“Eric,” I shrieked. “I can walk. You don’t have to carry me!” I was currently being carried outside over the threshold of the shack bridal style.
“You are still in pain. Until you have some of Godric’s blood to complete the healing you are at risk of hurting yourself further.” He said glancing down at me.
“I’m fine!” I giggled. “Like the Phoenix I rise again!”
He smiled. “You mean like a vampire you rise again?”
He vamped in a blurry whirl to the passenger side of the car which caused my head to spin dizzily.
“Not that I’m complaining.” I kind of liked him carrying me. “But, you enjoy this don’t you?”
“Your toes would curl if you knew the things I enjoy.” Ah… holy cow! I wondered if he still had my paper towel. He grinned as he stood me on the ground and opened the car door. “I will drive.”
That was fine with me. My ankle was twisted anyway which was the reason I was limping in the first place. I scooted into the seat, and he leaned in and buckled me up, his head much closer to mine than it needed it to be.
After making sure I was secure he zoomed around the car and gracefully got into the drivers seat.
When he stuck the keys in the ignition and the car started Beyonce’s Girls Run the World started blaring through the speakers. I had been listening to it on the way to the shack. He looked at me and raised one blond eyebrow.
“What?” I shrugged with a sheepish smile. “It’s a good song.”
He pulled out onto the highway a little too fast for my comfort.
“So who is Nut-sucker’s maker?” I asked trying to make conversation.
“He is the pile of trash who killed my human family,” Eric said through gritted teeth.
I nearly freaked. “Russell Edgington?”
Eric’s head snapped towards me. “What do you know of him?”
“I know a lot about him. My God Eric, he’s dangerous and evil. He’s over 3000 years old.”
“3000 years? Are you sure?”
“Positive. I never understood how you didn’t know the age of the King of Mississippi.”
“Vampires guard their privacy and secrets jealously. The less others know the more advantage one has. He is registered with the authority as being 1600 years old.”
“Well then he’s lying.”
“It makes one look weaker than they really are. Anyone coming after him would not anticipate his strength, and he would be able to destroy his enemies with ease. Smart really. The age he claims is old enough to demand respect, yet young enough to give an impression of vulnerability.”
“Does Godric claim an age younger than he is?”
“Godric is 2061 years old and he is registered as such. It is hard to hide his true age because of his tattoo’s. Gaul was conquered by the Roman Empire in 58 B.C. shortly after his human birth, and the tribal tattoo’s that he bears were no longer practiced among the Celtic clans. He is the oldest registered vampire in North America, which brings certain power and advantages.”
Wow, a real history lesson from a source such as Eric. I actually loved history. I bet Eric and Godric could keep me enthralled for hours with the stories they must have. My eyes were wide as I stared at him in wonder.
He grinned. “Most people are not curious about our lives. You find this interesting?”
“Absolutely!” I smiled. “It’s incredible the things you must have experienced. The things you’ve seen. Sometimes I’m just amazed at how much the world has changed since my birth, with cell phones, computers, and technology. I can’t imagine how you feel, how you view the world. I’m sure I could listen to you talk about these things for hours and hours.”
His expression softened, but I saw something deep and profound in his penetrating blue eyes as they screamed at me with the yearning of a thousand years. He was not aware how easily I could read him. I saw pain and raw grief and a need that has not been met in a very long time. Something so basic that most of us take it for granted, simply someone to listen.
I didn’t feel pity or sorrow, or sympathy. If I had he would have known it from his blood and I’m sure been insulted. No, I felt nothing but ecstatic that I was sitting there next to him talking about things that were important to him. I felt honored that he thought enough of me to share those insights with me into his and Godric’s history.
I was brought back to the here and now as Eric began to speak. “Russell Edgington wants Godric for something. Alan revealed that much. But we do not know why. Do you have any ideas?”
“No,” I shook my head. “I don’t know why he would want anything to do with Godric. But if Russell is involved neither of you are safe.”
“I have a safe house that Godric and I can stay at until we can figure this out.”
“Um, what about me?” I sniped.
His eyes widened slightly. “I most certainly would want you to come with us Lover. But you might be safer if you let us handle Russell on our own.”
“Oh no,” I retorted. “I’m coming to the safe house too. In case you haven’t noticed, I got some mighty powerful fae smite that I think could help.”
“Like it helped on the lowly human male tonight?” He teased.
“My power was depleted from opening the portal! He was lucky. That portal drained me. But a good night sleep and some more healing from Godric and I’ll be right as rain. I’m not letting you guys face a 3000 year old vampire alone.”
