My body vibrated with the beautiful tension of battle. I was born for this, bred for this, even as a human, and my mind yearned to continue the carnage. I wanted to kill Nut and Nora both, but Godric held me back. How he always managed to be so disciplined, I will never know.
Despite the success of the battle, our victorious euphoria was overshadowed by a very urgent situation. Sookie was currently lying on the ground, gasping for breath. Her mouth, tongue and throat were swollen, and she was having difficulty breathing. The swelling was preventing her from swallowing our blood, so we could not heal her. On top of this, she had lost enough blood from us draining her at Angur’s command that she was fading fast. I could hear her heart beat slowing, even now.
The guilt that I was the cause of at least part of her suffering was crippling. I swear to the gods if she dies I will kill Nut and Nora anyway. I do not give a shit if they are not responsible. It will make me feel better. Both have caused her pain in other ways.
“She is freezing,” I said as I felt her cold skin. My bonded was always so warm, and now she was shivering. My heart wrenched at the sight of her frail human body failing her, and there was not a thing I could do to warm her. “Where the fuck is Ludwig?”
“We should take her inside out of the elements while we wait on the doctor,” Godric said standing to his feet.
I lifted Sookie into my arms and began quickly following him inside. Her tear stained face looked up at me, and our eyes locked. “Hold on, Lover. The doctor will be here soon.”
“Nora,” she croaked out in a barely audible breath.
“Nora?” I said curiously. “Godric has sent her away.”
Godric turned to us as we stepped inside. “Perhaps she is trying to tell us that Nora is responsible for what ails her.”
My fangs dropped back out, and I growled with a vicious need to run through the forest after Nora until I hunted her down and ripped her apart. “If that is true, then Nora will pay with her life.”
“I should not have rushed to anger so quickly and banished Nora before I had completely assessed the scene. We may have difficulty determining what she did to Sookie unless the doctor is able to ascertain the cause of her swelling. I do not know enough about fairies to know what could cause this. I only recently found out that they are not a myth when Sookie told me of her ancestry.”
A high pitched shriek came from the top of the stairs as Talbot ran towards our group. We all stood in the entrance way, collectively raising our eyebrows when we saw his ludicrous behavior. Perhaps the killing tonight was not finished. He came to a halt in front of us, his face contorted haughtily.
“We have just killed your maker!” I laughed in villainous amusement as I handed Sookie to Godric, preparing myself for one final killing. I cracked my knuckles as I took a step towards the lanky vampire that had served as Edgington’s bitch.
“DO NOT TRACK MUD INSIDE!” Talbot screamed, his eyes darting around like a caged animal.
I raised an eyebrow. “Did you not just hear my words fool? We have killed your maker! Edgington is dead.”
“Eric,” Godric said, looking towards me. “This vampire is of a more feminine condition. I do not believe he poses a threat.”
I took a step closer to Talbot as he stared at me wide-eyed.
“Did you not hear me Northman! You are messing up the décor!” He huffed sucking in a big breath of air and squealing. He dramatically pointed at my feet. “How dare you!”
“I will take care of this.” Pamela said in a bored tone, walking towards Talbot with the roll of her eyes. “Go attend to Sookie.”
While Pam dragged Talbot off into a side room, Alan waited in the entry way for Dr. Ludwig while Godric and I took Sookie to a bedroom and laid her on the bed. The witch was still outside unconscious, but we would have to take care of her after we saw to Sookie. I imagine the doctor would want to look at her as well, but she would see to Sookie first. I would make sure of that.
“If that doctor does not get here quickly I will personally rip her head off,” I told Godric who was bent over Sookie, licking her neck to soothe her wounds. The healing qualities in our saliva wasn’t as powerful as our blood, but it would help give her relief where Nora had inflicted a nasty bite mark and ripped into her silky flesh.
“Don’t get your panties in a wad, vampire,” Ludwig grumbled walking into the room, a doctor’s bag in her hand. “I don’t sit by the phone all hours of the night waiting for over-dramatic vampires to call me to their rescue.”
I blinked as she padded her way towards me and waved her hand in the air. “We called you nearly two minutes ago,” I seethed with indignation. “Pamela informed you that it is an emergency.”
I gave her an incredulous look as she swept me aside with the brush of her arm above my knee and pushed me with a little more force than was necessary (yes she was that short). She waltzed past me towards Sookie. “Out of the way, vampire.” She said rudely.
