Ethereal Redemption Chapter 24

It cannot wait, I’m yours, well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you’re free, look into your heart and you’ll find that the sky is yours
So please don’t, please don’t, please don’t, there’s no need to complicate ’cause our time is short
This oh, this oh, this is our fate
I’m yours
~ I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

I processed everything I had just learnt in the past ten minutes while watching my love eat her meal. My love could wiggle her way into my dreams and the dreams of countless other vampires simply by pushing against our voids and then pushing a question our way. While a useful gift, it unsettled me somewhat, I didn’t wish for my love to once again be faced with another of my horrible memories. Of course, nothing would compare to the slaughter of my family. However, there were other violent and bloody moments from my past that wouldn’t sit well with her delicate sensibilities.

It was apparent that this particular gift was easy for Sookie to use, if not a little emotionally taxing. Were her other gifts just as easy to use? I would need to speak with Ata on the quiet regarding Sookie’s training and her gifts. My train of thought wandered to Sookie’s comment regarding Ata’s feelings. No one would ever replace my mother, of that I was certain, but the woman obviously cared deeply for my Maker and was already related to my twice bonded. Technically she already was family. Pushing the thought away, for now, I returned to the moment, observing Sookie as she popped a piece of rabbit into her mouth, making small moans of appreciation as the rich flavours hit her tongue. It was truly a delight to watch her eat, knowing she was getting the nutrition she needed. Her moans were music to my ears. However, now was not the time to be hearing such a sound. Such sounds should only slip from her lips when she was pinned underneath me, gasping for breath and shouting out my name to her God. The thought caused me to stir, and my tailored pants became a little tighter.

As if sensing my discomfort, Sookie swallowed her mouthful before placing her fork down. “If watching me eat makes you uncomfortable then I’ll stop,” she offered in a small voice, nibbling on her lower lip.

I frowned at the notion, why on earth would I be uncomfortable with her feeding herself and maintaining her healthy figure? I told her that I was fine with it and her reply irritated me to no end. “Bill never liked watching me eat, he told me he couldn’t stand the smell,” she confessed.

Compton. Of course, he would have to make my lover feel bad about eating! It’s a miracle she hadn’t starved herself just to keep him happy. Containing my annoyance with the immature pompous dork, I gave my beloved a warm smile. “It doesn’t bother me at all, I like to see you eating and staying healthy. Your little noises of appreciation are just taking my overactive imagination for a spin, that’s all,” I assured her with a playful wink, to which my lover blushed. Ah, I loved that I could do that to her.

With a smug smile, I sat back in my chair, watching as Sookie finished the last of her meal. She took the napkin from her lap and delicately patted the sides of her lips to remove any residual food even though I could tell there wasn’t any. I’d always loved women with manners and my little Southern belle had them down to a ‘T’. Seconds after her knife and fork touched the plate our server returned, taking the dish from us and placing down another menu for desserts. My love graciously thanked the server before turning her eyes back to me. Taking a sip of blood from the crystal flute, I attempted to quell my growing hunger, but of course, it was to no avail. There was nothing that could compare to Sookie’s sweet ambrosia.

“What happened after you worked on the dream infiltration, lover?” I returned to the main topic of conversation, curious to discover Sookie’s other talents.

“Well Ata told me a bit about my kind, we can generate and control large beams of light with our minds and this ability can be used to attack an enemy, heal another, topple large objects or help with someone’s emotions,” she started, clearly settling down for a long explanation. In all honesty, I was fascinated; I wanted to know everything I possibly could. It was common knowledge amongst vampires that faeries were particularly tricky bastards and very secretive by nature, so to be privy to some of their talents was what I guessed Christmas felt like for teacup humans.

“The ability has been described as “nature itself” and works on humans, the two-natured and yes, on vampires. It’s also been shown to break and reverse magic spells, which explains how I managed to heal you from your amnesia at the Festival of Tolerance. The light varies in colour, it’s gold if you wish to attack and harm, white if you wish to topple large objects, green if you wish to heal another, and red if you wish to help with another’s emotions,” she rattled off the list and I couldn’t stop myself from quirking an eyebrow. Of course, I was well aware of the gold light she spoke of, she’d used it to snap the handcuffs that I had used to keep Russell at my side when we had ventured into the sunlight in the Fangtasia parking lot, and of course the green light I had experienced at the Festival. The other two were unknown to me, and probably every other vampire on the earth.

