She lay motionless on
the bed they once shared. The only sign of life was the slight rise and fall of
her chest and the glistening of her once glowing golden cheeks stained with her
tears. It has been five days, three hours, twenty-two
minutes and six seconds since the love of her life was sentenced to the true death.
She took a sharp intake of breath as the feeling of his last moments suddenly took hold of her again; the pain was just as intense as it was the day they took him away from her.
She had pleaded with him to let her help; they could escape and run, they could hide. But he had told her no, he didn’t need or want her help. Living on the run was not the life he wanted for them...for her. Tears ran down her lovely soft face; why couldn’t he understand that she didn’t care if they had to leave everything and everyone behind; a life with him in the wind was better than a life without him.
“I love you too much to make you a prisoner. I want you to have your freedom, not to be shackled by my selfishness.”
His so-called‘selfishness’ was his love for her. Sookie had been with another when the King of Nevada came into her life, he knew he was breaking the laws that governed his kind, but the pull towards her was too strong for him to ignore. Never had he thought he would willfully break the rules. Especially for a human, but when it came to HER, Felipe would have done anything.
In the following months, Sookie began the difficult process of extricating herself from her old life in order to start a new one with Felipe, but there was one thing standing in their way... Eric Northman.
In the Supernatural World Eric and Sookie were bonded and legally married, so walking away was never going to be easy. She couldn’t just apply for a divorce like a normal married human couple. There were clear-cut guidelines for such drastic measures and neither had broken any of them...yet. But much like with many cases before, once she became known to the Powers That Be, the decision was taken out of her hands and the bond she shared with Eric began to weaken until one night the last string that connected them finally broke. Both had thought the other had magically intervened and the painful truth wouldn’t be learned by either until well over a decade later.
In the meantime, the battle lines were drawn once word spread to Eric that Sookie had secretly begun legal proceedings to end their union and that she intended to move out of his Area and start a new life in Las Vegas working for his King. He and his legal team worked tirelessly to try and stop this from happening. They filed motion after motion but to no effect. The motions were overruled due to lack of sufficient and supporting evidence and it didn’t help that Sookie had quite the powerful ally on her side, her great-grandfather – the one and only Royal Fae Prince Niall of the House of Brigant.
Despite numerous pleas for him to kindly stay out of it, Niall stepped in and “persuaded” the distinguished members of the Supernatural Council that he would consider it a great favor to him if they would grant his great-granddaughter’s wishes to be legally free of the Northman. He also gently told them that that they wouldn’t want word to spread that they were keeping a member of his family – the ROYAL family as a “hostage” in a marriage that was no longer beneficial for any involved. So, much to the Sheriff’s dismay, the dissolution of their marriage was granted and Sookie was free to leave his area and begin her new life.
The memories of that time still haunted her. She had wished with all of her heart that things could have been settled much more quietly and dignified than they had, but she felt that no matter what, it was still the right path to take. If she had stayed, she would have missed out on falling in love and creating lasting memories with the greatest love of her life.
She blinked away the fresh tears before they spilled from her ocean blue eyes and softly ran her hand over his pillow. She closed her eyes and smiled, taking comfort in the memories of his loving face looking back at her. With one look he could bring her to her knees. The power of his love was what had sustained her during their four short years together. His passion and belief in her meant more than anyone would ever know. To the outside world, their union made no sense. He must have been forcing her to stay, he must have filled her with so much fear that if she ever left then she would be at the mercy of their unkind world and there would be nothing he could do if someone came and took her away. She was scared to leave. Yes, that’s it; but did any of them ever stop to consider that maybe the reason she stayed was because of love?
True, their relationship raised a lot of eyebrows, for he was a King and she was just a barmaid from the backwoods of Louisiana, but to them their love was sacred. It didn’t matter about the whispers of strangers or the condemnation of those closest to them, their love was fated and written in the silent stars above.
