“How is Godric’s dagger here?” Eric asked in confusion. “It was secured in my cubby at the cabin.”
Sookie couldn’t help her little smile as she realized that Eric had begun calling all of his subterranean resting places ‘cubbies.’
He felt her amusement and reacted to the mirth in her eyes with a kiss to her nose. He chuckled. “I thought ‘cubby’ would be a good word to use that Hunter would understand.”
She grinned. “Of course.”
He kissed her upturned lips. “So—how did you get Godric’s dagger here? No one knows where the cabin is—save you, me, and Pam. And only you and I know the code to the,” he paused.
“Cubby,” she supplied with a little smirk.
“Right,” he smirked back. “You haven’t been able to leave here.”
Sookie shook her head. “I thought it was Godric’s at first too, but look.” She continued to hold the dagger through its covering, but flipped it over.
Eric looked down at the small weapon. “The symbols on it are different,” he remarked.
She nodded. “I asked Niall to tell me what it meant, but he said that it was just an old Fae proverb about love. He was,” she paused, “being evasive by that point and didn’t give me the translation.”
Eric’s eyebrow rose.
She continued, “But then after the privacy spell was reinforced, I brought Claude in here and asked him what it said.”
Eric grinned. “Crafty little fairy-human.”
She returned his grin. “Claude confirmed that it was a Fae proverb, but he said it was incomplete.”
Again Eric’s eyebrow rose. “Incomplete?”
Sookie nodded. “Yep. This dagger says the first part of the proverb, ‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength . . . .’”
Eric’s expression softened, and he caressed her cheek tenderly. “The dagger speaks truth. Did Claude know the other part of the maxim?”
She nodded again. “The whole saying is, ‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’”
He gently stroked her neck and then placed a kiss onto her collarbone. “You think Godric’s dagger has the second part of the proverb on it?”
Sookie nodded. “I’m guessin’ it does, but Claude had never heard that this one was part of a pair. He only knew that it had been passed down to Niall by his parents, who both died long before Claude was born.”
“You said Niall was being evasive?” Eric asked.
She nodded. “After you and I talked about your visit here in my dream the other night, I asked Niall if he knew of a way to make our bond even stronger. His idea was to bind it with fairy magic, so he brought me this dagger. But when I told him that it looked just like Godric’s knife, he got quiet about it and completely shut down his mind.”
Eric looked at the dagger contemplatively.
Sookie asked, “Do you know how Godric got his ceremonial knife?”
Eric smirked at her. “You already have a theory, don’t you, min kära.”
She smiled. “I have the start of a theory, but I haven’t had much time to think about it because Niall gave this to me only a couple hours ago. Plus, since you were comin’ soon, I decided to wait for you.” She smiled, “I always do my best thinkin’ when we’re together—tag-team thinkin’.”
“I like that,” Eric chuckled. “We do think best as a ‘tag-team.” He leaned forward to put one of his long arms around her shoulder. The added contact between their fleshes caused them both to moan. “Of course, sometimes you make it impossible for me to think as well,” he growled.
She giggled and then gasped as he stroked the side of her breast, raising goose bumps in the wake of his fingers. “You too,” she whispered, half-ready to just table the dagger discussion for later and devour the man in front of her.
He chuckled at the look in her eyes and the lust that shot into the bond. “Soon, lover,” he rumbled, having to overcome the temptation of immediately burying himself in his wife. “Now—tell me your start of a theory.”
Sookie shook her head to clear it. “Well,” she began, unconsciously drawing a blanket over her body as cover as she sat up straighter.
Eric grinned and helped her wrap herself into the blanket. The affection between them radiated through the bond.
Sookie pulled the dagger from its cloth wrapping and held it directly in her hands. “Check this out.” Eric looked on in wonder as Sookie’s hands lit up with red light where she was touching the dagger’s handle.
After a few seconds, she put it back into its wrapping.
“Did Niall see that?”
Sookie nodded. “Yes―and trust me when I tell you that he was not able to hold in his surprise or his thoughts when he did.” She grinned impishly. “I picked up a flurry of thoughts from his head before he was able to shut his mind down again. And he didn’t even feel me in there.”
Eric returned her puckish grin even as his pride for her flooded the vampire bond. “What did you dig out of his head, my clever, beautiful, wonderful wife?”
