Six months after my fateful trip to Las Vegas, things had returned to normal. Well, at least as normal as they can get for me.
I still worked at Merlotte's, but only part-time. Sam was less than thrilled about my marriage, but after stewing at me for a few days he decided that he couldn't change it. Recently, he had started dating Tanya Grissom, and I was glad for him. She was actually a pretty nice girl once we exorcised Sandra Pelt from her head. The Weres and shifters came out a few months ago, and as expected Arlene freaked out and quit. Last I heard, she was trying to move out of Bon Temps. Merlotte's didn't suffer at all, and Sam couldn't have been more thrilled with the community for accepting him.
Jason and I were speaking again, but it was still strained. He hated that I married a vampire and made no secret of it. I had forgiven him for the whole Crystal/Calvin thing because from what I understand, once it was found out that he manipulated Calvin and me into catching his wife cheating, the panthers exacted their own punishment. I'm not sure what they did, but Jason had to limp around for a couple weeks. Crystal ended up losing the baby, to nobody's surprise. The service was short and sweet, held in Hotshot.
Octavia moved back to New Orleans in January, right after I officially moved in with Eric. Amelia decided to stay in Bon Temps and rent my house. We still saw each other all the time and last time I talked to her, she was pretty sure that Tray was going to pop the question.
Claudine was thrilled by my marriage, but disappointed that she couldn't visit me more often. My husband trying to eat her every time she stopped by wasn't exactly incentive for her to make house calls. Claude didn't care either way, but he did ask me to model with him again, since his last cover was such a hit. I spoke to Niall once in a while, even though he was unhappy with my lifestyle.
Bill had been ordered by Felipe to cease all work on the database permanently. It was simply too dangerous to have all that information in one spot. He still didn't like that fact that Eric and I had married, but after being threatened with dismemberment, he learned to keep his mouth shut on the subject. He was scheduled to leave for England next week for some reason, and to be honest, I didn't expect him to be back for a very, very long time.
Felipe quit pursuing me when he found out I was married. Apparently, Eric had the right idea about eloping in Vegas. I flew out to assist him for four days each month. I was paid handsomely for each visit, always had a private jet, room comped, and an expense account to buy suitable clothing. All in all, it was a pretty sweet deal.
Pam and I continued to get closer and closer. More than once she, Amelia and I had a girl's night in (or out). When we stayed in it drove Eric crazy because he wasn't allowed to be in the same room with us (because that's the whole reason for a girl's night, DUH), and when we went out it drove him crazy because we tended to act a little insane when we got together. Once the three of us reenacted 'Coyote Ugly' at Merlotte's, and even though I made almost a hundred dollars he was upset that Sam got to see it and he didn't.
As it turns out, the fire that was the end of the Fellowship of the Sun wasn't set by vampires. The entire plaza it was in had burned to the ground. Apparently the owners had neglected several blatant fire code violations. An old wire sparked and that was the end of that.
Eric announced our marriage at Fangtasia a few days after we returned from Nevada. Other than a smaller throne placed next to his, the bar remained the same and continued to draw fangbangers and tourists alike. The area vamps knew of his preference for me and weren't very surprised by the proclamation.
I hadn't spoken to any of the Shreveport Weres in ages, but Sam kept me updated. Alcide was furious that I picked "a filthy bloodsucker over a real man". My standing as Friend of the Pack remained unchanged, though. I hadn't seen Quinn since the day he walked out of my kitchen.
I had just experienced the best six months of my life, and things looked to be getting better all the time. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror and sighed. Eric was truly giving me the wedding of my dreams. Pam had begged to play wedding planner and was ecstatic when we agreed to it. Even though this was just a recommitment ceremony, she insisted on doing an entire wedding and had rented out a country club to do it. Eric had given her a huge budget to work with and she spent every penny.