Later that afternoon Sookie emerged from their bedroom; her peace disturbed by the chimes echoing through the house from the front door bell. She made her way through the living room as her live-in housekeeper Rosie came into sight.
“Rosie, who was at the door, I wasn’t expecting anyone,” Sookie asked with a frown.
“It was Martin, the new front desk concierge, He handed me this since it was delivered downstairs by mistake,” Rosie replied, handing Sookie a large brown envelope.
“Thank you,Rosie,” Sookie said, walking away and examining the envelope. She sat down on her bed and took a deep breath. It was from her God Father Desmond’s law office, but why on Earth had he not delivered it in person? She opened the envelope to find a small note attached to the contents.
My apologies for not giving this to you in person, an urgent business matter has risen and I have had to leave Las Vegas and return to the East Coast. I shall call you when I can.
Take care, my dear girl.
Sookie smiled and looked inside to find the paperwork which he had said he would give her since it pertained to Felipe’s Estate. They had gone over together not so long ago. Three copies were made of each document one for her, one for Desmond as he was the attorney on file and one for the executors of the Estate. Sookie emptied the contents onto the bed and was surprised to find a smaller envelope enclosed.
Her breath caught in her throat as she picked it up. Her name emblazoned in gold ink on the black paper was in Felipe’s handwriting. She brought it closer to her face and inhaled deeply. It still smelled of him. She carefully opened it to find a handwritten letter inside.
She closed her eyes and took in another deep breath to calm her nerves; tears instantly welled in her eyes as she began to read his final words to her...
My dearest Sookie,
I understand that you will have many questions and feel utterly betrayed by my seemingly selfish actions. Please know that everything I have done, all of the so-called crimes committed, were done so with love in my heart.
When I was a young boy, my mother would tell me stories of how I would one day meet a woman who completes me as only the other half of one’s soul can. I dreamed of finding such a woman all of my human years. A woman who could love me and whom I could love and cherish in return. We would start a family and live out our lives surrounded by our love and our children. Through my long existence, I learned to bury what I once dreamed of, as I never expected to find such light and beauty when my world had become so dark and jaded-that is until I met you. I know many must have said these words before, but know that I mean every word. My lovely Sookie, you can’t imagine how I felt when I first laid eyes on you.
You were, and forever shall be, my salvation. The endless love and trust you have given me may now seem worthless, but for me, they were my redemption. Finally, after so many lonely lifetimes I saw my chance at being happy and I held on with everything I had. I am not sorry for taking such a leap to make both of our lives better. For all you have given me, I hope that I have given just as much to you.
Every move and decision that I have made during our time together, and before, have all been for you. The circumstances behind us entering into our relationship may not meet your standards now, but please believe that my love for you was and will forever more run deeply within my soul.
I hope you know that I tried so hard to make our dreams become a reality. I understand all too well that life can never be perfect, but with you Sookie I think we came very close. No matter where I am my thoughts will always be of you and of the amazing though short life we shared. Your smile, your laughter, the very essence that is you, made me feel alive again. You made me want to believe and start living an existence that would make you proud of me.
I have very few regrets and sadly, as I reflect back on both of my lives, they all pertain to you, my love. I am truly sorry that I have caused you immense pain and suffering, that is why I needed to close our bond; you did not and do not need to feel my guilt-that is mine and mine alone to carry. I am sorry that the future we talked about having is now beyond us. I know that I am solely responsible for shattering everything that you hold scared, I can only pray for the day that you can fully forgive me.
The biggest regret that lays heavily on me is that I will never make our most impossible dream come true. I have never wanted anything more than to have had the chance to make you a Mother. Please know with all of your heart that I tried my very best to make this possible for us both. I longed for the day to come when I would return home and tell you that I had succeeded; the blessing to see you grow heavy with our child inside of you still brings a sense of warmth and happiness that I know I don’t deserve-and yet still crave.
