This is my response to the weekly one-shot challenge for week #20 July 22, 2009 : To forgive is an act of compassion. It’s not done because people deserve it. It’s done because they need it. Rated: M – Romance/Drama – Chapters: 2 – Words: 3,225 – Published: 7-12-09
Charlaine Harris owns these characters.
I’m getting married in the morning. I was seriously beginning to think that I would never get married. I’m thirty eight years old and always assumed that I would be married and have a family by this point in my life. But I got side-tracked. I met and fell in love with not one, but two vampires. The first one took my virginity and the second took my soul.
I haven’t seen or spoken to Eric in almost three years. We had a horrible fight when it ended and probably both said things we didn’t mean, but the result was obviously what we both wanted. He left me. I’ve moved on and have found a life with Sam.
I told Eric that I wanted a normal life. I do want children, and now don’t really know if that’s even possible because I’ve waited so long. I want a man that I can spend the day with as well as the night. Sam is only missing for one night a month, not every single day from dawn until dusk. I’m finally going after what I really want and have always maintained that I wanted. So, why do I feel so conflicted? Are these normal pre-wedding jitters?
I know I should stay away. I heard from Compton that her wedding to the shifter is tomorrow. I’ve stayed away now for three years—well, it will be three years in fourteen days, but who’s counting? Our relationship was never easy. That’s why I loved her so much. I love a challenge and she is certainly that if nothing else. Our love was always a fire—sometimes smoldering, but usually burning, and burning the both of us pretty badly.
When I became King of Louisiana I asked her to move to New Orleans with me. I meant it to be an honor. I have never heard of a king or queen having a human spouse. But of course, Sookie wanted nothing to do with vampire politics. That was the beginning of the end for us. I considered staying in Shreveport, turning down DeCastro’s offer and letting everyone think I’m nuts. I really don’t care what they think. But then when I really saw what I was doing to Sookie, I decided to go and leave her behind. It was the kindest thing I could do for her at the time. I left her so she could have the normal life she craved, children, a loving husband to wake to every morning. We needed to stop burning each other and so I left.
Sitting at Gran’s vanity, I study my face in the mirror. It’s the same face. So why does it look so sad? Shouldn’t I be happy tonight? Why am I thinking about him? About that last fight. I watch a tear slowly creep down my cheek. Tomorrow I’m going to be a happy bride if it kills me. But tonight I’ll let myself think about him one last time.
We were in this very room, having our usual fight about his move to New Orleans and my desire to stay here and be normal. I didn’t want to be the human concubine of the vampire king of Louisiana. I wanted to be a wife and mother. For years we had tried to have some sort of normal relationship, and it did seem to work while he was in Shreveport and I was here. But once the move to New Orleans became inevitable, things began to unravel. We were fighting. He was scary—the way he got when his temper flared and I was reminded what he really was and what he was capable of. I told him that I wished I had never met him. I watched his face fall. The spark in his eyes faded and a realization seemed to hit him. I knew that I had hurt him and wanted to take it back, but it was too late.
The final fight was a tough one. I had lost my temper and was probably scaring her. She stayed calm but told me that she wished she had never met me. Suddenly, it was clear to me what her life could have been without me. She deserved a loving human husband, babies to raise, a life in the sunlight. My heart broke in that instant because I could see how selfish I had been because I did love her so much. Because I have lived for so very long, I knew how rare Sookie was and how rare our love was and so I pursued her. But at that moment I could see that I was merely wasting her precious time on this earth, denying her what every other human had the right to have.
And so I lied. I repeated her words: I wish I’d never met you. I didn’t mean them of course, but I listened to the sound of them and wondered if she heard the lie. I felt her pain through the bond and watched the tears fall. My heart broke along with hers and then for good measure, I added an I hate you and extended my fangs for the full effect. It worked beautifully. She threw a vase at me as I flew out the window. I couldn’t bear hearing her rescind my invitation.
So for nearly three years I have been living at the compound in New Orleans, ruling my state. I’ve learned that it takes one hour and fifty minutes to fly from the compound to her house and I can tell through the bond when her sleep is deep enough for me to enter her room undetected. Unfortunately, I can’t enter the shifter’s trailer and so I have to watch her through the window when she stays with him. At first it was hard to see them together. I wanted to kill him of course. But it got easier over time when I saw that she was getting what she wanted and what I couldn’t give her.
And on this final night of her single life, I flew and followed her to her silly girls’ party at her friend Tara’s and watched her drive home and undress. And now she sits and cries in front of her mirror. I decide that it’s time for our final good-bye.
I thought I felt him. But then I think that a lot and it’s never true. He’s in New Orleans. I watched in the mirror as the glass doorknob of my room slowly turned and my breath caught in my throat. It was him. I turned to face him as he filled the doorway.
“I’m getting married.” I don’t know why I said that. I should have said how are you or how nice to see you or something else more polite.
“Congratulations.” He was smiling a comforting smile. I felt new tears roll down my cheeks. God, I’ve missed him. Heaven help me.
“I thought it might be nice if we could forgive each other. I don’t want to interfere. I just thought it would make for a nice new start for you. And for me.”
I just nodded yes while the tears kept coming. “Can you forgive me, Eric?” My voice was trembling.
“Yes, my love. And am I forgiven?”
“Yes, Eric. I forgive you.”
It rained on our wedding day. People say that’s bad luck but I never believed anything like that. It was a day I’ve waited for my whole life. I’d watched Sookie for years, waiting for my turn. I knew she loved him, but I also knew that they were a volatile match that would very likely burn itself out. And that’s just what happened.
He moved to New Orleans and she came to me. I loved her and waited patiently until she was ready. And now here I sit on what used to be her grandmother’s bed. The white satin dress is hanging unworn on the door of the wardrobe. I watch the bathroom door, waiting for my new bride to emerge in her lacey nightgown. This should have been my wedding night.
I stare at the mirror. At the blood. At the words written there: Forgive me.
To forgive is an act of compassion. It’s not done because people deserve it. It’s done because they need it. I promised to be what she needs and so now I’m working on the forgiving.
A/N: There’s more, but only if you’re not satisfied with your own imagination. If you’re happy with the way your mind played this story out, then read no further.