“Fight for the things you love. Love the things worth fighting for.” -unknown
I strapped my knife to my thigh and grabbed my short sword to throw over my shoulder and into it’s sheath.
“You’re completely sure about this Sookie?”
My father’s youthful face eclipsed the sun as he looked down on me. I narrowed my eyes.
“Really father? Do you even need to ask?”
He sighed as he went to gather the rest of the rescue party. I crouched down, touching my knees to the soft green grass as I turned my face towards the sun. I let the warmth penetrate my skin as I let my mind wander, remembering better times, hoping that those times wouldn’t be at an end after tonight.
I was 4 years old when I first saw him. He was 5 and had just learned to ‘pop’. I was jealous. So, I stalked him around the meadow on the eastern edge of Fairy, watching and waiting. After his fourth or fifth pop, I tackled him as he screwed up his eyes once more.
“Wha-!” his voice cut off as we both disappeared into a void. I felt smooshed…thats the only way I could describe it. Smooshed into nothingness. And then I wasn’t. I was sprawled on top of him, about 4 feet away from where we’d started.
“Why did you do that?!” he whined indignantly as he shoved me off of him. I lay sprawled in the dirt, my hair flowing around my head mixing with the wildflowers there, just staring into the sky.
“I wanted to see what it was like.”
He huffed. “Well, go find someone else to tag along with!”
And he stormed off. But he was back the next day, casting surreptitious looks at me as he popped around the meadow.
Rolling his eyes, he held an arm out for me and I giggled as I ran to him. He popped us in and out of nothingness all afternoon, tickling me and ruffling my hair in between.
When the sun’s rays pulled back, because the sun never actually went down, he stopped and plopped into the weeds and grass, pulling me into his lap. He nuzzled his nose into my hair and we stared into the forests beyond the meadow’s border.
“What’s your name?”
“Sookie. Whats yours?”
We sat silently for awhile longer, just soaking in the togetherness we felt. I had no idea why, but in my 4 year old mind, this was the best feeling in the world. Even better than when my daddy shared his light with me.
“You’re my Sookie now. And I’ll never let you go.”
The declarations of a 5 year old are seldom very prophetic, but boy was this different.
After that, you’d be hard pressed to find us anywhere but with each other. Jason was supremely jealous since up until then, he’d been my favorite playmate. But my brother just couldn’t compare with my Eric.
I was brought out of my memories as Jason bumped his shoulder with mine.
“You ready Sook? Time for the nightmare to end?”
I smiled a watery smile at my big brother. He knew better than anyone the hell I’d been living in since Eric was taken. And he was the one who encouraged me in my harebrained rescue scheme.
“You know it. Thank you for doing this Jase. I love you, ya know?”
He blushed slightly, a rare sight for my confident, unshakable brother.
He gripped me to his side. “I love you too little sister.”
He pressed a kiss to the crown of my head before retreating to the opposite side of the clearing where our forces were gathering.
I let my mind wander again as my eyes slid over all the fairies who had come together to help us.
I remembered the night he was taken. I woke to screams and panic all around me. The servants were running through my room, not taking any notice of me, scrambling to find the best hiding places. I began crying as I ran through the palace, trying to find Jason or my father.
I was yanked roughly off my feet and back into my father’s arms as he darted across the hallways I’d been running in. He’d clamped a hand over my mouth to quiet my screaming.
But Daddy! I have to get to Eric!
Oh did I forget to mention that another power I’d managed to manifest quite early was telepathy? Yeah, that made me so popular at parties.
“Just stay still Sookie. Please!” The pleading quality of his voice made me stop struggling, although I sent my mind out to try to find anyone else. I sensed Jason under the bed in his room. I sensed my grandfather and great-grandfather in the throne room, zipping about faster than I’d ever seen. But I couldn’t find Eric.
The sun’s morning rays stretched towards us before my father let us creep out of our hiding spot. We surveyed the hallways, littered with bodies and smeared with blood as we made our way to the throne room.
“What the hell happened here?!”
