Making Heroes Finale

Finale: Home Again

“I knew you could do it,” Eric whispered to his Bonded Gatekeeper.

Sookie held his hand while they walked lazily back to the portal to the human realm.

“I didn’t,” she confessed. Eric raised his eyebrows at her show of self-doubt. He had not seen that side of her in nearly twenty years! “Before the memories fade, I need you to remember for me.”
“What, Dear One?”

“That I went up against something that could have easily killed me. I’m not invincible, Eric,” she whispered. “I was there as a murderer. I was the only one of us who could kill without remorse.”

Eric frowned, “You were there because you are a warrior, Sookie. You are not a murderer. You are the Gatekeeper, and the protector of the human realm. You do not kill humans. You kill threats to humanity. There is a very great difference.”

“What about Elfyria? Separation Sickness not being an excuse?” she urged his honesty.

Eric smiled at her fondly, “Sookie, Separation Sickness was very much an excuse. As for the deaths you brought under the influence of my bloodlust, they were all rapists and fiends. Claudine has told you that not a single guard you killed had not raped or abused her at some point during her incarceration. As for the Water Fae you dispatched, they were terrorists within this realm. They coerced and threatened Elfyria’s people to do their bidding. Not a single one of them in that hideout were innocents. Do you not see? It is not remorse you lack. You are not cold hearted. You are a woman who understands that threats must not be taken lightly. You are certain and final in your duties.”

“I delighted in killing André,” Sookie told him quietly.

Eric sighed and pulled Sookie tightly to his body, “Yes, you did. I have delighted in kills, too, My Bonded. I know that you are not perfect. I know that I am not perfect either, but more than that, I know that you are perfect for me. Is that enough?”

Sookie finally smiled, “Yes, it is.”

“What was Chronus like?” Eric asked curiously.

“Huge. Like a three story building!” Sookie told him with wide eyes. “Strong and… Wow, I can already feel my memories going foggy.”

“But he is dead?” Eric asked quickly.

“Very,” she assured, and then frowned. “Wow, I’m not used to losing memories like this… I can’t remember the other Sookies at all, despite having all their memories at one point. I don’t really like this.”

Her vampire kissed her crown before pulling her into his arms and flying them the rest of the way to the portal. Even after several trips, he greatly disliked teleporting with her.

When they were through the Gate and on their way home, Sookie leaned her head against Eric’s shoulder. She allowed her eyes to close wearily, and was not conscious by the time Eric had parked the car back in the garage and carried her to bed.

The vampire was in awe of his Bonded. She had destroyed a Titan! A direct descendent of a God! Never mind that she had help, His Sookie had still been instrumental to the unparalleled victory!

Familiar chimes tinkled in the distance, and a brief flash of light erupted beneath the crack between the door and the floor. Eric smiled at his son’s arrival and awaited his entrance into the bedroom. *Knock, knock*

Eric rolled his eyes, “Now you learn to knock?” he called after the door opened.

“Hi, Dad,” Lukas came and sat on the edge of his parents’ bed. “How is she doing?”

“Well. Tired, but well,” Eric assured. “I did not expect to see you so soon.”

Lukas shrugged and leaned in to kiss his mother’s cheek, “I’m just awestruck. I had to see her again.”

Eric smiled, “As am I. I knew she would succeed, but realizing what that success meant… It is humbling.”

“I’m grateful she won’t remember the power she wielded. She’d feel inept afterward,” Lukas chuckled.

“I believe she was humbled after the events as well. She asked me to remember for her,” Eric admitted.

“Remember what?” Lukas asked.

“That she is not invincible. To remind her that she needed much help to defeat a single opponent,” Eric explained. “How long will she sleep; do you think?”

“Probably a good, long while,” Lukas confessed. “The energy she unleashed was so intense, Oceanus and I could see it from the Door. Even though it was the Queen’s energy, Ma still had to control it. All of them will be exhausted for several days, even the Queen.”

“Thank you for believing in her. She has only ever wanted to know that you knew you could turn to her,” Eric whispered.

“I’ve always known that,” Lukas told him with a smile. “I’ve always known that about you, too, Dad.”

“Thank you, Lukas,” Eric felt his eyes rim with blood, and turned his gaze back to Sookie in an effort to hide his blossoming tears of parental joy.

“I can’t wait to see what you two get up to, now that I won’t be bothering you,” Lukas chuckled.

“Just remember to knock,” Eric teased.

Lukas laughed and nodded, “I could do that.”

“Are all the other Erics and Sookies as happy as we are?” Eric asked softly, stroking his wife’s hand tenderly.

“Oh yes,” Lukas nodded fervently. “If they were not, their minds would not have been able to cooperate as seamlessly as they did. I may have pulled the strings to gather the powers I needed for the ultimate contender against Chronus, but it’s always been you that made them heroes. The way you love her, protect her, and believe in her. You make her very strong, Dad.”

“I am glad that I make her happy in worlds where she was not the broken little girl I found in the street. I am happy that I am meant for her in more ways than that.”

“Dad,” Lukas whispered.

“But none of those Sookies are mine, and I am most grateful and overjoyed for that,” Looking up at his son, Eric gently admonished him, “You have work you should be doing.”

“Yes,” Lukas rose from the bed, leaned in, and gave his mother one, last, departing kiss on the forehead before leaving the room, and heading back to his Lookout.

“Eric,” Sookie murmured in her sleep.

“Yes, Dear One?” Eric asked quietly.

“Mac’n’cheese?” she requested softly.

“Mac and cheese,” he agreed with a smile. He kissed her lips gently and went to the kitchen to prepare the meal even he could not screw up.

As he set a pot on the stove to boil, Eric wondered what the future held. With no son to raise, and no ancient powers to defeat, what would become the new ‘normal’ for him and his Bonded? The possibilities were endless, the opportunities were vast, and yet, all he could dream of in his long, long future was lying in bed with his Bonded and kissing her for the remainder of eternity. All he could fathom was being wrapped up in her arms and warmth until the end of time.

Fin

Making Heroes Ch.10

Chapter Ten: Ancient Power

Sookie unconsciously touched the sword at her waist. ‘Whose body are we in? This is the Gatekeeper’s sword, but the Queen’s clothes, the Angel’s wings… Where’s the vampire?’ Trying to shake off her confusion, Sookie found herself laughing, “I’m about to face a Titan, and all I can wonder is whose underwear I have on right now.”

She laughed to herself some more as she strolled deeper into the shadows of the Void. The Erics of their four dimensions still had their strongest emotions ringing into her soul. Their souls.

Drawing her sword, Sookie let it hang loosely at her side while she walked and listened for sounds of movement. She could not see her hands in front of her face in the darkness. The soft, reassuring effulgence of the Door was long gone.

“How am I supposed to fight something I can’t see?” Sookie wondered aloud until she remembered her barrier aura emitted a soft light. Focusing her strength outward, a blue glow encased her and allowed her eyes to finally seek landmarks. The globe only illuminated the mists in front of her, but judging by the diameter of fog she could see, Sookie reasoned she had a fifteen-foot radius of sight, not much of a reaction time.

‘What if he just waits until I’ve wandered around until I’m too weak to fight?’ she asked herself. Perhaps a little goading was called for.

“Chronus!” Sookie called into the shadows. “Come out and face me!”

The silence was all that answered her, and Sookie frowned.

“Are you scared of one woman? A great Titan hiding in the darkness from a tiny blonde woman!?” she shouted, and did not miss the low rumble in the distance. Turning her body in that direction, Sookie smirked to herself and reached out with her telepathy. Eventually, a presence came within her range.

Though there was no thought, like a vampire, she could sense some awareness in the all-encompassing night. “I can sense you,” she taunted. “Do you really want me to have to seek you out? Why not come out and face death like a warrior!”

The roar that followed her insults only gave Sookie a brief moment to lunge away from the swooping arm. As Chronus came into view, Sookie found her body tilting back further and further. Her aura could not illuminate him entirely. His upper body remained shrouded in darkness. At nearly thirty feet tall, the Titan was a giant, and she, a dwarf.

“Seriously?” Sookie gaped in alarm when she found herself dodging another fist the size of an SUV. With vampire speed, she leapt onto that swinging arm and ran up its length until she saw the other arm coming to swat her like an annoying fly. Sookie jumped from the arm bridge, and flung out her sword, driving it into the Titan’s back and coasting downward in a cascade of blood.

“You little flea!” Chronus snarled angrily, and his hand reached to smack her away, effectively sending the woman crashing to the ground. Winded, Sookie only managed to roll out of the path of Chronus’ stomping foot. “I do not care how many women are in that body! None nor all are a match for me in the Void!”

“Listen, Buddy,” Sookie ground out after she escaped another squishing, “if you weren’t so hell bent on ending all the worlds, I wouldn’t be here right now annoying you to death!”

“Ending all worlds!” Chronus roared with laughter, sweeping his fingertips toward the ground at her. “They will exist! As my world of playthings! My dolls! My toys!”

“Oh. My. God!” Sookie flicked her sword at a bulging tendon in Chronus’ wrist and made him reel back momentarily. “I’ll get ya some Fischer Price toys! Can this be over now?”

He snatched her from the ground at last, and brought her to his face. It was a face Sookie wished she could have gone her entire life without having seen. Chronus looked very much like a man. A man with giant bloodshot eyes, skin so pale and thin that it looked delicate enough to pierce with her thumb. His face was very wide and rounded, with a mop of matted, black hair flopped thickly atop his head. “Insolent witch!” Chronus snapped as Sookie gaped at him.

“And angel, vampire, fairy, a little Goddess, too,” Sookie retorted, pushing her barrier aura outward and forcing his fingers open.
“How are you doing this!?” Chronus demanded when he found his grip loosened and Sookie tumbled thirty feet to the ground.

“Infinite power and an indestructible body,” Sookie grinned, using her teleportation to *POP* near his ear and send her sword deep into the canal. Chronus screamed in pain, plucked Sookie out of midair, and sent her sailing.

‘Admittedly,’ Sookie thought, ‘this all still hurts like a fucking bitch!’

“Indestructible or not, your body still needs nourishments to continue fighting,” Chronus mocked. “I can fight you for centuries. Nay, millennia and never grow weary!” he told her triumphantly.

Sookie lay on the ground, sent flying such a distance she could scarcely pick up Chronus’ presence. Her mind was being consumed with doubt. She had just stabbed him in the ear canal, and he had reacted as if it was nothing. How was she supposed to weaken him enough to use Fairy Light?

“What is wrong, Melting Pot!?” Chronus roared from their battle arena. “Where is that sure fire spirit!? Where is that over-inflated confidence!?” He was mocking victoriously. “Are you finally realizing you are no match for the Titan Chronus!?”

Curling onto her side, Sookie held her aching ribs, waiting for the pain to recede and the breaks to heal. Chronus was right. A direct descendent of a God was too powerful. Lukas’ faith in her was just as over-inflated as her own ego.

‘But if I fail….’

Sookie grimaced and crawled back to her knees before slowly rising to her feet. ‘If I fail….’

She thought of Lukas devoured by Chronus. Images of Leif, Beck, Astrid, and her unborn grandchild frozen for eternity as the figurines of the tyrant king, blazed red in Sookie’s mind. All of the unmet soulmates frozen without their true loves in their lives… And poor Garm and Fenrir lost forever without the woman who first loved them after so many millennia of contempt rained upon them.

‘Eric…’ Eric standing hopeful before the door, believing in her, trusting her to accomplish what no God or Goddess could. Brushed aside like a paper lantern while the Door was flung open and the mists of the Void encapsulated every dimension.

‘If I fail, we will never meet again,’ Sookie walked slowly back to the arena from which she had been thrown.

“That ego will be your death,” Chronus laughed at her.

“It is no longer ego,” Sookie told him. “It is determination. If I fail, then all is lost.”

“I would allow you to retreat,” Chronus replied amusedly. “I knew myself to be victorious before this battle even began, Little Girl.”

Sookie smiled grimly, “I cannot retreat. You would follow me to the Door if I ever found it again. This will be decided between you and me, even if I am unable to defeat you. I can hold you here for as long as it takes. Someday, maybe Lukas will find someone actually strong enough to defeat you. Until that time comes, I will remain, and I will keep you from throwing open the Door!”

The woman had not realized her body was beginning to glow with a new light while she made her declaration. Her mind had already resigned to centuries of unending battle, and could not fathom why the mighty Titan was leaning away from her.

“You cannot produce such light in this sacred place of darkness!” Chronus roared.

“With every spilled drop of my blood and every break in my bones, you will never meet the Door!” Sookie screamed as she erupted in a blinding pillar of light that could be seen clearly from the Door. Oceanus and Lukas held their breaths when they witnessed its startling glare.

Chronus roared in agony while the light flooded his darkness, casting the mists outward and burning him with its brilliance. The Titan fell to his knees as his skin blistered. His massive hands covered his eyes, and he shrieked at the burning of his flesh.

“Please!” Chronus screamed. “Mercy!”

