The first thing I felt was my head, throbbing. More than throbbing, really. I was scared to open my eyes in case I found that my cranium had swelled to twice its normal size and was pulsating to the beat of a speed metal band. I lay there, with my eyes closed, trying to figure out how I ended up in such pain. Tentatively attempting to lift one hand to confirm the size of my head was met with the strange sensation of both my hands moving together. That made me open my eyes.
My hands were bound together with what seemed like rope. A brief shuffle of my feet confirmed that my ankles were also tied. I frowned, staring at the ropes, as if they’d fall off by scowl-power. Then I remembered what happened. I’d been kidnapped. By a bunch of angry businessmen. That … wasn’t expected. I don’t know how long I sat there, coming to terms with the fact that I was tied up and didn’t have a clue where I was. It was the water leaking from the roof onto my hands that brought me out of it. Except it wasn’t water. And it wasn’t leaking from the roof. It was my own tears.
I wiped my eyes on the backs of my hands and looked around my … prison? Yep, that’s what it was. There was a small amount of light coming through a window in the door; I followed it as it shone into the room. I saw a pair of ladies shoes and checked my feet to see if they were mine. They weren’t. My shoes were still on. I shuffled closer to the shoes to find them attached to a pair of legs clad in what had been smart pants. Now they were ripped and … had a strange pattern? No … not a pattern, it was like a net, it shimmered under the dim illumination. I got closer and picked it up, it was a net. A Silver net. That meant that it was more than probable a vampire was trapped in it. Going by the tattered clothing and dried blood, it was fair to say that this was an injured vampire.
I sat back on my heels. So, not only was I kidnapped and tied up in a dingy room. I was also trapped with a hurt vampire that would need to feed as soon as the sun went down. I cried some more. This was the worst situation I’d ever been in. I thought that I might as well sit back and wait for death, for sure as eggs is eggs, I’d have my throat ripped out less than a minute after that vampire woke up. Then I mentally slapped myself.
Yep … things were looking pretty bad for Sookie Stackhouse. But what kind of person did it make me that I wasn’t even going to try and get out of this? I leaned forward and grabbed the vampires’ legs, shuffling backwards until her bare ankles were directly under the beam of light. No sizzling. That meant it wasn’t sunlight. I could just make out the hands of my watch indicating it was 5.30. I pulled harder, dragging the vampire further into a place I could see better. It was hard and painful. The heaviest thing I’d lifted in a long time was my laptop. I slowly peeled the net away, wincing as it pulled some of her skin off at the same time, then took a look at who would be trying to eat me for dinner in a couple of hours time.
“Oh God! Pam!”
I heard shuffling and jangling outside the door and wished I’d managed to keep my mouth shut. The door creaked open and I squinted as the room brightened.
“We were wondering if the boys had smacked you a little too hard. Welcome to hell, bitch.”
“What did you do to Pam?” I blinked at my captor, finally getting used to being able to see a little more. He might have been handsome if his face didn’t wear such a cruel expression, his physique was that of a body builder and the ‘pumping iron’ look was perfected by his black hair being styled in a crew cut.
“The minion of Satan?” He gestured to her and I frowned at his terminology. “I’ll give her her due. She chased that van for 6 miles before ripping the back doors off. Pity it was for nothing.”
I remembered Tray trying to get to me as I was taken and smiled down at Pam, I should have known she wouldn’t let them take me without a fight.
“You might as well face it. You’re here, your vampire bitch is here and the guy who called her took a few too many blows to the kidneys. Don’t worry about him, the boys will be waiting when he gets out of hospital. You’re screwed.”
I lowered my head. Poor Tray, I felt overwhelming guilt at his situation. My captor laughed cruelly. Who the hell was he? I guess it didn’t matter. Like he said, I was screwed. Then I had a light bulb moment. I was here and Pam was here, that meant Eric was going to be pissed. Even if he was too far away to track me in Shreveport, as soon as he felt I’d been hurt he’d make his way to Dallas … wouldn’t he? Even if he didn’t, he’d feel Pam was in danger and react then.
“I can almost hear the cogs in your brain working, vamp lover, we know about your talent and being able to read minds won’t do you a lick of good in this here situation.”
