The wolf stopped the vehicle far enough away that we wouldn’t be scented by any guards. I took off and circled over the area, finding the building we were looking for, the mixed scent of Were’s and vampires made it hard to tell how many there were exactly. I could see at least two around the area of the shack; I needed to know how many we were dealing with. Of course! How could I be so short sighted? My olfactory senses were nothing compared to someone who could count minds! I landed next to the truck and told Sookie my idea
“You … you want to fly me over the shack so I can count brains?”
“Where would I … I mean how would that work? It’s not like you’ve got a passenger seat” I turned her around to face away from me and fastened one arm around her chest and the other around her hips. “Hey! What are you doooooooo…”
“Just relax little one” I swerved a little to avoid a bird and she covered her eyes and moved against me slightly, just a little to the left, mmm. I realised we were lower than we should be, shit “don’t wriggle.”
“Wriggle? Why? Will it make you drop me?”
“No. It turns me on and I need to concentrate.”
“Eric!” She tried to be admonishing but I could hear the smile in her voice. I hovered where I had been before and she stiffened. “Two Were’s and two vampires.”
“Excellent. Let’s get back to the wolf.”
Alcide was circling around his truck sniffing the air when we returned. He caught our scent before we landed and looked up at us. I put Sookie down, I expected her to look pale but her cheeks were flush with exhilaration, I want to always be the one who makes her look like that. Fuck! There I go again, if I knew how much of a pussy she’d turn me into I’d have thrown her out of Fangtasia the first time I saw her.
“So what are we dealing with?”
“Two Were’s doing perimeter checks close to the shack and two Vampires inside. The vampires have to be Bill and Lorena, so that makes things easier.” I looked at Sookie “This will be dangerous, you can stay here.”
“I can but I won’t, I didn’t bust my ass and get shot with an arrow just to stay on the bench when we go into the final stretch of the game!” I asked Alcide to go ahead and make sure we had a clear path.
“We’re not playing a game Sookie; I don’t want to risk anything else happening to you.”
“Huh! Careful there Sherriff, someone might think you actually feel concern for me.”
I pulled her onto my back, hooking my hands under her thighs as she held onto my shoulders “I don’t like having feelings”
She didn’t reply to that fortunately. I ran to catch up with Alcide and found him removing his clothes in preparation to change form. Behind me I could hear Sookie huff in embarrassment and had to stifle a chuckle at her squeamish behaviour. Once the change was complete I turned my head to see her craning her neck away from him
“It is done, you can look now.”
Alcide chuffed as if to say ‘Never seen a naked man before?’ then I nodded for him to continue. When we got to the shack one of the guards was at the front, I motioned for Alcide to take him out, set Sookie down next to a tree and went to deal with the other guard. He had ran round to see his partner being attacked by a wolf and was obviously not expecting a vampire and a Were to work together. I caught him from behind and ripped his head from his shoulders, then went to finish off the other. Battles between Weres were brutal and lengthy, we didn’t have time for circling each other and growling, luckily Alcide was a speedy and powerful wolf and had done much damage before I sank my fangs into the Weres neck finishing the job.
I felt someone throw themselves on my back and try to bite me, when I got them off and spun I found it was Lorena. Sookie ran to join us, stupid girl, I just hoped she kept her mouth shut this time or maybe not … if Lorena was enraged it might just give me a tactical edge. Lorena was obviously shocked to see her
“Well, well, well, don’t we have 9 lives?”
“Whatever bitch, we’re here for Bill.”
“You won’t take him away from me little girl. Do you think bringing a dog and a tame Viking could defeat the love we have for each other? When it comes down to it, do you think they’ll really stop me from killing you?”
Surprisingly Sookie stepped back next to Alcide and sighed shaking her head, she scratched behind one of the wolfs ears and he looked to be enjoying that. I don’t know why I was, but I never thought I’d be jealous of a hound. I prodded the tie we had, she was … scared but outwardly calm, amazing, her heart rate was elevated but not to the level that would show how frightened she really was.
“Lorena” she sighed again “Okay you can keep him but you have to remember…”
“I can keep him? What the hell do I need you to remind me to do blood bag?” Lorena eased back a little, safe in her belief that she could kill the telepath without me intervening.
“You need to remember to change the litter box if you want to keep a pussy around.”
I didn’t wait for Lorena to digest the remark and tackled her to the ground. Lorena was old, but not as old as me, still this could take a while. I should have brought a sword.
I ran into the shack following the direction of the void with my mind. Alcide was right at my back when I found a locked door, he burst through it like it was paper, and there was Bill, sitting in a chair with silver chains draped over the crook of each arm. I looked at him and his eyes changed, they didn’t sparkle or brighten as I had hoped but they softened so he looked just like my Bill. Alcide whined because he couldn’t touch the chains so I ran over and pulled them off.