“The Gatekeeper eliminates all threats to the realm she is sworn to protect! She will not stop until you are pile of ash! She will not hear your pleas!” Sookie told him harshly while she felt her body coil with another blinding flash. The intensity with which she radiated light shone like that of a new star. She could see for miles all around herself, and she focused that energy into a burning orb above her head. The new star shined blindingly above her, suspended directly above Chronus’ head. “That star will burn until you no longer exist, Chronus, whether that be minutes or centuries.” The mists around them fed the new star, making it beam and glow steadily without any more sacrificed energy.

“End me! For the love of the Goddesses and Gods! End me, Gatekeeper!” Chronus begged.

Retrieving her sword from where it had fallen, Sookie approached the Titan. “Relinquish your strengths, and I will take your head.”

Chronus bowed his head to the ground and shakily pulled his matted black hair from his nape, “Please, Gatekeeper, end my suffering!” he begged again.

Sookie strolled toward the pleading Titan, arms raised to deliver the death blow. As her arms swung, so did his, but some part of the woman’s brain had anticipated this moment. Sookie easily changed her saber’s course.

As Chronus’ arm came toward her, his arm severed at the wrist from the deadly blade’s intervention. He howled in pain, and clutched at the dismembered appendage.

“For that,” Sookie snarled, “you may lay there and burn slowly.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Sookie stood in silent vigil as Chronus’ body slowly sloughed away and crumbled to ash on the grounds of the Void. While a large portion of her brain screamed in mortification, begging to look away, Sookie kept her eyes trained on her opponent. She would not be taken by surprise.

Soon bone was visible, and the screams subsided. Eventually all that remained where Chronus had once knelt in defeat was a mountain of ash. Using her telekinesis, Sookie gathered the ash and summoned her star to follow her to the radiating green light in the distance.

“Mother!” Lukas cried when the glowing woman came into view. “You did it!”

Smiling, Sookie nodded, and deposited the ash before them, “This is all that remains of Chronus. I think you should shoot it into the Sun just to be safe.”

Laughing, Lukas nodded at her suggestion, “I will give it to Apollo. He will be sure Chronus remains saturated in light, although I do not believe even a Titan can recover from what you have done to him.”

“Are you able to extinguish that star?” Oceanus asked curiously.

“I could reabsorb it,” Sookie told her.

“I request that you do so. It is swallowing the Void’s mist. That is not good,” Oceanus explained.

Holding up her hand, Sookie smiled while the pair before her watched in fascination as the energy was reabsorbed slowly through her palm. When all that remained was a tender glow, Sookie handed it to Lukas. “A being like us is something that will never be seen again. Take this as a reminder of what you forged today. It is all the very best of me… Of us….” she told him before plucking one of her feathers. “May we separate and return home now, Son?”

Lukas smiled and nodded, “Yes, Ma. I will check up on you again soon. Thank you, all of you, for everything.”

“I wish us to be four beings once more!” Sookie called, and suddenly, four different versions of herself stood in a row.

None of them said a word to each other, only offered smiles as Oceanus tapped the Door with her Space Key and the threshold opened before them. No words were needed between four women who knew each other better than anyone else. Silently they walked through the Door, and returned to the worlds they loved to be wrapped in the proud embrace of their Bonded.

As Lukas watched them leave, he looked at the shining globe in his hand, and smiled. “Now, what to do with you?”

On To The Finale!

Making Heroes Ch.09

Chapter Nine: In This Hour

The Immortal Queen

“Your Majesty, are you ready to depart?” Janko asked sweetly of the Immortal Queen of Elfyria.

Sookie gave the Cervine an apologetic gesture to wait, and then looked at her eldest child in bemusement, “Leif, hold up the fort. Make sure your brother and sister are all manning their Gates on high alert. In my brief absence, Lord knows who will try to enter the human realm and be a nuisance.”

Her eldest son nodded with a roll of his eyes. “Don’t worry about it. Beck and Rhye are at the two Gates, and Fa, Etra, and Cree are popping from Gate to Gate making sure that the two of them have ample back-up.”

The queen nodded before turning to the beautiful Demon woman who was affectionately rubbing her growing belly. “Mary,” Sookie bowed her head to kiss the growing bulge of her first grandchild, “take care of this one while I’m gone.”

“Yes, Mamma,” Mary smiled sheepishly. Cupping the Demon’s cheek, Sookie gave an affectionate kiss to the younger woman’s crown. “Is everything going to be all right, Mamma?” she whispered worriedly at the continued nervous kisses being planted on her head.

“Yes, this task I’ve been given is just a little worrisome,” Sookie confessed as she pulled away, gave Mary’s belly one last, loving caress, and then took her husband’s hand. “We’re ready, Janko,” Sookie told the Cervine.

Janko nodded, leading the Queen and King of Elfyria to their carriage. Pan and herself loped alongside the vehicle as it bounced toward the deep woods. Dawn was threatening the horizon, and they knew in only a few, brief moments, it would either rise once more with all threats removed, or never alight the trees again.

“Calm, Dear One,” Eric whispered, stroking his wife’s ear, and causing her to tremble. He loved how stimulating her ears aroused his mate so effectively.

That is not the way to keep me calm,” she choked feverishly.
“No, but it does take your mind off the circumstances,” Eric teased, leaning in to give her cartilage a slow, firm caress of his tongue, making his wife moan. “I miss seeing you this dressed down,” he commented after making his wife pant in need. She was clad in jeans and a simple red t-shirt. She had on a pair of sneakers, and he thought she looked far younger dressed in such attire than her royal gowns or riding clothes.

“Do you think we’ll ever see each other again?” Sookie whispered, making Eric sigh.

“Yes, Dear One,” Eric told her assuredly. “You have overcome so much. You went from a simple barmaid to a Queen of an entire realm. Your magic has made all forms of Supernaturals take a knee in reverence to your power. You have taken bullets, and given birth to immortals! There is nothing you cannot do.”

“Still, I really don’t do the whole murdering people thing very well,” Sookie hissed.

“First, Chronus is not a person. He is a Titan, and hell bent on ending everything. Second, Endymion has already told you that another version of yourself will handle your hesitations,” Eric reminded.

Sookie nodded while the carriage began to slow, and she saw the large door to the Void of Time and Space growing larger and larger. Vilga, the leader of the Cervine, greeted the pair.

“Are we on time?” Sookie asked with hope.

Vilga gave her a small smile, “Yes, Your Majesty. You have arrived on time. Endymion is expecting you.”

Turning to her husband, Sookie waited expectantly for the life-affirming kiss he always offered before a big event. He did not disappoint. Sweeping Sookie into his arms, Eric’s mouth pressed tightly to hers, his tongue caressing against hers, his body pressing intimately to her own….

“I love you, My Sookie,” Eric murmured against her lips. “Go do what it is you do.”

“What is it I do?” Sookie whispered breathlessly, still partially bent backward in his embrace.

“Bring hope to life.”

The Queen of Elfyria smiled at her husband lovingly while she felt his Faith in her blossom inside of her heart. That Faith exploded, lighting her body up from the inside and building starlight behind her eyes.

Energized and confident, Sookie approached the large door of the Void. Raising her hand, her knuckles rapped thrice against the stone surface, and the door split marginally, admitting her entrance.
“Eric chose a good emotion,” Lukas’ voice was relieved.

Sookie smiled at The Voice and nodded, “He really did. When do the other Sookies arrive?”

“Shortly,” Lukas told her. “Your Majesty, this is Oceanus,” He gestured to a black Cervine rather unceremoniously.

“A pleasure to meet you,” Sookie nodded.

Oceanus’ golden eyes cast downward, “To have you here is my gravest moment, Your Majesty. It is evidence of my failure.”
“Never believe that, Oceanus,” Sookie told her soothingly. “We all need help sometimes.”

Lukas cleared his throat, “Oceanus and I cannot go with you to confront Chronus. We must remain here in a last effort to deter him from opening the Door.”

“I understand,” Sookie took a deep, calming breath.

“In a moment, the Door will be struck simultaneously in three dimensions. Opening the Door across multiple dimensions simultaneously is simple enough, but opening it enough to allow something other than magic to pass through is not so simple. You will feel as though you are going to be sucked through the Door. You must brace yourself for that.”

“Yes, Endymion,” Sookie nodded in understanding.

“When the Door opens, there will only be a moment before you are combined into a single form with three other versions of yourself. The Angel has been instructed to perform her task the moment the Door closes behind her. All of you have been instructed to think only of your Bonded as they walk through the Door.”

“Yes, Endymion,” the Queen whispered with a sharp nod.

At that moment, the sound of three knocks echoed thrice through the Void, then were swallowed by its endless depths.
“Concentrate, Sookie,” Endymion said when the Door began to open.

The Angel

“This is Elfyria?” Sookie whispered, clutching her Bonded’s hand. The sky overhead was gray and threatening with storms. The trees were naked without their leaves, and a distant mountain thundered with volcanic activity.

“It was,” a solemn voice replied, and Sookie looked stunned at two deer-like creatures before her. “We are here to escort you to the Door of Space and Time.”

“What are they?” Sookie whispered to Eric after he lifted her into his arms and flew through the grim woods in the creatures’ wake.

“Cervine, part deer, part humanoid,” Eric replied. “When they fight together, they can ward off hordes of vampires.”

“Jeez, why don’t we just throw them into the Void?” she joked.

“They are not descendants of Chronus,” Eric shrugged.
“Neither am I,” Sookie pointed out.

“Endymion said there was a way for you to survive in the Void. What are you supposed to wish for exactly?” he asked.
“He specifically told me to say, ‘I wish to make me one.’ I’m supposed to say that as soon as the Door closes behind me.”

“One with what?” Eric wondered aloud.

“I don’t know,” Sookie confessed. “Endymion is immune to my telepathy, and he said only descendants of Chronus retain memories from the Void. I guess he’s hoping I don’t have more knowledge than I should.”

Nodding with begrudging understanding, Eric slowed as the Cervine decreased their pace. Ahead of them, he could see the unmistakable entrance to the Void of Time and Space.

“You have arrived on time,” an older-looking Cervine nodded approvingly at the couple. “You will knock on my mark.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Sookie assured, standing before the door. Looking at her Bonded, Sookie gave him a bemused smile, “Tell me how I got wrapped up in all of this again?”

“Adairia vouched for Endymion,” Eric smirked. “Despite her metamorphosis, you still hold your grandmother’s opinion in the highest regard.”

“I guess that’s true,” Sookie mumbled, turning to face the Door. “Still, being told I’m needed to save not just my world, but all worlds, is very daunting. I’m nothing all that special. I feel like I’m just being asked to do this because of my powers.”

Eric nodded, “You are, but that does not make you any less important. Endymion needs your abilities specifically. I am sure there is a reason for that.”

“Knock!” the old Cervine commanded suddenly.

Sookie’s hand raised to the Door as she simultaneously unleashed her angelic wings. As her fist struck the barrier, she felt the Bond explode with Love for her. A smile tugged widely at her lips. Nothing was more important to an Angel of Love than the emotion her Bonded sent her in that moment.

The Guardian

“Come on Garm, Fenrir,” Sookie urged her hounds through the Gate to the land of the Fae. “Eric, this is spooky. Who would have thought there was a portal to a different realm down the hill from where I used to live!?”

Eric chuckled, “I knew of it.”
“Really? You never said anything,” Sookie pointed out.

“It never came up,” Eric replied amusedly, wrapping an arm around his Bonded’s waist as they began walking through the portal between realms. Garm and Fenrir walked on either side of the vampires, making Sookie giggle and think of them as her bodyguards.

As they emerged in Elfyria, Sookie grimaced, “Not really what I thought the world of fairies would look like,” she confessed at the bleak landscapes. “I was thinking purple skies and bright blue foliage, or something….”

Eric laughed while he hoisted Sookie atop Garm before leaping onto Fenrir. The two beasts tore off into the forest, their Masters’ guides to the Door of Time and Space.

“It was once very beautiful,” Eric told her sadly. “Unfortunately, Elfyria was war torn, and its magics became corrupted. When that happens, the Pantheon reabsorbs all magic and life from the realm until all that remains are the Cervine and the Door of Time and Space.”

“So they sterilize the realm?” Sookie gaped.

“Pretty much. Elfyria cannot be all good, nor all bad. I have told you that Elfyria is the source of all magic… Magic is neither all good, nor all evil. Therefore, Elfyria cannot be all good or all evil. If it is too far swayed from one direction or the other, then the Pantheon sterilizes it, and an Elfyria of another dimension supplies its magic to ones in need.”

“You are late!” an old Cervine chastised as the pair arrived at the Door and jumped from the backs of the giant hounds they had ridden. “Quick! To the door!” The creature ushered her. “On my call. Three, two, one, knock!”

As Sookie’s fist quickly raised to strike against the stone door, she felt the unwavering Confidence pour into her through Eric. She smiled back at him as her knuckles rapped thrice against the Door, and pursed her lips in a distant kiss. “See you soon, Darlin’,” she called as the Door began to open.

The Gatekeeper

Sookie stood poised in front of the Door of Time and Space. Eric’s hand was resting on her shoulder, rubbing it back and forth soothingly.

“Sorry I made us get here so early,” Sookie murmured after a moment.