Believe in yourself and your inner strength, and have faith that one day all of your hopes will come true, for you are truly deserving of such happiness. I know that one day a being will come along that is worthy of you and he will protect your heart as if it were his own.
May the Gods protect and always hold you close.
As I prepare myself for whatever fate has in store for me, I know that in the next life there is no path which will not lead us to one another. For it is written in the stars that we will once again be destined.
Forever your husband,
Sookie dissolved into sobs as she re-read his letter over and over. How could he ever think that there would be another for her? There was nobody who could ever take his place in her heart, nobody else she wanted to be the Father of her children and nobody else she wanted to lay down beside. He was her heart; her soul, her entire World. And now what was left? She didn’t care about the money or anything else of monetary value that he had left her. Even though it meant a lot that he wanted to look after her, it wasn’t important to her. She had spent most of her young life poor, so going back wouldn’t have fazed her in the slightest. But when it was all said and done, all she had left of their relationship were photographs; her memories and now his letter – were they enough to sustain her through the lonely nights in order for her to make it through to the next day? She prayed to the Lord Almighty above that they would.
Sookie stood still on her balcony watching as the Sun set over the horizon and the stars came out to shine. So many nights they had stood together watching them dance across the dark sky; she loved nothing more than when Felipe would teach her about each constellation and how each star had its own story to tell. He had always said that they had guided him since he was a young boy and that one night he followed the brightest one in the sky and it lead him straight to her. The memory of him holding her, wrapping his arms around her waist as he stood behind her and looked above still brought a smile to her face even after all this time.
It had now been five years since Felipe’s death and she had slowly begun to piece her life back together. She had made the difficult yet much-needed decision to leave Las Vegas and start afresh somewhere new. With the help of her friends and the staff at the Hotel she packed up all of her belongings and the houses they owned and moved to her husband’s homeland of Spain.
In the months after Felipe’s death, King Alberto and Queen Sophia had extended a warm invitation to take residence in their country and kingdom under their protection. They had known Felipe since the day he was born as a human. His natural birth mother had been one of Sophia’s handmaiden’s when the future Queen first entered the Kingdom and began a loving courtship with Alberto.
Felipe often spoke of his fondness for the King and Queen and had graciously accepted their offer to hold his and Sookie’s wedding ceremony at their Castle. So, in the end, it was like coming home again and it just felt like the right thing to do.
Over the years, she had offered her services to Alberto and Sophia and had even started to take on other clients, all under the watchful eye of her confidant and dear friend John Quinn. Two years after she had left the United States, Quinn had flown over for what was supposed to be a vacation but ended up staying and working for the kingdom as an enforcer and official guard to Sookie. At first, Sookie had been uncertain because she didn’t want him to be “owned” by anyone ever again, but he insisted that if he was going to keep anyone safe why not the woman who had given him his ultimate freedom and who also meant a great deal to him?
After the initial dust had settled as the old saying went, Desmond had visited Sookie at the estate to go over some of the legal details and documents that needed her signature. One of the documents was the final release of John’s services to the kingdom and Felipe’s successor. Felipe knew that it would mean much to his wife if he did this. He also appreciated the years of service and hard work from Quinn. He was loyal and Felipe knew that the Tiger wouldn’t think twice about laying his life on the line for Sookie. It was a small price to pay for his wife’s happiness and continued safety.
When Desmond told Sookie about what Felipe had put in motion, she knew it was more for her benefit than John’s but she was still touched that her husband had done it and she was more than happy when it was finally approved so she could tell John the good news. It alleviated a small part of the sorrow in her heart; the look of pure happiness on her best friend’s face. She had made one of his greatest dreams come true – freedom. It meant more to him than she or anyone would ever know. He vowed to make any and all of her dreams come true, all she had to do was name it. Sookie smiled at his kind words but told him all she wanted was for him to live his life on his terms.
The memory of that day still held a warm place in her heart as did his final declaration; “I’m not taking no for an answer babe, I’m going to win just, you wait and see.”
