Chapter 2: Second Chances
“Would you have the story end this way?” a musical voice asked me in the darkness.
I tried to turn around, to see where the voice was coming from, but I couldn’t see anything. “Who’s there?” I asked. The voice almost sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it.
Suddenly, through the darkness, a brightly lit figure came walking towards me. She seemed to glow from the inside out. When she stopped in front of me, I gasped, “Claudine!” and before I could stop myself, launched myself at her and wrapped my arms around her.
I came to my senses though, and quickly released her, stepping away. “You’re an angel,” I said in awe.
She smiled that very Claudine smile and said, “Yup! And I’m your guardian angel!”
I couldn’t stop myself; I burst into tears, sobbing at the thought of her death. “I’m so sorry Claudine! You’re dead because of me!”
Claudine stepped forward, wrapped me in her arms, and said, “Now you hush up, Sookie. You were not the one who wielded the sword that killed me. What kind of God Mother did you think I was? I’m very upset that you even spent one minute blaming yourself for my death.” She pushed me back and looked down at me. “You helped me to get my fondest wish, to become an angel. And now, I get to be your guardian angel.” She finished by kissing me on the forehead. I’m not sure if it was an angel thing, or simply hearing her words, but I felt a huge weight lifted from my heart, and I knew it was the guilt of her death that I had carried around for so long.
“Wait a minute, you’re my guardian angel? What does that mean?” I asked still hugging her, not ready to let go of my cousin for fear that she might disappear.
“It means I watch over you, the same as I always did. Only now I have more powers,” Claudine giggled. I would have thought a giggling angel would seem incongruous, but with Claudine, it just seemed right. “Come here, there’s one more thing to show you,” she said taking my hand and leading me a few steps away.
I couldn’t see where we were going to, it all looked pitch-black to me, but suddenly we stopped, and Claudine waved her hands in a circle, as though she were cleaning a window. The blackness became a bright haziness, and suddenly the haziness gave way to a clear picture. It was my old farmhouse in Bon Temps. It didn’t look as though it had changed much, but still I could tell that it felt the passing of the past sixty years just as I had. Although looking down, my body didn’t seem to have aged at all. I was about to ask Claudine what was going on, when I saw Eric walking through my old home. His face was bloodstained with dried tears, and his skin almost looked grey.
He walked through my old home, touching a few things here and there. Memories seemed to be replaying in his mind, but what they were I couldn’t tell. A sad smile touched his face, and he walked out of my farmhouse. I expected him to either get in his car and leave, or take off and fly away. I could see by the graying sky that dawn was coming. But Eric simply sat down on the old porch swing. He seemed to go into downtime. I tried to turn to Claudine to ask her what was going on, and what Eric was doing, but I could no longer move.
“I love you Sookie.” Eric said quietly. “I shall see you soon, in the halls of Valhalla,” he added quietly.
As the sun began to peak over the horizon, I could no longer stand still. I let loose a terrible roar, devastated by what this beautiful creature was about to do. But once again, everything went black. I was sobbing, holding my knees to my chest when I felt Claudine kneel beside me and wrap her arms around me.
“Is he dead?” I asked in a horse voice.
“Only you and he can write how this story will end,” she said sadly.
Her words bounced around in my head for a long time. Finally I choked out, “You mean, that didn’t really happen?” I was completely confused now.
Claudine leaned back and wiped away my tears, “Unfortunately, your argument did happen Sookie. But everything after that … well, it’s just one of many possibilities. It’s what may happen if you continue down this path.”
“You mean I can still fix this?” I asked sitting up on my knees and grasping Claudine’s arms.
Claudine tucked a piece of hair behind my ear and said, “Your future is what you make it.”
I thought about everything that had happened, and what Claudine had showed me. I couldn’t help but ask, “So you took me into the future to show me what a mess I make of things? That’s kind of A Christmas Carolish. Very ghost of Christmas future.”
Claudine giggled again, “I love that movie. It worked though didn’t it?”
I shook my head at her. “So if I let Eric turn me, everything will be ok?” I asked.