I huddled in my father’s arms as he yelled at his father and grandfather.
“Mind your tongue boy!” Niall, my great-grandfather, barked harshly. “We were attacked! And by a vampire!”
We never managed to figure out how the vampire had gained entry into Fairy or why he hadn’t burst into flames immediately, given the constant sunlight. But what became rapidly clear to everyone was the fact that he’d gorged himself on the blood of our people and he’d taken hostages. And Eric was one of them.
Jerked back to reality, I dashed the tear from my cheek as I straightened my body. With a determined march, I made my way towards my family.
“Are you you sure you want to do this, my dove?” Fintan, my grandfather, nearly pleaded. He firmly believed that it wasn’t necessary, or wise, for me to take part in this mission, given my status as a royal female heir. Or maybe just the fact that I had to ability to produce royal heirs was what worried him.
Regardless, I narrowed my eyes and replied harshly in the language of our people, “I will take back what is mine and the creature who took him will pay a heavy price for all we’ve suffered. Surely you would not deny me my rights to my betrothed?”
A heavy sigh escaped him as he pulled me into a warm embrace and kissed my forehead. “No, my dove. You will have your vengeance.”
“And you made sure to warn the boy, correct? This all hinges on him,” my father strapped a gun to his back, never believing he had enough weapons and strangely fond of the loud banging weapon humans had invented. I personally never saw the need, but then again, my light had always been stronger than his.
I closed my eyes and a small smile played on my lips, as I remembered just how well I’d warned Eric.
I curled up on top of him and laced my fingers through his. He nuzzled into my hair contentedly.
I was so glad I could give Eric this small amount of happiness. I knew his everyday existence was a lonely, miserable one. So, I tried my hardest to give him whatever pleasure I could when I summoned him to me.
My father had told me that it was an unusual gift to have, but one that had probably developed out of necessity. And, the fact that it manifested when I was 7 was remarkable. At least according to my grandfather.
Fairies matured at different rates, but powers never manifested before puberty. Even for a princess, like myself, from such a powerful family, it was unheard of.
I think it was because I missed Eric. After all, it happened right after he’d been taken. One night I went to sleep and all of a sudden I woke up with him in our meadow. The flowers had just bloomed, even though not an hour before I’d whined to my father about the frost killing them all.
I hid how confused I was though. And I hid what I could do from my family. I didn’t want to be more of a freak.
But they found out, of course. My light had dimmed and I was refusing to go outside. All I wanted to do was sleep. Because when I slept, I could see him.
My family was astounded when they found out. My brother even punched me. My cousins, who were about 100 at the time, were so pissed. But I couldn’t care less because all I needed was my Eric.
I yanked myself out of my musings and sighed. Eric gave my hand a light squeeze and I propped my chin up on his chest to stare into his eyes.
Those blue depths were so sad. But tonight was the night.
I brushed a stray lock of blonde hair out if his eye. It was still clean and soft from where we’d bathed together the night before.
“I have to go get ready. I’m so sorry,” I know I sounded miserable. He looked even more miserable because he knew what he would be waking up to. Hopefully, if we timed it well, he wouldn’t have to see HIM again. That motherfucker was going to pay.
“Okay,” he sounded so resigned. I hated it.
“I promise I’ll see you soon. You know I always keep my promises, right?”
He tried to smile, he really did. But it didn’t quite reach his eyes. I knew his spirit was on the verge of breaking-which was why I’d cajoled my family more and more in the last few months. And the night was finally here.
He closed his eyes, his body going completely still as I rolled off him.
“Just make sure you choose wisely,” I reminded him, pressing a soft kiss to his cheek.
“As long as you’re the choice, it’s one I’ll make easily.”
I gasped a sudden intake of breath as I felt the heavy weighted stares on me. I opened my eyes reluctantly, leaving the remembered vision of him behind.
“He knows. And he’ll come,” I reassured.
“Very well then,” Niall clapped his hands together and gestured for everyone’s attention. “Tonight, we attack!”