As we pulled up to the house Eric shut off the car and my door was already opening. I screamed in surprise! There was no one there one second ago.
“Sookie!” Godric said, his expression worried. He leaned closer to me. “I smell blood. You are injured!”
“Eric gave me some blood. I’m just a little achy, but I’m going to be okay.”
He pulled me out of the car to my feet and started running his hands all over me checking for injuries and flaring his nostrils wildly. His fangs were out and he started growling angrily. “Did the serial killer do this? I will tear him apart!”
“I barely got there in time,” Eric said vamping up to us. “She was dying in a pool of her own blood when I arrived. I had to give her three helpings of my blood, and she is still not fully healed. She would be dead if she hadn’t used her magic to render him unconscious.”
Godric pulled me against his chest and wrapped his arms around me in a protective embrace. “It is my fault. I should have never left you alone. I will not leave you unprotected again.”
“Godric you couldn’t have known.” I said stumbling a little bit into him. My ankle was pretty messed up still. “Eric glamoured the killer. We needed him to turn himself in because my brother is being blamed for the murders. Besides we have bigger fish to fry. Eric told me about Russell Edgington.”
“Yes, that young vampires maker. I have heard the name somewhere.”
“Well, we didn’t get to that part of the DVD’s. He is in season three and we only watched through season two. We’ve got to get you guys to the safe house and fast. It’s not safe. Russell is a very dangerous 3000 year old vampire.”
Just then, Gran came running outside down the porch steps. “Sookie! Oh dear! What in tarnation happened to you? You’re dress is covered in blood!”
I explained to her everything that happened with Rene and she was gasping with her mouth wide open and clutching the collar of her dress as she listened. When I finished she grabbed me by the neck and hugged me tight.
“I’m so glad you are safe dear. Thank goodness Mr. Northman showed up when he did.” She glanced at the tall Viking fondly and reached up putting her hand on his face, patting his cheek.
“Gran you should come to the safe house with us. There’s a dangerous vampire out there. I don’t think he has any reason to come here but just to be safe. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“Well,” she began. “Vampire’s can’t come in the house without an invite. Plus if Rene turns himself in then I’ll be expectin’ a call from Jason, and I’ll need to go pick him up.”
Maybe not vampires, but Russell had a whole pack of werewolves who worked for him. “But Gran…”
“Now don’t start young lady! I’ll be fine! Like you said this vampire has no reason to come here. I ain’t leavin’ my home.”
“Little one,” Godric said, “We will post were guards to watch the house day and night.”
“If Gran is staying so am I. I’m not leaving her alone! Eric said I’d be safer here anyway.”
Godric shot Eric a scolding glare before turning back to me. “Little one, you must come with us. I need to be able to protect you.” I’m sure the two millennia old vampire was used to getting what he wanted.
I crossed my arms with all the tenacity I could muster.
“Dear, I’ll be fine. If it makes you feel any better I’ll have Claudine stay here with me.”
“We must leave soon. It will be dawn in a few hours and we still need to get Sookie healed.” Eric said turning to Godric. “I suggest we go to the safe house and heal her there. The faster we get there the better.”
“Okay, I’ll go. But only if I can get Claudine to stay. She can protect Gran with her fae magic.” Gran was right. Claudine’s magic at this point was more powerful than mine anyway. In fact, I was pretty powerless at the moment and Gran wasn’t budging.
I’ll need to pack clothes and the True Blood DVD’s. I decided I wouldn’t pack the burnt out stones. Instead, I opted to hide them under a loose floorboard in my closet. I hoped at some point I could get them working again but for now I had more important matters to worry about. But frankly, at that moment I just wanted to take a shower and go to bed. My clothes were covered in blood and my hair was matted with the same.
I wasn’t too worried about getting more vampire blood to heal. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. My ankle felt a bit twisted and my sides ached where my ribs were previously broken. I had a headache, but all in all I was in pretty good shape considering. The two vampires were being overprotective. It felt kind of nice for someone to care so much about me. I wondered what they were really thinking. What sort of schemes were they plotting in those fascinating minds?
A hunter in Northeast Louisiana buttoned up his pants beside a dogwood tree. He had come down from his deer stand to relieve himself. The air was muggy and stifling, great weather for hunting because the breeze wouldn’t carry his scent to any unsuspecting bucks. He really hoped he could bag a deer tonight. His family could use the extra food with the price of groceries these days. He glanced around the ground for a stick to dig a hole so he could bury the last remnants of his wife’s chili that he ate for supper.