“Ata taught me about the red light. Apparently, you can use this type of light to increase or decrease the emotions someone is feeling. She said it was useful if you find yourself needing information from someone who’s emotionally distraught. You can take the emotions influencing them away so they can think clearly. She said that the emotions don’t backfire on you; they just simply disappear so you don’t end up feeling how the other person does. Ata explained that you can retain those emotions if you wish, and give them back to the person in question after you have what you want, but that she often finds it the kinder thing to do to just get rid of the negative emotions altogether.” She paused to take a sip of her champagne and to open the new menu before her. Leaning over slightly, I noticed that it was the dessert page. For a moment, we lapsed into silence as my beloved pondered the menu until finally making her choice and shutting the book.

“She told me the red light could also be used to intensify emotions, and to find someone’s current emotions through their thoughts, then think of a radio dial and slowly turn it up. She used the example of the love I feel for you. She did say, however, that the intensifying of emotions is usually reserved for more private places such as the bedroom, and apparently, it can make sex even better,” her voice dropped to barely a whisper as she spoke, as if mentioning the fact that we made love on a nightly basis was such a sin. I couldn’t hold back my laughter: Here she was trying to act innocent when she’d had sex with me in the woods on a full moon, on her hallway floor, on the chair in her living room, on her bed, on an aeroplane and then in her cousin’s spare bedroom. Only my Sookie would try to pretend she was innocent after all that.

“Well. I say we test that out,” I suggested, waggling my eyebrows in her direction. My love flushed a shade darker and gave me a shy smile. I could see through it, though, she wanted to try it as much as I did: The waves of lust crashing through our bond were enough to confirm that for me. Our server returned and Sookie ordered something called the dark chocolate truffle cheesecake. Did they make a cake out of cheese these days? I kept my opinion of her selection to myself, not wanting to seem picky.

“I asked her if it was manipulation, because in all honesty that’s what it sounds like, and she told me it is and it isn’t. Yes, because it might not be something they want and no because I’m in fact helping them. I’d be easing their suffering and I must admit that I’m all for that. There have been cases where faeries use the gift in a dark manner, feeding people’s negative emotions back into them until the person becomes overwhelmed and kills him or herself.” My love shook her head, clearly upset with that idea.

“Not all faeries are sweet, Sookie,” I reminded her gently.

“I know. I’ve seen it,” she muttered more to herself than to me, however, her comment piqued my curiosity.

“Lover, you saw a piece of my past. I was wondering if you would please share with me what happened the year you were gone?” I ventured slowly, not wanting to spook her. Sookie was notorious for running away from things when she was worried. For a moment she was silent and it was as if I could see the cogs turning in her head as she tried to figure out what to say.

“It only felt like I was gone for ten, maybe fifteen minutes at the most. Time works differently there. After so rudely telling you and Bill to leave me alone I went to the cemetery and Claudine came for me. She told me to go with her: I didn’t know what to do with myself so I took her hand. When we arrived in the Fae Realm it was beautiful, we were on a large balcony that had big marble columns and these green trees, everyone was wearing pretty dresses and looked so beautiful. When we arrived, Claudine told me she was my godmother,” Sookie stopped as her dessert was placed before her.

“A faery godmother.” I snorted once our server was out of earshot; I was still not able to get over how hilarious it was. “Well she wasn’t particularly good at her job, you’re a trouble magnet,” I pointed out playfully as my lover picked up her fork and started to break off a piece of her dessert. I stole quick glances at this cheesecake thing and was relieved to find out it wasn’t actually a cake made of cheese but instead seemed to be made of some chocolate coloured cream cheese and broken biscuits.

“I told her that, and she pointed out that I was still alive and that I wasn’t exactly Miss Trouble Free,” she responded with a deeper scowl, popping a piece of the chocolate monstrosity on her plate into her mouth. I watched as she chewed, still making little moans of appreciation and I found myself struggling even more to contain myself. I found myself wondering what it would be like to take her on the table overlooking the whole of the Strip. I bet her naked body would look marvellous under all the different lights.Swallowing her mouthful, she suddenly smiled broadly. “Barry was there too! You remember him? The bellboy from the Hotel in Dallas?” She quizzed and for a moment I was silent. I’d never been good with names as that was more Pam’s special talent, that vault of hers.

Swallowing her mouthful, she suddenly smiled broadly. “Barry was there too! You remember him? The bellboy from the Hotel in Dallas?” She quizzed and for a moment I was silent. I’d never been good with names as that was more Pam’s special talent, that vault of hers.

