**A/N: I had originally not intended to make this more than a one-shot. That one chapter said all I felt I needed to say in this fic – that Sookie got her balls back. Well, that being said, here’s Chapter 2…**
Armed with an unlimited credit card, a cell phone with a direct line to Fairy, vastly-improved powers, and a “fuck you” attitude, Sookie stepped confidently back through the portal. At first glance, nothing seemed to have changed. Cemeteries, after all, were still cemeteries, but something seemed a little off to her now-impressive fairy senses. That didn’t surprise her, though, considering she had been gone for over a year and a half.
As she rounded the path from the cemetery to her house, she realized that her great-grandfather was right as usual – her home was no longer her home.
While in Fairy – to her relatives’ disapproval she persisted in calling the realm of her ancestors by that name instead of by its true but literally unpronounceable-by-humans name – she had learned that, sadly, her grandfather Fintan had indeed passed away, but that his father – Prince Niall Another-Unpronounceable-Word Brigant- was alive and quite well. He was rather snobby, but he did seem to care deeply for his great-granddaughter. After a while, he even stopped twitching (for the most part) at how her Southern accent butchered the majority of the Fairy language.
Although she could never understand why he considered himself a Prince when he was, in reality, the King of the Sky Fae, she grew to somewhat understand the man…fairy, whatever. He was strong and proud, intelligent and wily, elegant yet quite ruthless, had a haughty superiority complex rivaling that of the worst vampires, yet he would willingly spend hours upon hours patiently teaching his now-beloved Sookie about her history, her place in his world, and her powers.
Well, she snarked to herself, he spent hours telling self-aggrandizing stories about his conquests in the battlefields and Fairy courts, but he did truly seem to enjoy teaching me to gain control of my so-called ‘gifts’. She was, however, still trying to forget the tales of his rather promiscuous ways – it seemed fairies viewed sex with notably fewer reservations than religious old ladies raising their sweet, innocent granddaughters did.
For such a snooty, holier-than-thou race she figured they ought to have a stronger sense of modesty or decorum or morals or…something. She shuddered as she remembered walking into her whatever-times-removed cousin Aminocene’s outer chambers only to find her “entertaining” two male guests…at once…and they weren’t even in her bedroom. She snorted, though, when she remembered the look on her cousin’s face when Sookie had not-so-inadvertently mentally called Mini a ‘disgusting nasty ho-bag’ before rolling her eyes and leaving the room. She didn’t need her questions answered that badly.
Seriously, she huffed to herself as she took stock of the old but oddly updated house she no longer considered home, what kind of person whored themselves out to two men at once? Oh, yeah, indiscriminate fairy sluts, that’s who… It had taken her almost a week to realize that her shrill-voiced cousin hadn’t spoken to her since then, and she just couldn’t find it in herself to care.
As she walked around the house surveying the mysterious changes, she considered Preston, one of the two males dogging her cousin. Niall had not been nearly as discrete as he apparently thought in his desire for Sookie to choose the young, handsome male for a mate. And he was handsome, she had to agree. She knew for a fact that he had a nice ass…she shuddered again.
His hair was a nice light shade, but it just wasn’t blond enough. He was tall, too, but…just not tall enough. And his eyes…his eyes were just a tad too green to be blue. He had a certain innate fairy grace to his movements, but they were more suited to lawn games and courtly dances than a battlefield.
Niall had never overtly pushed her toward anyone, she had to give him credit for that, but he had stressed the direness of the dwindling fairy population enough that she knew he would welcome any children she might bear. The old fairy prince was wise enough, though, to realize that she had unfinished business not pertaining to the fae realm, and hadn’t protested too vehemently when she had mentioned returning to the human side.
However, when she left the realm with his reluctant permission, it had been under the firm instruction that should anything not go to her satisfaction, she was to return ‘home’ immediately. Nowadays the fairy realm truly did feel more like home than the house she was about to enter.
She glanced at her lovely leather-banded, diamond-encrusted watch, yet another lavish gift from her great-grandfather, and decided to get moving. There was still much to do before the chauffeur arranged by Niall’s human-realm contact arrived.
Sensing that no one was in the house which no longer quite belonged to her, she looked under the welcome mat on the back porch and found the key she ‘knew’ would be there, and unlocked the door. When she entered the house, her first impression was that not much had changed, yet when she truly looked around, everything was actually…new.
The house no longer smelled like home, either.