Something got his attention…
The young ruddy hunter looked up and peered into the gloomy darkness. A deep seeded instinct that had been long buried but was imprinted into his very bones told him something was wrong. His mind subconsciously struggled to decipher and unravel the mysterious puzzle, and yet his intuition told him he was in mortal peril as his heart began to thump wildly in his chest. The sound of the night had become completely silent, deafeningly silent as the air stilled around him. Every creep, every crawl, every slither held their breath and waited with trepidation. Being much more in tune with nature they knew what was upon them as they noiselessly sank into their hiding spots.
The hunter gasped as an other-worldly streak rushed towards him, and his last thought was that Lucifer himself had come to the Earth to extinguish his life and devour his soul. The hunter should have never been having unholy thoughts of young Sally-Mae in church last Sunday. If the creature who delivered him to his demise knew the hunters thought it would have grown his ego even more.
The hunter laid on the ground limp, his vacant stare fixed with empty horror. That spot would become his eternal grave as his bones aged to dust.
The gluttonous beast lifted his blood stained face to the black and focused his eyes on the revolting sparkles that dusted the heavens. His lip snarled in disgust at the tediousness of his existence. Oh, what he wouldn’t give for one glimpse of the majestic sun soaring through the aqua blue sky.
The monster shook the thought away and focused on the task at hand. Yet again he must go save his newest progeny. The young vampire from the other world was proving to be more trouble than he was worth. He should have never left the stone in his inferior hands, and now he must go retrieve it once and for all.
He turned and rushed west, but before he could get more than a few steps he skidded on something slick and fell to the ground on his back.
“Ah! Son of a bitch!” he hissed getting up.
He had slipped on the hunters pile of turds. Having been too confident as usual, he was not paying enough attention.
The repugnant brown goo was now smeared on his ass. He would have to listen to Talbot moan about it for hours once he returned to his palace in Mississippi.
Fifteen minutes later, he arrived in Shreveport. Knocking down the back door of Fangtasia, he crept inside. His vampire gift of hearing told him no one was moving in the place except one in the basement, Alan he presumed.
He was irritated, angry, and in no mood for any more mistakes.
“Why am I not surprised you have failed again,” he bubbled with his usual over the top smile as he descended the stairs into the Northman’s pathetic little dungeon. His cordial expression was a phony mask that he had perfected over the millennia; underneath he seethed with vile cruelty. His soul was wicked and his mind had been driven to manic lunacy long ago.
“Master,” Alan sputtered. Russell picked up on the displeasure in the young vampire’s voice that he tried to hide under a veil of relief. “Our plan failed. Northman knew who I was the second I tried to present myself to him.”
“Where’s the stone?” Russell could care less what Alan had to say. He planned to take the stone and end him.
“Northman destroyed it,” Alan conceded apologetically. Russell’s smile disappeared. “But there is another one.”
He didn’t tell Russell there are actually two more, that they are burnt out, nor that Sookie and Godric had returned. He had heard the Gaul upstairs with Northman earlier, although he couldn’t hear what they were saying. How they managed to get one of the burnt out stones to work he would never know. There was no need to give any more information than was necessary. He knew his life hinged on his usefulness to Russell. Alan had tried to stay in the other world on many occasions with the stone. But Russell’s compulsion was so strong due to his age that he couldn’t even hide there. If he could have fled he would have never been allowed to keep the stone. He was forced by the maker command back to the True Blood universe.
“You have been tortured.” Russell dipped his chin down and glowered at Alan, compelling him to speak the truth. “Did you give them any information about me?”
“I… I… I told them that you wanted Godric.”
“Fuck almighty you fool! I assume you told them we need Godric’s blood too?”
“No I didn’t!” Alan defended. “I told them I didn’t know why you wanted Godric.”
“There has been some progress and my plans are moving forward. I suppose I will have a small use for you regarding that. I will let you live for now.” Russell mused with a beaming smile.
“Thank you, your majesty.” Alan said as Russell stepped towards him. “I promise you won’t regret this!”
“Do not thank me yet. Once you find out how you fit into my ingenious scheme then you may wish you met the true death tonight. It is quite tragic, yet spectacular. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.”
Alan’s heart sank as he listened to Russell’s words. He shuddered, wondering what nightmare this virulent demon had in store for him.
A/N: Eric’s eyes rake over you. “I think next chapter we will call Forbidden Fruit.”