THE END. *sobs*
It’s hard to believe this is the final chapter of Deborah’s Eric & Sookie fanfic, “The Dark Queen”. Forgive me, if I sound like a big, slobbering baby…but I’m very sad to see this story come to an end. Waaaaah!
We hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have! We were very excited to make it “yours” – due to the fact you could cast your votes to decide what happened next in the story! But as with all good things…it MUST come to an end. We hope you enjoy this final chapter!
Be warned…this is a LOOOOOONG chapter, but it’s all…SO GOOD! It has it ALL!
Please remember…if you loved “The Dark Queen”, you will love her novels as well! You can order Deborah Court‘s novel, “Bound To The Prince” – through Amazon.com! Plus, she has a new novella, just released – titled, “House of Pleasure” – order it here!
If you would like to catch up on all of the chapters of The Dark Queen or read the story from beginning to end – you can read them here! As well as reading the prequel to this story, “Piece of Glass”!
Here’s a special note to Deborah, before you start reading!
To Deborah: Thanks so much for writing this wonderfully, exciting story and for sharing it with us! We enjoyed being able to decide what happened next in the story. It gave us some feeling of control, which is something that we lack, when it comes to True Blood. Thank you for spending most of your free time, ignoring your other stories to send this to us! We wish you all the best in the future! Don’t be a stranger – stop by and visit us as often as you can! *hugs*
PS. I may take you up on your offer of posting from time to time! ;)
Now on with the conclusion of this story!
The Dark Queen
By Deborah Court
I am already dead.
This was Sookie’s only thought as she lay in the moldy darkness, eyes wide open. She had awoken a few minutes ago, feeling the moist, cold floor underneath her. Her head still throbbed from the drug they had forced down her throat.
After Eric had fallen asleep last night, she’d been wide awake, staring out of the window when she felt something reaching out to her – an unknown power that suddenly had gotten a hold of her whole being. It had felt like long, icy fingers wrapped around her heart, squeezing until she was paralyzed with fear. Her body refused to follow her own will, and she slowly rose and walked towards Eric’s private elevator. Like a doll she had entered and pressed the button to the basement where a black Bentley was already waiting for her. Two of Gervais’s men had seized her as soon as she’d left the elevator, blindfolded and tied her up before throwing her into the trunk of the car.
But this wasn’t the worst part. Before she had left the penthouse, she’d taken a knife from the kitchen table and stepped into the bathroom. Cutting deep into the soft flesh of her arm, Sookie had dipped her finger into her own blood and written the message that was intended for Eric. Her hand had moved on its own, forced by an unknown power.
“If you try to find her, she’s dead.
If you try to enter my house, she’s dead.
Meet me tomorrow night at midnight at Marie Laveau’s grave.“
It had felt terrible not to be in control of her own body, to be controlled like a puppet. She had tried to fight with all her might, even attempted to call on her fairy powers, but as usual, they didn’t follow her bidding.
Now, as she cautiously moved her limbs, she discovered that she could use them again, but also that her wrists and ankles were bound with a rope which only seemed to get tighter the more she tried to wriggle out of it. Her whole body hurt like hell after lying motionless on the cold stone floor – how long, she didn’t know, maybe for hours. There was a soft rustling in the corners that sounded like a rat, and she shivered. Maybe it was looking for food and smelled the dried blood on her arm.
“Welcome, Mademoiselle Stackhouse,” a female voice said, and a candle was lit. Sookie sat up abruptly, blinking into the light that was penetrating the darkness.
“It’s you,” she breathed. “Mama Valerie.”
“Non,” the woman answered, “that’s not my real name.” As she stepped out of the shadows into the light, she was hardly recognizable as the voodoo priestess who owned the small shop off Rue Dumaine. Standing proud and upright, she appeared much taller and younger, and she had changed her African clothes for an elegant white evening robe. Her hair fell in thick curls over her bare shoulders, and she flashed her white teeth at Sookie when she smiled.
“Marie Laveau, at your service,” she said. Gesturing to her dress, she added, “I wanted to look my best tonight. After all, my husband will return to his former glory tonight. Together, we’ll rule over New Orleans again.” She lit more candles, padding on bare feet through the room, which was revealed to be a large underground chamber. There was some kind of ritual circle drawn into the middle of the crypt, enclosing a block of black basalt that seemed to serve as an altar. Stone slabs along the walls held the bones of long-deceased people. Sookie wondered if she would be among them very soon.
