house. On the top shelf was Sookie’s box of keepsakes. She pulled a chair over and then got down the box, placing it on her Gran’s bed. She knew that Eric must have replaced the mattress and box springs, and the bed itself, which had been hand-crafted by the man she now knew was her fairy grandfather, Grandpa Earl, had obviously been repaired. She moved her hands along the curves of the designs Grandpa Earl had carved in the headboard.
She had mourned the bed’s destruction after the Maenad had seemingly destroyed this room. After Maryann was gone, Sookie had simply shut the door to Gran’s room, thinking that everything inside was lost and being unable to deal with it at the time. But now, she noticed how the headboard and footboard had been painstakingly repaired and refinished. The bed looked even more beautiful than she remembered it. She ran her fingertips up and down a bedpost, enjoying the cool smooth texture of the wood. She remembered what Eric had said in her dream and thought about how he’d been the one to do all the work in that room. She looked around at all the wooden furnishings and now saw both her Grandpa Earl’s and Eric’s hands in them. She put her head into her own hands and cried until the ring of the front door bell caused her to get up.
Wiping the tears from her face, Sookie did a quick inventory. She’d worn only a long T-shirt to bed, so she quickly grabbed a robe in her room before going downstairs to answer the door. She felt Lafayette and Jesus with her mind and quickly opened the door, warmed by their smiling faces and by the coffee and pastries they’d obviously picked up on the way over. She nodded at Alcide, who was leaning against his truck, holding his own cup of fresh coffee and a huge bear claw donut.
Sookie welcomed the duo into her home.
Lafayette looked around and whistled, “Shit Sook, that vamp done did yo’ house up proper.”
“I know,” Sookie smiled, thinking fondly of Eric and the effort he’d made.
Jesus made a “shhh” gesture with his index finger and then sat down cross-legged near the bottom of the stairs. He closed his eyes and then began chanting in a voice that barely even registered as a whisper. After he was done, he rose. “Okay, now anything we say will be private.”
“I thought you had to draw one of them salt circles,” Sookie said.
“Nope. I found a better way. And this spell will last for a whole day, whether you leave the area of the spell or not. And before long, I think we will also be able to ward your house to prevent the entry of anyone with ill intent!” he said excitedly. “I just need to gather a few ingredients that we need; I think I’ll be ready by Sunday!”
“Yeah, he been up all night readin’ them books,” Lafayette said fondly with just a bit of annoyance. “I thoughts with yo’ skinny ass outta the way, I’d be gettin’ me a nice, loud piece last night, but I’s was put aside fo’ witch books.”
Sookie reddened and then laughed. “Sorry, Laf.”
“You better be, hooker. He dragged me outta bed too damned early too! Then, we’s just had to gets over here first thing!” Lafayette grumbled good-naturedly.
“I did buy you coffee,” Jesus gave Lafayette a winning smile.
“Humph,” Lafayette grunted as he took a sip.
Cautiously, Jesus asked Sookie, “How did your night go last night?”
“With Bill?” Sookie asked as Jesus nodded. “Well I asked all my questions, and he lied half the time, but other than that, it was great,” she said sarcastically. “One thing is for sure about Bill,” she continued earnestly, “I don’t love him. I think it was the tie and his magic that made the initial attraction I had for him feel like love. I’ll probably always care about him―or at least I want to care about him―but I’m not sure if there was ever really any love there at all.”
Jesus nodded and opened one of the books he’d brought with him. He gestured for Sookie to come close and look at the title of the page. In ornate letters, it read, “For lessening the effects of vampire glamour.” Sookie looked at Jesus curiously, and he gestured for her to look at Lafayette. As Sookie focused her attention on Lafayette, Jesus began chanting the spell. After a few minutes, Lafayette made a huge effort to speak. “Sook, ask Eric why they glamoured us the night we did the spell on ya.”
Sookie looked on, perplexed by the actions of her friends. Jesus had stopped chanting by this point and both men looked drained.
“Don’t ask us anything else ‘bout that,” Lafayette managed. Sookie nodded, got up, went to the kitchen, and added a new question to her growing list for Eric.
By the time she returned, Lafayette and Jesus seemed to have regained most of their energy and were settled in the living room. Jesus seemed relieved, as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Sookie had to fight against her curiosity in order to respect their wishes and not ask what their spell had been all about.
Instead, Sookie gave them a few more minutes to recover as she happily chomped on a blueberry scone and sipped her cup of coffee.
Finally Jesus spoke, “Sookie, I think I found out something about the ‘empty spot’ both you and Eric were talking about.”
