“Hello, I’m calling regarding your daughter, Eira Brigant? This is her school counselor.”
When he rose for the day, he really wasn’t expecting a call like this. Usually, the ones that called were his businesses, and that was rarely. Half the time it was mostly Fangtasia business or it was Pam. Just because he told her to stay away from him, didn’t mean he banned her from calling him. Pam was on the other side of the world, which meant that at the time he rose, her nightly activities were nearing their end.
Eric had caught on that the councilor was calling Eira by a different last name. As far as he knew, her birth certificate had the name Northman on it, and he was pretty damned sure she was registered in her school as Eira Northman, not Brigant.
He would have to have a nice conversation with the Fairy King, regarding this. Eira was his child, and no one elses, his blood in her veins. She was a Northman, and that was that.
“Yes, what about Eira, Miss…?”
“Well then, Miss Abernanthy. What is it about Eira you wish to discuss?” He had never really gotten a phone call from Eira’s schools, in any of the years she’s gone. Occasionally Niall would tell him she was a good girl, and an excellent student, but that was it. That was all he knew. He assumed because of this, they didn’t call for anything, and he’s heard of kids that have horrible behavior in school, but his child was nothing like that. He was sure of it.
“We, we’re worried for her. Her records show that she’s been an excellent student. We’ve spoken to her previous instructors, and they speak marvelous things about her. She’s one of the top students in the school, and she has excellent grades. She has always maintained a 4.0 GPA average. But recently, sir since the start of the school year her grades began to drop. She doesn’t seem like she’s ‘here’.
Of course Eira would have excellent grades. Her mother had a brilliant mind, and it seemed to have passed onto her daughter. But something did give him worry. He remembered Sookie telling him that her grades dropped because of her telepathy. Was Eira struggling with her telepathy?
“and we’re calling because we were alerted that Miss Eira has left the school, without authorization. She is not here.”
He nearly crushed the phone in his hand. He had told his daughter that she needed to adhere to rules. They were in place for a reason. She had a bodyguard for a reason. He was pretty sure his daughter had acquired the Fae trait of teleportation, and she had used it to her advantage. Eric tried to maintain his composure, with a cold edge to his voice he responded.
“There is no need to worry, I will get to the bottom of this, and Eira will return to school tomorrow. I assure you this won’t happen again.” He hung up without even a single goodbye. The lady on the other side of the phone would probably think he was rude for it but he didn’t care. His priority was his little rebel of a teenage daughter. Eric picked his phone up and began to call a certain Faery.
“Your Majesty, is Eira with you?”
“No, can’t say she is. I would have felt her come here. –Where is my granddaughter, Northman?” Niall demanded. Eric did not like the tone of voice Niall was using on him.
“I could ask you the same question. The councilor from her school informed me that she left the school. I assume she would be with you, after all she’s registered as a Brigant.”
Eric heard him chuckling on the other side of the line, and if he was able to, he would drain the man dry. He was in no mood for jokes.
“You really need to understand her better, Northman. She’s registered under your name, but glamoured the staff into believing she was a Brigant. But rest assured, I will find her and I will bring her to you.”
The line went dead, and Eric sat back down at his desk, wondering why Eira had glamoured everyone into believing she was a Brigant. The more he thought about it, the more it made sense to him. Having his name would bring her under more danger, but on the other hand the Brigant name could bring her danger as well. But at the same time it provided her with protection. No one would be dumb enough to try and risk war with the Fae.
And he would rip heads off if something happened to her.
Her test read C minus, and this wasn’t the only test in which her grade had dropped considerably. For the entire week she had been getting low grades on her mid terms. Eira never once, in her life did she ever get a C. For as long as she remembered, her grades consisted of A’s only. Her GPA was a perfect 4.0. She was one of the top students in the school, and she couldn’t believe she had fallen this low.
Her hands were shaking, and her frustration was growing.
Most of the students in the classroom had gone off to lunch, and she was the only one left in the classroom. Her teacher was concerned, all of her teachers were concerned with her. Just this morning, the Councilor had called for her to discuss her grades with her. They were concerned as well.