She smiled, “He thought about how this dagger must have recognized its mate, and he thought about how he’d been right all along that she had taken it—despite what his father and mother had thought.” She paused as concern replaced her smile. “He hoped that we wouldn’t be killed because of it. And he thought about how she was finally going to get her revenge.” Sookie paused again. “By the time I tried to dig for who the ‘she’ was, he had closed his mind back down.”
“She is the A.P.?” Eric half-stated and half-asked.
“That’s what I’m thinkin’,” Sookie confirmed.
Eric nodded. “Godric’s dagger and this one are mates.”
“I think so,” she said.
“And this one has somehow recognized the magic of its mate inside of you?” Eric contemplated.
“I’d bet on it,” she said excitedly. “But I want to confirm it.”
Following her train of thought, Eric smiled. “In truth,” he said, “I have felt compelled to touch this dagger since I first saw it.”
“I felt that too.”
He reached down to pick up the dagger. It felt warm in his hands. He sighed deeply, “I definitely feel something.” As they both looked on, a dim red light formed in Eric’s hand, not as bright as it had been in Sookie’s hand, but darker, richer, and growing.
He closed his eyes and then replaced the dagger into its covering with another sigh.
When he opened his eyes again, Sookie saw a swirl of almost feral blue. “That was,” he paused, “powerful.”
She nodded. “Yes.”
It took almost a minute for the red light to disappear from his palm.
“This one seems to affect you more than me,” Sookie observed with awe. The light had been more intense in her palm, but it had disappeared immediately when she put the dagger down.
“Yes,” he agreed, still obviously feeling the power of the dagger’s magic. “I think so. Do you know anything else about this dagger?”
Sookie nodded. “Yes—right before Niall showed me the dagger, he said that the fairy magic within it would help to seal and strengthen our fairy bond, though he wasn’t sure how it might affect the vampire bond.”
“Then, he did not know about our use of the other dagger to complete our vampire bond?”
“No—I don’t see how he could have, and I didn’t tell him. But I’m pretty sure he’s figured it out by now.”
Eric nodded. “Did he tell you anything else?”
She smiled. “Yes—a lot actually. Since Niall is staying here, he asked Katherine,” she stopped mid-sentence. “You remember—she’s the fairy I told you about?”
Eric nodded in recognition. “Hadley’s friend.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Anyway, he asked Katherine to get this for him. And before she got here today, he told me the dagger’s story.”
“Before he saw you touch it and before he knew it looked like Godric’s?” Eric smiled.
“Uh-huh,” Sookie smiled back. “And his mind was more open to me then, so I’m sure he wasn’t tryin’ to hide anything from me—well, at least, he wasn’t hidin’ much. You know Niall.” She rolled her eyes.
Eric smirked. “God, I missed feeling your emotions when you are like this, min kära?”
“Like what?” Sookie asked saucily.
Eric replied huskily, “Right now, you feel triumphant, happy, proud, and inquisitive. In other words—sexy as hell.”
She giggled and dragged her hand down his chest. “You are insatiable.”
He smiled sincerely. “And you are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen.”
She sighed. “I love feeling your love for me again—your pride in me.” Her hand had—as if by its own accord—settled over the fairy bond in his chest.
“Tell me the story,” he said throatily. “I think I need to hear it before we use the dagger, and I won’t be able to stop myself from making love to you again for much longer.”
Sookie tried to suppress the heat rising between her thighs, but her husband’s smoldering look only deepened her thirst for him. She took in a deep, raspy breath and then started recounting the story Niall had told her. “Okay. So—before Katherine got here today, Niall had already told me that the object she was bringin’ was a dagger that contained a lot of magic in it. He knows that ceremonial daggers are used for vampire pledgings, and he figured you would like the symbolism of using one here too. Like I said, he didn’t have a clue about us using this one’s mate for our vampire bonding and our pledging.”
Having calmed his own libido for the moment, Eric nodded for her to go on.
“Anyway, he said that this particular dagger has a legend surrounding it, and that’s the story he told me. He said that this dagger was supposedly used to seal the marriage of a Sky Fae to a demon.”
“A Fire Fae,” Eric observed.
Sookie nodded. “Apparently, after the demons were forced out of this realm by the other fairies, none of the animosity between them was alleviated. If anything, they became even worse enemies—maybe even worse foes than vampires and fairies—according Niall. The demons have not lived in this realm for many millennia—four thousand years according to the time here. So demons and fairies have evolved separately, and there have been many wars fought between them throughout the years.”