And in the end, he did win. They both did. Over time, they had rekindled what was once there and had been together for a little over two years. They both knew that Felipe would always hold a special place in Sookie’s heart, but the once lonely little girl from the Bayou also knew that her heart was big enough for the both of them. Her love for Felipe may no longer make her breathless but it was always there in the back of her mind. She liked to think he would be happy for her because everything he had wanted for her was finally coming true. The smile on her face was no longer forced nor did the joyful sound of her laugh that fluttered through the air carry any more sadness. Her heart and soul were alive again and she couldn’t be happier.
“What are you thinking about that has you smiling so much?” John whispered from behind her.
Sookie relaxed back as he wrapped his strong arms around her waist and pulled her back against his chest.
“A special promise somebody once made me.” She smiled, placing her hands over his which rested lovingly on her stomach.
“Ah, I see. And did this special promise come true?”
Sookie giggled as he nipped at her ear playfully. “Yes, it most certainly did.” She smiled, turning around to face him. “Everything you’ve ever promised me has come true.”
John looked down at the woman he had loved for so many years and smiled. He couldn’t believe that he was the one who finally got the girl of his dreams. Fairy tale endings weren’t supposed to happen to people like him, but then again he was in love with a fairy princess.
“Anything you want babe and I will move mountains to make them come true. All you need to do is ask.” He placed a small but lingering kiss on her lips and held her closer.
Sookie smiled into his chest and wrapped her arms around his waist tightly. He had always been there.Yes, there were times in the past where anger and miscommunication had separated them; but in her darkest days he was there for her; holding her hand and shielding her as best he could from the mental and emotional turmoil which, for the longest time, seemed to never want his beloved to find a shred of peace and happiness.
John had patiently waited until the day she found the courage to let the light back into her life. It had taken years but he knew no matter what happened in the future he wanted her to know that he wasn’t going anywhere. It didn’t matter if she only wanted friendship or something more he was and forever would be right beside her holding her hand no matter what.
“I love you,” John whispered, kissing the top of her head softly.
“And I love you.” Sookie smiled, pulling back to look up at him. “We both love you.”
John and Sookie couldn’t wipe the grins off their faces as he placed his hands on her stomach and reveled in the feel of their unborn child moving around.
“Now come on Mr. Quinn, Mommy’s hungry. Let’s go eat.”
John chuckled as their loving moment was once again derailed by Sookie’s other love – French fries dipped in peanut butter and burgers. Healthy no; but he had learned very early on not to come between a hungry, expectant Mother and her cravings. “Your wish is my command, Mrs. Quinn.”
Sookie quietly stood at the top of the bluff looking out over the ocean. She lifted her head towards the sky as the sun slowly tried to break through the white clouds above. It had been another whirlwind year for her and her young family. She and John had gotten married in a beautiful dusk ceremony at the picturesque Estate of his business partner in the beautiful Port Alcudia on the Spanish Island of Majorca. The guest list was a mixture of both human and Supernatural, all of whom Sookie and John considered friends and family. Her Great Uncle Dermott and Great Grandfather Niall had even attended as special guests and had both accepted the honor of walking Sookie down the aisle. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception lasted into the waking hours of the next morning.
Six months later the pitter-patter of tiny feet could be heard when Sookie gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl: Ariella Adele Francine Quinn. She was born with a splatter of fine blonde hair and the most piercing violet eyes that absolutely rivaled those of her besotted Daddy. They had both fallen instantly in love with their precious angel, she was perfect and already had her Daddy wrapped around her little finger. Sookie loved nothing more than to watch her giant Tiger cradle little Ariella in his arms and softly sing her to sleep every night. She was finally living a fairy tale life.
Sookie smiled, sitting down on the lush grass and enjoyed the tranquility of her special place. Years before when Felipe had first taken her to his native land; he had taken her there to show her where he would come as a young child with his Mother to enjoy the sunset. She always said that whenever the World got a little too much, they could always come here and be one with Mother Nature. There was water as far as the eye could see in all directions and the bluff was shaded by two large Tilia Cordata trees. It really was quite a spectacular view.