It wasn’t only this week, it was since the start of the school year. While she was an excellent student overall, her grades were dropping like dead flies.
“Miss Brigant.” Her teacher called out to her, and Eira snapped out of her daze.
“Is everything okay?” The same damn question the councilor had asked her. Of course nothing was okay! She was failing her classes! How was that okay?
Eira looked back at her teacher. She smiled faintly “I’m okay, I promise.”
What could she say to them? That she no longer had a reason to excel at anything? She knew it wasn’t right for her to think that way, others would argue that she had to do things for herself, not for others.
But this was different. She needed someone to notice her, and not just anyone. She wanted someone to be proud of her, she wanted Eric Northman to acknowledge her, to let her know that she mattered.
She knew the day was coming when she would finally leave the safety of her Aunt and Uncle to go live with her father, but she hadn’t realized how stressful it would be.
Up until her sixteenth birthday, that’s all she had ever thought about, and it was reflecting on her grades, and not in a good way. What made her even more worried is that she didn’t want to fail her debate team, and at the rate she was going, it seemed likely that she was doomed to fail.
Making sure that no one was around, Eira headed into the bathroom, and shut herself into one of the stalls. She closed her eyes and she popped away, she needed to be away from many things these days and she knew just the place.
She was back in Bon Temp, near the Fae portal. She had the urge to step through it, to just disappear from the human world. She wanted to run away, and it seemed like a good idea. The only thing was that even if she ran away, it wasn’t like her feelings were going to disappear just like that. She would be equally miserable, if not even more.
And if she ran away, she would cause trouble for her grandfather, and because she was still underage her father could demand retribution and call this a blood offense. She was literally screwed.
Eira let out a yell in pure frustration, and she began to shoot light out of her hands in random directions, until a warm hand touched her wrist, bringing her out of her rage. She knew the touch all too well. She refused to cry, but that didn’t stop her from turning towards the owner of the hand, and launching herself into the person’s arms.
“Grandfather.” She said burying her face into his chest, inhaling the sweet honey like aroma. A warmth spread through her body making her feel calm and loved. Her worries just seemed to have floated away and her stress levels went down considerably.
“My precious one, I knew I’d find you here. Your father is worried for you.”
Eira rolled her eyes. “As if.”
“Now now, my dearest one. Would you like to tell me what’s wrong? I’ve heard from your father that you’re not doing well in your schooling.”
Eira stiffened, and pulled away from her great grandfather. She was frustrated at herself all over again because instead of getting notified that she was a perfect student, her instructors and everyone else had probably spoken of her poor grades and poor behavior to her father.
That’s not what she wanted him to know about her.
She was an excellent student, damn it!
“I…don’t know grandpa.” She said softly. “I’m trying my hardest, like I always do but nothing is turning out how I want it to turn out. Everything is going wrong and there isn’t anything I could do to fix it.”
Niall suspected what was wrong with his greatest grandchild. He knew of course, of the Viking’s treatment of her. He disapproved of the way he was handling his grief, but at the same time while the Viking denied all claim that he didn’t care for his grandchild’s well-being, he in fact did care.
Otherwise he wouldn’t have sent her to the best school, otherwise he wouldn’t have written letters to her, that most of the time were unsent. He would have never taken her back on her sixteenth birthday. He wouldn’t have gotten angry about the change of name on his grandchild’s school records.
Eric Northman loved his child, but had a bad way of showing it. If only the fool of a Viking could understand the damage he was causing.
Watching his granddaughter go through such ordeals was heartbreaking, even for him. She was losing the light in her eyes she once had. That was never a good thing.
“Eira dearest, come, hold my hand. I want to show you something.”
Many stray, sad thoughts were going through her mind. Her grandfathers voice snapped her out of that daze.
“What are you going to show me?”
“Hope, I will show you hope.”
There was hesitation, but she grabbed onto her grandfather’s hand.
