I managed to keep my eyes open long enough for Godfrey to ask if I was badly hurt but not long enough to answer him. I guess he got his answer. I drifted, the pain stopping me from becoming fully unconscious. Gabe was shouting about me trying to escape. I vaguely heard Pam’s voice. I felt myself being picked up. My eyes opened wide and I tried to scream as I felt my shoulder being popped back into place.
“Her jaw is broken.” Godfrey’s tone was matter of fact, there was no sympathy.
Pam was facing the corner, crouched down in attack position. When she stood up I saw Gabe cowering beneath her. She looked at me and seemed … regretful.
“I’ve been injured. I cannot spare the blood for healing.” She snarled and turned back to Gabe. “But this one will help me regain my strength.”
Godfrey turned to me and stared into his pale blue eyes. They were hard and sad. But I’d rather look into them than watch what Pam was doing with Gabe. A vampire bite can be very pleasant … if the vampire wants it to be, Pam wanted Gabe’s experience to be anything but pleasant. And it sounded like she was succeeding. I didn’t feel bad for Gabe, not one bit. Despite the injuries I’d incurred, although Hugo had come off much worse, I was happy that I’d prevented that monster from raping my friend. The question I was now asking myself was – what do we do now?
How on earth do we get out of here? As I was pondering this and remembering Steve’s proclamation that they had stakes and whatnot, I felt something touch my lips and tasted a coppery liquid. I blinked and found Godfrey’s wrist at my mouth. My eyes questioned him.
“You can’t talk. We need you to talk.”
I nodded and took the offered blood. Godfrey’s eyes glazed over and his fangs ran down as I weakly lapped at his wound. I was beginning to feel my pain reduce, my jaw felt like it was on fire because it itched so badly and then his arm was yanked away.
“That’s enough!” Pam hissed. “She belongs to my maker. He will fully heal her.”
She hunkered down next to me and smoothed the hair out of my face. It was an unexpected motherly action. Pam wasn’t known for being affectionate. I wiggled my jaw experimentally and nodded to her.
“What happened down here Sookie?” She waved towards Hugo and Gabe before pointing at Hugo’s dead body. “This human was at Stan’s nest. Was he also captured?”
I shook my head. “No. He was the rat. He planted the bug and called the Fellowship about us. But he tried to make up for all that … in the end.”
Pam motioned for me to continue. “Gabe … he was going to rape you while you were dead for the day. I tried to stop him but … he’s a big strong guy. Hugo, well, he made the ultimate sacrifice for your dignity.”
She looked at Hugo with respect in her eyes and then examined me more closely. Manoeuvring my limbs and helping me to stand up. Godfrey watched us with interest.
“Can you tell us how to get out of here?” Pam asked him. “Do the humans have any weapons?”
“You are a vampire and this one consorts with our kind.”
Colour me confused. I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of point he was making. “Well … you’re a vampire too.”
“Tomorrow I atone for my sin publicly,” Godfrey said. “Tomorrow I greet the dawn. For the first time in a thousand years, I will see the sun. Then I will see the face of God.”
“But that’s a choice you have made.”
“But I didn’t. I was kidnapped and I sure as hell don’t want to die.” Pam looked at me as if to say ‘what the hell is this guy on?’
“Look, Godfrey … Godric … whatever name you’re using today. We need to get out of this shithole yesterday. So just tell me what kind of ammo I’m facing and you can atone to your heart’s content.”
“All vampires are damned, and should all meet the sun. We’re a taint, a blot on the face of the earth.” Yeah, someone’s been beat over the head with the Fellowship propaganda a little too often.
“And these guys.” I gestured towards Hugo and Gabe. “They weren’t damned for conspiring to murder me and Pam, Godfrey?”
Godfrey didn’t seem comfortable with that statement. His cheeks were drawn and his skin was like the thinnest parchment, it must have been a long time since he fed. His white complexion made his sunken eyes stand out and his hair floated around his head like cotton candy.
“They, at least, are human, part of God’s plan.” He said quietly. “Vampires are an abomination.”
“Yeah because Gabe was such a class act!” I snorted and Pam nudged me.
“Godfrey, I know you’ve tired of your existence …” Pam started but Godfrey interrupted her.
“I have not tired. I must be stopped.” He looked away and his voice got a lot smaller. “So many innocents. It’s for the children. I cannot be left to wander this earth anymore.”
Oh. There was nothing I could say that would be adequate. This soulless demon, according to the Fellowship, felt the burden of his centuries of killing children. The soulless do not feel burden, or guilt, or the need to atone. If he had been human I would have helped strap him to the electric chair, but humans rarely give up their own lives to make up for their transgressions.