Someone, and thanks to her great-grandfather’s human-realm contacts she knew exactly who it was, had completely redone the interior of her, well, now his, house. She cringed as she surveyed the apparently lovingly restored living room. Unfortunately, the old wallpaper design had been exactly replicated onto new wallpaper. Thankfully the lumpy old sofa and chairs had been replaced, but they looked like the results of a garden that had gotten sick on its stomach.
Well, she sniffed, at least the throw rugs and end tables were nice. She hoped he liked them.
Great care had obviously been taken to produce a nearly-exact replica of her gran’s house from before the maenad fiasco; unfortunately, that was no longer her style as her tastes, like she herself, had matured.
With a shake of her head she centered herself as taught by Niall, and sure enough, she felt drawn…upward? Keeping herself tuned into the object, she climbed the stairs and stopped on the second floor…only to keep being pulled upward. So, to the attic she climbed, and sure enough, she immediately felt a much stronger pull to the object of her quest: the cluviel dor her grandfather had given her grandmother. Her fairy vision, now attuned to the magics of the realms, even noted the faint glow coming from the old desk drawer.
Bippity boppity bingo, she thought gleefully as she opened the velvet bag she’d withdrawn from the drawer and viewed its contents. When she slid the infamous wish-granter into the palm of her hand, she immediately felt surrounded by all the love in the world as was woven into the spell of the cluviel dor.
It was at that point she shed all doubt that her grandfather Fintan had absolutely adored her grandmother. She closed her eyes and sent to the Summerlands a silent, heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the male relative whose time had come and gone, took a deeply cleansing breath, then placed the cluviel dor back into its velvet wrapping before shoving it into her pocket. She poked about the attic for a few more minutes, gathering several small boxes of photographs and letters, a small box of mementos from her childhood that should still have been in the top of her closet, then with a flick of her wrist called into being a large duffel bag.
After packing her newly-reclaimed belongings in it, she went down to her bedroom and quickly located the few things she wanted. Someone had, indeed, taken utmost care to redo the room almost exactly as it had been before that ridiculous maenad incident, but… Sookie shook her head sadly. She would never again be the girl content with ‘making do’ or settling for whatever she could get by on – she had left that silly, stupid girl behind in the cemetery when she’d chosen to bravely accompany her relatives.
No, she thought with sudden realization, that trusting, naive girl had disappeared in Fangtasia under the assault of Eric’s fangs, deceptions, arrogance, and betrayal, no matter how supposedly well-intentioned. Bill’s cowardly betrayal and Russell’s own cruel fang-rape just added to the misery.
With an aggravated sniff she checked her dresser drawers and rolled her eyes. Even her underwear had been replaced with nary a comfy cotton pair in sight. Creepy.
Oh well, it’s not like I can’t conjure, summon, or buy whatever I want anyway.
When a peek into her former bathroom revealed all new supplies of what used to be her favorite personal cleaning products – including antiperspirant and tampons, she stomped out.
Her beloved cousin Claudia, also cousin to Claude, Claudine, and Claudette, had introduced her to some of the finer luxuries of the Fairy realm…including their personal cleaning and beauty products which by far surpassed anything offered in this realm.
She sighed; it was time to visit her gran’s bedroom.
Beloved by her true grandfather Fintan.
Beloved old liar-by-omission.
Resolutely focusing her thoughts away from the woman she had once loved unconditionally but now knew to be a lying, cheating hypocrite…who she still loved regardless, Sookie gathered up what few small treasured reminders she could find. The damn maenad had really had a field day in both her own bedroom and her gran’s. She then packed her grandmother’s jewelry box (which had somehow been hidden in the closet – perhaps by magic?) containing delicate, unique brooches, pendants, and other odd bits of jewelry, all the family photos and albums she could locate, and her grandmother’s beloved antique sewing scissors.
Glancing once again at her watch, she decided to take one more look through the house. Logically she knew she could reclaim the property, but she wasn’t sure if she really wanted to. The people she had loved in this house were either dead or gone from her now, and nothing remained except a structure built on lies and omissions.
Still, there had been love in this house. Faulty, somewhat secretive love, but it had contained love and that love had been hers at one time.
As she finally approached the front door, something caught her eye. Well this is new, she thought with curiosity as she examined the very intricately carved wooden door to a new cabinet that looked like it had been built into the wall. With a pull the door opened easily – too easily to have been left unused for the over a year and a half she knew she’d been gone.