When she left Las Vegas all those years ago; she always knew where her husband’s final resting place was going to be. She may not have had a body to bury but she needed a place to visit and every time she visited she always felt his presence. King Alberto had found out who the land owners were and paid them handsomely for the title and had it transferred over into Sookie’s name. He and Sophia even had their kingdom’s witch cast a spell that protected it from both human and supernatural beings that didn’t have Sookie’s consent to enter. The witch had gone above and beyond what was asked and made the outer perimeter look like an overgrown jungle that was quite unappealing to any passersby. It may have been a little dramatic but both Alberto and Sophia wanted Sookie to have the peace of mind that her sacred bluff would never be destroyed or walked upon by anyone that meant her any harm.
She had erected four marble headstones: One for Felipe, one for his birth mother and the other two were for her Gran and Jason. Adele and Jason’s bodies may still be back in Bon Temps but their spirits were right there alongside Felipe and his Mother Ariella.
A small smile graced her face as she thought back to when she and John were discussing possible baby names. Sookie had listened to his suggestions but none had really popped out to her as being the one so she suggested the name Ariella. At first, John wasn’t so sure and had asked where she’d heard such a random name from. Sookie simply smiled and said that it had come to her in a dream. John laughed and said that he was fine with it and once he held his daughter in his arms and said her name aloud he knew it was the perfect fit.
Should she have told him the real truth? Probably, but it was her way of honoring her late husband. Even though John was accepting and understanding of the love and place in his wife’s heart for her former husband, Sookie didn’t want to push her Tiger’s already broad limits any further that she already had over the years. No other man would ever have tolerated her wanting to be close to her deceased lover or be so open with her talking about him now and again, but nobody had ever dared describe the great John Quinn of ever being your typical man. She thanked God every day for her husband’s constant love and support. He truly was one in a million.
Sookie ghosted her fingers across the cool marble outlining the engraved message;
August 1210 - July 25th, 2010.
Beloved Husband, Son and Brother.
Though I walk through the shadows, you are with me and comfort me always.
“I’m so sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve visited, life has been beautifully chaotic lately,” Sookie beamed. “I want you to know that even though my life has changed, I do love you. I still feel your loving presence all around me and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you all are watching over us always and making sure that we’re safe.”
Sookie wiped the tears from her eyes and breathed in deeply. “The wedding was beautiful and I can’t believe that so many of our friends and loved ones made the big trip over to join us. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by so much love. Gran, I hope you liked my dress, Great Grandfather said I looked like a princess and not just in name. He and Uncle Dermott walked me down the aisle, and Jase I felt so happy when I looked at him I swear it was really you that was looking back at me. I miss you all so much but I hope you know that I’m happy and I pray that you are all happy for me. Mrs De Castro, I hope you don’t mind me naming my daughter after you. Felipe told me so many wonderful stories about you that it felt right for my daughter to carry your name. I hope she can become the sort of woman that you would be proud of.”
Sookie dabbed at eyes again and swallowed the lump in her throat. “Felipe my love, you were right when you said that one day there would be light again in my life and I have to say it’s more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. Thank you for showing me that I truly deserve to be loved. John and Ari are my saving graces. I have to stop and pinch myself sometimes just to remind myself that it’s all real and not just a fantasy. But no matter what happens and no matter where our lives take us, I will always carry you in my heart. Our memories will live on inside of me forever. I promise.”
Sookie rose and placed a kiss on each headstone along with a small bouquet of flowers. She moved back to Felipe and closed her eyes. The Sun had now fully risen in the sky and lovingly caressed her skin. She exhaled deeply as realisation set in - it was time to move on with her life.
“I’m going to be okay my love; you don’t have to worry anymore. Sweet sleep, my dark angel, I shall see you in the silent stars above.”