“You are anxious to get in and help our son,” Eric chortled. “I wish I was going with you.”

“I do, too,” Sookie leaned her head against his hand briefly. She could feel the Bond filling with Admiration, and it made her spirit soar. “It’s almost time,” she realized as she understood what he was doing. “Why admiration?” she asked.

“Because for so long in the beginning you sought my approval. You soaked it up like a sponge. Now, standing before you, you are long past someone who needs my nod. You are a woman I have loved and admired for decades. Becoming the woman you are now? Accepting both your light and darkness, your strengths and weaknesses, and being at peace… There is nothing more worth my admiration than you, Sookie.”

“I love you, Darlin’,” Sookie told him, and leaned in for a brief kiss that was interrupted by the old Cervine’s command to knock on the Door.

As the door crept open, Sookie took a deep breath, visualizing Eric as she stepped through the door. With each step, she felt coldness seep into her bones. Her body felt as though it was being consumed by the mists swirling threateningly at her ankles.

With an unworldly tremble, she heard the door shut behind her, and then a very familiar voice shouted out into the din, “I WISH TO BE ONE!”

Suddenly the cold eased away, her body felt hot, and her shoulders ached with a pressure unlike anything she had ever known. Memories flooded her, to the point she thought her head would split, but beneath the memories, Sookie focused on her Bonded’s face. She held onto his admiration, love, faith and confidence. Using his face as her center in this storm, Sookie felt relief as the pressure in her back exploded into an alleviating breeze against her arms.

“I was right, it did work!” she heard her son’s voice, and looked up to see Lukas standing before her.

“You weren’t sure?” Sookie asked in annoyance, looking at her wings that seemed both familiar and foreign while they ghosted around her like ivory specters.

“I was prepared for failure,” Lukas answered. “If the fusion could not happen, or it did not give you the capacity to remain without being erased, we had enough time to separate you four and return you home.”

Sookie frowned, but eventually shrugged and said, “Well, at least there was a failsafe in place.”

Lukas nodded slowly, “I would never risk a single one of your lives. All of you are far too important to lose. Even if this did not work, I would have found a way to contain Chronus eventually. I just don’t know how much ‘eventually’ I have left.”

“Don’t worry, Lukas, we’re here now, and we’re here to do a job. Remember what I always told you?”

Lukas smiled, “It’s important to do your job how it’s s’pose to be done.”

“And you know I take pride in that,” Sookie told him firmly. “I can’t be going home without doing what I came here to do. How would I ever face your father?”

“Well, you wouldn’t necessarily remember you hadn’t completed your mission,” Lukas said thoughtfully. “Remember, those not of Chronus’ bloodline will not retain alterations from the Void.”

“What about me?” Sookie asked. “I mean, the Queen? I am a descendent of Chronus.”

Lukas shook his head, “The Immortal Queen shares my magical line, not the bloodline. That is what made me a little uncertain about this entire venture. It was why I needed a failsafe at all.”

“Right, right. You’re not incest,” Sookie retorted.
Smirking, Lukas beckoned Sookie to him and pointed into the darkness, “Head into the shadows. Chronus will find you when you get to his depth. More than likely he will try to capture you and use you for a bargaining chip. Fight him, defeat him, and then Oceanus will guide you back to the door safely with her Time Key. It will look like a green beacon in the mists. You will not be able to miss it.”

“Lukas, we won’t let you down,” Sookie told him reassuringly. “I’ve never felt so powerful. I feel like I could destroy worlds.”

“That is exactly the power you will need to defeat a Titan,” Lukas smiled at her. “I believe in you, Ma.”

Sookie smiled, and patted her son’s cheek before facing the darkness, her back to the door. She was not sure what she had expected when she had been told she would fuse with three other versions of herself, but it was not this smooth transition she had experienced. Her body felt right. Her strength of an Earth Fairy, her speed of a vampire, her unbreakable body of an Angel all felt natural. Her wings seemed familiar and comforting. The power in her felt reassuring and limitless.

Taking her first step into darkness, Sookie Northman was prepared for the trial ahead.

On To Chapter Ten!

Making Heroes Ch.08

Chapter Eight: In This Place

After six months, Sookie still found herself listening for her son’s voice calling for her. She would be pouring over her records for the Gate, and suddenly stop, her ears perked, listening for a voice calling out to her. Seventeen years of Lukas’ voice calling to her were like phantom pains. She still heard her son needing help or advice. She still yearned to guide him, even though he was long past any need for her counsel.

Eric looked up from his laptop to see his Bonded’s neck craned as she looked over her shoulder for the boy who would not come. Today was harder for her than most. It was Lukas’ birthday. Smiling sadly, he closed the top of his computer and dropped it on the sofa. She was still looking away from him as he came to the desk and placed his strong hands over hers. She looked up and returned his melancholy grin.

Even with the knowledge that Lukas was well and doing profound work, it could not ease a mother’s heart, never knowing when she would see her son’s face.

“Sookie?” Eric’s smile became more joyous, “let us go for a drive.”

“A drive?” she frowned, looking at the high noon sun. Despite that Eric could go into the sunlight, he rarely ventured off their property to enjoy it. People sighting him were too probable, and he did not often take chances.

“Yes,” he nodded. “One hour?”

Nodding, curiosity growing in her, Sookie looked back to her reports while Eric left the room to make preparations for their outing. When the hour was past, she stacked her books neatly and placed them in the fireproof safe recessed in the wall.

“Are you ready to go?” Eric asked when he poked his head into the study.

“Yes. Whenever you are, Darlin’,” Sookie agreed as she went to their room to slip on a pair of shoes. Eric took her hand and lead her to the garage. Smiling while the large door opened, he pulled out into the warm sunlight.

They drove for some time before Sookie felt a vague sense of nostalgia creeping inside of her. Something about the journey seemed distantly familiar, and it was not until she saw the marker for the Gardens of the American Rose that she realized where it was he was taking her.

“Eric,” she whispered breathlessly.

“Yes?” was all he replied, feeling her recognition.

“We haven’t been here since you proposed.”

“Yes,” he agreed with a laugh while he pulled onto the exit, and began traveling the access road to their destination. He could feel Sookie’s anticipation growing in the Bond, and he took her hand, bringing it to his lips to plant soft kisses along her knuckles.

When they arrived at the gardens, Eric came around to Sookie’s door, opened it, and took her hand to assist her out of the car. She beamed up at him as they made their way to the tourist booth, and Eric signed in for their private viewing time. He glamoured the woman at the desk and she nodded with a politely blank expression while they proceeded to the grounds.

“Wow,” Sookie whispered. “This place has changed a lot….”

“It has been over twenty years since we were last here,” Eric reminded. “There are all manner of new hybrid roses that have been created since then.”

Sookie pointed to the large arbors with their cascading blooms and pulled him in their direction, “That’s where you proposed to me!”

Eric nodded with a large smile splitting his lips, “Yes, I remember lifting you to smell them. When I pulled you back into my arms, you were so focused on your love for me that I knew it was the perfect time to ask you to marry me.”

“And nearly six years later, you finally got the second ring on my finger,” Sookie teased when they were once more beneath the cascading petals.

“I enjoyed those six years,” He lifted her high above his head, so she could bury her noise in the heady aroma.

“Mmm, they smell better than I remembered,” Sookie sighed as she felt herself being lowered back to the ground. When her feet were firmly on the earth once more, Sookie pressed her cheek into Eric’s chest and whispered, “You still smell the best, though.”

“If we relive this moment much more, I fear we may invoke a fairy to pop in and ruin everything,” Eric murmured against her crown.

Sookie laughed, “Yeah, well, this time I have a better handle on my telekinesis.”

“True,” Eric agreed. “Does that mean it is within reason to make love to my wife in the sunlight, on the very lawn I made love to her after she became my fiancée?”

Sookie’s reply was to take his hands and place them on the hem of her dress. With a pleased smile, Eric lifted the garment while Sookie’s hands rose above her head. Throwing the dress aside, Eric made quick work of removing her bra and panties.

Shivering, Sookie confessed, “November is chillier than May.”

“I will warm you up,” Eric assured her, grasping her bottom and pulling her in close before dropping to his knees and laying them on the grass. His mouth rained kisses along her jaw to her throat, and his hands squeezed her bottom until they glided up her torso to clutch gently at her breasts. “Warming up?” he asked playfully, giving her nipples alternating tugs.

Sookie’s reply was a moan while her hips arched up to push against his, “Get naked with me, Darlin’. Even in November, the sun feels good on my skin.”

Eric growled in agreement as he pulled away to yank off his shirt and begin taking off his boots. Sookie’s hands slowly began to undo his pants to hurry their afternoon tryst along, but unsurprisingly, Eric batted her fingers away. He always liked doing things his own speed, and Sookie would not have wanted it any other way.

“Twenty-six years with me, and still not an ounce of patience!” Eric teased when he was finally naked and layering himself over her. “I have half the mind to take this even slower!”

Sookie whimpered and arched beneath him, “Don’t you dare.”

His reply was to shove his pants down and swiftly enter his wife, earning a pleased moan.

“Oh, yes!” she cried, wrapping her arms and legs around his body, and holding Eric close as he thrust passionately against her. “See? Sometimes impatience has its rewards!” she moaned as his tempo increased and her arms released him to clutch at the soft grass beneath her.

“Being inside of you is always a reward,” Eric rumbled as he held onto her tightly and pushed himself deeply. “Knowing you, loving you, being yours… They are all rewards I never deserved!”

Sookie moaned louder at his impassioned claims. Her back arched to force him deeper inside. Her legs flexed against his rear to push that much harder. “I love you, I love you!” she chanted as he clutched savagely at her breast. His thumb plucked at her nipple roughly, earning another frenzied cry as her hips twisted in delight.

“I love you, My Sookie,” Eric growled, nipping at her throat while his hand drifted from her breast, down her belly, and to the pleasure point above where they were joined. As she climaxed, his pace slowed, and his hips lulled gently while she pulsed around him. “I want to savor and enjoy you over and over, Sookie, here in the sunlight you have given me.”

As her breathing calmed, Sookie wrapped herself around him once more, letting his cock stoke the flames of her passion anew. She climbed slower this time, enjoying his lips against her skin, and his hand caressing her body. When her next orgasm coiled inside of her, she let out a resounding sob as she heard him groan and felt him fill her with his ardor, joining him in bliss.

While the pair lay in the sun, upon the sloping greens of the gardens, the soft ringing of a nearby wind chime filled their ears. Both smiled contentedly at each other until a blinding flash stole their vision.

Eric snarled, looking for a threat, anticipating a fairy once again encroaching on their intimacy. What he found was his son standing above them, looking mischievously amused.

“You are over seven hundred years old, Lukas! Yet, you still manage to interrupt me while I am inside of your mother!” Eric growled at his son.

Lukas laughed and shook his head before looking away to allow them the privacy to redress. When they stood before him, his mother flushed in embarrassment and his father scowling in annoyance, Lukas chuckled again, “Let’s go for a walk,” he suggested.

Rolling his eyes, Eric took Sookie’s hand in his and followed his son through the gardens.

“I did not arrive at this time to be a nuisance,” Lukas told them.

“Well, you are succeeding at what you did not intend,” Eric snapped.

“Happy Birthday, Baby,” Sookie interrupted her husband’s grumbling to smile warmly at her son.

Lukas blinked before laughing, “I did not realize! Thank you, Ma!”

“You are a manipulator of time and space, yet you forgot your own birthday?” Eric raised his eyebrows in amusement.

“Ironic, yes,” Lukas nodded bemusedly. “Actually, I came here over a very serious matter.”

His parents stopped in their tracks, “Divine Intervention?” they asked in unison.

Lukas shook his head, “If only.”

“What is it, Baby? You know we’ll help you any way we can,” Sookie encouraged.

Lukas turned to his father, his expression solemn, “Dad, do you know of Chronus?”

Eric stared a moment at his son before slowly saying, “The Titan. He was the originator of the bloodline that protected the Door of Time and Space. Technically, he is your relative.”

Lukas nodded, “Yes. He is also the sire of Oceanus, the one who actually resides in the Void of Time and Space. She is the wielder of the Time Key that opens the door to any time, in any dimension.”

Eric nodded, “Oceanus’ mother also bore a tribe of Cervine who were sworn to guard the Door in Elfyria, particularly to protect Oceanus from those who would do her harm.”

Lukas waved his hand to stop Eric from continuing, “Oceanus is in danger.”

“Who breached the Cervine!?” Eric demanded frantically.

Shaking his head, Lukas told him, “No one. It is Chronus. When he tried to take the Time Key from Oceanus, he was banished by the Pantheon to the depths of the Void. He has wandered there for millennia, searching for the Door, intent on thrusting it open, and releasing its mists onto all dimensions.”

“What does that mean?” Sookie asked breathlessly.

“No one knows for sure. The Doors have never been opened all the way, but it is believed by releasing the mists of the Void, all dimensions would become frozen for eternity. Chronus would rule over land upon land of statues. The King of all, and without mortal will and spirit keeping the Pantheon in existence, they would disappear. Forgotten by time and man,” Lukas whispered. “The other possibility is just as grim. The obliteration of all past, present, and future. A complete reset, or completely erased. As you can guess, no one really wants to know.”