“Eric,” she mouthed, closing her eyes and reaching out to him with her mind, but he seemed to be too far away. She didn’t feel him close, but she was sure that he was still alive, at least.
“Oh, he will be with us in a while, ma chére,” Marie said. “You invited him yourself, remember?”
“So this is your grave?” Sookie asked. “Shouldn’t you be dead, anyway? For a hundred and thirty years, if I remember correctly.”
Marie chuckled. “This was what I wanted people to believe. Certain circles had decided about my death, so at the time it was necessary to vanish. But I never ceased to watch over my city.”
Sookie shook her head. “You’re not a vampire.” From time to time, she could hear fragments of the woman’s thoughts, although she managed to keep them well-concealed.
“No. I’m still human. Let’s just say that I made a deal with the dark gods. They prolonged my life until the time came for me to return.”
“And their price for this honor?” Sookie asked dryly.
“Just a few human lives,” Marie said. “Sacrifices for Damballah. They didn’t matter in the larger context.”
Sookie turned to a corner when she heard the rustling again. She gasped when she realized that it wasn’t a rat as she had originally surmised. It looked like a young boy. Although he didn’t utter a sound, he was tossing and turning on the ground, seemingly in agony.
“A child!” she shouted. “You evil bitch. You have taken a child!”
“He’s not a child anymore,” Marie answered, walking over to the boy and stroking his head. When he presently raised his head, reacting to the priestess’s touch, his wild, crimson eyes glowed in the darkness. “He’s my son now. Gervais turned him for me. He’s still a newborn; his hunger causes him constant pain. You’re lucky that I’ve just fed him.”
“You turned a child into a vampire?” Sookie said, aghast. “But you’re not. How will you …”
“As soon as my husband has reclaimed his full power, Gervais will turn us both, too. This way, we’ll live together forever, as a family.”
“And in return?”
“Marie will bring back what is rightfully mine,” Gervais’s voice came from the door. Soundlessly he had stepped into the room, carrying a large bundle of rags in his arms. Marie quickly picked up the boy and carried him outside, looking as if she wanted to protect him from Gervais. When Sookie turned to him, she saw that the bundle in his arms was the corpse of a woman, a shriveled, dark brown mummy that was clad in what looked like a bride’s gown. The fabric was yellowed and torn in places, but it was still recognizable as a bride’s dress, trimmed with layers of delicate, hand-bobbined lace. Wisps of once-auburn hair still crowned the body’s head.
“Oh my God,” Sookie whispered. “Don’t tell me …”
“Yes,” Gervais said, his gaze resting lovingly on his bride. “Her name is Emmeline Beauvier. She was a dancer at the opera ballet, and I loved her. She died only days before our wedding was to take place. A vampire came to her dressing room after the performance, probably to glamor and seduce her. She was the most beautiful woman this city had ever seen, and she could have had any man. But all she wanted … was me.” His voice was rough with emotion, and Sookie didn’t dare to breathe as he went on, more talking to himself than to her.
“He wasn’t an inhabitant of this city, or he wouldn’t have touched her. Every vampire in New Orleans knew that she was mine. Perhaps it hadn’t even been his intention, but he killed her. She had been severely weakened by a previous illness. After the vampire left, she’d lost so much blood that she was too fragile to survive. It was over quickly, and I was out of town so I never had a chance to save her. The only thing left for me was to bury her in her wedding dress, swearing I’d find a way for us to be reunited. I spread the word that she’d died from a fever so the human authorities wouldn’t ask too many questions and in the end, suspect me of killing her.
‘By then, I’d learned who had done this to her, so I determined to have my revenge on him one day. When he came to do business here, I knew that it wasn’t enough to kill him right then. I wanted him to suffer as much as I had suffered. So for a very long time, I was content with watching him from afar. I wanted to bereave him of what he loved most of all. Yet this task was more difficult than I had imagined. He never seemed to care about anything. Until now.”