Her fae-senses tingled, telling her that something else was afoot, so she took a good look inside at the too-small set of shelves. She looked down and noticed that something didn’t seem quite right about the flooring…or that set of weirdly small shelves.
The underside of one stretch of shelving looked peculiarly curved – they reminded her of the way drawers with no handles were crafted so that they could be opened by hooking your fingers beneath and pulling. So, she reached out and pulled, and wasn’t too very surprised when the shelves opened forward and down the middle into two narrow doors. When fully opened, those small doors filled an internal space along each side of the top of what looked to be a shaft going down into a basement – a shaft complete with a ladder that led down to a basement that she knew she didn’t have before she’d left this realm.
The sound of a vehicle driving up interrupted her thoughts and halted the unintentional glowing of her hands. She closed all the doors to the cubby, grabbed her now stuffed duffel bag, and opened the front door.
A quick scan of the driver’s mind told her he was the chauffeur scheduled to pick her up, but she allowed him to exit the large black SUV and introduce himself anyway.
“Miss Brigant? I’m Kevin, and I’ve been sent by Mr. Cataliades to take you into Shreveport.”
Sookie nodded, locked the door behind her, and left without a backward look. Her down-home days were over as far as she was concerned.
A sedate fifty minutes later they pulled under the porte-cochère of the finest of the fine hotels in Shreveport. Thankfully Kevin had not been overly talkative and, since he was apparently somehow related to Mr. C, his brain had been just as fuzzy-silent, so she had been able to enjoy the temporary peace and quiet as she gathered her thoughts.
Her life in Fairy had been busy – simplified, complicated, and busy. Now that she was back in the human realm, she suspected the only thing that would change would be the “simplified” part, and she already missed her cousin Claudia…and Niall, too, but to a lesser extent.
After checking into the suite of rooms reserved for her by Mr. C, she had ordered herself a large meal from room service. In Fairy she had gotten used to eating what she wanted when she wanted it, and as her magic had grown, so had her appetite. Now that she was back in the human realm, it seemed that increased appetite was going to stay with her. Eventually she finished her last bite of steak and wheeled the cart back into the hallway.
According to the letter Mr. C had sent with Kevin, the house that would become her Shreveport residence would be ready for her as soon as the security upgrades were approved by Niall’s human-realm security coordinator and the interior upgrades were completed by Mr. C’s daughter’s husband’s nephew’s company. She shook her head – everyone was related to someone, she guessed. Another glance at the letter reminded her that she had an appointment with Mr. C himself tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.
In a way she couldn’t wait to get settled into her own new home so that she could start making new memories, but she also quite liked the suite she currently occupied. There were no memories here.
She switched on the huge tv and, with a full belly and a clear mind, it wasn’t long until drowsiness overtook her and she snuggled down into the delightfully soft sofa.
Hours later she woke up with a jerk. She knew she’d been dreaming, but she couldn’t remember anything about it. It didn’t matter – her bladder was definitely glad to see her. After visiting the bathroom, she magic’d herself some clean jeans, underwear, and a light sweater, and took a long hot shower. Room service was fine, but she wanted to explore some of the nicer new restaurants Shreveport had to offer. She took her time readying herself for an evening out, and found herself missing Claudia.
The sun had been down less than half an hour when she felt a void approaching her hotel door, and was glad she had been warned that this might happen. Her reappearance in this realm might have been completely unexpected, but apparently had not gone unnoticed.
Instinctively she stilled to ‘listen’ as best she could, and while she begrudgingly recognized that particular void, she was thankful that vampire brains were still a source of blessed silence.
The being slowed his approach as he neared her door, then, oddly, paused and seemed to pace a few moments before finally knocking.
She smirked to herself as she imagined him sniffing around the door – she had been cautioned that her time in Fairy had noticeably enhanced her fairy scent.
Faefuckingtastic, she groused to herself now just as she had back then when she’d learned this lovely little tidbit. Fae-fucking-tastic.
And there came the knock on her door. She inhaled and exhaled slowly, then opened the door.
“Sookie Stackhouse,” the tall blond Viking vampire said, his bright blue eyes and deep rumbling voice filled with appreciation, sex, and…relief?
**A/N: Yeah, my bitchy little muse is LHAO at me, but that’s ok – I’ve really enjoyed writing this chapter. I am glad to be able to expand this story, and your support and encouragement have been amazing. But, please keep in mind that I will update this story as I can…meaning that chapters will come…eventually…**