A Fortune in Lies
Before Sookie knew it a year had passed, the one-year anniversary of her kidnapping was remembered with a walk in the gardens of all things. For a year she had been cooped up inside, not allowed out, so to say she was surprised when Russell had shown up in her room one night with a new dress and the news he was taking her for a walk in the gardens, would have been an understatement.
“Come along, dear.” Russell said once she was dressed. Since she had asked, he had never once called her sweetheart.
A smile touched the corners of Sookie’s lips as she was led outside. “I think I’ve almost forgotten what the stars look like.”
“They’re the one thing that hasn’t changed, especially in this part of the world. Three thousand years ago, they were more easily viewed, but still the same stars, the same rotation.”
“They’re beautiful,” Sookie said softly, as she gazed up at them. “They look so small, but shine so bright.”
“The view wasn’t too bad in Bon Temps, but Jackson was just awful. Less beautiful men easily available in this area, but the skies are clearer,” Russell said. He had wrapped Sookie’s arm around his crooked elbow so they could walk. Many of the flowers here were night-blooming.
“I used to love walking through the cemetery in Bon Temps. It was so quiet, just me in my own head.”
“Other than the Weres, that should still be the case here.”
“And their minds are practically empty anyway,” Sookie replied cheekily.
“Especially these Weres,” Russell agreed.
“Do you only use Weres?” Sookie asked before she could stop herself. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.”
“You mean Werewolves? No. I use other Weres and sometimes shifters like your former boss. Werewolves are just the most populous.”
“Other Weres?” Sookie questioned.
“Most any animal you can imagine, and some you can’t. Typically mammals though. I’d imagine it’d be difficult to contain all of the internal organs in a mosquito form, for instance.”
Sookie couldn’t help but laugh at that. “So there are like Were elephants and lions? How about kittens? I like cats.”
“Elephants and lions, yes,” Russell said, smiling at her laugh. “I don’t know of any house cats, but there are larger breeds like bobcats and tigers. There’s a pretty famous Were-tiger. When he shifts, he looks just like a Bengal tiger, with the orange, black, and white fur. I bet you could pet him and make him purr.”
“I’d teach him to do tricks,” Sookie joked, for once at ease.
“You know, I could probably arrange that; and I’d so like to see it,” Russell said. “What do you think about?” he asked, turning serious. “What do you think about to get the strength? Anger doesn’t sustain strength like yours for that long.”
“Revenge,” Sookie admitted truthfully. “I’m past anger now. Anger won’t do me any good. I want revenge.” Pausing to look up at the sky, Sookie sighed, “You know it’s funny, but you’re the only person who has ever been completely honest with me.” Dropping her gaze to Russell she continued, “You have told me what you expect of me, what you’re going to do and have never made excuses for it. I’ve had people tell me they love me and then put conditions on it. I have had them tell me nothing and then get angry when I do something wrong. I have had them lie to me and think me a freak. They tried to make me think I was weak, but I’m not. I’ve proved I’m not, here.”
“You’re not. And you’ve truly impressed me,” Russell said with a nod. “I was thinking we could cut back on our sessions. Not completely because your blood does such wondrous things, but a bit.”
“Why is my blood so special?” Sookie asked, as she gazed up at the stars again.
“What did your Mr. Compton tell you about his research into your blood?” Russell asked, not believing he hadn’t even explained her blood’s unique properties.
“Nothing,” Sookie admitted with a shrug. “He said I tasted sweeter than others and that no one else would be able to control themselves if they ever tasted my blood, but that’s it.”
Russell had her sit down on a stone bench in the middle of the garden. “Your sweetness, your telepathy, your other skills, comes from fairies. You, Sunshine, are part fairy. And judging from your taste, you had at least one parent who was Fae.”
“I’m a fairy? How fucking lame,” Sookie snorted. “Please tell me I’m not supposed to glitter and be three inches tall.”
Russell smirked. “Fairies are much more delicious than that. You’re talking about sprites. Fairies are beautiful.” He inclined his head to her. “They are wily and resourceful.” He smiled again, attributing those characteristics to her. “And they taste like pure sunshine — the most delicious and fragrant blood around. A full-blooded fae’s difficult to catch and subdue, but when you do, they go down so sweet.”
