Twenty-seven years earlier
The elements raged fiercely, cutting off the small Louisiana town from everything around it. Lightning lit up the night sky as the rain fell from the heavens, and strong winds battered the small town. Two cloaked figures stood unmoving, concealed in the trees that surrounded the old farmhouse. Neither of them spoke as they listened to the events that transpired inside the farmhouse. Cries of pain filled their ears as the woman inside fought to bring her child into the world, and neither of them was willing to miss it. Their whole world was in that room, their past, their present, and their future.
“Death is trying to claim her,” Dieter said, his voice low and rough.
“It will fail,” Roman replied confidently.
“You do not know that.”
“I do,” Roman stated firmly, refusing to believe anything else.
“She is dying,” Dieter argued, his voice filled with pain.
“No, she is being reborn.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because I have faith,” Roman replied. “I believe in her; she would not have done this if it would have claimed her life. She is my mother, my sister, my daughter, and she would not leave me.”
“Then how can you be okay with leaving her here with them?” Dieter asked, his eyes drawn away from the house as he turned to face the vampire next to him.
“We have no choice; our world is changing” Roman defended. “It won’t be long before the humans learn of our existence, a few decades at most. If we are all to survive, they cannot know of her until it is time. If they learn of her existence, of who she is, of what she is, before it is time, they will kill her…”
“They would die trying,” Dieter growled. “I will kill any who dare try to harm her.”
“As would I, along with our brothers and sisters, and she knows this. That is why she decided to undergo this. For us to survive, she knew she had to hide herself from all those who seek to harm her.”
“But it is the humans who would harm her and she is hiding among them.”
“It is not just the humans who would harm her,” the Roman countered. “You know there are factions among our own kind who wish to see her gone. They fear her, where she came from, and the power she possesses. It does not matter that she only acts in the defense of those she considers hers; they see her as a threat. She seeks harmony and they seek war. She knows this; she knows they will use her disappearance as a reason to move forward with their agenda, and they will come out of hiding and try to claim power…”
“She intends to use this whole thing to draw out those who have been plotting against her,” Dieter chuckled.
“You did not think she just wanted to be a child again, did you? She hated it the first time with all the fighting over her. No. She knows with once she is missing and no one can find her … except us, the Sanguinista Movement will become more vocal. It is their fear of her that has kept them hidden in shadows, so she knows they will hide no longer. They will seek to take control, to corrupt all that she has worked for. I will not allow that to happen; I will not let her dreams die. I will protect those dreams until it is time for her to return to us again.”
“And when will that be?” Dieter asked. “When will she come home to us?”
“When things are at their most dire. When we need her the most she will return to us, she will come home, just like she has in the past.”
“But it is not the same as before,” Dieter argued. “This time she will not remember; the magic that was weaved stole her memories as it stole her life and forced her into this… this human form.”
“The magic just suppressed the memories; they are still in there, just buried until she needs them again…”
“She is still human,” the Dieter said, cutting him off. The thought of her being human troubled him greatly. He couldn’t get his mind around the fact that someone as beautiful and wonderful as she would be reduced to something so beneath her. He didn’t buy into Sanguinista Movement beliefs that humans were merely food for them, but he did believe she was above them. She was above them all, vampires, humans, werewolves, and any other creature that walked the earth.
“She will never be human, she will always be her. The flesh, the mind, the heart, none of it will change. The magic will suppress and conceal it to others; they will see her as human, or something close to it, but they will not recognize her, not until it is time.”
“None of them?”
“No, only we will know who and what she really is. The others could pass by her in the street and none of them would know…”
Their conversation was cut off by the sound of a baby’s cry piercing the air. Smiles spread across their faces as they listened to her cries, neither of them hiding their joy at hearing them.
“She is here,” the Dieter exclaimed his voice full of wonder.
“Like I said, brother, you just need to have faith. She will not leave us. Come, we must hurry. I wish to see her before the sun rises,” Roman said as he moved towards the old farmhouse.
The two of them shed their cloaks and headed towards the house. Stepping onto the porch, they knocked on the door and waited. It was just seconds later when a man opened the door a look of absolute joy on his face.
“Hello,” a dark haired man greeted, unable to wipe the smile off his face.
In no mood to exchange small talk, Roman caught his eye and pressed his mind against the man’s, getting him under his thrall. “Invite us in,” he ordered.
“Come in,” the man invited tonelessly.
As he stepped into the house, Roman ordered, “Glamour them all to stay in the living room,” as he made his way to where he knew the baby was. Entering the bedroom, he put on his most charming smile as he eyed the new mother holding the baby that meant the world to him. “Miss…” He trailed off as she looked up, pushing his mind against hers, he quickly took her under his control. “Hand me the baby,” he ordered after he walked to stand beside the bed.
Cradling the baby carefully in his arms, his eyes rimmed with red as he stared down at her tiny features. “You are a very special little girl and don’t you ever let anyone ever tell you different. You are more than your surroundings; you came from greatness and when the time is right, you will return to it.” Walking towards the window, he looked out of it and cradled the newborn upward, showing her the world. “All this is yours, yours to rule. Others will try to take it from you. They will try to make you doubt yourself, but you can never let them. You have to remain strong. You have to survive, to live. You have to return to us when it is time. I will hold the sharks off until it is time for you to reclaim your position. I will protect all that we have fought to build. I will not fail you…”
“Neither of us will,” Dieter assured cutting him off as he approached them. “She is so beautiful.” The gray-haired vampire eyed the infant with wonder. He ran his eyes over her, taking in every little detail. His heart swelled with love; it didn’t matter what form she was in, he would still love her.
“She always was,” Roman said with a smile.
“Are we really going to leave her here?” Dieter asked. “We could take her with us, raise her ourselves.”
“We would have to disappear as well and with us gone the sharks would take over and she would have nothing to return to. No, as much as it pains me to say it, she must stay here. However, she will be safe until it is time…”
“How can you be sure she will be safe?” Dieter asked, reaching out his hand and stroking a finger down her cheek.
“Because I refuse to believe anything else. She chose this family for a reason and I believe in her. I also intend to ensure I am not wrong.”
“She said we are not allowed contact with her,” Dieter reminded him.
“I know,” Roman replied a devilishly smile spreading across his face, “but she never said I couldn’t keep track of her.” Dropping his fangs, he lifted his hand to his mouth and pierced a finger. He squeezed a drop of blood out and placed his finger inside the baby’s mouth, letting her suckle on it, consuming his blood. “I will know.”
Dieter chuckled as he watched her suckle on the finger. He should have known his brother would have done something like that; Roman would never leave her without knowing she was safe. Dieter was slightly jealous he hadn’t thought of doing it himself. Lowering his head, he pressed his lips to the baby’s head, and breathed in her scent. “Until we see each other again.”
Crossing the room, Roman placed the baby back in her mother’s arms. Stroking a finger down her cheek, “My life for yours always,” he said. Catching the mother’s eyes again, he instructed her to do one more thing before erasing their presence from her memories and releasing her from his glamour.
“What did you tell her?” Dieter asked as they stepped off the porch having erased themselves from the minds of the humans.
The dark-haired vampire smiled, but said nothing as he eyed the house.
“Her name, I told her what to name her, Dieter,” Roman replied, bending down to pick up his soaked cloak. “I would not let them name her.”
“What did you tell them?” Dieter asked, but already suspecting he knew the answer.
“I had them call her true name. The name She chose. Sookie,” Roman replied. “Sookie Stackhouse.