“What could we possibly do?” Eric asked, a frown drawing across his face. “Only descendants of Chronus may enter the Void without being erased. You are not our biological child. Obviously we are not part of your bloodline.”

Lukas licked his lips, “No, but… The Void may be entered very briefly by those not of Chronus’ lineage.”

“How briefly?” Eric asked sharply.

“Thirty seconds,” his son replied.

Eric rolled his eyes, “Your mother and I are great warriors, Lukas, but an entire army of us could not destroy a Titan in thirty seconds!”

“How, pray tell, does one destroy a Titan?” Sookie asked in bafflement. “Aren’t they descendants of Gods? Hell, we couldn’t even stop Endymion from taking you!”

Lukas ran his hand through his hair, “I am about to tell you something that…frankly, is not something I should be telling you.”

Eric’s ears perked, “What is it, Lukas?”

Taking a deep breath, their son whispered, “There is a dimension where mother is a descendent of Chronus.”

“What?” Eric reeled.

“How!?” Sookie yelped.

Lukas grimaced before mumbling, “I used your mother’s father as a vessel, and Selene fused with her mother. Your mother was conceived during our…union… So, technically, in that dimension, you are umm… My granddaughter?” Sookie’s eyes widened further and further during her son’s explanation. “Not biologically, of course, but on a magical level… Yeah….”

“Oh My God,” Sookie groaned, her face going red. “Lukas! How could you!? That’s wrong on so many levels!”

“I had to!” Lukas protested. “It was part of my duty in Divine Intervention. It wasn’t incest. I was with Selene!”

“Selene who!?” Sookie demanded angrily.

“The Goddess of the Moon, Dear One,” Eric explained. “She is the lover of all Endymions.”

“Great, my son’s part of a harem!” Sookie shouted, making her husband laugh.

“Ma, the point is, there is a you that can remain in the Void without being erased from time!” Lukas told her desperately.

“Fat lotta good that does us. I’d still disappear.”

Lukas was shaking his head again and his mother wanted to shake him. “In another dimension you have the ability to grant perfect wishes.”

“Am I a fucking genie, too!?” Sookie growled.

“You are an angel,” Lukas explained. “An angel’s feathers grant perfect wishes.”

Sookie took a long, slow breath, “Lukas, what is it you want me to do?”

“In the dimension where you are part of my magical line, your power is immense. I mean, way more powerful than you are now. You are infused with the divine magic of a Goddess. You are a powerhouse. In the dimension where you are an angel, you have Living Immortality. You literally cannot be killed. I want you to fuse your spirits into one, so you can fight Chronus. End him once and for all, the way none of us ever could,” Lukas finished in a whisper.

“If Angel me and Powerhouse me have all that going for them, what do you need actual me for?” Sookie asked, a confused crease burrowing into the middle of her forehead.

Her son bowed his head, “You are the only one of the four with a warrior’s spirit.”

“Four? You’ve only mentioned three,” Eric pointed out.

Lukas cleared his throat uncomfortably, “Yes, the fourth is more advantageous than necessary. She is vampire, so you will have the speed you need to go all out. Also, she is very… Levelheaded?”

“Are you saying I’m a loose cannon?” Sookie raised her eyebrows.

“Maybe too over-confident?” Lukas offered in consolation, making his father laugh and nod in agreement. “I grew up watching you come home from the Gate with wounds you would not have sustained if you hadn’t been so impulsive and cocksure.”

Sookie grumbled to herself, knowing he was right, but too proud to admit it.

“Will I be assisting in any way?” Eric asked.

“Passively,” Lukas told him apologetically. “You see, other than being the same person, the Sookies of all four dimensions have something else in common. They’re all Bonded to you. That is the catalyst I need for them to be able to cooperate in a single body. Also, I need you to escort Ma to the door. Well, the Cervine will actually escort you both, but I can’t have Ma going into Elfyria without you because of the extreme separation sickness you would both succumb to instantaneously.”

“What about when I enter the Void?” Sookie asked worriedly.

“Time stops on the outside,” Lukas assured. “Dad won’t be affected, and the yous will only feel whatever emotion he was offering once you entered the Void. Dad, that’s why it’s very important that you give out the strongest emotion you possibly can. Love, confidence… Something positive. It has to be powerful though, because that’s what Ma’s gonna be fueling on during her fight.”

Sookie took another deep, calming breath, “You still haven’t told me how we kill a Titan.”

“Each one is different. Chronus feeds on the darkness of the Void. Imprisoning him there was a double-edged sword. It was the only place he could be contained. Oceanus tricks him into going deeper into the Void when he gets too close to the Door, but being kept there has made him stronger than ever. The only way to destroy him is with a source of light.”

“Great, I’ll pack some matches,” Sookie grumbled.

“Sookie,” Eric looked at his wife excitedly, “Fairy Light!”

His wife groaned, “I’m still terrible at that, Eric.”

“But the Sookie from my magical line has amazingly powerful Fairy Light!” Lukas told her. “Only… like I said, she isn’t a warrior. She’d never be able to unleash that kind of power, and you’ll still have to physically weaken him in a head-on battle, but focus the energy, and destroy him.”

Sookie glanced at her watch, “Lukas, you’ve been talkin’ with us almost an hour. You can’t stay much longer.”

“I know, I know, but I need to know if you’ll do it.”

Sookie’s expression softened, “You’re my son, and you’re asking me for help. Of course, I’ll do it.”

Lukas sighed in relief and handed his mother a piece of paper, “This is the exact time and date you need to enter Elfyria. It has instructions on what you are supposed to do when you arrive at the Door. The Cervine will take you to it. Two of them will be waiting for you in Elfyria.”

“I’ll see you again soon, Baby,” Sookie pulled her son into a hug, kissing his cheek. “Consider this your birthday present for the next fifty years.”

Lukas pulled away, grinning, “Thanks, Ma.”

Eric enveloped his son in his own embrace and mumbled in his ear, “I feel like your mother is constantly kicking more ass than I am.”

On to Chapter Nine!

Making Heroes Ch.07

Chapter Seven: My Son, Endymion

“I couldn’t protect him!” Sookie wailed into her husband’s chest.

“Shh, Sookie,” Eric’s eyes leaked red droplets onto her crown. His heart felt as though it were breaking over and over. Not just for his Bonded’s despair, but for the loss of son. At some point, he had become a father, and not realized it. He ached and mourned their loss, but he could offer no words or feelings of comfort in His Sookie’s greatest moment of need. “I am so sorry I failed you, Sookie…”

“You didn’t,” she protested, clutching his shirt tighter. “We were both powerless! The Gods took him, Eric! They let that monster take our baby! I hate them! I HATE THEM!” she screamed toward the end, sobbing brokenly into his chest.

“Sookie,” he tried to calm the rage growing inside of her, “the Gods have just as little control over Fate as anyone else. That is why Divine Intervention exists.”

“I don’t care!” she told him as she hiccupped uncontrollably. “He could have told us sooner. When we first received Lukas! Endymion could have warned us!”

“Then…we might not have loved Lukas so deeply, Sookie,” Eric tried to explain. “We raised a boy into a man who understands and cherishes love. He will come back to us. When he has the power, he will come back.”

When?” Sookie sobbed desperately.

“Soon,” he assured.

“I want him back now!” she took deep, ragged breaths.

“I know, Sookie. So do I,” Eric whispered, smoothing her bloodstained hair.

All his wife could do was cry, but Eric felt an inner peace settling into his heart. When she had cried herself dry, Eric could explain about Divine Intervention. He could tell her things to sooth her ravaged soul. It was only now that the vampire was able to think through the earlier altercation and grasp some semblance of understanding.

Something has happened, he thought worriedly. Endymions did not randomly decide to reproduce. Carnal pleasures were something they only participated in with the Goddess Selene by way of inhabiting human vessels. For Endymion to have sired a child, he would have purposefully done so.

Endymions did not retire, their immortality was absolute. They were the strongest and most magically potent creatures in all of Supernatural history. There were only two things that could kill Endymion; one of which was just dark whispers of lore that spoke of two hounds who brought forth the devouring of an entire universe. Eric was not sure about that myth, but the one he did know to be true was that of the Titan Chronus.

The head of Endymion’s Bloodline and the Black Cervine, Oceanus.

As Eric’s thoughts wandered, and his hands continued to stroke Sookie’s back absentmindedly; he was too distracted to notice the strange sound of wind chimes. However, the brilliant flash of light filling his dwelling quickly caught his attention.
Eyes still filled with tears, Eric and Sookie both fell into defensive fighting stances at the invader.

“Hi, Ma. Hi, Dad,” Lukas smiled warily at his parents.

Sookie frowned, her body tightening. She could not hear the trespasser’s thoughts, but those beautiful blue eyes and almost brown hair were very much her son’s. His voice only had a fraction of his usual accent, and she felt her body tense further.

“I know you can’t hear me anymore,” Lukas whispered. “It was part of my training as Endymion,” he explained. Looking at the coffee table, he smiled when he saw his cell phone sitting there. Reaching for it, he quickly unlocked the phone and showed Sookie the graduation photo they had taken earlier that day. “I wanted you to feel like it was your graduation, too. I wanted to make you smile,” he told her pleadingly.

“Lukas!” Sookie shouted as she leapt over the table and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. “My baby! Are you okay? What did they do to you? How did you escape so quickly!? I’m so sorry I didn’t protect you! Forgive me!” she begged and sobbed into his chest.

“Ma, I didn’t escape,” Lukas chuckled. “I’m the new Endymion.”

“What happened to your voice?” Sookie demanded.

He laughed, pulling away to smooth her hair, “It’s a very long story, but I’ll make it simple. I can jump between dimensions and time. It may have only felt like hours since I was taken away, but for me… It’s been much longer.”

“It’s felt much longer than a few hours to me, too!” Sookie wailed as she pulled his face down to plant kisses against his cheeks and forehead.

“Seriously, Ma,” Lukas tried to explain. “It’s been almost seven hundred years for me.”
Sookie paused in her rain of kisses and pulled away, “You remembered your phone’s code after seven hundred years?”

“It’s your birthday. I’ll never forget that,” he laughed and pulled her in for another hug.

“How long do I get to keep you?” Sookie asked.

Lukas frowned, “Not long. I can only stay in a dimension for short times before things start getting screwy. If I need to stay for extended periods of time, I need to inhabit a vessel.”

“But-but-”

“Ma, it’s okay. I’m fine, and I promise to visit from time to time. But… I have a lot of responsibilities. Everyone’s counting on me. I only came back to this time to let you know I was safe and happy. I think about you a ton, and it’s really fun seeing you in some of the different dimensions.”

“I exist in different dimensions?” Sookie asked in surprise.

Lukas nodded with a mischievous grin that Sookie knew all too well, “Yup, Dad, too.”

Eric smiled at his son, but remained by the sofa. He had never shed a tear in front of Lukas his entire life, and the evidence of his earlier sorrow still dried in Sookie’s hair was too much. If he embraced his son, he would be unable to keep the tears at bay.

“Am I as much of a badass in the other dimensions?” Eric asked jokingly.

Lukas rolled his eyes, “More of a handful than a badass, but you keep Ma in line.”

Sookie’s jaw slung open, “Lukas!”

The Voice of the Pantheon shrugged, “What can I say, Ma? You’re a troublemaker, or trouble finds you a lot of the time.”

Scowling, Sookie crossed her arms over her chest, “So, short period? Is that a day? A week?”

“Only two hours, Ma,” Lukas smiled apologetically. “If I push it that far, though, I can’t return for a month in this dimension’s time. I can’t risk being locked out for that long, so I’ll only stay a few more minutes.”

His mother pouted at the limited time she had with him, but she slowly appreciated that she had him at all. Only minutes ago, she had thought he was gone forever.

“I will cherish every second, Baby,” Sookie told him, stroking his face.

“Me, too, Ma,” Lukas assured, holding her hand to his cheek.

“So,” Eric cleared his throat, feeling as though he was invading a private moment, “what have you been up to?”

Lukas shrugged, “A little bit of everything.”

Eric smiled, “Anything involving your mother or father?”

Lukas smiled back, giving nothing away, “Maybe here and there. After seven hundred years, I was bound to run into you guys at some point.”

“Lukas,” Sookie asked slowly, “are you able to take things with you wherever it is that you go?”

“A few things,” he told her. “Why?”

Sookie smiled and ran to the den. She grabbed a picture from the mantel, and came jogging back, “I want you to take this, so you remember us.”

Lukas gazed at the photo. It was from his first Christmas. Pam had taken the picture of the three of them sitting in front of the tree.

“I’m sorry my biological father took me away like he did,” Lukas whispered, still staring at the picture. “He figured it would be quicker to fight and defeat, rather than to explain and persuade you to let me leave.”

“Because he can only stay here for so long?” Eric asked.
Lukas shook his head, “No. He was going to die, and I needed to be… I needed to start my training before he died.”