“Oh?” Sookie asked, nervous that Jesus might tell her that Eric’s blood had somehow remained in her and had been influencing her all along. At this point, that was her biggest fear.
Jesus said, “I found some information in this real old book that Marnie had; it was written in Latin, but I was able to get the gist of it. It is the only thing I have found so far that mentions fairies or their magic.”
“Really?” Sookie asked, sitting forward.
“Yeah,” Jesus continued. “The book is kind of like an encyclopedia for Supes. It gives some information on all known varieties of supernatural beings.”
“Hooker, you wouldn’t believe some of the shit that’s out there,” Lafayette added as he took a drink of his coffee. “In fact, I’m hopin’ to forget most of it myself.”
Sookie wasn’t able to question Lafayette about his comment because Jesus picked up his previous thought, “So the book didn’t really explain how to control your magic, but I’m sure it talked about things you don’t know yet.”
“Well, that’d be easy!” Sookie exclaimed, “considering that I really don’t know much of anything about fairies.”
Jesus began, “Well, first the book describes various types of fairy powers. Telepathy, it seems, is the most common fairy trait. Apparently, in the fairy realm, communication via the mind is preferred, and fairies are able to block their thoughts from others there when they wish, sort of like you block out other people’s thoughts from your mind, I guess. Anyway, most fairies are able to both hear thoughts and project thoughts into other people’s minds.”
“Wow!” Sookie cried. “I have always heard thoughts, but I have never projected like that.”
Jesus continued. “Another common power among fairies is a kind of teleportation. They basically use these dimensional door things in their world to act as conduits to other places. They are able to―in that way―just kind of pop to where they want to go.”
“Shit,” Sookie said, suddenly frightened that a fairy could just pop in on her at any time and force her to go back to the fairy realm.
Jesus sensed her fear and tried to comfort her, “Apparently, the skill to teleport like this is not that common among fairies, and it requires a lot of effort on their part. It also requires a door or portal to be present.”
That made Sookie feel at least a little better. The door that led to the cemetery had been closing when she and Grandpa Earl jumped through it. Of course, Claudine had still managed to find her again, but Sookie was bolstered by the fact that no other fairies had come for her.
Jesus continued, “Other powers that some fairies have include hiding their scents from others and harnessing their fairy light as a kind of weapon.”
“Well I have that last one for sure,” Sookie said.
Jesus agreed, “Yeah, that ability also comes with the opposite―using your light as a healing agent.”
Sookie thought about this for a moment and then nodded. “I think that I did that with Eric when he was under Marnie’s―uh Antonia’s―control. I wanted to save Bill, certainly, but my light didn’t hurt Eric, which seemed weird at the time. It just made the spell go away.”
Jesus nodded. “I agree.”
“How do I make the magic work though?” Sookie asked.
“As I said, the book doesn’t talk about that,” Jesus reported with regret.
“What else?” Sookie prompted. “You said something about that ‘empty spot’ feeling?”
“Yeah,” Jesus said as he gave a meaningful look to Lafayette.
“What?” Sookie asked, suddenly concerned.
“Well,” Jesus started slowly, “it seems that fairy magic can be just as potent as vampire blood in binding two people together.”
“Huh?” Sookie asked inelegantly.
“It has to do with your light. When two fairies bond, they ‘share’ their light through touch, but I’m betting that it could be transmitted through a blood exchange, just like vampire magic. And just like vampire magic, there must be intent for it to work. There’s no record in the book of a fairy binding herself to a vampire, but when fairies bind themselves to each other, and then for some reason break the bond, there is a kind of void left behind.”
“So you think that I bonded myself to Eric in some kind of fairy way even as he was binding himself to me in the vampire way?”
“Oh yes,” Jesus said excitedly. “Either that, or you created a fairy bond with him when you broke Marnie’s spell with your light. Of course, Eric’s intent would have had to be right there with yours in either case, so during your blood exchange with him seems to be the most likely time―that is, if you did create a fairy bond like I think you did.”
Sookie gestured for Jesus to go on.
“I think that the fairy bond is actually more powerful than the vampire bond you had in some ways. I also think that―using that fairy bond―you have basically held on to Eric’s essence that was in his blood, and I think that is what has been in your dreams.”
“Yes, his spirit or his soul. The spell we did got rid of all the blood and all of his magic, but I’m guessing that your own magic basically decided to keep Eric around in the only form it could. You sort of fused his essence to your light in a way.”
“So it’s still Eric in there?”
