34 Happily Ever After
Our little pack of day walking vampires arrived at Bill's and Jessica announced their home was open to everyone. Bill disappeared inside, but I didn't have time to worry about him I was swept up in the excitement of the other day walkers. Tara threw her arm around me shoulder. "Can you believe it? We made it out of that hell hole."
I grinned. "Pretty fucking badass!"
Some of the other vampires ripped off their vamp camp issued uniforms and started burning them. Tara unbuttoned her shirt and added it to the fire with a dramatic flourish. "Fuck all of 'em!"
Past the house and through the trees I caught a glimpse of Rachel. I ran to her, she was hugging Alcide and crying. "Are you ok?" I asked, though I should have known from Alcide's beaming smile nothing was wrong.
"Lily!" She squealed and whirled around. Thankfully I didn't need to breathe anymore, because the hug she gave me would have prevented me from doing so. "I haven't seen you since-"
"Russell escaped, I know. That is insane."
"I missed you so much, I'm so glad you're okay!" She held me at arms length then and looked me over, her eyes still red and puffy from crying. "You are okay aren't you?"
"Pristine. Being a vampire really suits me."
"God, that's still so weird," she said. I popped out my fangs and she didn't even flinch. "So weird." She paused. "It's day light. You're walking in the sun."
"So you are a day walker like Warlow, I thought you might be. He's so interesting, crazy as hell, but fascinating."
I shuddered, remembering my encounter with him. "Magical fairy blood remains magical even when you're undead." I shrugged. "Oh but in case you see other day walking vampires, you can thank Bill's weird Lilith blood for them. Or maybe he had some of Warlow's blood, I'm not actually sure."
"Lilith as in Vampire Bible Lilith?" Rachel asked.
"You knew about that?"
"I was bored, Pam had a copy. We need to sit down and recap our lives soon. I have a lot of things to tell you. For one, I met our dad." I stared at her. "He's this crazy fairy king, we're basically royalty. You wouldn't like him; he's very no nonsense. Well actually, he reminds me of you, you both kind of have a stick up your ass."
"How kind of you."
"Well, old you did. I guess that kind of changed when you decided to start dating vampires, huh?"
Alcide laughed. "Is that all the news you have for Lily?"
Her eyes widened and she shoved her hand at me. "We're getting married!"
"You didn't even tell me you two got back together! I talked to you two days ago!" I reprimanded.
She shook her head. "It just happened, all of it. Is that crazy?"
I laughed. "Just the right amount of crazy for you, Rachel. That explains all the tears. Engaged in a cemetery, very original. I like it."
"You'll be my maid of honor right?"
"Rachel, please, if I wasn't your maid of honor, you wouldn't be getting married."
She grinned and hugged me again. "God, I'm so happy right now. I honestly don't know if I've ever been this happy in my entire life. Bill! I need to tell Bill! Is he home?"
"Yeah, but he's had a rough day. You should probably let him get some rest. I'll be sure to tell him you have a surprise."
"Don't spoil it!" She insisted.
"My lips are sealed!" I promised. "I'm going to get back to the other vamps, but it was so good to see both of you. I'm so happy for you!" I hugged Rachel again and then Alcide before running back to the party.
Four Months Later
"I'm going to cry again," Rachel said.
"Rachel Caroline Compton, don't you dare cry on me. I just helped you do your eye makeup. If you cry it all off, I will murder you before you get the chance to walk down that aisle."
She giggled and held her hands up in surrender. "Alright, alright, no tears!" She turned back to the mirror and grabbed her head in her hands. "I look like a princess."
"You look stunning," I agreed. Her dress hugged her body down to her legs where it cascaded in layers of lace. It had lace across the top and to her elbows; the lace had subtle beading and tiny sequins arranged in floral shapes that complimented the lace's pattern. Had it been designed any other way it may have looked too conservative, but instead it looked elegant, and the lace let just enough skin show through to keep it sexy. It was exactly the kind of wedding dress Rachel had always pictured herself in.