Eric used the occasion the buy me a sports car. I fought him tooth and nail on it, but he insisted it was a wedding gift. I thought he had given up on it, but the other day when I had to work he pulled a conniving-bastard-vampire trick on me. I parked my Malibu out back in my regular spot and when I came out of the bar six hours later, a steel blue Maserati Gran Turismo was sitting in its place. He had snuck into the bar and switched the keys in my purse without anyone noticing. Sam was flustered about that, although he was more concerned with checking out the car than anything else. I had fully planned on reaming Eric up one side and down the other when I saw him, but the second I slid in the car I fell in love. When I got home, I flung myself at him.
I think Pam bought 'How to Throw a Wedding for Dummies' or something, because she did everything from the 'old and new, borrowed and blue' to the shoes tied to the back of the car. I noticed someone wearing the E(E)E logo and angrily confronted her about it. She apologized profusely, but explained that they were the only company willing to carry the ritual items used for the blood exchange during the ceremony.
I tracked Quinn down, and as expected, he was unhappy with my decision. He gave me a hug and wished me luck though, saying that "It just wasn't meant to be, babe." I thanked him for coming, saying that it meant a lot for him to be here. He said he had to go back to work and I went to go find Eric.
Eric was furious that Quinn was here, but I calmed him down by saying that after we got home he could erase every scent of shifter off me. By that time, Pam was frantic about getting me in my dress. She had to literally pull me out of Eric's room and into mine. Amelia and Pam stripped and redressed me in minutes. Pam, ever the perfectionist, insisted on carrying me to my spot by the aisle so I didn't get anything on my gown. She handed me a bouquet of red roses and hurried off to her seat. I didn't have any bridesmaids, partially because I wouldn't have been able to choose between Amelia and Pam for maid-of-honor, and partially because I didn't think Eric had anyone he would want to stand next to him during the ceremony.
A minute later I heard the music start and an E(E)E employee motioned for me to go. I stepped onto a long red carpet and was greeted with the smiling faces of everyone I knew. Sam, Alcide, Bill, Pam, Amelia, Octavia, Jason, Calvin, and too many others. Eric had invited all the vampires in his area also. I recognized most of them from Fangtasia, but I was too preoccupied with the man waiting at the altar for me to bother placing everyone. I ended up across from him, a small table with an ornate chalice between us. An equally ornate blade sat next to it.
This wedding went by in a blur just like the first one. The only difference is that instead of exchanging rings, we had to exchange blood. Eric took the blade and made a shallow cut in my left wrist, letting a bit drip into the chalice before he licked the wound. I repeated the cut in his wrist, but his was healed by the time enough blood had mixed with mine. I felt a wave of disgust rise from the crowd when I drank from the cup, but I ignored it. I mean, come on people, I was marrying a vampire. What did you think was going to happen?
We kissed and faced the crowd as the minister pronounced us Mr. and Mrs. Eric Northman. The crowd burst into applause and I noticed a shimmering at the other end of the aisle. Niall, Claude, and Claudine were all standing there applauding. As we started towards them, Claudine waved at me and they disappeared. I felt tears well up in me. I didn't think any of them would come, and it meant the world to me that they did.
Even though he couldn't eat any of it, I smushed a piece of cake in Eric's face. Most people laughed, but I could hear Pam over everyone else. He kissed me after I ate a small piece and licked his lips. When I threw my bouquet, Amelia caught it. She blushed up at Tray and he smiled back.
Our first dance was to Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing." While the humans and shifters ate the wedding feast, Eric had the bartender open the two very special, very expensive bottles of Royalty he had ordered. After the toast, every fang in the room ran out in enjoyment. We danced and mingled and had a wonderful time until Pam decided to usher us off for the evening.
Eric had absolutely denied Pam any more rice throwing after the attack he suffered last time, so she made do with showering us with half a ton of rose petals instead. In the limo I rested my head against Eric's shoulder and closed my eyes. When we reached our house, I was almost asleep. Eric carried me across the threshold and into our room, where he undressed me and hung up my gown. He climbed in bed and snuggled me into his side.
"I love you, Eric."
"I love you, too, minn sváss, and I will forever."