Eric’s shoulders tensed, “What took him?”

Lukas looked up and frowned, “Two hell beasts. Garm and Fenrir. They were going to devour one of his dimensions, and he had already lost one to them. He couldn’t bear the pain of it again.”

“They are real?” Eric asked in surprise.

Lukas nodded, “Very.”

“Is there anything I can do to keep them from coming here?” Eric asked angrily.
Lukas laughed and shook his head, “Don’t worry, Dad. They’re taken care of now.”

“You destroyed them?” Eric sounded impressed.

“No,” his son laughed again. “I gave them to a woman who really needed someone to love and to love her back. They love her so much that they never want to leave her. So, they decided that as long as she exists, they want to stay with her.” Before Eric could point out that only bought them a few decades, Lukas told him, “She is vampire.”

“Impressive,” Eric nodded approvingly.

“What can I say? I’ve seen love do some pretty impressive things,” He gazed at his mother sadly.

Sookie gasped at the look her son gave her, “Lukas,” she whispered, “you can’t see the past, too, can you?” He nodded slowly. “You looked at mine, didn’t you?” her voice was barely audible, but he could hear her disappointment in him.

“I did,” he said in a hushed tone. “That’s why, when I left to come see you, I thought I’d bring you something.”

Frowning when her son stretched out his hands, Sookie tentatively took them in hers.

~ “Sookie! My sweet girl!” a woman with Sookie’s eyes laughed while she lifted a small blonde girl into the air. “My sweet, special girl!”

~ “I love you so much, Peaches,” a man whose hair was the exact shade as Sookie’s kissed her head over and over.


~ “You’re so clever, Dear,” an old woman crooned proudly while the little girl held up a picture she had fastened to a string so it would hang on her door. It was a crude drawing of her parents, grandmother, brother, and her.

~ “I’m thinkin’ of a number between one and ten-”

Four!” the girl chimed, making her brother laugh.

I’m thinkin’ of a color-”

Blue!” she giggled, her hands over her mouth. ~

Sookie stared up at her son in wonder, “They all really loved you, Ma. All that was before Brigant, Compton, and André stepped in, and ruined everything. They knew your gift was real. Their love for you was very, very real.”

A wide grin split his mother’s face, and Lukas enveloped her in a tight hug, “I love you, Ma,” he whispered into her ear. “I’ll come back again as soon as I can.”

Eric finally closed the distance between himself and his son. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around Sookie and Lukas, until the younger-looking man pulled away.
“It’s time that I left,” Lukas told them regretfully.

“We love you, Lukas,” Eric told him.

“We love you so much,” Sookie emphasized. “I’m so proud of you! Thank you! For the memories, and coming back to us as quickly as you could!”

“I love you, too,” he told them. “I’ll see you soon.”

With that, an arpeggio of chimes rang merrily, and a bright flash swallowed their son into oblivion.

“Are you all right, Sookie?” Eric asked softly.

“Yes and no,” she confessed. “I’m glad he’s okay, and happy, but I wish he was here always.”

“I know how you feel,” Eric agreed.

Taking a deep breath, Sookie looked to her Bonded and requested, “Tell me about Endymion? Now that I’m not fallin’ apart, I would really like to know what it is my son does.”

Smiling, Eric took Sookie’s hand and led her to their bedroom. He pulled her into his arms and began to speak quietly, “Endymion is the Voice of the Pantheon. Mostly we call him The Voice, or humans call him Divine Intervention. When the Gods or Goddesses need the world to move in a different direction, it is Endymion’s job to encourage that action without interfering in Free Will. It may be actions as simple as introducing two people or as complex as arranging a wide series of events to occur. Mostly, Endymion acts of his own accord, but he must obey the commands of the Gods and Goddesses when they have voted on an event unanimously.”

“So, he’s sort of like an architect? Buildin’ the world by carefully plannin’ events?” Sookie asked.

“Very much,” Eric agreed. “There are many dimensions, and many Endymions, but they all have specific dimensions they rule over. Mostly they are worlds very similar to each other with only moderate variations. However, some dimensions are more important than others. Ours would be important because it has a healthy Elfyria, which is the origin of all magic. One healthy Elfyria may sustain the magical needs of many, many different dimensions because the Door of Time and Space exists there, and the magic can be siphoned and exported.”

“How did I never know any of this?” Sookie asked, surprised.

Eric smiled and stroked her hair, “Because it is not something one would randomly consider. I only know this because I have been around a very long time.”

“Lukas is nearly as old as you,” Sookie whispered. “The next time he visits, he could be older than you!” she realized forlornly.

Eric nodded, “Yes, it is more than possible.”

“What if he forgets about me?” Sookie whispered sadly.

“Dear One, he has spent seven hundred years away from your side, and still remembers your birthday. A child never forgets his mother,” Eric assured her.

“That’s something I don’t quite get,” Sookie admitted. “How has he been away seven hundred years, but it’s only been a few hours for us? Is it like how Elfyria moves at a different speed?”

Eric shook his head, “No. Elfyria has a definite correlation in time with our realm. How Lukas experiences time is very different. He could be in his realm, watching the worlds unfold, awaiting instruction, or setting his own plans into motion. Then, he chooses a time and dimension to appear, performs his task, and returns to his own realm to see how it plays out.”

Sookie groaned, “That seems tedious.”

“It probably is,” Eric agreed. “However, Lukas can only interfere in an event once, and then he may never return to that event. Therefore, if he messes up, he cannot return to undo what he has done. He has to go either ahead or backward from that event to then try to change it.”

“Oh, Gosh, that’s very tedious!”

Eric laughed and nodded, “Yes. Nonetheless, that is why so much time passes for him. He must be very meticulous in his plans and decisions. Timing is crucial for him.” He pressed his forehead to her temple and whispered, “I feel your pride swelling.”

“I’m very proud of our son,” she smiled.

On To Chapter Eight!

Making Heroes Ch.06

Chapter Six: Blood

“Ma, you’re embarrassing me,” Lukas complained as his mother proudly snapped picture after picture of her son.

“You graduated high school!” Sookie protested, still snapping away with her phone. “Your father couldn’t come to commencement, and I want to make sure he gets to see everything!”

Rolling his eyes, Lukas told her, “It’s not a big deal. People graduate every year.” Sookie frowned and put her camera away, and Lukas heard her thinking about how she had never gone to school. “Ma,” Lukas stopped her, “let’s take one more picture.”

Taking off his graduation cap, he placed it on his mother’s head, and then held his own phone out to take a picture of him and Sookie. His mother beamed at him happily, giving her son a strong hug. “I’m so proud of you, Lukas.”

“Thanks, Ma,” He smiled, happy that he could bring a smile to her face.

On their drive home, Sookie could not resist the proud glances she gave her son. Her face was cracked into a wide grin all the way to the house. However, when she pulled into the driveway, her grin faded as a strange aura enveloped her.

“Lukas! Stay in the car!” Sookie told her son as she threw the vehicle into park and jumped out the door. Standing on her lawn was a young man, not much older than her son. “Who are you?” Sookie demanded, quickly realizing she could not hear the intruder’s thoughts.

“Sookie!” Eric came storming out of the front door, and she saw him fumble as he, too, was encased in the unnerving atmosphere. He looked about quickly, finding his wife, and then looking at their unwelcome guest. “Endymion,” he whispered.

“Who?” Sookie demanded.

“Sookie,” Eric ran to his wife, “that is Endymion, the Voice of the Pantheon.”

“What does that mean?” Sookie whispered worriedly.

“He is the embodiment of Divine Intervention,” Eric explained quickly.

“You have a boy in your care,” Endymion declared. His dark, brown curls hung loosely around his chin, his blue eyes sharp as glacial ice. “I have come to retrieve him.”

“The hell you are!” Sookie snarled. She heard the car door opening, and she thrust out with her telekinesis to slam the door shut once more. “You stay away from my son!”

“I could say the same thing,” Endymion claimed. “The boy is mine and I am taking him home.”

“Seventeen years too late, Endymion,” Sookie told him irately. “He is my son, and you are not taking him anywhere!”

“You cannot stop Divine Intervention,” Endymion told her intolerantly.

“And you cannot overrule free will!” Eric snapped, finally finding it in him to join the fight. “It is our son’s choice to go with you.”

“Not in this instance. He is a direct descendent of my bloodline. As his blood father, I may take him at my will,” Endymion stated. “Free will has no power here.”

“Over my dead body,” Sookie growled, and reached into her purse for her sword. As it came forth, it grew to its full length, and the Gatekeeper wielded it menacingly. “Just try and take him, and I’ll take your head!”

“Sookie!” Eric tried to pull her back, but Endymion was already charging for the car.

His wife swung with lightning speed, and gasped when the Voice merely deflected the cut with his bare forearm. The strength with which he deflected the blow sent Sookie stumbling backward, so she pushed out with her telekinesis once more, intent on blowing Endymion apart.

“Fairy weapons and witch magic are nothing!” Endymion roared, flinging his arms outward and dispelling her magic, sending Sookie sailing into the front of the house, through a window.

Frozen by the knowledge that there was nothing he could do to stop the Voice, Eric’s body finally snapped into action when his wife screamed, “STOP HIM!” Paternal instinct outweighed common sense. Love for his son erased any preconceived notion that Endymion was invincible.

Snarling under his breath, Eric lunged for Endymion, only to be thrown into the stone fence, causing it to crumble.
“Vampire strength? You know better than that, Northman!” Endymion sneered while he was now reaching for the door.

“YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM!” Sookie screamed and she propelled herself from the window, wielding her sword once more. Endymion turned, and Sookie was suddenly suspended. She found her arms twisting inward against her will, the point of her saber pressed into her chest. She was frozen in midair, her chest blossoming with blood, a warning to pull away.

“Retreat now or impale your heart,” Endymion told her in a firm, low voice.

“Never-”

“I’LL GO!” Lukas cried, pushing open his door. “Take me! Don’t hurt them!”

“Lukas!” Eric cried, attempting one last rush, and finding himself caught at the neck by his worst enemy.

“No, stop!” Lukas pleaded. “I’ll go with him! Don’t die! I’ll go, Endymion! Please, I’ll be the new Voice like you want. Just don’t hurt them!”

“Place your hand on my shoulder, Boy,” Endymion commanded.

“And then you’ll let them go?” Lukas asked desperately.

“And then we will disappear, and all that has happened will be undone,” Endymion assured.

Sniffling, Lukas reached out and placed his hand on Endymion’s shoulder. He looked to his parents beseechingly while he yelled, “It’s not your fault!”

“NO!” his parents cried in unison, but it was a fading, desperate plea, one that echoed in his ears long after they had vanished from Lukas’ sight.

The next thing Lukas saw was a graveyard, and soon, a swirling mist his mother had only ever shown him, once, when he was thirteen-years-old. “That’s Elfyria,” Lukas whispered, “but you didn’t raise any Empyrodite to open it?”
“Divine Intervention does not need Empyrodite to open the Gate,” Endymion explained shortly.

He practically dragged the young man through the Gate, and Lukas did not have time to marvel the beauty and foliage of Elfyria as he was soon teleported into a deep, dark forest. Before him was a wall that became a massive, double door, and several creatures he could not have imagined stood nearby, gazing at him dispassionately, humanoid fawn with furry, caramel hides, and long, narrow faces.

“The Cervine clan,” Endymion told him while he knocked on the large, imposing door that seemed to go nowhere. “Their duty is to protect this Door to Time and Space, and make certain the unworthy never enter.”

Slowly, the door creaked open. Despite its sheer size, taller than his parents’ house and just as wide, the door only opened far enough for them to squeeze through before echoing closed once more. A cold, dark mist swirled at Lukas’ feet, and the young man could hear a sound far into the shadows, the sound of an angry battle cry. Lukas cringed from the noise.

“The Titan Chronus dwells in this sacred space,” Endymion told him, his eyes harsh and uncompromising, “banished to its darkness and oblivion for manipulating Time and Space for his own enjoyment.”

Lukas looked up in confusion as Endymion nodded to a creature that looked identical to the Cervine, except her coat was an inky black. He had seen such a creature… In a dream… Long ago.

“Oceanus,” Endymion nodded. “To my Lookout.”

Oceanus raised a long staff in the shape of a key and tapped it against the closed door through which they had just entered. When it inched open once more, Lukas did not know where he was. The Cervine were there, but the world itself seemed bleak, nothing like the Elfyria from where they had entered the Door.

Before Lukas could figure out where he was, Endymion teleported them again, and they were in a world where everything was white, the floors, the buildings, even the sky. It was as if he was standing in the middle of a cloud.

“This is where I leave you, Boy,” Endymion told him.

“But-”

“You will learn quickly. Your guide will train you,” Endymion told him.

“Where are you going?”

To die, Endymion thought, but he said nothing as he vanished for the final time.

“Endymion?” a sweet voice called.

“Uh, Lukas,” the young man introduced, turning to find a young, beautiful woman standing before him. Her hair was waist length and blonde. Her eyes were a luminescent blue, and her ears pointed toward her crown. Large, white wings framed her slight body, and she seemed like a warm, beautiful angel, “A-are you the guide?”