“Okay, you’re a monster blah, blah.” Pam rolled her eyes. “We’re getting out of here; obviously you don’t want to help with that. It’s been a pleasure.”
Pam urged me towards the door but I stopped and turned back to Godfrey. “You feel like you need them to help you meet the dawn don’t you?”
“They have called the media and I have a special white robe to wear.” I almost laughed. He was like a doubtful bride making excuses for the wedding to go ahead.
I raised my eyebrows. “Big whoop. Either you’ve got the balls to do it or you don’t but you’ve seen the extremes this group will go to. They wanted to tie humans to the vampires and watch them scream and burn and die an inhuman death. You’ve helped us and healed me and I … we’re really grateful for that. You know that these people are monsters. Meet the sun on your own terms, not theirs. Come with us, get out of this place. Don’t give them the satisfaction of rejoicing in your sacrifice.”
Pam huffed exasperatedly and pulled me behind her. I knew Godfrey was old, he had that look about him, but I had no idea how effective the little taste of his blood would be. I felt strong, despite the lingering aches and was able to keep up with Pam’s speedy stride as she checked all the doors in the corridor.
“This one.” She stepped back from the door and kicked it. Once, twice and then it screeched in submission. “Shit. Silver chains.”
I nodded and ran over to Farrell. The chains weren’t thick but they were heavy enough that I wouldn’t be able to just snap them. I shook my head at Pam and she growled in frustration before ripping off the remainder of her pants and wrapping them around her hands. Farrell snarled and thrashed in his restraints, trying to weaken them I guess. There was an almighty commotion above us and I dropped my shields. I counted 8 vampires. I couldn’t tell if Eric was among them. I hoped Steve’s boast about the ammo they had was just that. Although, even with stakes, wooden bullets and silver, a bunch of humans trying to take on a group of angry vampires was still incredibly stupid.
We tried to snap the chains attached to the cuffs Farrell was wearing, but all we succeeded in doing was tearing one of the bolts from the wall. I guess it was just as effective. Godfrey was standing at the door watching us as we fought with the other bolt. I heard a whole mess of banging from nearby. Either the vamps were trying to get down to rescue us or the Fellowship was trying to get down to finish us off. I hoped it was the former. As I was tugging at the chains I felt a sharp sting on my neck and growling.
“Fuck!” Pam shouted and stopped trying to free Farrell. She dragged me away from him and took a good look at my neck. I stared at Farrell, he looked wild, starving but he had blood all over his mouth. It took longer than usual but I eventually put two and two together.
Never let a yummy smelling human try to rescue an extremely hungry vampire. Lesson learned. Pam told me she’d have to feed a little until her saliva contained coagulant before she could stop the bleeding. I nodded numbly and tipped my head to the side so she could get on with it, Farrell snapping and growling the whole time. I saw Godfrey whip his head round and take a step back from the door. I didn’t really see anything clearly after that. It was the vampires who came in to the room and they were buzzing around at such speeds I couldn’t pick one out from the other. Pam licked my neck to seal the wounds but soon after was pulled away from me. I blinked, thinking she was going to be attacked and stood to help her but was soon pulled into a strong pair of arms.
“You are both fine.” Eric’s deep voice soothed me. “Come. We must get to safety.”
I relaxed, for the first time since before we went to Stan’s nest and clung to Eric’s back as he ran us out of the Fellowship centre at vampire speed. I turned around once we were outside and saw Pam was hot on our heels but the most surprising thing, was that Godfrey was right behind her.
Rather than going back to the hotel as I’d like, we ended our break for freedom at Stan’s nest. Isobel was there, cell phone glued to her ear, co-ordinating by the sounds of things. She eyed us warily, especially Godfrey, as we swept into the kitchen. Eric pointed to two donors.
“You two, see to these vampires.”
He pushed them towards Pam and Godfrey but Godfrey shook his head in refusal. Pam gladly took her pick (a curvy redhead) and disappeared. Godfrey and Eric looked at each other for a moment before Eric nodded and grabbed one of the donors. He led us both down the halls until he found a bedroom and sat us down on the edge of the mattress. The donor he picked was stupid.
“Hey man, I’m not really into threesomes unless it’s two chicks if you get my drift?”
Eric snarled at him. “We are not here for sex.” He leaned back and pointed out my battered body. “Does this woman look like she’s here for sex?”