I wondered how he knew that and zeroed in on his thoughts. Whether it was purposeful to keep me from knowing any details or he was just completely depraved, I was showered with images of him in sexual situations with me … and ‘dead’ Pam, we weren’t willing in any of them and he seemed to be really getting off on that. I swallowed the bile that rose up.
“You’ll be getting another visitor soon. Don’t you go anywhere, now!”
He slammed the door closed and I could hear his barking laugh quieten as he got further away. I dropped my shields and tried to see if there was anyone else in range, maybe I could get a snippet, even just a picture of the building from someone’s mind, anything to try and determine where we were. But all I could get was a rough idea of the number of people in the building and that they were spread around pretty wide. I did note that there were two voids in addition to Pam and one fuzzy shifter brain. Yeah, being a telepath was pretty useless in this situation. Even if I did find out where I was, what would I do with the information? It’s not like I could transmit my thoughts … for that I’d need … another telepath! Barry! It wasn’t much, but it was something! I stroked Pam’s marred face and felt a few tears of relief escape my eyes before I concentrated on my task.
Barry? Barry Barry Barry …
What do you want? Who are you? I sighed and smiled in relief. I had reached him.
It’s Sookie Stackhouse. I gave you my card. Did you see what happened at the hotel last night?
No but I saw them take that big guy in the ambulance and I saw it on the news.
I was on the news?
Yeah. Kidnapping in public tends to be quite noticeable here. His mental sneer was a little off putting but I persevered.
I need you to help me and the guy that was taken to hospital.
How? What can I do? I’m just a bell boy.
You can pass on a message though right?
I guess. What’s the message? And who do I pass it on to?
I blanked for a second. I had no clue what Stan’s address was. So I sent Barry images of our cab ride and the house he needed to go to, as well as giving him a clear picture of Stan himself.
That guy is Stan. He’s the leader. Tell him Pam and I are in danger and that the hospital isn’t safe for my guard.
I’ll try but how will I explain …
There isn’t time to think about that right now Barry. I’ll help you, don’t worry. I sent him a picture of Eric. If you see this guy, he’s my … boyfriend. He’ll be angry – so be careful.
I felt Barry’s fear at the task I’d given him, then a thin barrier jumped up, breaking our connection. I didn’t even know if he would pass the message on or not but at least I’d done what I could. Right now, I had to try and figure out where we were and how to stop Pam draining me when she came to life. I Heard voices coming closer and locked on to the thoughts.
Bitch is smarter than we thought. The traitor doesn’t have a clue what’s in store for him.
Why are they taking me down here? This is where they keep the prisoners.
We’re gonna have a grand ol’ time. Best lock in yet!
I could determine that the ‘Bitch’ was me and that, not only was the ‘traitor’ about to be thrown in the same room as me, it was Isabel’s beau – Hugo. I knew dishwashing guy was suspicious! Keys jangled and hinges creaked. I had gathered up the silver net I had taken off Pam and with some wedging and rolling, I was sitting on top of it. I figured if they saw me holding it, they’d be sure to take it away. Hugo was tossed to the floor in front of me by body builder guy. Behind him stood none other than Steve Newlin – Leader of the Fellowship of the Sun.
“Ooohweee! Lookee here Gabe!” Well at least I could stop calling him body builder guy. “A whore, a traitor and a ravenous child of evil!”
“What do you want from us Newlin?” I didn’t even try to disguise my disgust for him in the tone of my voice.
“What do I want? I want a world where children can grow up without fear of being drained as they sleep. I want every vampire to witness the wrath of God as the sun rises over his holy earth. But I can’t have every vampire. So I’ll just have to make do with the three I do have.”
Okay, so he wanted Pam to fry and I’m guessing the two vampires I sensed earlier were Godfrey and Farrell.
“Poor you.” I snorted. “And what? You’re just gonna outright kill me?”
He looked thoughtful for a second and glanced at Gabe. Gabe was looking at me with a nasty glint in his eyes and I remembered what the New Orleans Fellowship had done to the donors they captured. Whether they killed me or not, he was intent on having his interpretation of fun before they did.
“We were.”Just like Bethany. “But we thought something more … extravagant was needed. Just before dawn, you’ll be strapped to your vampire whore friend here. Hugo will be tied to the other and then you’ll both fry along with the demons that you betrayed humanity with!”