“Yes,” She smiled sadly. “I will be the one who takes you to the Chamber of Worlds. It is how all new Endymions discover the origins of all things. It is where you will learn about all the worlds you govern, where their timelines currently lie, what event horizons are destined to befall them, and how to take action when needed.”

“Will I ever see my mom and dad again?” he asked sadly.

“Not for a very long time, Endymion, but your father gave you a very precious gift,” the woman offered. “He brought you to be trained in a dimension apart from your home world. That means, when you are allowed to return, you can do so without much time having elapsed for your parents. You will be able to comfort them and let them know that you are well and happy.”

“Will I be happy?” Lukas asked sadly.

“Oh, yes, Endymion!” she assured. “You will know a love like no other! Every living and unliving creature will be child to you! Their pain is yours, their success is yours… You will take pride in all that they achieve!”

“I want my ma,” Lukas whispered.

“I know, sweet boy,” she soothed.

“I wish my dad was here, too,” he went on.

“Your father tried to give you as much time with them as he could, Endymion,” she told him. “However, another of his dimensions is about to be devoured by the Beasts of Despair.”

“Garm and Fenrir?” Lukas asked, having heard those names in Endymion’s head while they had traveled to the Door. The woman nodded. “What are you?”

“I am an Angel,” she told him sweetly.

“What do I call you?”

Smiling sweetly, she answered, “Adairia.”

On To Chapter Seven!

Making Heroes Ch.05

Chapter Five: My Mom and Dad

“Daddy, will you show me to fly?” Lukas came to where Eric lay on the living room floor with Sookie. They had been crawling and scrambling across the carpet all morning after breakfast, entertaining the exuberant toddler, and it seemed their games were not yet over. Grinning, the vampire took the boy’s wrists, put his feet against his belly, and leg-pressed him into the air. Lukas giggled and spread his arms out wide. “I’m flyin’, Daddy! Just like you!”

“Yes, and you have very good form!” Eric laughed, bending his knees slightly, and making ‘whoosh’ noises. “Does this flight come with a meal?” he asked, knowing it was close to the time Lukas ate his lunch. “Oh, Stewardess!” he called his wife, making Sookie giggle and come bustling over on her knees. “What are our meal choices?” Lukas giggled at his parents’ game, especially when his daddy simulated turbulence.

“Today’s flight has mac’n’cheese or hot dogs!” Sookie told her son, pretending to hold a pad of paper and pen for his order.

“Mac’n’cheese WITH hotdobs!” Lukas shouted excitedly.

With hotdogs! Oh, you’re a hungry airplane!” Sookie kissed at his cheek, making Lukas squeal and then pucker his lips to give her his own baby kisses. “I love workin’ for this airline. Lukas kisses are the best!” Lukas beamed at his beautiful mommy and gave her another kiss.

Sometimes Lukas remembered another mommy. Other mommy looked a lot like his real mommy, but she was always asleep and never smiled. Real mommy smiled lots and lots, and she never slept. Real mommy was always there when he woke up. Real mommy gave him kisses and never ignored him.

“Fly safe ’til mommy gets back with lunch, Little Airplane,” Sookie rose to her feet, feeling her eyes sprig with tears from Lukas’ thoughts. After she stood where her son balanced on Eric’s feet, she kissed Lukas’ head. “Blue bowl or green bowl?”

“Blue ball!” Lukas chimed.

“Bowl.”

“Bull.”

“Bowl.”

“Bell!”

“Now you’re just bein’ a smarty pants,” Sookie stuck her tongue out at the little boy. Lukas laughed as his mommy went to the kitchen to make him lunch.

{†}

“~You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please, don’t take my sunshine away. ~

The song murmured sweetly, over and over, while a warm hand smoothed fine, wheat curls.

“Do I have to go back to school, Mommy?” Lukas whispered into Sookie’s breast. His classmates made fun of Mommy and Daddy. They called mommy a ‘Fanger’. They called daddy things like ‘tick’ and ‘flea’.
“Yeah, baby, you do,” Sookie told him softly, despite her own despair at what her son’s classmates had been hearing from their parents. There was no way a kindergartener should know any of those words in association with her and Eric without an adult having put them there.

“I hate all of them!” Lukas told her angrily.

“Why, baby?” Sookie asked patiently.

“The kids are all mean!”

“Are they mean here,” she pointed to his head, “or here?” she pointed to his heart.

“Here,” Lukas pointed at his head.

“You can’t be angry for the things people think, Lukas,” she told him softly. “You have to give people a chance to do and say what’s right. Mommy thinks some pretty mean things sometimes, and you don’t hate me, do you?”

“But you don’t think mean things about me or daddy,” Lukas protested.

“That’s because you’re my precious men!” Sookie laughed.

“They don’t like us. I hate them,” Lukas asserted.

“Hate is a really strong word, Lukas,” Sookie told him. “You won’t like everyone you meet, but that’s not a reason to hate. Let’s not use that word, okay?”

“What about when you make me eat cauliflower? Can I say I hate that?” Lukas asked.

“I don’t like cauliflower either. We can hate that one together,” Sookie teased.

“Does that mean you won’t make me eat it anymore?” Lukas asked with hope.

“No. Sometimes we have to do things we hate, Baby.”

{†}

Sookie sat with her face cupped in her hands in an uncomfortable, plastic chair. She listened with great intent to the conversation going on behind closed doors while her husband sat broodingly beside her.

Does Eric ever bite your mother, Lukas?” the CPS agent, Marcus Tennen, asked calmly, his hand poised with a pen over a legal pad.

Lukas shook his head slowly, confused by the question, “No. Daddy kisses Mommy lots and lots, but I never seen him bite her….”

Has he ever hit your mommy?” the agent continued.

He spanked her bottom once,” Lukas replied thoughtfully, “but she laughed and gave him a kiss.”

Tennen nodded and continued to write on his evaluation, “Has he ever hit you?”

Lukas shook his head again, growing upset at the questions. ‘Why would Daddy ever hit Mommy or me?’ he wondered angrily. “No,” his little voice was sharp.

Does he yell at you or Mommy?”

No,” Lukas frowned harder. “I don’t like these questions. Mommy said you’d just ask about how Daddy treats us!”

I am, Lukas,” Tennen assured him gently.

No, you’re not!” Lukas protested. “You’re saying my Daddy’s a bad daddy! You think he’s mean because he has sharp teeth!”

Has he shown you his teeth, Lukas?”

Yeah,” Lukas nodded.

When?”

When I asked to see them!”

Why did you want to see them?”

Lukas let out a huff, “Because a teacher called Mommy a ‘Fanger’, and I wanted to know why.”

The agent paused in his notes and looked at Lukas for the first time in several minutes, “And what did your parents tell you when you asked what that meant?”

Lukas’ anger subsided as he was filled with sadness, “Mommy got sad. She pulled me in her lap and told me that ‘Fanger’ was a rude word for people who loved vampires. She said that people who don’t understand others use mean words to hurt those people’s feelings.”

Tennen smiled sympathetically at the boy’s words, “When did your teacher say that mean word?” he asked gently.

Last week,” Lukas whispered. “It hurt my feelings, too. I love my Daddy, and that means I’m a ‘Fanger’.”

The agent chuckled, “No, Lukas, you and your Mommy aren’t ‘Fangers’. You are a family. I’m so sorry I had to bring you and your parents down here. I can see that your Mommy and Daddy love each other and you very, very much.”

Why did we have to come down here?” Lukas asked quietly.

Sighing, the CPS official stepped from behind his desk and came to sit next to the boy, “Did you know you are very special, Lukas?”

Lukas grinned and nodded, “Yeah! Mommy and Daddy tell me that all the time!”

Well, you’re special to more than just them. You’re the first little boy to ever have a vampire for a daddy! Unfortunately, your mommy was right, and some people find that scary. Someone was worried about you, and they called us to make sure you were all right,” he explained. “Now, I know, and you know, that your mommy and daddy are great parents, but I’m going to be dropping by your house a few times to check on you, okay?”

Lukas’ grin faded, and he turned thoughtful a moment, “I guess you have to? It’s part of your job?”

The agent looked at the boy in surprise, “Yes, yes, it is.”

The boy shrugged, “I guess it’s okay, then. Mommy and Daddy always say doing your job the way it’s s’pose to be done is very important.”

They’re very right,” the man agreed.

So, even though you gotta come to our house, you’re not going to take me from my Mommy and Daddy?” Lukas asked worriedly.

What makes you ask that?”

Lukas bowed his head in shame, “Mommy was crying. She thought I was asleep, but I could hear. She kept asking Daddy what they were going to do if you took me away. She’s always been scared people will take me away… Can you tell her you won’t take me? I don’t want Mommy to cry anymore,” Lukas whispered as tears rolled down his cheeks.

The CPS agent felt his heart constrict. He had seen cases like these before, though not with a vampire under scrutiny, of course. Situations where nosey neighbors called in inaccurate reports that put parents through hell and embarrassment. After hearing that Lukas’ teacher had willfully referred to this boy’s mother as a ‘Fanger’, only made the ache in his chest that much more painful. It did not take a genius to figure who had called in the tip.

Let’s go tell your mommy and daddy together that you’re staying with them, right where you belong,” the agent offered with a smile.

Lukas beamed up at him, eyes still shiny with tears while he took the man’s hand.

Sookie sat bolt upright when Lukas came barreling out of the office. He flung his arms wide to hug his mother after she fell to her knees to receive him. “Baby, oh, you’re cryin’!” she sobbed into his hair.

“He’s a nice man!” Lukas told her reassuringly. “He knows! He knows you’re the best Mommy and Daddy!” he crowed proudly.

“Mr. and Mrs. Northman,” Tennen extended his hand once Sookie rose with Lukas in her arms, “I am very sorry to have dragged you three down here.” Eric firmly shook the agent’s hand, but his jaw was set in a firm line. “I know that our ‘tip’,” he said the word with annoyance, “is complete garbage, but I have to do my follow-up interviews and a walk-through of your home. There will be three surprise inspections, but I know you don’t have anything to worry about. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

“We understand,” Sookie whispered, wiping her dripping eyes against her son’s hair. “I’m sorry you have to waste your time on this.”

“That makes two of us,” Tennen blanched.

“Three,” Eric offered, making the agent smile sadly.

“You two keep up the good work with this kid. He’s smart and very sweet. He wanted me to assure you he’s not going to be taken away. He really doesn’t want you to cry anymore, Mrs. Northman,” Tennen offered kindly. “You don’t need to cry anymore. He’s safe with you.”

{†}

“Why aren’t there pictures of Ma bein’ pregnant with me?” Lukas asked his father softly. Eric missed hearing Lukas say ‘Mommy,’ but big-boy second graders did not say ‘Mommy.’ “She’s always takin’ pictures of Aunt Ang’s belly, but I’ve never seen a picture of Ma when she was pregnant with me…?”

Eric closed his laptop and looked at the young boy with a soft smile, “Your mother did not give birth to you.”

Lukas’ mouth trembled, “Does that mean you’re not my dad either?”

“I am very much your father, Lukas, and your mommy is still your mommy,” Eric told him patiently, the same gentle smile never leaving his lips. “We have raised, taught, and worried over you all your life. We love you very, very much. It does not matter who gave you life, it matters with whom you spent that life and whom you loved.”

Slinking toward his father, Lukas crawled into his lap, “Does that mean I can’t grow up to be the Gatekeeper like Ma?”

Eric snorted, “Did you wish to?”

“I had this dream,” Lukas told him. “There was a really big door, and a pretty girl with a giant key. She guards the door just like Ma guards the Gate. She’s really sad and alone, though. Not like Mamma at all. Doctor Ludwig keeps tellin’ me I’m gonna grow up to do something real important. I was hoping it would be the same job as Ma’s ’cause I don’t want the job with the big door. It looks real lonely.”

{†}

“Hold her gently, Lukas,” Sookie fretted while she handed her niece to her seated son. “That’s right, hold her head real gentle….”

Jason and Angela were beaming proudly in the hospital. After several grueling hours, they had their first child, a beautiful girl named Annabel. Thanks to Ludwig’s simple remedy for both of them to drink plenty of lemonade while trying to conceive, Jason’s fairy heritage had no fighting chance of inhibiting his daughter’s chance at a long, full life.

“She’s all tiny,” Lukas said in awe. “Was I this small?”

“Once upon a time,” Sookie smiled.

“Was I this small when you got me?” he asked, making Sookie’s smile falter. Eric had warned her that Lukas was officially aware that he was adopted, and neither his, nor Sookie’s biological child. Sookie had ached, knowing that more questions would come sooner or later.

Sookie took her niece from her son’s arms and gently handed Annabel back to her father. “Excuse us,” she whispered to Jason uncomfortably. Her brother gave her sympathetic smile as he took his daughter into his arms. Sookie took Lukas’ hand and lead him out to the hallway to continue their discussion privately. “Your daddy said you knew you were adopted.”

“He said I should ask you if I wanted to know more ’cause you could show me,” Lukas told her.

“What do you want to see?” Sookie asked quietly.