“Eric,” Sookie whispered. “So this is all about him. The murders at Fangtasia …”
“Were the only thing that would intrigue him enough to bring him here. I knew how enticed he was by this human waitress I’d heard so much about, the girl with telepathic powers,” he said, looking her up and down. “When he left for Sweden, I knew that drastic measurements were required to bring him back.” He laughed, hugging his mistress’s corpse to his chest. “By the time, my search for the right ritual had finally been successful.
‘My friend, Adrienne Lavoisier, was a great help. When we first cast the spell, we thought we’d done everything right – all the right ingredients, a blood sacrifice of a human who was capable of magic …,” he threw a glance at Sookie that made her shiver. “The ancient words that would call back the dead to the land of the living. But with time, we learned that there was a last ingredient needed to finish the transformation. When we first performed the ritual with Jacques’s body, the spell turned out not to be strong enough. Instead of becoming a living, breathing human, he became a living dead. Something was missing.”
He didn’t finish the sentence, for the zombie had moved out of the shadows, entering through the door. Sookie cried out when she saw Eric following him, carrying a heavy, leather-bound book which he threw down to the floor, right at Gervais’s feet.
“A last ingredient,” Eric said calmly, looking at her for a moment. He checked if she was unharmed, then turned his full attention to Gervais. The younger vampire had gently placed the female corpse onto the basalt block while Jacques lay down at her side like a bridegroom. Sookie threw a glance at the gruesome couple and quickly averted her eyes. She hadn’t been aware of Marie Laveau coming up behind her until the woman grabbed her bound wrists and forced her to crawl towards the ritual circle. She had no choice but to comply if she didn’t want to be dragged across the floor. The priestess was astonishingly strong considering her age, and she didn’t release Sookie until she sat beside the altar, her back resting against the cool black stone. A tear ran down her cheek when the Mamba began to chant, moving around and sprinkling a red powder along the boundaries of the magic circle.
“I know what it is,” Eric said, throwing down the Book of Voudon at Gervais’s feet. “It’s all here in this text, isn’t it? You just were too stupid to decipher the old script. Adrienne never told you what it was. It was some kind of insurance to her, the only thing that kept her alive while you questioned her. Well, I can read this myself. And I will provide you with your ingredient … as soon as you agree to set her free. I need even more than that. I want your blood oath that she’ll live and be free to leave this city.”
Gervais growled, drawing nearer. “What is it? Tell me.”
Eric grinned. “If you had known, you could have proved your love to this … corpse long ago.” He nodded towards the block, and Gervais hissed at the insult, baring his teeth. “All you need to do is to cut open your chest and feed her your heart as soon as she takes her first breath again.”
Gervaise’s eyes widened, and Eric nodded. “Oh yes. Le coeur d’un vampire.”
“The heart of a vampire,” Sookie whispered, for this one time cursing that she had signed up to the French program at school. “Eric, no …”
“You can’t act against the blood oath, even after I have met the True Death,” Eric said. “Our blood will be united. “You can’t act against it, ever. Simply blackmailing me by threatening Sookie wouldn’t work, you know. The sacrifice has to be given out of free will. I’ll have to cut my heart out myself and offer it to your awakening woman. You’d know this if you’d been able to read the book. It will be my just punishment for killing your bride, something that was never my intention. However, you’ll allow Sookie to leave. She wasn’t even born when all this happened.”
Sookie closed her eyes and began to cry, sending out silent pleas to Eric.
Please, beloved, don’t sacrifice yourself for me. I’m dead anyway. How could I ever live without you?
But Eric had closed off his mind to her, keeping her from interfering with his plans. Desperately, she tried to break through the barrier he had erected between them. But his powers were too strong, and she was already weakened by the drugs she had been given.
“I believe we have an understanding,” Gervais said, biting his wrist and holding it out to Eric, who drank from it before opening his own vein and offering it to the Creole. The vampires didn’t enjoy the experience very much, judging from the shiver of disgust that ran through Eric’s body.
“Now we are one,” Eric said when Gervais released his arm, wiping his mouth. “Swear.”
“After you have given your heart to Emmeline and she eats one half, giving the other to Jacques, Sookie will be free to leave, safe and unharmed. I swear I’ll never bother her again. I’ll even send her my best wishes when she finds another human to share her short life with, and bears his children. Soon she will have forgotten all about you, anyway,” he said with a gentle smile, clearly enjoying the pain in his enemy’s eyes before Eric could hide it.
