very little much pondering, I’ve decided to incorporate our dear Mr. Cataliades. True, he wasn’t mentioned in TB, but who’s to say he wouldn’t have come along in, say, a mythical season 8 or 9? After all, I don’t think any Dae were used in TB, either…and I’m using the hell out of them. That’s why I call it AU… *evil grin* So…considering all the weirdness that TB *did* choose to include (Lilith, anyone? Over-use of a MAENAD, anyone?), I think I can safely get away with tossing in the Dae contingency while still calling this a TB fix-it fic. I hope…**
From his position in the chair across from his guest, Eric watched in fascination as the lovely ladies in his life seemed to effortlessly tame Sevrin, of all people. He and the tall dark vampire had chosen the two chairs across from the sofa where the ladies now sat to discuss the business of Pamela more privately; even if Sookie and Willa understood what must now be done, he didn’t want to taint their evening with the particulars. The naturally taciturn vampire in the chair beside him of course agreed with all discretionary measures.
Sevrin, usually brusque to the point of rudeness, was never known to waste time with idle chitchat – before this night Eric would have sworn the walking mountain didn’t even know what it was. Furthermore, his idea of “etiquette” was to sometimes knock before entering a room.
It wasn’t that he was ill-mannered or uncultured…fine, he easily could be, but only because he considered such things a waste of time that could be better spent doing something productive. Eric conceded that he obviously did know how to act in polite society…the dark-haired ball of gruffness normally just didn’t bother.
Yet here he was still sitting in a chair instead of pacing the confines of the room with palpable impatience ready to get on with his night – especially considering how very short their “business conversation” had been. He had even been actively following the conversation flowing mainly between Sookie and Willa instead of zoning out while he waited to leave. And…
“Dae?” Eric couldn’t keep the surprise from his voice, although his next question was more of a demand. Surely he hadn’t said Dae…
“How do you know this?” He was aware that his question was more of a demand, but didn’t care. This was his Sookie under discussion.
“I smell it.” Sevrin shrugged, not the least offended by the blond’s tone which was understandable considering how much Eric seemed to care for the breeding hybrid.
He also wasn’t surprised that the Northman hadn’t caught that hint of acidic twang in the air as it was a very faint odor. Few on the planet would have detected it.
Having such an incredibly sensitive nose was usually not a blessing, but his scent-memory was eidetic even by vampire standards. One whiff and he would remember a scent forever whether he wanted to or not.
But he did know his Dae.
Greedy fucking bastards the lot of them.
He observed the shock as it spread to the woman and the youngling, his eyes settling on Willa. As the hybrid’s close friend, surely she had been around the father of the unborn, and surely the father carried an even stronger odor about his foul person. At her young age, however, he could see how she might miss the subtle stench of a several-generations-diluted Dae. Even if she had noticed it, she wouldn’t have known what it was, anyway. Someone needed to teach her of these things. Such ignorance could cost her…
Eric looked over at Sookie whose mouth had opened in shock, and went to her side. He sent a small burst of gratitude to Willa for immediately rising so he could have her place next to Sookie.
“Did…did you say Dae? What’s that,” Sookie asked even as Eric was settling her into his lap. She couldn’t recall hearing that word before, maybe she had but she didn’t remember it, but it obviously meant something.
She just hoped it was a good something, and wrapped her arms around her stomach, subconsciously protecting her baby.
At Sevrin’s nod, she turned her inquiring gaze up to Eric.
Eric covered her arms about her belly with his own as he thought quickly about how to explain the concept of the Dae without making Sookie, raised by a religious grandmother, freak out over the reference to demons.
He smoothed his thumb over the back of her and as he started. “You know about Humans and Weres and Vampires and Fae, right?”
“Well, there’s another species who walks this earth. The Dae have been around at least as long as the Fae, but they closely guard their history and information about themselves, so I don’t know much about them or their past. I do know that the vast majority of them are known to be greedy, tenacious, temperamental, cunning…” his voice trailed off as he briefly considered just how like the Fae the Dae could be. He hid his smile.
“The higher levels of the Dae are rarer, but are much more intelligent and tend to go into the political and legal fields, and many do make good attorneys. My own lawyer, one I value tremendously, is Dae.”