"Help me put this in my hair?" She asked holding up the large jeweled hair piece that was supposed to fit on the side of her head and keep her hair pulled back into a sleek, over the shoulder, curled ponytail. I stood up and pinned the hairpiece in.
"Where did Jess and Sookie go?" Rachel asked.
"Last minute preparations. It's a really good thing Sookie knew that guy Quinn, he put this together fast."
"You don't think it was too fast? With the way things go around here, I just couldn't wait."
"If people are going to talk, they're going to talk. There's nothing you can do about that. All I care about is that you and Alcide are happy." She smiled and nodded. I grabbed two tissues and held them under her eyes before she started crying. "Stop! Stop it!"
"We're all ready!" Jessica said, popping her head in the door. She gasped, "Rachel, you look amazing." Sookie stepped in after her and put her hand on her chest. Both Sookie and Jessica wore lilac dresses that mirrored my own, minus some extra beading that mine had.
"Quick, say something funny so she doesn't cry!" I insisted.
"Niall is cursing Bill and sulking because you didn't ask him to walk you down the aisle," Sookie offered.
"I don't even know the man!" Rachel said, suddenly annoyed. "Of course I asked Bill, he may not be my dad but he's a hell of a lot more fatherly."
"Preach," I mumbled. Since Warlow had been dealt with, I had met my biological father, but he wasn't exactly anything to write home about.
"Are you ready?" Jessica asked. Rachel nodded. "Alright then, let's get out there!" We headed downstairs and to the back door.
The front lawn had been decked out with tables and paper lanterns for the reception. Meanwhile, the back lawn was where the actual ceremony would take place. The event planners had spent the last two days hanging twinkle lights from the trees, there were so many lights that the yard glowed. Taking a note from the fairy dimension, everything was decked in purple flowers and ivy, including the arch that framed the priest and Alcide.
I leaned back from the window. "Looks like we're on!"
Rachel let out a nervous squeal and squeezed my hands. "See you out there!"
"Don't trip!" I called as I opened the door. A look of pure terror washed over her and I giggled as I stepped outside right behind Jessica and Sookie.
"Are you ready?" Bill asked.
"I hope so," I said.
He smiled. "You'll do fine. You look beautiful."
"Thanks, you don't look so bad yourself." He opened the door just as the familiar wedding march came on. I clutched his arm tightly and scanned the crowed, afraid that if I looked at Alcide I would be a blubbering mess before I reached him.
The rows of guests were full of familiar faces. The vampires congregated together, Tara and Willa, and a handful of others who had stuck around after being freed from vamp camp. Arlene and her kids, as well as the rest of the Bellefluers were there. Sam and Nicole smiled at me, Nicole's hand resting on her growing baby bump. Janice and Jackson Herveaux were sitting in front, along with Jackson's new girlfriend. Alcide's sister was on the verge of tears and was beaming at me.
Finally I looked ahead of me. On one side Jessica, Sookie, and Lily smiled at me, and on the other Jessica's new boyfriend James, Jason, and Paul, one of Alcide's old friends from Mississippi stood. Right in between them stood Alcide. After some prodding from me, he had finally chopped off his long hair in favor of a short style, which I definitely approved of. I looked him over, avoiding his eyes, taking in his appearance, before I was practically on top of him and had no choice but to look up.
As soon as I did the tears sprung to my eyes. He looked like he was in awe of me, as if he physically could not tear his eyes away. As much as I tried not to peek, I couldn't help but hear his thoughts; he was practically screaming how amazed he was that this was happening.
Even though I knew he couldn't hear me, and even though I was about to speak the words out loud, I thought very clearly I love you, Alcide Herveaux.
Two Months Later
"Do I have to get up?" I groaned. "It's Sunday!"
"That's exactly why you have to get up," Alcide said. I rolled over and lay my head on his chest.
"You don't look too eager to get up yourself."