Claudine shrugged her shoulders, “Unfortunately, I can’t predict what will happen with every choice you make. But, I can tell you that walking away from him, doesn’t seem to be much of an option, for either of you. You guys both need to buck up, and start talking to each other and work things out together,” she said looking at me intently.
I nodded my head at her gentle scolding.
“Now, are you ready to go back?”
I nodded yes, and then asked frantically, “Wait, when?”
Claudine’s musical giggling was my only answer.
I opened my eyes, and suddenly I was back in my old home. I was still in a heap on my kitchen floor. I wiped the tears from my eyes, but then it hit me. I was back to the night of our argument. I sprang up and ran out the door, praying that Eric hadn’t left yet.
By some miracle, he hadn’t. He was standing between the house and his corvette, looking strangely at the house. But I didn’t give it a second thought. “Oh God Eric, I’m so sorry. Please don’t leave! You know I didn’t mean it, I was just mad! I didn’t mean it! Please don’t leave! I won’t let my pride come between us. I need you; I need you in my life more than anything. I’ll do anything, just don’t go!” I shouted as I grabbed his shirt and clung to him.
“Sookie?” he asked, as though he couldn’t believe it was me. I looked up at him, confused by his apparent confusion. But then he threw his arms around me, and crushed me to his chest. “Forgive me, my love; can you ever forgive me for letting my pride push you away? I love you as you are. I accept all that you are, and I won’t let us waste a single moment. Whatever time we are given, we will spend it to its fullest,” he said as he rubbed his cheek across the top of my head.
He always reminded me of cat when he was like this, and I swear sometimes he almost purred. I wanted to laugh at the thought, but then it hit me what he had said. He had never said those three words to me before, even if I had felt it through the bond. “You love me?” I asked, my voice breaking. I had never been happier than in that moment. Something seemed to click within me, and I knew what I wanted, what I needed to do. “I love you too Eric!” I told him, “and I want to be with you forever! I don’t want anything to happen to you because I die,” I said earnestly.
I saw his eyes widen at my proclamation. I could feel that he desired this too, but instead he said softly, “Perhaps one day, if you still wish it, I will turn you, but not now my love.” And he brought his forehead to rest gently against mine.
“But I don’t understand. I was wrong Eric; it was just my stupid pride. I want you to turn me. I want to be with you forever!”
“And my heart sings to hear you say that my love, but I will not do it now when both our emotions are so high. I will not even promise to do such a thing at this time. I will promise to love you with all of my heart for as long as I am allowed. If one day you still wish to be turned we will discuss it again,” he said quite calmly.
I tightened my hold around his neck, loving his compassion and understanding all the more in this moment. “I understand, and I appreciate that you are trying to give me more time Eric, but I won’t change my mind,” I told him before I whispered, “I’ve had so many years to regret my decision, and I’m not making the same mistake twice.”
I was determined to make up for lost time immediately. After all, it had been sixty years to me since I had last slept with a man. “Let’s go inside Mr. Northman, and you can show Mrs. Northman just what she might be getting if she did decide she wanted an eternity with him,” I told him with a wink, knowing he loved it when I referred to myself as Mrs. Northman.
Before I knew it, we were back in my bedroom, and I had to admit, already this path seemed like a far better one than what I had chosen the first time around.
A/N: Ok, I’m finally done with this. I’m still not sure if it was exactly what I wanted, but for the most part, I’m pretty happy with it. At least I’m happy to have it off my plate and finished so that it’s no longer gnawing at me. There’s a few things I might’ve changed along the way, I thought about having her marry Rory, and having both him and her be miserable, thereby ruining another life with her choices, but ultimately, I just didn’t want to have her ruin another life, even if Rory is a complete figment of my imagination. I mean come on, he’s mine, I couldn’t just ruin his life too, he’s too good looking, or least he is in my mind! Lol! But I decided to leave Sookie alone in her despair. Also, I’m not saying that Sookie should or shouldn’t be turned. I think there’s good and bad for both, but I do think they need to get together on things and talk about what’s going on.
Hope you guys enjoyed it, and it wasn’t a letdown for those of you who have read The Funeral of Hearts and asked me to finish this. I really liked the way Eric’s version turned out. He’s just easier for me to write for some reason.
Let me know what you thought! I love to hear from you guys!