Bethany was dead? I had heard the rest of what he said, I was just blindsided by his mental confession. Hugo started whimpering and got on his knees in front of ‘reverend’ Newlin.
“But I planted the bug! I’ve been helping you! I saw the error of my ways!”
Newlin kicked him. “You went back to your vampire bitch every night Hugo.”
Hugo fell backwards and bumped against me, almost exposing the silver net. I used all my strength to push back against him with my shoulder. I didn’t want him anywhere near me.
“You kidnapped me. Very publicly. Don’t you think it’ll be PR suicide if I show up dead after one of your ceremonies?”
Newlin laughed. “You’ll be ashes sweetheart. We didn’t kidnap you! An underground terrorist movement called ‘The light of day institute’ kidnapped you!”
“Still, people will be looking for me. And this one.” I nodded to Pam. “They’ll be here well before dawn.”
“Even if they do guess where you are, we’ll be on lockdown by then. This basement has a concealed entrance the police won’t find and if the bloodsuckers come for their sister we got that covered too. Silver plated shutters, wooden bullets. You might as well sit tight and wait for your judgement.”
He didn’t know how the blood worked. Eric wouldn’t have to guess where me and Pam were. He’d feel it as soon as he got in range. Newlin smiled at Gabe and muttered about it being 45 minutes until sundown. Gabe grinned and watched Newlin walk down the corridor before turning towards Pam with the eyes of a predator targeting its prey.
I scooted closer to her, trying to conceal the silver net took a backseat to stopping this monster from defiling my friend when she couldn’t defend herself.
“She can’t help you. See? She can’t even help herself!”
He laughed as he kicked her in the stomach. Pam was rolled onto her back at his assault. I launched myself at him as best I could but with my wrists and ankles bound, all I managed to do was knock him on his ass and make him ten times angrier. Gabe got up and dragged me to the other side of the room by my hair before smacking me so hard in the face, I tasted blood. I spat the contents of my mouth on him as he turned away, not because I was gross and liked spitting on people who hurt me, but because I thought if there was fresh blood scented on him, Pam might wake up quicker.
I looked at Hugo who was surveying the scene through wide eyes. Like a child who found the Exorcist while flipping through the TV channels. Terrified of what they were seeing, but unable to look away. Gabe nudged Pams’ legs apart and started ripping her pants open. I kicked Hugo and he head snapped towards me.
“Do something Asshole!” I slurred, I think Gabe might have done some serious damage to my jaw. Those three words caused me more pain than anything else that had happened so far. Hugo nodded, licked his lips and nervously stood up.
“Don’t touch her you sick fuck!” His hands were clenching at his sides as Gabe stood back up and loomed over him.
“What are you gonna do? You love this shit! Fucking vampires, nasty sex with dead people, you love it. So who’s the sick fuck?”
Gabe grabbed Hugo’s face and pushed him backwards until he was up against the wall. I was a little proud of Hugo; he gave Gabe a good fight. They pushed, punched and clawed at each other for a while before Gabe got bored and took Hugo out by smashing his head against the wall. Hard. As soon as it happened, I knew. One minute Hugo’s mind was there and the next it wasn’t.
“You k … killed him.” The malformed words clumsily slopped out of my mangled mouth. Every syllable feeling like someone was trying to saw my face in half.
Gabe stopped and looked at Hugo and the pool of blood forming around his head on the floor. He sighed and rubbed at the bridge of his nose, like killing Hugo was an inconvenience he could have done without. I didn’t know what hit me when he came over and wrenched my arm out of its socket. I screamed in pain from my shoulder, then sobbed in pain from my jaw.
“No more interruptions.”
This … man … was the most evil being I had ever come across. He turned his attentions back to Pam and I cried, silently, while he continued removing her clothes. I closed my eyes and willed myself to be deaf when I heard the distinct sound of a zipper. At first I thought maybe the wishing had worked but I could hear something, it just wasn’t the sound of … that.
I opened my eyes and saw Gabe hanging in the air, pants open and little Gabe exposed. His eyes were bulging and he was making choking noises, clawing at the hand around his neck. I blinked, my gaze travelling from the hand, down the arm, to find Godfrey was Pams’, and my, saviour.