The Road Begins
Flashback 1: Year 2: Location: Paris, France
“Come, we need to get to the Chateau before it closes,” Russell said in French to Sookie, waiting for her to finish the donor from whom she was currently drinking.
Sookie took one last pull before sealing her bite mark and dismissed the donor. Running a hand over her new dress, she brushed any wrinkles out of it before making her way to Russell. “I’m ready.”
Russell held the door open as the donor left and then waited for Sookie to leave first. “We are going to the Chateau de Versailles tonight, Sunshine,” Russell said. “The Chateau used to be in a small village, but Paris expanded so damn much that it’s now just on the outskirts.”
“You spoil me,” Sookie said, as she linked her arm with his.
“Always,” Russell declared with a kiss to her head. “Now, Marie was a stupid twat, but Louis threw the best parties. Boys everywhere. Girls too, if you’re into that sort of thing. Ah, the debauchery to be had!”
“It sounds like he would’ve made an okay vampire,” Sookie remarked.
Russell smirked, “There were people looking for sure, but he lost his head first, sadly.”
“Such a pity,” Sookie said, “I’d have liked to have met him.”
“No more than that prick Napoleon. Excellent mind for strategy until he doesn’t take weather into consideration. Fucking humans. Russia’s cold in winter. If you’re going to take it over, do it quickly and start as soon as the ground thaws.”
Sookie laughed lightly as she listened, “Not a fan of Napoleon then?”
“He was excellent until he was stupid; as a vampire you can’t be that stupid,” Russell said with a shrug.
“You have to adapt with the times,” Sookie said.
“Exactly,” Russell said, satisfied with that response. When they arrived at the Chateau, Russell took her on a tour pointing out the true story behind the explanation any guide would give. He pointed out where Louis streaked naked at a party in the gardens. He described the orgy that took place after that incident. He gave intimate details about the young pageboy he fucked that night. “Ages were less of an issue at the time. Sex was sex. It felt good. As long as everyone was consensual, everyone could get pleasure,” Russell said.
Sookie snuggled against him as she listened. She wondered if she would ever get to a point where orgies and multiple partners were normal. It had only been in the last few months had she started taking pleasure when she fed. The abuse she suffered at the hands of the Weres had lingered in her mind and for months afterward the thought of doing anything sexual turned her stomach. She had gradually built up to it, a touch, a caress, but she had always been in control.
He took her to the rooms of the museum and told his own tales in each room definitely going off script. They wound up once again in the garden. “They’re the same here, you know,” Russell said, gesturing to the stars. “They’re constant. Though you and I are constant too now, you should know I’m sorry. I cannot deny you were meant for this life, but I regret how it happened.” He was obviously referring to the torture he had put her through.
“I forgive you. I forgave you a long time ago,” Sookie told him truthfully. She had forgiven him before she had even been turned. Although she wished she could change how their story started, she would never want to change how things were now. She belonged with him at his side. He had given her everything she never knew she wanted.
“You may,” Russell said with a nod but he didn’t. Russell stepped up to the fountain and looked at the water flowing from it. It was clear now, but had been much more brown the last time he was there.
Stepping up behind him, Sookie wrapped her arms around his waist, “We are better now,” She said softly.
His hands rubbed her arms softly as he saw each individual drop of water. “Do you want to practice here?” Russell asked.
Sookie took a quick look around before nodding. This would be the perfect place to practice her new gift. “Yes.”
“First try to hide yourself.”
Sookie closed her eyes for a second and tried to center herself, a slight tingle spread over her skin as she attempted to pull the light around her. She could feel a warmth around her as part of her disappeared from view.
“You’re split on an angle. You have an arm and leg showing. Do it again,” Russell said sternly.
Letting it go, Sookie repeated the actions pulling the light towards her again. She envisioned it as a cloak, surrounding her body, and protecting her. Once again she felt the warmth spread over her, only this time she could feel it surround her completely.
“Excellent!” Russell praised. “Do you feel any strain?”
Sookie shook her head, and then giggled as she remembered he couldn’t see her, “No,” She said as she let the light flow back and revealed herself to Russell once again.
“Good. Now I want you to do it again. A few days ago you could only hold it for a few minutes. Do it longer this time.” Russell smiled at her, proud of his child. She was so special, so unique.
Picturing the cloak again, Sookie pulled it around her and disappeared from view. She held it as long as she could, longer than ever, before the strain became too much and she released it again. “I’m getting better,” She said with a smile.
“Well done, Princess,” Russell praised her. “Anything else you’d like to do in this city?” He asked. They had been there since just after Sookie was turned.
Sookie shook her head as she looped her arm through his, “No,” She replied as she eyed some of the surrounding people.
“Well then where to, Sunshine? I told you I’d show you the world.”
“Italy,” Sookie said after a moments thought.
Russell switched from French to Latin; “Only the church will speak the old language, but we can go.”
“Thank you,” Sookie said as she switched languages.
“We can stay there for a few years, visit, and see the sights. I think you are controlled enough now for me to even take you with me when we check in. We’ll stay in Florence. The Sheriff there is less sympathetic to the States.”
“That sounds great,” Sookie replied.
“What would you like to see in Italy?” Russell asked, still in Latin, testing her linguistic ability.
“The Coliseum,” Sookie grinned.
“You want to be a gladiator, a senator, Caesar, or a spectator?” Russell asked with a smirk.
“A senator could be nice.”
“Ahh, but even the senate had to bow to the Caesar. There’s always someone higher ranking or with more skill than you,” Russell instructed. “Let’s go pack. We can leave as soon as we settle our affairs.”
“I thought you’d want to be the Caesar,” Sookie said.
“I’m your Caesar, but even I have my own Caesar, and Caesar always was subject to his God’s will. Filthy pigs they were, defacing, and then stealing my Gods.” It was not the first comment Russell had made against Roman theology.
“What Gods did you worship?”
“Greek Gods,” Russell said in his own dead language. “Apollo, Zeus, Aphrodite. Poseidon, the Moirai, Hades. My string must be very long or the fates forgot about me.”
“I think you’re unforgettable,” Sookie said.
Russell smiled and stroked Sookie’s hair. “Only you would think so, but the Coliseum is one place we will definitely stop. What about the Pope? I know you are not Catholic, but would you want to visit the Vatican?”
“Maybe, can I eat a priest if we do?”
Russell laughed heartily. “Whatever you want, dear. Though Italy has plenty of priests; you wouldn’t need to go to the Vatican.”
Sookie giggled as she tugged him towards the street, “I’m sure I’ll find something to my liking.”