Sookie gasped when a sharp pain pierced her forearm. Marie had protruded a ceremonial knife and cut deep into her flesh, gathering her blood in a goblet. All the while she was chanting words that hadn’t been heard on this earth for centuries. She dipped her finger in Sookie’s blood and smeared symbols on her brow and cheeks, smiling cheerfully. Lowering the goblet, she poured a few drops into her husband’s mouth, then into the mummy’s, drawing more symbols into the air above both of their bodies.
The zombie swallowed the blood greedily, groaning with delight. His body began to change as strength flowed into his body, drawn from the deepest bowels of the earth. His shriveled skin tightened and turned into a velvety chocolate brown, and his distorted limbs moved into their new position as his bones rearranged themselves. Jacques moaned with pain, but his eyes gleamed when life raced through him, and his heart beat with renewed vigor.
After a while, Gervais’s bride showed signs of life as well, first only a slight jerk of a finger which made her lover cry out with joy. Eric had stepped up into the magic circle as well, ignoring Sookie as she stretched out her bound hands and grabbed his leg, sobbing, begging him to leave. For the briefest moment, he opened the bond and sent her a surge of love that made her tremble from its sheer power, but he shut it down before she could react.
With Gervais and Marie flanking him, Eric ripped open his shirt before he grabbed the dagger with both hands, looking down into Sookie’s pleading eyes for one last time. A small notebook fell out of his breast pocket and landed on the floor with a thud that seemed to echo in the hollow chamber.
Then he turned the tip of the blade to his chest, drawing a thin line of blood when it broke through the skin. The zombies on the block writhed and wriggled when they smelled his powerful blood, their lips opening and closing with sickening sounds since they craved the substance that would bring them back to life. A heart that wasn’t beating like their own, but old, strong and filled with a will to live that would give them the power to return.
Again and again, Sookie called his name, crying out her agony as she dragged herself nearer and wrapped herself around his legs, refusing to let go while he died. The voodoo priestess laughed at the human’s foolishness, the ugly sound of her laughter mingling with Sookie’s suffocated sobs.
“Gervais, I forgot to tell you something,” Eric said suddenly. “Marie knew all along what the last ingredient was. I found it in her little notebook – the one I just dropped to the floor. Without a doubt she intended to keep this little detail from you until she could perform the ritual behind your back, without you. She wanted her husband to eat the whole heart to enhance his chance of living, not wanting to share. The only reason she used you was that she needed your help to lure me to New Orleans and abduct Sookie so I would give her my heart willingly. I’m old and strong, so with me she had the best chance to resurrect Jacques to full humanity.”
Sookie raised her head and stared, disbelievingly, when Gervais turned to Marie, his eyes aflame with fury. “You tried … to betray me?” he hissed, barely able to contain his anger.
“He lies,” Marie spat out. “He just wants to save his own worthless life. Don’t listen to him.”
“Tell me, Gervais, at what time did Marie tell you to come to this crypt tonight?” Eric asked.
Gervais was aghast. “Why, an hour after midnight,” he said. “Exactly like in the message Marie made your human leave for you.”
“The message said midnight,” Eric corrected him. “But you came earlier, didn’t you? In your eagerness to see her alive again, you couldn’t wait to bring your bride down here.”
“That’s right,” Gervais murmured. “But she’ll make up for it, I’m sure. Marie, we’ll just revive my betrothed tonight. She needs all of the strength Eric’s heart can give her. Your husband can wait for another time. I quite like him the way he is right now. He’s a very useful puppet, don’t you think? Or should I rip his head off right away, should you refuse to finish the ritual?”
With a scream, Marie leapt at him. She was holding a short wooden stake she had hidden beneath her dress, strapped to her thigh. Gervais went down in a mass of blood, flesh and bowels, drenching Sookie who crouched at Eric’s feet. She was holding on to him as she prayed that it wasn’t him who was dying. It all happened too quickly for her to comprehend. In the same moment as Gervais met his true death, Eric ripped out Marie Laveau’s heart and beheaded both of the zombies that were trying to rise from their bed of stone, hungrily devouring the blood that spilled down on them, the blood of their own lovers.