“Now, close your eyes and feel the memories go through you.”
Before she knew it, Eira was surrounded by a warm light. The negative emotions she was feeling, had gone away, and it in its place were beautiful feelings of love and happiness and warmth. Holding her grandfather’s hand made it even better.
The memories that flooded through her, were not her own. She was surprised by what she was seeing.
A very pregnant Sookie had accidently dropped her book on the ground. Her belly was large and round, and it was difficult to squat down to just pick the damn thing up. She looked up towards the counter, and kicked the book on over there so she would have somewhere to hold onto while she picked it up off the floor.
Much to her dismay though, Eric had magically appeared and picked the book off the ground for her.
“Lover, you should call me when these things happen, I don’t want you straining yourself.” Sookie sent him a glare.
“Eric, I’m pregnant not some delicate flower. I won’t break.”
“Lover, I know you are not a frail flower, but you are carrying our child. Your body needs to rest and take it easy so that our daughter will continue to grow strong.” Eric said guiding her over to the couch. She hated when he was right. He knelt down before her, and kissed her belly.
“Little one, I hope you and your mother slept well.”
Sookie smiled, running her fingers, gently through his hair. “We had a great nap, she loves falling asleep to daddy’s voice.” Sookie said, leaning in to kiss Eric’s forehead.
The scenes were changing, and she was led to another scene, one where her parents were carrying a newborn, which was none other than herself. The images went past her, and at one point she tried to reach out and touch, but her hand went right through, though she knew this wasn’t all real.
Sookie laid her head against the pillow, closing her eyes. Exhaustion was taking over her, after a long day of labor she was just so sleepy. Eira had already been fed, and the tiny infant was fast asleep. Eric stayed by her side, and gently caressed her face. He pressed his lips against her brow.
“You were wonderful today, lover. I can see you are exhausted, so please sleep. I will be here when you wake up.”
At one point, Sookie was trying to keep herself awake, her mind on her tiny daughter.
“What if Eira wakes up? She might need me.” She mumbled, barely keeping herself awake.
“She will be alright, I promise.” He said kissing her again.
Before he knew it, Sookie was sound asleep, and it was just him and his tiny infant daughter. So much had gone on in the day. When he felt Sookie’s pain, he immediately had woken up, fearing the worst for her. The house they lived in was light tight so he was free to move about. When he vamped speed on over to her location, she was already in labor.
And his fear grew tenfold.
In his day, many women died from childbirth, and although he knew his fear was irrational because today’s modern medicines and technology prevented such casualties, he still couldn’t help but worry.
Eric looked down at his sleeping infant daughter, noticing the she was already wide awake. Bright blue eyes staring back at his own. When Eira noticed him, she began fussing around, scrunching her nose up looking like she was already ready to cry.
Eric picked her up gently into his strong arms. Eira no longer fussed around once she felt safe and warm in these strong arms.
“For one so small, you seem so strong..my arms will keep you safe and warm..”He sang softly to her, remembering a song he had heard Sookie sing quite often.
“This bond between us, can’t be broken I will be here, don’t you cry.” He continued singing, as he gently moved around, until his daughter was fast asleep.
He stopped singing and looked at her closely.
“Eira Northman, for as long as I walk this Earth, I will protect you always; I vow that your enemies will fall at your feet, I will spill the blood of those who seek to harm you, You will never want for anything. You are my daughter, and I will never stop loving you.”
The scene changed once more. Eira found herself failing at holding back her tears, she squeezed her grandfather’s hand even tighter.
It was the middle of the night, and Sookie was up, Eira was already fed but now she was just being a fussy baby. Sookie kept rocking her, and singing to her.
“Come stop your crying, it’ll be alright. Just hold my hand, hold it tight. I will protect you, from all around you, I will be here so don’t you cry.” Little Eira was slowly calming down.
“For one so small you seem so strong, my arms will keep you safe and warm. This bond between us, can’t be broken, I will be here, so don’t you cry.” Came Eric’s voice. It somewhat startled Sookie, but she continued singing to Eira.