Bill stood and pulled me to him, then threw me across the room screaming
“God Sookie! You reek of Eric and this Were! Is that what you were doing while I was chained up here? Fucking everyone you could?”
He lunged at me but Alcide intercepted him, I tried to get to the silver chains but I heard a yelp and someone grab my ankle. I turned to see Alcide slumped in a corner and Bill gnashing his fangs at me
“I’m hungry Sookie and you need to know who you belong to.”
He grabbed me and sank his sharp teeth into my neck, I struggled and fought, then I heard crashing and Eric barrelled into him. I felt like electricity was charging through my veins, making my neck and shoulders twitch and my arms burn. Bill ducked and Eric overshot right into the pile of silver chains I’d left. Bill turned his attention back to me but Lorena stepped in front of him just as a pulse of white light shot out from my hands.
She was thrown across the room and landed on top of some broken furniture, a table leg stuck up through her body right where her heart was and she started to break down into the mass of ash and goo that gets left when a vampire dies. Bill screamed in pain and went to her remains, tears of blood running down his handsome face and that was the last thing I saw before I passed out from blood loss.
What have I done? It’s too late for to think about that, I have to do damage control. Lorena, my saviour, is gone. I can still have Sookie; I can still take her to the Queen and save my behind. I just have to make her trust me again. I check on her pulse, it’s weak but not overly so, I tear my wrist and just as I’m about to put it to her lips it’s grabbed by a large burned hand.
“You imbecile! She’s lost too much for that, the turning won’t go right.”
I nod at Eric and lower my mouth to the open wound on her neck to drink further, to make it right. Sophie-Ann didn’t want her turned just yet but sometimes schedules need to be pushed. Again Eric pulls me away from her, this time by the hair.
“She wouldn’t want it like this. We need to stop the blood and get her somewhere safe.”
I lower to lick the gaping wound in her lovely neck while Eric watches to make sure I don’t drain her further. When the blood has stopped dripping from the ragged hole, he picks her up and nudges the Wolf with his foot. The Were moves slightly then rolls over and stands on shaky legs before growling and launching at me. Eric yells for him to stop and he does, strange to see such an alliance between species.
I’m led through the woods, Eric with Sookie in front and the wolf growling at my rear. We stop so the Were can shift back and dress then carry on to a truck parked sloppily at the side of the road. Eric orders the Were, Alcide, to go to his apartment and pick up some Trueblood on the way.
As we slouch through the halls leading to this Alcide’s home, I’m all too aware of my appearance. I watch as Eric gently lays Sookie on a bed, the room smells like her a little but not really of Alcide, I cringe at my accusation I had made. Sookie was a lot of things but unfaithful wasn’t one of them, I’d need to work hard with her to make up for that one. I land heavily on a chair in a corner and watch Eric and Alcide force Trueblood down her throat.
Once Sookie’s heart rate stabilised Eric went out to get a change of clothes for him and this Bill character. I could see in his eyes that he didn’t want to leave Sookie alone, but he didn’t trust himself to be left alone with the other vampire either. I didn’t mind, I was feeling glad that I could be a comfort to her in some way. That even in her unconscious state she would feel and know that I was holding her hand.
She sure was something special; I’ve never seen a human stand up to a vampire like she did. I was sorry I was out of it for the last of the fight. I knew it was too soon to ask how Eric managed to restrain Bill and take Lorena out at the same time. I looked over at Bill and growled deep in my throat. The things he said to Sookie before he attacked her, I’ve seen vampires act on instinct a lot, but extreme jealousy to the point you attack your own human isn’t one I’ve even heard of. The fact he attacked her to ‘show her who she belonged to’ just set off all kinds of warning bells in my head.
He was so adamant she was his, even after he had been fucking his maker. Why was that? I knew that Bill was the first vampire she ever met and that he introduced her to Eric who found her telepathy very interesting. Was Bill just as interested in her gift? I didn’t trust him, sure he was sitting there all forlorn and concerned but why now? Why wasn’t he concerned about her until after his maker bit the dust?
“How do you know my Sookie?”
I snorted “I’m her contractor but Eric hired me to keep an eye on her while we were looking for you. Do you really believe she’s still yours? After the way you attacked her?”
He growled and lifted himself from the chair a little, I could see the battle in his mind, then he settled down again. “I was tortured and starved; she will understand I wasn’t myself.”
I just nodded. He was tortured and starved but found time for wild sex with his maker, yet he couldn’t control himself from verbally and physically assaulting the woman he asked to marry him. This vamp was way off, I mean most vamps are but this guy creeps me out with his desire to possess the sweet girl out cold on the bed next to me.
When I started to come round I thought I’d been tied up. I steeled myself and opened one eye to find that the only reason I couldn’t move my hands was because Eric and Alcide were holding one each. That kind of amused me.