“I’ve always hated this voodoo crap,” Eric remarked.
Kneeling down, he gathered his trembling human in his arms and removed the rope that held her imprisoned. Then he started to kiss her desperately, gently wiping the blood from her face. Sookie wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back as tears of joy streamed down her cheeks. “Eric, Eric,” she whispered when she finally drew back and framed his face with her hands, scanning his features as if she wanted to convince herself that he was really there. He pulled her to his body and held her, savoring the feel of her in his arms. “Yes, I’m here,” he said. “Did you really think I’d yield to Gervais and simply give up?”
She shook her head. “But you would have died for me, wouldn’t you?”
“Yes,” he said, locking his eyes with hers. “I would. I’ll always be ready to give my life for you. Haven’t you realized how much you mean to me? You are a part of me, my love, my life. Without you, everything is meaningless.”
“A world without you wouldn’t be worth anything for me, either,” she whispered, placing her hand on his chest. “I would have begged Gervais to kill me if you’d given him your heart. It’s mine, you know.”
He laughed, that deep, warm chuckle that was so typically Eric. “So greedy tonight, my Sookie?” he said. “If so, you can have all of me once we’re back in the penthouse – or rather, what’s still left of it.”
Sookie jumped to her feet as she remembered the boy that Marie had held captive. “Eric,” she said breathlessly. “There’s a child down here. Marie Laveau kidnapped him to make him her own son. I fear Gervais has already turned him into a vampire.”
Eric narrowed his eyes. “I regret that I killed him already. I’d love to do it much more slowly, considering that he has turned a child. This must be Henry, Adrienne Lavoisier’s son. Unfortunately his mother is dead, killed by someone Gervais hired. Usually, such young vampires don’t survive very long, unless they are under the protection of a strong maker who watches them constantly.”
“But Eric, who …”
He silenced her with a tender kiss. “Don’t worry about it now, lover. Henry isn’t a child anymore. He’s a newborn vampire, and I have trustworthy friends here in New Orleans who will take care of him. Now let’s find him and get the hell out of this damned place.”
As Eric had promised, Henry was safe now. The boy had been unconscious when they finally found him in the catacombs, not far from Marie’s crypt. Eric and Sookie brought him to a group of vampires working in Eric’s hotel. They would watch over Henry, teach him to survive and to feed without killing. Sookie’s heart went out to him, but she understood that as a human, she’d never been able to care for him on her own, neither could any human parents who might have wanted to raise him.
An hour later, they were back at the penthouse. Eric had activated the light-proof safety shutters and retreated with Sookie to his bedroom. The repairs of the apartment would have to wait until tomorrow. After a quick shower, Sookie was still in a slight state of shock, sitting upright in his bed. Her body was shaking, and she was suffering withdrawal symptoms of the drugs she had been given. Quickly undressing, he lay down at her side and drew her into his arms. “Sleep now, my lover,” he said. “We’ll return to Bon Temps tomorrow. Would you like that? Or would you prefer to fly back to Öland?”
She rested her head upon his chest. “Honestly, I don’t care as long as you’re with me. But I’d like to go home for a while, to my house, just to see if everything’s in order and if Jason and my friends are well. Afterwards, I’m not sure what to do. Everything seems to have changed since …”
“Since we realized we love each other,” Eric finished the sentence for her as he turned her onto her back with a sudden twist of his body. Then his lips began to sear a path down her neck while his hands found their way under her bathing robe, slowly opening it.
Sookie closed her eyes. “Didn’t you just tell me to sleep?”
“I changed my mind,” he said between kisses, turning his attention to the valley between her breasts now. “Do you feel the need to sleep, my exhausted human?”
She giggled, shifting a bit so he could reach her hardened peak with his mouth. “Not really,” she admitted, forgetting the rest of her words when he closed his lips around her, suckling at her sensitive flesh. She moaned when he began to play her with his tongue, sending a path of liquid fire down her stomach, right into the core of her desire. Instinctively wrapping her legs around his muscular thighs, she raised her lower body to rub against him, showing him what she needed. She felt moisture gathering between the flushed folds of her womanhood, and she ached for him to take her.