“Cataliades?” Sevrin obviously knew of the family. Of course he would – his business interests were global.
“Desmond,” verified Eric with a nod.
He stopped and thought for a moment, determined to avoid of the demon connections if he could, at least for now. Sookie didn’t need even more to worry about.
“What do these Dae people look like?” Sookie wondered if there had been something about Steve that she hadn’t picked up on but should have. She knew of course that she had Fae in her own background, but Dae had never been mentioned.
“I’m not exactly sure what the more pureblooded Dae look like in their true form,” he said, although he had indeed been told quite specifically about their appearance by Godric and other ancient vampires. Sookie, however, didn’t need to know that. “But in general they look exactly like regular humans. You would never be able to identify the more diluted ones.”
Willa had looked surprised for a moment at the news, then contemplative. She’d never heard of them, either, and had her own questions. She sat in Eric’s now-empty chair, and turned to fully face Sevrin.
“What do these Dae smell like? I mean, Sookie doesn’t really smell any different to me than she did before, well, except for the being pregnant part. Does this mean that Steve is part Dae? I was around that jackhole quite a few times, unfortunately, but I never noticed anything about him other than he just didn’t smell, well, edible, well not unless vampires have a taste for grilled pork chops.” She scrunched her nose in memory – Steve always smelled like he’d rolled around in a cold barbeque pit and needed a bath.
Willing to indulge and encourage the young one’s curiosity as it was the best way of bringing her to knowledge, Sevrin asked, “What did she smell like before?”
Willa looked away as she thought for a moment, then replied, “Sweet, a little bit like cotton candy if you know what that is, and like a fresh, sun-warmed breeze in summer.”
“What is different now?” He noted that she hadn’t said “tasty” or “mouthwatering”, and wondered if the friendship had overridden the natural temptation, or if there was some other factor at work. Interesting…
“Now she just smells…I don’t know, a little warmer? She’s still sweet, but there’s a hint of something else. I’d say it’s a little bit like sweet smoky barbeque, but it’s different from that…still sweet, but layered with something else, maybe? I figured that was from how Steve smelled since he’s the father of the baby.”
Having figured out that Eric didn’t want to draw the blonde’s attention to the demon part of the Dae, Sevrin simply nodded. This Willa was spot on and didn’t realize it. He would have to say as much to her later. Her ability to detect scent might be one of her gifts – he just hoped it was never as strong as his own. He wouldn’t wish that on the sweet, courageous youngling.
He thought for a long moment. Steve Campbell was most definitely Dae, and had not informed the Viking’s woman of his heritage – a heritage that could have killed her had his blood not been diluted with several generations of human. As fearsome as Sevrin knew himself to be, as unpleasant as his temperament and persona generally were, deceptions of that order were an insult to his nature. It also didn’t matter that the woman hadn’t been Eric’s during that time – she was his now, and past insults to her were also now his.
He looked up and met the hot blue anger in Eric’s gaze.
That this male had dared lay a hand on a woman was despicable enough, but that he had dared harm a woman obviously swollen with child – his own child? Women were to be treated well and with respect, and breeding women were to be cherished and coddled. He wanted to hear the fucker’s bones break.
He nodded at the Northman.
Sookie and Willa hadn’t noticed the silent communication between the two powerful old vampires, but if they had, they would have shivered.
Sevrin rose. “We need to move. Now. I don’t trust this situation any more than you do, Viking.”
Eric rose and settled Sookie to her feet before replying, “I agree. Willa, how much more needs to be gathered before we go?”
“I need five minutes.” With a blur she was gone from the room.
“So…so all this means is that my baby is part…Dae,” Sookie quietly said to the room as she stroked her swollen abdomen. She looked down at herself. “It’s ok, baby, I’ll love you no matter what. Your sperm donor might be… Well, never mind that, your daddy is an amazing person. He’s a Viking, you know,” she whispered with a sniff.
Sevrin had to turn away from the intimate scene as Eric pulled the woman into his arms and kissed her head. Maybe Willa needed some help.
**A/N: Awww, Sookie… Awww, Sevrin… So, what did you think?**