Racking my brain quickly I soon realised whom she was going on about. The bellboy who’d been outside Compton’s room telling him about Sookie being trapped in the basement with Godric! “Ah yes, I remember now. He informed me that you were trapped in the basement at the Fellowship,” I replied, earning a light frown from my beloved.

“I told him to tell Bill, why did he tell you?” she enquired, popping another piece of her dessert into her mouth.

“He did tell Bill, but he told him through the door, and as my room was opposite yours I overheard the conversation and came for you and Godric,” I replied honestly, shrugging my shoulders as if it had been no big deal. Taking another sip of blood I waited for Sookie to finish her mouthful and continue.

“I was left alone to speak with Barry and this woman came over and offered us a Lumière, a light fruit. We both took one and Barry started to eat his but I couldn’t help but observe everyone else as they ate theirs. It was as if they couldn’t get enough of them and my gut was telling me not to eat one. As I was looking across the crowd I saw my…” she trailed off and sadness coupled with hurt flooded our bond.

Quickly I was up off my chair, abandoning my meal and crossing to my lover. Crouching down before her I cupped her face in my hands, turning her to face me. “What’s the matter, minn sváss?” I asked gently, running my thumbs along her cheekbones.

Placing her fork down I felt her battling with her emotions. Finally, she sighed in resignation. “I saw my Granddaddy Earl, he was eating one of the fruits. I went to him, and at first, he didn’t recognise me but then he seemed to remember. He told me he’d only been there a few hours. He looked exactly like I remembered. He’d been gone for twenty years, Eric. He swore blind he’d only seen me the week before,” she told me quietly and I could see the tears gathering in her blue eyes.

“Shhh, minn sváss, no tears,” I ordered gently as she raised her hands to her eyes, brushing away the stray moisture. She composed herself after a moment and then nodded to inform me that she was okay. Rising back to my feet I took my seat once again, holding out my hand to her over the table, which she gratefully took.

“He asked me about Gran and I told him about her passing. I also had to tell him about my momma and daddy. He told me he must have lost track of time because everything there was so lovely.” She sighed.

“Suddenly, though, it was like a veil had been lifted, I heard this horrible noise and witnessed this ugly creature walking through everyone, the walls started to seep this green gunk and as a woman took another Lumière from a bowl I saw it rotting and covered in maggots. Everyone else seemed oblivious to it, though!” She explained further and I couldn’t help but lean forward. My beloved took another mouthful of her dessert, chewing and swallowing quickly so she could carry on with her story.

“I used my telepathy to tell him it was a trap and that we needed to leave but I hadn’t counted on every faery there hearing me.” She nibbled on her lower lip, and if my heart had been beating it would have been trying to burst out of my chest by then. “This woman came forward, she was pretty but a complete bitch. She told me there was no need to bow ‘as we’re all friends here’ and I told her I didn’t know who she was. She told me her name was Mab and that she sent for me. She asked me if I’d had the Lumière fruit and I told her I hadn’t. We had a quick disagreement similar to the one you and Bill had the night I came back and I threw the fruit to the ground. The moment it made contact it exploded into this green gunk like the stuff that I’d seen seeping out of the walls.” She continued.

She’d certainly piqued my curiosity and I found myself desperate to know more. The fae had always been the natural enemies of vampires so I found it highly amusing how I had fallen in love with one, as had my Maker. I could see, however, that my love had been frightened during her ordeal as a tinge of her fear ran through our bond. In a reassuring gesture, I ran my thumb over the back of her hand as she finished off her dessert, taking a sip of her champagne before continuing.

“I had this brief flash of what I can only assume is her real appearance. She had these horribly beady green eyes, a sunken face and razor sharp teeth that could probably rival your fangs.” She teased, leaning over to tap my lips playfully. In return I playfully went to nip her finger, earning me a sweet laugh from my beloved.

“She told me a vampire had managed to enter their realm because of me, she was referring to Bill. She said that your kind drove mine nearly to extinction and forced them into that other realm. I assured her it would never happen again given my lack of affection for Bill. I saw her true nature again in a brief flash and she told me they couldn’t have bearers of the fae on the human plain anymore and that it was time to harvest. They were harvesting people, Eric!” she exclaimed, clearly distressed. Pushing calm towards her through our bond I felt her settle slightly. “This Mab took a Lumière and two Fairies held me, they tried to force me to eat the fruit. I used my light on her and sent her flying backwards.” I couldn’t help but feel proud of my beloved, defending herself against Queen Mab. Of course, I had heard of the ruthless and cruel fae Queen before, but I had never had the chance to meet her, fortunately.