“Eric,” she whispered, pleadingly. She had to become one with him, feel him moving deep inside her body. Tonight, she’d nearly lost him once again, without being able to help him. If she was immortal like him, she wouldn’t be as vulnerable and weak, constantly bringing him into danger because of her own vulnerability. Being human meant that she’d always be his weakness, an easy goal for whoever wished to harm him. Maybe she’d be ready to consider an alternative soon, if it meant to be with him forever. But she wouldn’t think about this now, when all she wanted was to feel alive.
Her Viking didn’t need another invitation and slipped right into her like a hand into a perfectly-fitting glove. They both moaned at the exquisite sensation of being joined at last, after all the fear they’d felt for each other. When he pressed his brow against hers for a moment, savoring the feel of being enclosed by her warm, moist body, she could listen to his thoughts again, and joy filled her heart, for he loved her more than she’d ever believed possible.
Then Eric moved deep inside her, and all thoughts were driven away by a bright flash of boundless desire that consumed her. Crying out his name, she began to rock her hips against him, meeting each and every one of his mighty thrusts with equal ferocity. There was no desire for tenderness as she clawed at his back, driving him into a wild frenzy as he loved her, took her with a primal urge to possess her, claim her as his own.
He didn’t hesitate when she tilted her head to the side, offering him her neck. Smiling, her vampire extracted his fangs to their full length and bit. Sookie cried out, meeting the rhythmic strokes of his hips while he drank deeply, groaning with delight. Forcing himself to stop feasting on her blood, he pierced the smooth skin of his inner arm, offering her a taste of his own. While she grabbed his shoulder and latched on the bite marks, he drew back and came, his final thrusts so powerful that they drove her over the edge, too, and she convulsed around him, taken away by glorious waves of splendor. As she was gradually drifting down from the heavens, she languidly sucked his delicious blood, still shuddering with the small shocks of her aftermath. The weight of his strong body on hers felt exquisite, and she kept teasing him with her inner muscles as long as he stayed in her, still slowly moving. Then she drew back and cleaned his arm with small laps of her tongue until his wound had closed by itself. Chuckling, Eric rolled over to his side, taking her with her.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you behave more like a vampire than a human, Sookie Stackhouse,” he said. “Probably caused by my bad influence on you.”
“Or maybe it’s because you are the most human vampire I’ve ever met, Eric Northman,” she answered before she buried her fingers in his hair and kissed him with a passion that made him love her all over again.
Right at that moment, Sookie didn’t know that she was making love to the newly elected Vampire King of Louisiana, and if she had, she almost certainly wouldn’t have cared. All she knew was that Eric was hers, and every other story would have to wait until much, much later.
This story is dedicated to the people of New Orleans, who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Dear Eric and Sookie Lovers,
Thank you for all your love and wonderful comments you left me for “The Dark Queen”! I hope you enjoyed it just as much as “Piece of Glass”, and that I could help you forget your sadness caused by the outcome of Season 4 just a little bit. I would have loved this story to go on for much longer, but due to other urgent projects (I’m working on my sequel to “Bound to the Prince” right now), I have to take a break for now. However, I hope to return for guest posts – if Erika will have me *LOL* – and maybe another Eric&Sookie story some time in the future!
Very special thanks to my editor Lynette Sofras, and to Erika, who provided me with this great opportunity to write for such awesome, passionate readers. Please keep up the wonderful work with our favorite site for all of our Eric&Sookie needs and longings. Luvya, gals! *hug*
© All characters are the property of Charlaine Harris and True Blood HBO. No copyright infringement is intended. No monetary compensation is gained. Used for entertainment purposes only.
Again, Deborah, I can’t thank you enough! I feel like you really understand the characters of Eric and Sookie and you’ve created a story that’s interesting, intriguing and full of great love-making (one of my favorite things to read)! You have an amazing talent and I wish you the greatest success in your chosen career! I feel honored; you wanted to post your stories on Eric & Sookie Lovers! I feel like we’ve also become friends through all of this too! All the best, *hugs* and good luck! Keep in touch!
As you know, Deborah LOVES reading your comments! Please tell her what you thought of The Dark Queen, now that you know what happens from beginning to end! Share your thoughts below!