“Did you guys think I’d run away?”
“Sookie!” The voice was from behind the captors of my hands, I knew it, I’d heard it before. Then Bill came into view and my smile melted into disgust “Please Sookie! I wasn’t myself I…”
“Bill, just … stop. I don’t want to hear you or see you. Not right now.”
“Compton, take the key for my hotel room and leave now. Do not think about running; do not think about hiding, the Queen tasked me with your retrieval. I’m sure she would not appreciate my returning your remains in a jar.”
“But Eric I just …”
He always acted so sweet, even when he was being a vampire he wasn’t really that bad compared to others but tonight I saw his true monster. It made me sadder than all get out to know that it was me that brought it on. I heard the front door slam and asked what time it was. Just after 2am, I thought I’d have been asleep for a whole day after what happened, after what Bill did to me. Alcide woke me from my thoughts
“Sookie, I’m worried about Bill, about how he acts around you. He wanted you dead then his maker got sent to final death and now he’s all ‘please forgive me’. Don’t you find that strange?”
“Eric’s already told me his opinion on that.” Eric smiled at me and rubbed the knuckles of my hand against his lips “He thinks Bill is just after me for my mind reading.”
“Of course! That’s it. Eric, the Queen wants him back right?” Eric nodded “why?”
“He’s working on a couple of projects for her.”
“Right, but if he’s with his maker, she can’t order him anywhere can she?”
“No, the bond between maker and child is sacred, you cannot interfere between them.”
“So when Lorena died, he had no choice but to go back and serve the Queen?”
“How is that a bad thing?” I wasn’t sure how these things worked but if Bill was the Queen’s go to guy then she wouldn’t kill him. “I mean, he’s the teacher’s pet right?”
Eric pursed his lips “Not since she heard you weren’t in Vermont with him.”
“You guys really think he just wants me for my telepathy?” They both nodded “Do you think he ever really loved me at all?”
“None of us can answer that little one.” Eric caught the big fat tear that was making its way down my cheek and popped it in his mouth, his eyes flashing as he tasted it.
“I’ve got an idea.” We both turned to Alcide “This has been a traumatic experience right? So what if say, you were so traumatised that you lost your ability for a while?”
“Lie?” I screeched
“It would certainly sort the men from the boys as it were. If you lost your telepathy then you’d see who was interested in you, just for being you.”
“Well I guess we’d better say goodbye right now then Eric.”
“I don’t think so Sookie.”
“Oh yeah, you’d know I was just faking.”
“Not just … never mind. I should get to the hotel and let you rest.”
I grabbed his hand; I found that I didn’t want to let him go. Not yet. “Can you take me home Eric?”
He nodded and Alcide helped me throw my things into my bags. I was just getting my toothbrush when there was a pounding at the door. Alcide ran out and Eric closed and locked the bedroom door, pressing his ear against it to hear everything. I could only hear muffled voices; they must still be outside the front door. Not that I blame Alcide for that, I wouldn’t want visitors in this situation either.
“It’s Debbie. She’s pissed because he never called her. She thinks he’s with you.”
“He was with me.”
“No Sookie, with you.” Realisation dawned on me “Wait!” Eric started sniggering
“What is it?”
“He told her you were a better fuck than she was.”
“WHAT?! I never … I mean that’s just … urgh!”
“He’s taking her to an all night coffee shop so they can talk.”
We waited for a few minutes and left the apartment. I wondered how we were going to get back to Bon Temps, Eric didn’t seem to have a car with him and I had two bags so I doubted we’d be flying. Eric pulled out his cell and spoke gibberish (could have been Spanish) to someone then hailed a cab. Eric paid the driver, then glamoured him into forgetting he ever saw us. We got out at a very suspicious looking used car lot, with one dull light on in the portacabin office. I waited outside while Eric went in to get keys, he was only in there for a few minutes before coming out and taking my bags. He unlocked a beige Toyota and threw my bags in the back seat before opening the passenger side door for me. We had just crossed the state line when Alcide called me
Sookie! Are you out of there yet?
“Yeah we’re coming up to the turnoff for the airport.”
Look I fucked up. When I was arguing with Debbie I called you Sookie instead of Adele, she knows, she knows you’re not dead
“Well Lorena is gone now, I guess it doesn’t matter.”
You don’t know Debbie, she’s crazy jealous
“I guess we all know someone like that.” I thought of Bill again
Yeah well, all I’m saying is watch out, she’s a real bitch and even though we weren’t together when I took you to Club dead, she still doesn’t like it. She was in with Coot’s gang somehow, so she probably knows where you live.
“Well that isn’t exactly a comfort Alcide but thanks for taking the time to warn me.”
It’s the least I can do.