Eric raised an eyebrow. “After you told me that demons were Fire Fae, Jesus began to look into the history between them and other fairies. He has found out about some of their wars. The number of demons was apparently cut in half during their last major battle, and about a third of the Water Fae were lost.”
Sookie sighed and shook her head sadly. “It seems so pointless to hate a whole group of people just because of what they are.”
He agreed, “Yes—ridiculous. But then, all prejudice is anchored on irrational fear.”
She sighed again and leaned into him. “The legend goes that the parents of the demon came here in good faith to work on a treaty. Their son―who was a relatively young man but extremely powerful in his own right―came with them, and he fell in love with the daughter of one of the sky fairies working on the treaty. The Sky Fae and the demon―without the knowledge or permission of their parents― married and then bonded with this knife, according to Niall. He said that it was the first recorded time when a Sky Fae had bonded with a demon. Heck, by then, most fairies denied that demons even shared a common ancestry with them.”
“The lovers ignored their differences and defied the hatred that would have kept them apart,” Eric observed quietly.
“Yeah,” Sookie said, as she tenderly stroked his chest. “That’s another reason why Niall thought of this dagger for us to use. He said that the legendary couple would allow no wedge to come between them.”
Eric smiled at that and locked his gaze into hers. “Absolutely no fucking wedge.”
Knowing Eric was referring to them now, Sookie smiled back and then continued. “Niall said that tragedy struck the pair when the demon was mortally wounded by the parents of his mate. In turn, the demon’s parents wanted to kill the fairy too, but―instead―they cursed her to endure a long life. They did not want to release her soul to go to the afterlife—to find her mate there.”
“To find peace,” Eric whispered as if discovering a truth that he’d been trying to figure out for a while.
Sookie nodded, “Yes. The demon survived his wounds from the fairy’s parents for a short time and escaped to go find his mate. However, even the magic of their shared bond was not enough to heal him. With his last act, the demon made his beloved promise to live out the length of her long life in happiness. He made her vow not to succumb to bitterness and to never lose the spark of defiance and fire that he saw within her—that had drawn him to her.”
Eric looked into Sookie’s eyes and sent adoration through their bond. “Defiance and fire, min kära?”
She giggled and popped his arm playfully. “Coincidence—huh.”
“There’s no such thing with you,” he smirked.
She grasped the little locket he’d made to hold the silver she’d taken from his body. And then she used it to pull him into a chaste kiss before continuing the story. “Using his gift of future-sight, the demon told his beloved—with his last breaths—that her soul would eventually be released to find his on the day when a love like theirs would be allowed to flourish and live in peace. The Sky Fae, aided by the one member of her family that had disapproved of her parents’ actions—her twin brother—hid herself away, according to the story.” Her voice became wistful and quiet. “And somewhere, she is still waiting for the world to prove itself and give acceptance to a pair lovers like her mate and herself. She is still waiting to rejoin her husband.”
Eric was silent for a moment as he thought over the tale. “This is similar to the story you told me about from Claude’s book. You think it is the same tale—don’t you?”
Sookie nodded. “I think so—the story of Artegal, the demon, and the fairy who was called Carlah. When I asked Niall about it, he just shrugged and said that stories—when written down—could lose some of their truth. He said that the dagger might have belonged to them though.”
Eric smiled. “Or daggers,” he said emphasizing the ‘s’.
“You think that both daggers forged the bond between the two lovers in the story—between Artegal and Carlah—don’t you?” Eric asked.
She nodded again. “That’s what I think. I’m positive that Godric’s is this one’s twin, and I think that the A.P. passed it along to him with a purpose in mind.”
He nodded in agreement. “She would have foreseen it coming to me.”
“I’d just bet she saw this one coming to us here too.”
Eric smiled. “When last I talked with her, she called this place ‘Faerie,’ using the exact pronunciation that I have heard Niall use.” His smile changed to a smirk. “I asked Jesus to do some research on that name and pronunciation. The word ‘Faerie’ is not contained in any book—no matter how old—not even in the books of the demons. This place is called the fairy realm or the fairy world in the books, never ‘Faerie.’”
A figurative light bulb came on over Sookie’s head. “You think that the A.P. is―or, uh, was—a fairy?”
A/N: The words from the daggers, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage,” are a quote from Lao Tzu that I have always admired. I think it applies to the Sookie and Eric in this story. And—who knows—maybe the elusive Lao Tzu was a fairy??? 😉