“So it was my blood Sophie-Anne was after and why she sent Bill?” Sookie asked. She paused as a thought came into her head and her brow furrowed in thought. “One of my parents was a fairy? So why doesn’t my brother have the same abilities?”
“Well, I don’t claim to be an expert in fairy blood. Perhaps you have the innate fairy abilities and he does not. They mention a spark that either gets ignited or not in their literature,” Russell said. “Maybe it also affects the taste of blood, because your cousin tasted nowhere near as sweet as you, but she had some of the fairy blood in her.”
“The light,” Sookie whispered, recalling the words Claudine had said to her in that strange dream like thing she had. She had said Bill was trying to steal her light.
“I’ve always devoured any fairies I’ve had my fangs in and never gotten to question them. Tell me more about this light!”
“It was after Bill nearly drained me,” Sookie replied, as she tried to recall what Claudine had told her. “I woke up in this strange place. Like Disney Land only with porn. Claudine said that I was in danger, I was in a coma, dying, it couldn’t get any worse at that point. When Bill healed me just before I woke she said he’s trying to steal your light.”
“Well, as long as it was porn of the proper variety, I am all set to be there! How do we go?” Russell said, trying to lighten her mood.
Sookie laughed as she shook her head. If someone would had told her a year ago, she would be sitting on a bench enjoying a nice conversation with Russell Edgington she would have said they were crazy, but here she was. She wanted to hate him, and in a lot of ways she still did, but he was the only one who could make her smile and laugh. He was the only one who talked to her and not at her. And in his own twisted way he protected her. None of the Weres had tried anything sexual with her since he had carved that message into her skin; they still beat her, but even that wasn’t to the same extent as it was before. The pain no longer bothered her, or rather didn’t bother her as much. She wasn’t sure if it was because she had become used to it, or if the amount of blood of Russell’s she had was healing her before she felt it all.
“Only ever been there once and that was after my ever loving ex thanked me for saving him from your place in Mississippi by almost draining me,” Sookie said. “You know, he said he didn’t know what he was doing, but he had the presences of mind to cover my mouth so I couldn’t scream.”
“Let’s not talk about such unpleasantness,” Russell said, patting her knee. “Besides your revenge or your freedom, if you could have anything that I could conceivably deliver to you, what would it be?”
“Some new clothes, a haircut,” Sookie shrugged, naming some of the little things she would like. She hadn’t had a haircut in over a year and other than the new dress he had bought her, she only had the outfit Pam kidnapped her in. “A new pair of shoes.”
Russell nodded. Those could be easily accomplished. “No flightier dreams?” he asked.
“Learn a new language and how to play the piano,” Sookie added with a small quirk of her lips. “I never had much growing up so I learned not to wish for things I’d never have. Besides, I had everything I needed.”
“For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t want to teach you the local language, but I wouldn’t mind teaching you another. I know many languages. How would you like to learn ancient Greek, the language from my human days?”
Sookie’s eyes lit up at his offer and she nodded eagerly. “I would love to. All I can speak is English and redneck,” she joked.
“Well then, my dear, I will have a piano available to you when you have time. I can teach you that — maybe we can take some nights off. And on other nights, you can learn some languages. Maybe the language can be another thing for you to concentrate on while we work in your other room.” Russell thought in silence for a moment; “I will need to find some donors for our nights off.” he voiced his thoughts.
“I can read them for you,” Sookie offered surprising even herself. But as she thought about it, she realized her offer was genuine. If he wanted her to, she would read any potential donors to make sure they weren’t a danger to him.
“That’s very generous of you,” Russell said. He didn’t want her to read all — some he would just rip apart to bathe in their blood. But those whom he liked, whatever beautiful men would bow before the gloriousness of his fangs and cock, those she could read.
“It’s nothing,” Sookie replied, making light of her offer. “You can never be too careful.”
“That is very true. Expect clothes, shoes, and a haircut tomorrow. And, as it’s your year anniversary with me, we are taking the night off. Would you like to begin your lessons on piano or start learning the true Greek?”
“Learning Greek,” Sookie answered, almost giddily.
“Let’s begin with our far superior alphabet, shall we? Once you get slightly more familiar with some common words, I will primarily speak to you in that language.”
“So I’ll pick it up easier,” Sookie guessed. “Can I insult the Weres in it? It’d be funny watching them try to figure out what I’ve said.”
Russell grinned at her. “I’ll teach you your favorite curses first.”