“My ma,” he replied, and Sookie felt her heart break. In her soul, she was Lukas’ mother, and to hear his doubt in that felt like a knife to her heart.

“I only have two memories of your mother, Lukas,” Sookie confessed. “One from when we were little girls together, and the other from when she gave you to your father and me.”

“I want to see them,” Lukas commanded.

“They are not nice memories, Lukas,” Sookie warned hesitantly. She feared Lukas would think she would only show him terrible things about his birth mother on purpose.

“I want to see!”

“All right, all right,” she hushed him gently before taking his hand and pulling Lukas into a sitting area. Tugging the growing boy into her lap, Sookie placed her hand on his temple and began stroking his hair while she recalled the aging memories.

Wait! Wait for me, Hatty!” a young girl’s voice shouted to the bigger girl running ahead. Her golden hair was waving like a flag in the breeze as it weaved up the massive hill from the cemetery. “Wait, Hatty! The ghosts will get me!”

You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!” the bigger girl taunted as she sprinted up the hill. “The ghosts will get you!”

I’m gonna tell!” the smaller girl cried. “You’re s’pose to be playing with me!”

Mamma says I don’t have to play with you!” the bigger girl turned her head to stick her tongue out at her. “She says you’re loony and I shouldn’t play with loony people!”

I’m not loony!” the small girl shouted while she made her tiny limbs work that much harder. She lunged at the bigger girl, but missed, and fell to the ground.

The bigger girl turned to point and laugh as the little girl rolled part of the way down the hill, “Ha-ha! See, you’re s’pose to be in the cemetery! You can hang out with the ghosts and be creepy together!”

I’m scared of ghosts!” Sookie cried while she scrambled to her hands and knees.

Ha-ha! You’re slow and crazy!” the big girl mocked her. When the small girl sat up on her knees and began to cry, the big girl started singing, “Crazy Sookie, Crazy Sookie! She’s gone kooky, she’s gone kooky!”

Little Sookie sat on her knees, crying while Hadley sang the song over and over.

“My mom was the bigger girl you were chasing?” Lukas asked sadly.

Sookie nodded slowly, “Yes, her mother said really mean things about me to her… Little children repeat what their parents say. Your mother thought it was okay to say hurtful things like that because her mother said them. She was just a little girl. She didn’t know any better,” she tried to defend Hadley, even though she still held a slight grudge over the incident.

“Is the other memory better?” Lukas asked, hope clear in his tone.

Sookie gave him a sad smile, “No, Baby, I’m sorry.”

“Show me?” he asked softly, but with much less insistence than before.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” Lukas leaned his head into his mommy’s chest while he watched her next memory.

A very unhappy and unhealthy-looking woman looked at Sookie who stood across the room.

Hadley,” Sookie said coldly.

Sookie,” Hadley responded, and a little head popped up.

Eric,” Sookie gestured to the woman, “this is my cousin, Hadley. Your son?” She gestured to the baby boy.

Hadley’s lip twitched as if to keep from sneering, “Yeah.”

There was a long silence while the two women stared each other down, Hadley not knowing how to say what she needed, and Sookie forcing her to say it, to utter the condemning request.

He’s,” she looked down at the little boy who looked on the verge of tears, “like you.”

Yes,” Sookie agreed.

And I thought…” Hadley trailed off, expecting Sookie to know what she wanted, but the younger woman was going to make her say it, “Since you overcame it, he’d be better off with you.”

Overcame what?” Eric asked.

Her mental illness!” Hadley spat.

Her what?” Eric snarled, and Sookie placed a comforting hand in his.

How long would it take you to make him normal, like you?” Hadley ignored the vampire.

He will never be normal,” Sookie replied in a rather empty voice. “He will always be special. Who is his father?”

“I don’t know,” Hadley squirmed uneasily. “There were a few guys then. Didn’t know all their names. You know how it is.”

No. She does not,” Eric snapped. “Are you telling me, that you wish for us to raise your bastard child for you because you do not know how to deal with his gift?”

I can’t afford the same institutions that Sookie got,” Hadley replied shortly.

Lucky him,” Eric chastised. “Although if he had needed medical attention, I am certain you could have afforded it had you not spent all of your money on drugs.” Hadley recoiled at Eric’s accurate accusation as if she had been slapped.

“The woman who gave birth to me thought I was crazy?” Lukas asked sadly.

“She knew you were like me, and when I was a child, a lot of people thought I was mentally ill,” Sookie explained patiently.

Lukas snuggled tighter against his mother, “I’m sorry I said things that hurt your feelings.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t have nicer memories of your birth mother,” Sookie confessed.

“Do you think she liked me at all?” Lukas asked quietly.

“Yeah, Baby. If she hadn’t, she would have left you somewhere to be raised by people who couldn’t understand what you are or what you need. Instead, she sought me out, and put you in the arms of people who would love you more than the world, and could guide and teach you the way you needed.”

Lukas smiled softly, “Thanks for being my mom.”

Sookie kissed the top of his head, her eyes pouring with tears, “Thanks for being my baby.”

{†}

“MAMA!” Lukas came barreling into his parents’ room hysterically, not even noticing either was naked, nor that his father had been atop his mother at the time.

“Lukas!” Sookie clutched the blanket to her chest as her son dove for her. “What’s wrong?” she asked while Eric slipped out of bed to pull his pants back on. Lukas had his face buried in Sookie’s shoulder and, no matter how she tried to soothe him, the boy would not stop crying.

“Come here, Lukas,” Eric peeled the boy off of his mother and gave him a small shake. “You are upsetting your mother crying like that. Is a bad dream really worth all that fuss?”

“But he’s gonna take me from mama!” Lukas wailed.

Eric smiled, “No one is going to take you from your mother. I would not let them.”

“He said if I didn’t go with him, you’d both die!” he insisted.

“It was only a nightmare, Lukas,” Eric assured him. “Now, it is time to go back to bed. You have school in the morning.”

Flinging the boy over his shoulder, Eric carried Lukas back to his own bed and tucked him back in, “Could you stay with me, Dad?”

Eric had to resist a groan. He really wanted to get back inside of his wife, but he could feel in the Bond that she was no longer in the mood. “Yes, I will stay until you fall back asleep,” Eric promised with a soft smile.

{†}

“Ew! Your mom and dad are kissing in the kitchen!” Lukas’ friend Josh made a face when he came back to the bedroom with a soda. Josh was his only friend whose parents allowed him to come to his house. They had been best friends since fifth grade, and Lukas liked how Josh and his parents never used rude words for his parents, even in their heads. They were good people.

“So?” Lukas frowned.

“That’s gross!” Josh insisted.

Lukas laughed and shook his head, “They’re always kissing!” When Josh made another disgusted face, the boy could only shrug.

“You don’t think it’s sick?” Josh wheedled.

“No, Dad says it’s a good thing they kiss all the time. He said it means that they’re in love and happy to be with each other,” Lukas explained.

“My parents never kiss,” Josh frowned while he thought about this.

“Maybe you just never catch them,” Lukas pointed out reassuringly. “My mom says a lot of people don’t like others to see them kissing because they think it’s rude.”

Josh laughed, “Well, then your parents are really rude! Your dad practically had your mom leaned backward over the counter.”

“I don’t mind,” Lukas told him. “I like knowing my parents are in love.”

“I don’t wanna know about mine!” Josh made a playful face of revulsion and Lukas laughed.

{†}

“Ma, are you hurt?” Lukas panicked when his mother strolled in the front door, covered in blood.

“No,” Sookie replied while she walked toward her bedroom to hop in the shower. “There was a scuffle at the Gate, but I’m not hurt at all,” she assured.

“There’s so much blood!”

“I know, Baby, but I need to clean up before your daddy gets home. I promise to tell you what happened after I wash up,” Sookie told him while she closed the bedroom door and went about bathing.

She was just stepping out of the shower when Eric came into the bathroom, his eyes large and dilated. Sookie grimaced at the expression on his face, realizing that she had been so saturated with fairy blood that the scent had clung to the air, despite submerging herself and her clothes in cold water.

Walking past him, Sookie went to their bed and laid down. It did not take long for her husband to push her legs apart and settle between them. His blunt teeth were nipping at her skin. His hands were clutching her desperately as he forced his cock deep inside her.

“Eric!” she gasped, wrapping her arms and legs around his body. Her hand twisted into his hair while she felt his hips begin to pound viciously against hers. “That’s right, Darlin’,” she moaned. “Get it out. I got ya,” she murmured deliriously, up until his fangs sank into her throat, then she tumbled into the oblivion of orgasm.

Letting out a long, shaky breath, Eric kissed and licked the wound he had left upon her throat. His hands ran soothingly across Sookie’s body until her trembles subsided, “I am sorry. I had almost forgotten what it was like being near you and that aroma.”

Smiling up at her husband, Sookie confessed, “I really don’t mind, Darlin’.”

Laughing into her damp hair, Eric kissed her temple and then across her cheek. “I love you, My Sookie.”

“I love you, Eric.”

On To Chapter Six

Making Heroes Ch.04

Chapter Four:

Sookie played with Lukas on the carpet of the large den. The boy seemed to understand that his new mother was distracted, but he happily laughed at the playful tickles she ran up his sides. Lukas reached and cooed for the stuffed puppy she dangled above his head. Life had never been so much fun for the little one!

When the large figure of his new mommy’s vampire appeared in the doorway of the den, Lukas crowed happily and reached for him. His daddy was home, and Lukas wanted to be wrapped up in cool, silent arms.

“What happened?” Sookie asked, still playing with Lukas, and not looking up at her Bonded.

“I killed a man by the name of Carter Wright this morning. Then I went to New Orleans to speak with Godric,” Eric revealed to her after he came to sit on the sofa near where Sookie was entertaining their son.

“Who’s Carter Wright?” Sookie asked, still not looking at him.

Eric paused a moment, then in a voice heavy with emotion, said, “The man who intended to purchase you from Hale.”

Setting down the stuffed animal, Sookie sat up, and finally turned to Eric, “You found him? How?”

“The image you gave me,” Eric pointed to his head. “I had the DMV hacked and obtained the licenses of men fitting his description. Pam has spent the last few years sifting through them, looking for Wright.”

“She found him last night. That was the long-term commitment,” Sookie realized sadly.

“Yes,” Eric nodded. “I went to his home. He was actually expecting me.”

“Were you hurt?” Sookie asked.

Shaking his head, Eric reassured her, “Not physically, but he did have a tape of you. Sookie, why did you never tell me that Hale videotaped you?”

Frowning, Sookie picked up the stuffed animal again and began plucking at its fur, “I thought everything was destroyed in the explosion you coordinated. I didn’t know Hale gave anyone a tape of me.”

Eric nodded in understanding, “I brought the tape to Godric. The short amount Wright made me watch was enough to make my soul burn. Godric watched it for me and gave me the details. He was quite shaken up by it.”

“Why did you two have to watch it at all?” Sookie asked forlornly. “Eric, it’s my past! I want to leave it there.”

“I have always tried to avoid doing things to you that could remind you of your past,” Eric told her. “Godric assures me that will never happen.”

“I’ve told you it wouldn’t!” Sookie snapped furiously.

“Sookie, it took over a year for you to be able to masturbate,” Eric reminded her.

“I know, I know,” she whispered, her anger slowly dissolving. “What was on the tape?”

“Godric is coming up to talk to you about it,” Eric whispered. “He is meeting us at Fangtasia tonight with the tape. He does not wish you to see it, but understands if you must.”

“I don’t think I care to,” Sookie replied woefully. “Why do you want me to talk to Godric?”

Eric shrugged, “You know of his past and the abuses he suffered, not in detail, but you know of them. Godric wanted you to have an opportunity to speak candidly about your past, and believed he would be easier to talk to than me.”

Sookie gave him a soft smile, “I can talk to you about anything, Eric.”

“Does it still hurt?” he asked desperately.

Her smile grew sad, but still remained, “Yes, sometimes it does still hurt. When it sneaks up on me like right now? It hurts.”

“I am sorry to have been the one who threw it at you,” Eric apologized.

“It’s all right, Darlin’,” she assured. “Sometimes I forget that you have to know everything. You hate mysteries.” After a moment of silence, Sookie let out a long sigh, then laughed. “Is it over now? May we go back to our lives?”

Eric smiled down at her, “Yes. Let us close the final chapter of your past and look forward to the new story we are writing, Sookie Northman, the Mother.”

Sookie laughed, rose on to her knees, and crawled over to the sofa. She reached her lips upward and let her Bonded kiss her slowly, comfortingly. When Lukas crawled over to them, Sookie laughed and scooped him up. “Come on, Kiddo! Let’s go pick out a book for Daddy to read to us. You’ll love it. Daddy has the best reading voice ever!”

Smiling to himself while Sookie went to pick out a book, Eric reclined against the sofa, and waited for her return. When she did, handing him a copy of Dr. Seuss, he laughed and rolled his eyes. Sookie settled between his legs, with Lukas in her lap, and Eric had to reach his long arms around both of them to hold the book in Lukas’ sight.

“’Green Eggs and Ham’…” Eric began.