“Yeah, I believe that the part of him you retained contains his essential spirit―at least from the moment you bonded with him.”
“Do you think that this dream Eric of mine could lie to me?”
Jesus shook his head, “ I think that it lives only in the fairy magic within your body now, so I can’t see how it could deceive you.”
Lafayette piped up, “This is all so f’ed up, hooker, that it’s making my head spin!”
“Not helping!” Sookie admonished her friend in a sing-song voice.
Jesus looked at her much more sympathetically. “The book also gives a bit more information about vampire ties and bonds. From what I have been reading, I think that vampire blood retains a lot of power, even after it’s been in a human host for a while. The blood, in essence, stays magically animated in the human. Most humans have no control over what the blood is able to do. This goes back to the motives of the vampires we talked about yesterday. The magic works only for the vampire’s benefit if the blood was given by the vampire for his or her own self-interests.”
“And if it’s not?”
“Well that’s where things get interesting, and your being a human/fairy hybrid complicates everything. I am having to make educated guesses about things based on your previous dreams and our supposition that Eric formed the second kind of tie, the unselfish kind, with you in Dallas.”
Sookie broke in, “He confirmed that he did in my dream last night.”
Jesus nodded and continued, “When he formed that tie, I think your fairy genes became able to use his blood and, in turn, Eric, when you needed or wanted to, so that explains why you had your dreams when you did, except for the first one you had about him, which I’m still trying to figure out. You had one when you wanted to comfort him, and you had one when you needed him to help you learn the truth about Bill. He seemed to have had little or no control of his blood in you at that point. As far as I can tell, he’d only have been able to use his blood to monitor your emotions and your location.”
“In my dream last night,” provided Sookie, “he said that he caused and then tried to control the first dream that I had about him. This was before he realized that he loved me and when he thought we had a regular blood tie. He said that the effect of the dream kind of backfired, and after that, he wasn’t able to influence me with his blood at all.”
“That makes sense,” Jesus said, after thinking for a minute.
He continued, “Then, once you exchanged blood again―a real exchange this time―it seems that the bond you created became very strong because it was infused with both of your magics and both of your intentions. It was, in a sense, like a marriage of your bonds.”
Sookie was stunned. “So there’s some kind of magic from me that is creating the dreams and that has left this feeling of hollowness in both of us? Does that mean that Eric may not really love me,” Sookie’s voice caught, “that it might just be my magic that’s making him love me―like I thought it was his blood making me love him?”
Lafayette, who had stayed relatively quiet up to this point, came over to where she sat on the couch and placed his arm around Sookie’s shoulders in a comforting gesture.
Jesus said, “I don’t think so. Like with a vampire bond, both parties must agree equally to be bound by fairy magic. It’s the same kind of safeguard. Both types of bonds are very different from the kind of tie you had with Bill, which was one-sided and which was able to influence you to some extent.”
Jesus continued, “If a vampire repeats a bond―not a tie―three times, the relationship equalizes completely, with the human also being able to feel the location and emotions of the vampire. Both can send their bond-mates feelings and emotions, like comfort, but neither can control or manipulate the other. Thus, I don’t think a vampire bond or a fairy bond could actually cause love to occur. If love weren’t already present, the bond couldn’t have formed in the first place.”
Sookie looked relieved.
“Your fairy magic, I think, worked to strengthen the vampire blood bond somehow. Or maybe the vampire blood strengthened the fairy bond. Since there may have never been a bond between fairy and vampire before, I don’t know what else it may do. I did read about what happens when two fairies share this kind of magical bond. Basically, they become mates for life, and they are able to share and combine their magics to protect their bond. A true fairy bond like this is uncommon, however, because fairies are not, by nature, monogamous.”
Sookie sighed, not really knowing what to think.
Lafayette tightened his grip on Sookie and hugged her to him, finally speaking. “Listen here, bitch. You’s just been told that you has a kind of magic that can make you equal to a big, bad, motha’ fuckin’ vampire. And you’s been told that none of this magic binding shit even works unless everyone in the process agrees, so what’s the big issue here? You’s loves his ass, and he loves yo’ ass. When y’all up and exchanged blood―which by the way is fucked up, you know―both of you’s magics gots busy together making sweet love. That’s kinda romantic, don’t ya’ think?”
Sookie laughed, loving Lafayette more than ever before. “Yeah, it actually is kind of nice,” she agreed. “I just hope he thinks so.”
“He will, Sook,” Jesus said confidently.
“You bet yo’ sweet ass he will!” Lafayette added.