The donor, I caught his name was Tony from his mind, gaped and wondered what the point of being a donor was if he wasn’t going to get off. Eric prevented his thoughts from wandering any further by tearing into his wrist and putting it in front of me. As I suckled at the sluggish wound, Eric grabbed Tony’s wrist and bit into it. He could have been a little gentler judging by the yelping and sobbing coming from poor Tony. I could see Eric was enjoying the experience. Tony seemed to think it was the taste of his blood. I was pretty sure it was the sensation of me drinking his blood. The wound closed up and I started to feel … normal again. Eric sealed Tonys bites and sent him on his way $100 better off.
“I would rather have been alone for your healing but I did not get the chance to feed before we went into the Fellowship.”
“It’s fine. I didn’t mind.” Talking about feeding made my stomach growl. I put my hands over it and felt a blush creep up my face.
“When was the last time you got to eat?” Eric was immediately concerned. He always liked to make sure I was eating regularly; it was easy to forget when the person you live with doesn’t sit at the dinner table like other folks.
“Uh … wow! Before we left to come here last night. No wonder I’m starved!”
He smiled and held my hand as we made our way back to the kitchen. When we got there Pam was looking much better, she must have borrowed clothes from someone. Not only were they not her style at all, they were a little on the big side. We sat at the table and a plate of lettuce and Doritos was placed in front of me. No-one ever said vampires made good chefs. Stan came into the room with 3 large vampires and pointed to Godfrey. I could see they were ready to haul him onto his feet and push him to wherever they were going but they got a surprise when Godfrey just nodded and stood up, gesturing for them to lead the way.
Isobel sashayed in, looking very flustered. “On top of everything else I have not heard from Hugo this evening.”
I looked as Stan raised an eyebrow and nodded to someone behind him. The Hispanic vampire I remembered seeing before came in with something wrapped in a tarp. He handed it to Isobel and her nostrils flared before her eyes rimmed with red.
“What happened to him Joseph?”
Okay, so now I knew the Hispanic vampire was called Joseph. I got one answer but Isobel got none. Joseph looked at her blankly before gesturing to me and Pam.
“He was found in the basement of the Fellowship. From the smell of things it was the same room these two were held in.”
Isobel fixed her gaze on me. It was frightening. I felt Eric’s hand on my shoulder and straightened my back, waiting for her to ask. She raised an eyebrow and I raised one right back. So far I’d been used as a punch bag, almost had to witness an awful act carried out on my friend and been snacked on by the vampire I was trying to rescue. If she wanted to know anything, she could damn well ask me her own self!
“Miss Stackhouse.” The words hissed from between her grinding teeth. “Would you care to tell me how my human ended up in the room with you?”
I smiled at her. “Sure. He was the Fellowship spy.” Her eyes widened and she dropped his body. “He planted the bug and called them with the information on where Pam and I were last night. Didn’t do him any good, they were still gonna kill him.”
“Take … this somewhere.” She beckoned to another vampire. “Dump it in an alley or something.”
“Wait!” I stood up and they all turned to me with fangs out. Eric growled deep in his throat and the obviously younger ones backed off. “He may have been a spy but he helped us. He fought for Pam in that room and lost his life in the process. I think that deserves a little more than dumping him in an alley.”
I could tell that the vampires didn’t really give a hoot about what I thought but Pam chimed in and echoed my sentiments. “It’s true. Sookie told me of how a vile human was attempting to sexually assault me during my day death. Your human died while trying to prevent that. Perhaps it would be a better idea to return his body to his family or a human friend?”
There was murmuring among the Dallas vampires before a skinny boy of a vampire removed Hugo’s body from the kitchen. Eric leaned down and whispered that he was being taken to his parents’ house. Stan came over and sat at the table with me and Pam, leaning his elbows on the surface and looking at Eric before speaking to us.
“So where we thought there was only one spy, it turns out there were two.”
He nodded to Joseph and moments later a very roughed up Barry was brought in and forced into the chair next to Stan. I gasped and got up, rushing round to Barry’s side. Joseph snarled and grabbed at me but let me go when Eric lifted him off the floor by the neck. Stan watched the whole scene with interest before huffing out an unnecessary breath.
“Joseph, calm yourself. Northman if you would be so kind as to let my second go?”
Eric let go of Joseph but wrapped his arms around me, as if to say that to get to me anyone would have to go through him.
“Barry? Oh my stars! What happened? What did they do to you?”
Barry looked right at me.
You said you would help me.
Right there, in a vampire’s kitchen, I broke down sobbing.