“Everything changed so suddenly, the beautiful balcony and marble columns disappeared and instead we were in this desert like location and all the beautiful fairies were really ugly. They had hooked noses, beady eyes and sharp teeth. Their hair was scraggly and they were dressed in nasty clothes.” She crinkled her nose, her displeasure causing me to smile. If Sookie hated the fae, then maybe she wouldn’t return to them and she’d stay here with me.

“They started to fire these light balls at me, which exploded on contact, and they chased Granddaddy and I. Two other fairies grabbed us and told us they could help us but I wasn’t going to fall for it so I struggled against them. The one holding me was hit with one of the light bombs and disintegrated. The other one led us to a cliff edge while his friends held Mab and the others off. He said we had to jump and I told him that I didn’t know who he was. He said his sister was Claudine and that he was helping me because the crown wished to seal off the faery world from the human realm forever. He asked if we’d eaten the light fruit and I told him I hadn’t but Granddaddy had. He said only I could go back.” I felt Sookie’s sadness and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Our server returned to our table and took the empty plate away before refilling both of our glasses. I felt angered that they tried to force my love to eat the fruit, to stay with them. If only there were a way for me to go there and rip them all apart one-by-one, starting with Mab.

Once again, the conversation started back up when she left. “Mab started to close the portal and I was so unsure about leaving Granddaddy behind. He jumped with me and we landed in the cemetery back in Bon Temps,” she revealed.

“You woke me,” I remembered.

“It was daytime,” She shot back as if I didn’t know.

“Yes, but you pulled me from my day rest with your return. I remember feeling the thrum of your life force return and it woke me. I haven’t been pulled from my day rest like that since the day I was turned,” I confessed as Sookie looked on in surprise.

“But I’d only had a little of your blood, and it’d have mostly worn off by then.” She frowned, deep in thought.

Chuckling at her naiveté, I shook my head, “I’m over 1000-years-old, lover. The magic in my blood that ties us to one another would take more than a year and a half to be fully out of your system,” I told her, waiting for the verbal onslaught I was no doubt going to get for that. If there was one thing my Sookie loved it was her independence and knowing I could still keep tabs on her after a year and a half would no doubt frustrate her.

“That’s why you came to see me that night, that’s how you knew I was home” she whispered to herself.

Nodding in confirmation, I gave her hand another gentle squeeze. “Partly, but I also visited your house every night to check on the work being done and….” I trailed off, not sure how much I should reveal.

“And?” Sookie pressed, looking at me with such determination. There was no way I was going to get out of this, and lying would not be useful. It was the only thing I could hate the bond for. Then again, lying to and manipulating Sookie would only end with disastrous results. Just look at Compton.

“I wanted to be close to you, your scent, your belongings,” I confessed, feeling at that moment exactly like I had when I had been without my memories – stripped bare and exposed.

I was hit with a vast amount of love pouring from the beautiful woman across the table from me, and I watched as her lips curved into a delicate smile. “Even then you loved me,” she stated as if it had been an impossible thing at the time.

“Yes, even then. It took me forgetting everything to finally realise and acknowledge it but yes, even then I loved you,” I confirmed for her, raising her hand to my lips to brush a kiss across her knuckles.

“What happened to your Grandfather?” I asked, fearing the response.

Immense sadness flooded the bond, and once again I was up on my feet, then crouching in front of my love as tears silently rolled down her cheeks. Capturing the droplets, I popped them into my mouth. It was probably wrong of me to want to know more, but my Sookie was carrying all that weight by herself. I wanted to carry it with her, ease her pain.“He died when he got me home. The light fruit stopped him from being able to survive in this world. I took him to Gran’s grave and he apologised for leaving us all behind. He told me Gran would give him what for in Heaven.” She gave a teary smile, obviously believing his words. After everything I’d witnessed in my 1000 years, it didn’t seem so silly and, I believed it right along with her. “He was glowing and pulsing and clearly in pain, he gave me his pocket watch and told me to give it to Jason, he told me he loved me and then…” she stopped, her head dropping down as more silent tears flowed down her cheeks. It didn’t take a genius to work out what had happened next.