“Cause you’ll be in my heart, yes you’ll be in my heart.”
Sookie stopped her singing, once Eira had fallen asleep. Eric stepped up behind her, wrapping his arms around them.
To Eira’s eyes, it was the perfect family picture. That song her mother had sung, was one she would always remember. Tears fell down her face as she realized that her father wasn’t always the cold bastard he was now. But she realized that her father hadn’t really gone back on his promise. He was still protecting her, he said so himself.
But why couldn’t she have the man that she saw in the memories her grandfather was showing her? That’s all she ever wanted. Eira turned around and hugged her grandfather.
“He loves you Eira, but he’s a stubborn fool and will not admit it. It took your mother a long time to break down that barrier. But you are his daughter, it shouldn’t be hard for you either.”
She nodded, feeling only a little better after watching those memories. Eira stepped back.
“I’m going….back. I’ll call you if things go bad, I promise.” She said, and popped away.
By the time Eira had gotten home, it was a little past sundown. Loki was rubbing up against her leg, purring in delight that his master was home. Eira picked him up, and pressed her forehead against his.
“For now…Loki it’s just you and me. We’re family, and that means nobody gets left behind or forgotten, right?”
She stood in front of the staircase hugging Loki close to her.
“If that’s the case…then…why was I left behind and forgotten?”
She was met with silence. Of course no one would answer her question. But then a few moments later, the very familiar voice of her father was what she heard.
“Eira would you like to explain to me why you’re doing so poorly in school? You could also explain to me why you suddenly left the school. You realize this behavior is unacceptable, Eira.”
She really didn’t want to hear any of it. She didn’t want to face her father right now. She was feeling way to vulnerable, she felt as if she could break at any moment.
“It happens.” She shrugged it off, trying to play it cool. Eric narrowed his eyes at her not pleased with her answer.
“No, it does not just ‘happen.’ Just like your instructors addressing you by a different name, other than the name you are registered with in school, does not just ‘happen’”
“I….what do you want me to say? That I’m sorry?” Eira replied in a shaky voice. “What am I sorry for? Sorry for trying to be the perfect student so that people would notice me? Is it wrong to be tired of trying? Is it wrong to try and take a break for once?”
“You are noticed, many notice your excellence. Your instructors have informed me so, so why do you think otherwise?” Eric remembered telling Sookie that she shouldn’t care what others thought of her. He remembered telling Sookie that she should only do things because she needed to please herself, not others. It seemed as if his child had the same insecurities.
He realized, that there were many things that he needed to teach her.
Though that’s not what she had meant. Eira shook her head, hugging Loki even tighter.
“I don’t care about them. The most important people that need to notice are never there when I need them. The people that promised me that they’d never leave me are never there.” She said so softly towards the end. Her body was shaking, She buried her face into her cat’s fur.Trying to hide the tears that were already rolling down her face. She couldn’t stop herself anymore and she most certainly didn’t want her father to see her this way.
There were so many things she had to say and so many questions but she didn’t want to cry in front of him. Eira tried controlling her breathing, she could feel herself shiver and she shut everything out. She inhaled the scent of her cat’s fur that smelled something akin to almonds and chamomile. She tried focusing on that.
Once Eric had smelled her tears he had no idea what to do. He was suddenly feeling protective of her, he wanted her to stop crying. He had once vowed that he would destroy any that made his daughter cry, once upon a time ago.
And even though it was long ago, he would never break his vow. Not now and especially not to his own daughter. There was a need to comfort her, but he didn’t know how to approach her.
But before he knew it, he had to act quickly. Using his vampire speed, he caught a falling Eira, whom had somehow blacked-out. Loki hopped out of her arms, landing gracefully on all fours, and disappeared out of sight, leaving both Eira and Eric alone.
Eric looked down at Eira. It was time to call in Doctor Ludwig, because a high body temperature was never a good sign for a special type of Vampire hybrid that Eira was.
He was feeling fear.
The last time he felt fear was when he had lost Sookie.