Of course if he hadn’t told Debbie we’d slept together when we hadn’t things might not be so bad. I nodded off and woke up again to find we were parked at the side of a road and Eric wasn’t in the car. I panicked and threw myself out of the door to find him leaning against a tree having a polite phone conversation. He waved jauntily; I didn’t even know vampires could do jaunty. He pocketed his phone and strode back to the car, motioning me to get back in.
“Is everything okay?”
“Sookie.” He looked me right in the eye “Everything is fine, I’ve called Compton and told him I’m escorting you back to your home. I also called Pam, your cousin is fine.”
“Eric, you never told me what happened to Jessica.”
“That’s right. Its vampire business Sookie, I know you care for the newborn but she committed a very serious crime, I doubt you would want to know the full details of her punishment.”
I sighed, he was right. I drifted in and out of sleep for the whole journey, making it seem shorter than it actually was, before I knew it we were pulling up in front of … my house. I leapt out and ran inside, it looked like they were just getting round to the painting, but that didn’t change the fact I didn’t have much furniture, there was still my old single bed, it seemed in fair condition. It would do for one night, there’s no way I was going back to Bills.
I heard Eric calling me from the porch. Oh crap! I had to invite him in! Wait. Did I really want Eric to be able to come into my house any time he wanted?
“You can rescind my invite if we have a falling out.” He smirked; I thought I was the telepath!
“Please come in Eric.”
He looked around, checking things and nodding in approval. “They’ve done a nice job. Did you have a light tight space installed?”
“What? No! Why would I do that? The only vampire I would ever consider sleeping over would have been Bill and he only lives across the way so there would be no point.”
He slowly walked over to me and leaned in to smell me, I hated when they did that “I would very much like to ‘sleep over’ sometime Sookie but until you realise how important that makes you, I will make do with a kiss.”
“A kiss?” I squeaked “Why?”
“Because I like you. And because a couple of nights ago I had my hand in your panties and I can tell you very much enjoyed it. I know I did.”
“Eric I rescind your invitation to my home!”
He walked backwards laughing the whole way; bastard just said that to get a rise out of me! I couldn’t help but laugh a little myself. He shouted from the front garden that he’d call me at first dark to go over ‘the plan’. I stopped laughing. Immediately.
I was going to lie, to everyone. I was going to tell the people who knew that I’d lost my telepathy due to a harrowing incident. Not like it would matter in Bon Temps, everyone pretended like I didn’t have it anyway, but I was most interested in seeing Bill’s reaction. I hoped and prayed he’d just shrug his shoulders and tell me he loved me anyway.
I knew I was doing wrong, but I just had to feel in control. I thought I’d be free as a vampire. When I woke up and Bill dug us out of that hole I felt more alive than I ever had, who knew I’d have to die so I could feel that. I wasn’t surprised when Pam came for me at Jason’s place, now Hoyts place too I suppose.
My punishment was severe in my eyes and I screamed and cried, but deep down I knew I was getting off lightly. The night Pam came, I was taken to the basement at Fangtasia and had every bone in my body broken. It hurt but I was determined not to beg that bitch to stop. Pam was mean, bossy, bitchy and self-absorbed but as a young vampire it actually gave me something to aspire to.
When she came back down the next night I was mostly healed, I expected the process to be repeated but instead she asked me about Bill. Did I know where he was? Did I know why he’d been taken? Truly I didn’t. As makers go Bill was poor, you only had to look at Eric and Pam to see that, he told me very little and always complained when I asked him things.
Pam told me that Eric and Sookie were going to look for him and bring him back, then asked me if he’d ever told me what to do in the event he met his final death. As his child, all of his properties and finances would be transferred to me. He had told me about the hidden safe in his human grave site, that I was only to look in it when I knew he was gone for good.
“But he’s not finally dead! I’d feel it if he was wouldn’t I?”
“Yes. However we think he may have hidden something, something he didn’t want anyone to find unless he had perished. Whatever it is, it’s put us all in danger. It’s a project for the Queen we think and she wants it back. If he dies, you’ll be the next target.”
Pam might be horrible to me but I don’t think she’d lie about everyone being in danger. She went with me that very night while I dug up the safe and keyed in the code. Inside was a stack of cash, alternative ID’s for Bill, me and Sookie and a removable hard drive. Pam grabbed the drive from my hands and told me to leave the rest, then she picked up her cell. I heard Eric answer the call and she simply said “Worked like a charm.” Then dragged me back to Fangtasia to lock me up again.
That’s when I knew I had to detach. It worked for Pam. It worked for Eric. My affections for people, vampire or human, made me weak. I didn’t want to end up like Sookie, folks blackmailing me and getting me to do their dirty work just by threatening someone I loved. I am vampire, I’m stronger than her, faster than her and now I’d make sure I was smarter than her too.