"If I could lay here all day, with you in my arms, you know I would."
"You can," I pouted.
"We promised Sam that we'd go out and support him at the town meeting–"
"We don't even live in Bon Temps," I groaned.
"But you told Sam we'd be at church this morning. Get tested for Hep V and all of that."
"I haven't been to church in years, I much prefer the sanctuary of my bedroom."
He laughed. "I'm not going to argue with you on that one. But you do have to get up, just this once." He rolled out of bed and then pulled me out as well.
"I love you, but right now I hate you a tiny bit."
He kissed my forehead. "I'll go make coffee."
After getting our fingers pricked we joined the congregation inside. We sat next to Sookie and Jason, a few minutes later Lily joined us. "You're here too?"
"I told Sam I'd support him, a show of solidarity and all of that."
"Most of these people still don't understand what you are."
She shrugged. "Did you watch Bill's interview on TV last night?"
"I was kind of busy elsewhere," I admitted sheepishly.
Lily shook her head. "The honeymoon stage still hasn't worn off, I suppose?"
"Not at all." I sighed. "If only we could go back to Punta Mita. The beach and the massages and the sunset horseback riding. The lack of Hep V positive vampires was also a plus."
"I bet." Lily shuddered, no doubt remembering Nora's death.
Reverend Daniels took to the podium. "Good morning, everyone." His congregation echoed him. "I don't think this side of the room heard me. I'll try again. Good morning, everyone!"
"Good morning," Lily answered along with at least half of the church's usual congregation. I just grumbled, Alcide smiled and put his arm around my shoulders.
"The reason we both asked our congregations to be with us today was one word, togetherness. Now I'm looking out here, and I'm not seeing a lot of togetherness. So I'm going to wait a minute while you all find another seat." There was a beat. "I'm serious." Everyone stood up and shuffled around. Lily and the Stackhouses disappeared.
Nicole grabbed my wrist. "Sit with me." I nodded and sat next to her across the aisle from where I had been. Alcide put his arm back around me. We listened as the revered explained that we were all there together to show those Hep V positive vampires that we were one unite town, not some low hanging fruit.
"Should've stayed in Punta Mita," I mumbled.
Sam took to the podium and greeted his audience, everyone responded happily. "I'm sure you are all wondering why we had your blood tested. Hepatitis V is deadly only to vampires, but that doesn't mean that a human can't be a carrier. So tonight, at Bellefleur's Bar And Grill, Arlene Bellefleur has agreed to sponsor a social where your results will be waiting for you as well as plenty of free food."
"What's the catch?" A woman called. I tensed, I knew as soon as Sam finished explaining these people were not going to be quite so happy.
"There is a catch, but it is for your safety. I would like to ask every uninfected adult to agree to be in a monogamous feeding relationship with an uninfected vampire-" he was almost completely drowned out by the sudden uproar and people beginning to leave. "In exchange for their protection. I want you to talk with your reverends and your friends about this, but I think it will really be in your best interests to agree. Every human needs a vampire and every vampire needs a human. I hope to see all of y'all tonight."
There was a surprisingly decent turn out to the social. James's band was playing, there was alligator on the grill, as well as hamburgers and other things a normal northern girl, like myself, would actually eat. Alcide and I got our results; we were both clean.
"I don't need to stay long, it's not like I need to mingle with the vampires. I'll feed Lily, if she's even eating."
"What's her deal?"
"Something about blood making her sick, she was drinking uninfected TruBlood that Bill had in the cellar, but she's probably run out by now."
"So what, she's starving herself?"
I shrugged. "She doesn't seem to be suffering. Unless Bill has someone else, I guess I'll take care of him too."
"I can get one of them, if you need me to," Alcide offered.
"Werewolf blood tastes awful to vampires, I doubt either of them would be interested."
"Well, can't say I'm disappointed by that."
I laughed. "Let's get some barbeque, I'm starved." He weaved his fingers through mine and walked with me towards the party.