“He died when he got me home. The light fruit stopped him from being able to survive in this world. I took him to Gran’s grave and he apologised for leaving us all behind. He told me Gran would give him what for in Heaven.” She gave a teary smile, obviously believing his words. After everything I’d witnessed in my 1000 years, it didn’t seem so silly and, I believed it right along with her. “He was glowing and pulsing and clearly in pain, he gave me his pocket watch and told me to give it to Jason, he told me he loved me and then…” she stopped, her head dropping down as more silent tears flowed down her cheeks. It didn’t take a genius to work out what had happened next.

Pulling my beloved into an embrace I held her while she allowed her pain to flow freely. It hurt me to see her so upset, but I would never allow her to know that. She needed to grieve. Unlike me, she wasn’t accustomed to containing her emotions. “Shhh, minn sváss,” I soothed once more, stroking the back of her head as her tears finally subsided. Not caring who was watching, I pulled back from the embrace, leaning in to lick away her tears. It was a strange act to be doing to Sookie, yet I didn’t feel the need to stop. Usually, a vampire only ever licked away the tears of their progeny or Maker, as a show of comfort.

“Then, of course, I got back to my house and found out some high-handed vampire had bought it and had it redecorated and repaired,” she teased lightly, poking my chest.

“What a horrible vampire,” I gave a shake of my head. My lover was about to reply to me when my phone buzzed inside my jacket. Sighing in frustration I pulled the offending item out to see who was bothering me.


I’m all done here, Master. Where are you staying? I will get the next flight there.

At least she had the common courtesy to address me formally. I still adored my Childe of course, but her behaviour at The Moon Goddess Emporium left something to be desired. Sending her a quick response I informed her that we were in Vegas and would send someone to collect her.

“Could you please ask your cousin to send one of her employees to pick up Pam from the airport in three hours?” I asked Sookie, slipping my phone back inside my jacket. I felt the apprehension in the bond and quickly took my love’s hands. “You are just as important to me as Pam is, I do not want you worried about her coming here. If I need to, I will command her to be kind to you,” I declared.

I knew immediately that was the wrong thing to say. “You can’t do that, Eric! She’s entitled to her own thoughts and feelings, if she doesn’t like me then she doesn’t like me. Sure, it would be nice to get along with her but I don’t blame her for her actions. You were about to meet the true death and abandon her so she created a distraction,” she protested.

“And risked your life in the process!” I argued back, keeping my voice to a hushed tone so as not to draw attention to us.

“I’m a waitress from a backwater town, I’m nothing special. You’re older, a vampire, and a Sheriff, that makes you more important,” she continued, jutting her chin out defiantly.

Reining in my growing frustration I took an unnecessary breath to calm myself. “You’re special to me, and that should have been enough of a reason,” I answered steadily. The moment Sookie’s eyes softened I knew I’d said the right thing. It was like walking on eggshells around this woman!

Seeing an opportunity, my little spitfire grabbed it. “Fine, but don’t be too hard on her okay?”

“Soo…“ I went to protest but was silenced by her lips on mine in a sweet and tender kiss.

“Please?” She batted her eyelashes at me after pulling away. Growling lowly I relented, letting her have her way. Her whole face lit up and she stroked my cheek affectionately. Returning to my seat a moment later, I sat as Sookie fell into silence, a look of concentration on her face. She was clearly communicating with her cousin and I was fascinated: I’d never seen her talk telepathically to someone before. She broke out into a smile and relayed that Ata would send two of her boys to meet Pam at the airport.

Satisfied, I gazed at my beloved before I spotted motion behind her and I looked over her shoulder. Grinning, I told her to turn around; the moment she did I heard her gasp. The Bellagio Hotel was currently having one of its famous water fountain shows, jets of water were dancing across the pool, waving in the breeze, rising and then falling, intermingling perfectly. The bright lights of Vegas could be seen behind it, and even I had to admit that it was a beautiful sight. Not as beautiful as my Sookie’s excited expression, however. For two minutes we sat in comfortable silence, watching as the water danced and played, wowing everyone who watched. Finally, though, the show came to an end and I could feel my love’s disappointment.

“The night is young, minn sváss. Shall we see what else Vegas has to offer?” I asked, summoning our server for the cheque. Pulling my wallet from the inside of my jacket the server shook her head.

“It’s quite alright Sir, Miss Caesar says that dinner is on her. I hope you enjoy the rest of your night!” She smiled broadly at us before disappearing to another table. Pleasantly surprised, I rose from my seat, holding my arm out for my lover as she too rose elegantly.

Feeling an odd sense of contentment and happiness, I spoke up. “Where to now, milady?”


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