{†}

Fangtasia was packed when Sookie arrived with her Bonded and child. The three went in the service door to the office, settling Lukas in with his toys. Sookie sat on the sofa, reviewing the club’s books while keeping an eye on the baby boy.

“I must go out onto the floor,” Eric announced, kissing Sookie’s head.

“’Kay,” Sookie tilted her head back and grabbed his neck to receive a proper kiss. “I have to be at the Gate at eleven for this month’s updates from Claudine,” she reminded him. “Sit with him while I’m gone?”

“Pam or I will sit with him,” Eric promised.

“Thank you,” She beamed upward, watching while Eric left his office. “These books are a mess! No wonder Pam shirked this on me,” she muttered to herself. She felt restless, and there was a bloom of discontent or conflict building inside her. Though the conversation about Carter Wright had torn at one of her emotional scars, part of her was more frustrated about the anger it brought. Unresolved anger had always been her biggest foe.

As eleven o’clock approached, she called out mentally, “Eric or Pam, I am leaving.”

Pam appeared in the office, and Sookie gave Lukas a big kiss before she left to perform her duties as Gatekeeper.

As Sookie walked out of the club’s back entrance and teleported to the Gate, the mists were already swirling, announcing that a new arrival was imminent.

“Papers!” Sookie barked once the swirling mists of Elfyria opened and a tall figure appeared. Before she could think, her arm was raised, and deflecting a sword, hacking toward her shoulder. “Oh, you have perfect timing!” she reveled as she pushed back against the attack and sent her assailant stumbling backward.

Rather than blowing the fairy to pieces, Sookie allowed the sparring to continue, working out some of her anger within the violence. She parried and sidestepped, her grin widening while her eyes narrowed with the adrenaline rush of a good fight. Her leg kicked out to catch her opponent in the stomach, knocking him to the ground.

“C’mon! Don’t make this so easy!” Sookie laughed excitedly, and the fairy snarled when he jumped back to his feet and attacked with increased ferocity.

“That’s it!” Sookie rejoiced while her arms had to move much faster to keep up.

A flurry of platinum hair hid the transverse swing that the Gatekeeper only had a split second to evade. Arching away from the blade’s point, she felt the sharp metal graze her belly, and, instinctively, she blew the fairy’s hand off with her telekinesis.

“ARGH!” the attacker cried, clutching at his handless arm while Sookie felt her abdomen in apprehension. With an anxious breath, she felt her flesh tear further, so she quickly blew apart the rest of the man.

“Shit. Shit!” Sookie gasped in a panic. The wound was slowly splitting wider with her panicked breaths and she could feel a sharp burn searing the edges of her injury. Lifting her shirt above her stomach, Sookie looked at the injury and found it was actually quite shallow and normal looking. “Oh!” she let out a relieved sob.

Before she could teleport away, the sword in her hand vibrated, and another figure approached from the mists of Elfyria.

“PAPERS!” Sookie shouted, preparing to blow apart the next blitz instantly, rather than risk another injury.

“It is Colman!” a voice rang, though his appearance was still undecipherable. Sookie kept herself braced for an attack regardless. When the familiar fairy finally became visible, Sookie stabbed her sword into the ground and used it to kneel down slowly. “What happened?!” he knelt beside her.

“I-I just need to calm down!” Sookie spat, shrugging away from his inspecting hands. “It’s only a scratch. I just got a bit of an adrenaline rush when the Gate opened again.”

Colman finally peeled the clothing from Sookie’s injury and recoiled, “Lemon!”

“I’m immune to lemon,” Sookie reminded him and Colman relaxed.

“That’s right, I forget,” he laughed uncomfortably, taking several steps away. “I have your updates,” He extended a thick, leather binder toward her, and Sookie accepted it after she rose back to her feet. “Will you be all right?”

Sookie shrugged, “Yeah, I’m fine. It just stings like a bitch. Eric will patch me up when I get back to the club.” She blotted at the wound with the tail of her shirt, grimacing as it flowed freely. Eric was going to be pissed! He had just told her the other night that the Gate would become harder and harder to protect. ‘Then I had to go and let off steam instead of just do my freakin’ job,’ she admonished herself.

Colman nodded slowly and looked back to the portal from which he had just passed. “You’re doing a very fine job in this realm, Sookie,” he offered.
The Gatekeeper raised her eyebrows at the comment, “Are you gonna fire me, or give me a raise?” She laughed.

“It’s in the report,” Colman mumbled.

Frowning, Sookie looked at the leather binder and nodded, “I’ll see you later, Colman?”

“Yes,” He nodded and turned back to Elfyria.

Sookie stared at the documents in her hand, then opened them. Mostly it was garbage she already knew; a data dump on how many times the Gate had been accessed. With the time difference between Elfyria and the human realm, the kingdom provided her with a two-month report for them, a nearly two years’ report for her.

Normally, Sookie did not care much for the records. She kept her own in an attempt to anticipate movements in and out of the gate and to prepare herself for attacks versus scheduled visits. However, there were two Gate accesses Sookie did not recall. At the very beginning of the Elfyrian month… She would need to sit and do the math to be precise, but it was nearly a year and a half ago with very loose calculations.

Sitting in the grass, Sookie tried very hard to remember the instances in which the Gate had opened in such rapid successions nearly two years ago. She had never missed the Gate opening, not even during her ‘power comas.’ Pam had dutifully held her sword during the two power comas Sookie had undergone since becoming Gatekeeper, and the vampiress had never once said anyone had passed into the realm in those twenty-four hour periods.

The only way it could have happened was if something other than Empyrodite had opened the Gate. As far as Sookie knew, that was impossible.

Closing her book for the time being, Sookie decided she needed to talk to Pam to be absolutely certain her sword had not resonated while the Gatekeeper had been indisposed.

Teleporting as close to the club as she could, Sookie strolled into the service door and went straight to the office.

Pam was not there. Neither was Eric.

Sookie’s heart lurched painfully once she realized Lukas was not on the floor playing with his toys.

“LUKAS!?” the new mother shrieked, falling to her hands and knees. She looked under Eric’s desk, she crawled to the closet, and flung open the door. “Lukas? Lukas, where are you!?” she called in a panic.

“Sookie?” Eric’s voice was above her. “You are bleeding!”

“Where’s my baby!?” Sookie screamed at him, still scrambling around the room and leaving droplets of blood in her path. “Why weren’t you with him!? Where were you!?” she yelled as her Bonded went to the couch and pushed it further from the wall. There was Lukas, sucking on his hand and giving Sookie the most heartbroken look she had ever seen. “Oh, baby! Baby, I’m so sorry!” she sobbed while she scooped him into her arms and kissed his head over and over. “You weren’t supposed to be alone for a minute! Are you okay?” She looked the baby over frantically, only finding that he was in need of a diaper change.

“Sookie,” Eric whispered. “You are bleeding.”

She ignored him, and Eric could feel her anger growing inside of her. He closed the door behind him and waited for her tirade.

“How could you leave him in here alone? Where was Pam? Where the fuck were you for that matter!?” Sookie demanded.

“I was on the floor. I needed Pam for only a minute-”

“Your office ain’t baby-proofed, Eric,” Sookie snapped. “One minute, and he coulda killed himself in here!”

“You are being overly dramatic-”

“You said we were doin’ this together!” Sookie howled as she quickly changed Lukas’ diaper and cleaned him up.

Next, she stripped off her shirt, took a roll of duct tape from Eric’s desk, and taped off her wound.

“Let me heal it,” Eric tried to offer.

“I am pissed at you, Eric!” Sookie told him while she stomped to his cabinet and took out a ‘Fangtasia’ t-shirt. “I don’t want your blood in me right now. I want to be angry at you, not fuck you!” She yanked the shirt over her head, then glared at him.

“I fucked up!” Eric flung his arms in the air. “I have not been in charge of a child in over a thousand years, Sookie! Excuse me for-”

“What if someone had come in here and taken him, Eric?” Sookie cut him off. “He’s not old enough to run to you or me. We have to be here!”

“I understand-”

“Then why don’t I feel any guilt!?” Sookie demanded. “Nothing. You don’t care!”

“I do-” Eric cut himself off at the glare she was giving him.

“You care that I’m mad at you! You don’t care that Lukas could have been hurt!” she accused. Eric lowered his gaze from hers and bowed his head. Sookie took a deep, calming breath that made her wound twinge painfully. The pain was good. It distracted the anger moderately. “Do you remember what you told me shortly after we were Bonded?” she asked in a calmer tone.
“I told you many things, Sookie,” Eric reminded carefully.

“You said we were equals,” Sookie told him. “You disciplined me because I risked Pam’s safety, but you said if you ever fucked up, it was my right to discipline you. Well, I was a stupid, spontaneous girl then. You are a fucking thousand-year-old vampire, and “forgetting” that our son is too small to be left unattended was a stupid fuck up.”

Eric’s shoulders loosened. He could not remember the last time he had been disciplined, but Sookie’s reminder of their conversation actually sparked the desired guilt. When she felt the regret trickle into the Bond, he could feel her anger receding.

“I am angry,” Sookie told him calmly. “I am angry that just the other day you were saying how you are as devoted as I am to raising this child, and then you left him by himself where he could be in danger.”

“I am sorry, Sookie,” he whispered contritely.

“I can’t hurt you,” she told him. “I am literally incapable of causing you any physical reminder of how big of mistake you made.”

Eric nodded silently, and he could feel her grasping at some sort of punishment.

“But I do know something that will never let you forget what you did. I want you to know that I am not going to do this as a way to get even with you for a spankin’ you gave half a decade ago,” Sookie told him. “I am doing this so you never forget you have a son now.”

“Yes, Sookie,” Eric nodded. “I understand that.” There was no sense of enjoyment in her. He knew that whatever punishment she had decided upon was being given to him for the correct reasons.

“Come with me,” Sookie marched out of the office and toward the floor. “Pam, have the DJ turn off the music and turn on the house lights over the dais.”

As Sookie came onto the club floor with Lukas on her hip, everyone murmured confusedly after the music stopped abruptly. Everyone was whispering in uncertainty while Eric Northman followed his woman to the dais, which had been flooded in overhead lights. All eyes were on them as Sookie turned to her Bonded.

“Be contrite, Eric,” Sookie told him firmly.

She could feel his humiliation when he dropped to his knees before the eyes of humans and his subordinate vampires.

“What did you do?” Sookie demanded. “Say it loud enough for everyone to hear.”

Eric’s jaw clenched when he noticed one of his subordinates staring at him in shock, “I willfully left our son unattended.”

“And are you sorry for that, or sorry that I’m making you admit it in front of everyone?” Sookie asked sharply.

Eric’s shoulders tightened, “I am sorry I left our son unattended, Sookie.”

There was humiliation and guilt surging through the Bond and Sookie smiled gently at him. She reached out her free hand and silently beckoned him to rise. “I forgive you. It’s in the past,” she told him with a soft kiss. “Now you can glamour the humans into forgetting this whole thing.”

“Thank fuck,” Eric snarled and dove into the crowd. Between him, Pam, and the other vampires in the club, a mass glamouring was put into effect, and not a single mortal recalled the sight of the great Viking on his knees, begging forgiveness from the petite woman holding a baby.

“That was very impressive, Sookie,” Godric smiled after he approached his Child’s Bonded. “A very appropriate means of making sure Eric never forgets the child again. I guarantee you, he will remember that lesson long after Lukas is in college.”

“Hello, Godric,” Sookie greeted her Bonded’s Maker. “I only knew I could do it and get away with it because his subordinates are more than aware of what I am capable of doing. Otherwise, I couldn’t risk lettin’ Eric be that vulnerable in front of them.”

Godric smiled, “You really thought this out,” he sounded impressed.

Sookie stroked Lukas’ back as she stood in awkward silence before Godric. Finally, she managed to utter, “I guess you were wanting to meet with me?”

The older vampire nodded slowly, “How have you been?”

“Good,” she assured. “Upset, but good.”

Leading Sookie back to the office, Godric sat her down on the couch with Lukas, “So, is this my grand baby?” Sookie laughed and nodded, holding Lukas out for the ancient vampire, “He is a very precious gift for you, Sookie.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Sookie told him happily. “He makes it easier to let go of the past. Between him and Eric, I don’t even care about it. I don’t care that Wright had that tape of me. I don’t care that you or Eric have seen it. I don’t have to see it. I don’t want to. The girl on that tape doesn’t exist anymore. She isn’t dead, she’s healed.”
“Is she?” Godric asked curiously.

“Oh, yes,” Sookie nodded. “Like any old injury, it might ache sometimes, but all I have to do is hold Lukas or my Bonded, and it’s like a massage for my soul. They work out the pain for me, they make it easier to manage and cope when old injuries flare up.”

“You are ever persevering, Sookie,” Godric praised.

Sookie laughed, “I guess, but they make it easy.”

“Here I thought I was running up from New Orleans to be your confidante or kindred spirit, and now I find you like this? I am very proud of you, Sookie,” he told her.

“I guess I just needed a little more light in my life to find my own,” Sookie told him softly when she took Lukas back into her arms.

On To Chapter Five