I really hated that vulgar little doctor. Why she is protected by the authority is a complete mystery to everyone who has met her. If she wasn’t so valuable as one of the only medical professionals in the supernatural community, I would have killed her long ago.
She stepped up to Sookie’s bedside before she turned and looked at me with an expectant glare, her hands on her hips. “Well are you going to stand there with your fang up your ass or are you going to get me a chair to stand on so I can see the patient?”
I walked to the corner of the room, thoroughly chastised, and grabbed a chair while the little troll rolled her eyes at me and sighed impatiently.
“Thank you Dr. Ludwig for seeing us so quickly.” Godric said, trying to be diplomatic and respectful as the doctor climbed in the chair. He was trying to make up for my bad first impression with the doctor tonight. As much as I hated to admit it, we needed the tiny ogre.
“Tell me what happened,” Ludwig inquired as she opened Sookie’s mouth and looked inside.
“There was a battle,” I began to explain. “And while we were killing Edgington…”
“Not what happened with you, vampire!” She interrupted with a saucy tone. “The patient.”
I fumed with irritation and clenched my fist as I tried to control my temper. “While we were killing Edgington…” I continued as I enunciated with sarcasm. “We believe Nora did something to our bonded to cause this horrible swelling.”
“She’s nearly been drained.” The doctor scolded, turning to Godric and I with an appalled glare.
“Yes,” Godric said looking down in shame. “We were given a maker’s command to drain her.”
Ludwig started shaking her head. “When will these little human girls ever learn that running around with vampires can be detrimental to their health!”
“She is a hybrid human-fairy mix,” Godric said.
“Well why didn’t you say so! I need all the facts to diagnose the girl you idiots!” The miniature terror barked at us.
“Enough talk! Fix her!” I hissed with smoldering disgust. “If she dies because you are busy grumbling I swear to the gods I will…”
“Oh give it a rest scary vampire,” She mocked. “Now back up! Give me some room to work and stop hovering.” She started mumbling something under her breath about how my head will scrape the drywall off the ceiling and make it harder for the patient to breathe.
I bristled while the doctor checked Sookie over. Finally after what seemed like the longest minutes of my life, she spoke.
“Yep. She’s ingested lemons.”
“Lemons?” I said confused.
“For someone who claims this fairy is their bonded you sure don’t know squat about fairies, do you?”
“Doctor,” Godric said lifting his hand. “What does this mean? Is she going to die?” His abrupt question sent an alarming flash of ominous reality through my body. I had avoided that thought once the doctor showed up, but what he said was a real possibility. Sookie could very well die and we would be the ones who caused her demise.
“Well normally I’d say yes. Lemons are fatal to fairies, but it usually isn’t fatal to hybrids unless they consume a large amount. But with you vampires draining her within an inch of her life on top of that, her body is shutting down. We will have to do a blood transfusion.”
“Take our blood!” I said stepping forward and holding out my wrist.
“Not vampire blood!” She squawked with an belligerent eye roll. “She needs human blood. The lemon has entered her blood stream and she needs more human blood to replenish what you took.” The doctor took out her phone and started texting something. “My assistant will be here in a few seconds with some donor blood. You two need to leave the room. Your lingering and stupid questions are preventing me from doing my work.”
“That’s not happening. I’m staying right here!” I growled, making sure she could see my fangs.
“Out vampire!” The doctor waved her hand over her shoulder without even turning to look at me. She had some balls.
“My child,” Godric said taking me by the elbow. “Let us go and let the doctor do her work.”
If Ludwig wasn’t such a trusted figure in the supe community Godric would have never suggested we leave her alone with our bonded. This was not my first dealings with the diminutive little mutant. She has been around for a very long time, and she is well renowned far and wide for her healing abilities.
What I did not understand is how Nora knew that Sookie would be allergic to lemons and we did not. Once she found out Sookie was a fairy and I threw her out of the river house, she must have been a very busy little bee. We had never met a fairy until Sookie, believing them only to be a myth. So naturally we did not bother ourselves with knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
We walked outside of the room and Godric stood with his back to the door, barely moving, as he watched me pace back and forth in front of him.
I could feel my mind swirling downward into a pit of despair as my surroundings fogged. Sookie cannot die! This cannot be happening. I felt so helpless outside the room that she lay in. I should be in there, at her side. It could be the last time I see her. By the gods, please do not let it be the last time. My battered heart cannot take such a blow. It was nearly destroyed when I thought Godric was dead, now this.
I felt strong hands on my arms turn me, and Godric was looking up in my eyes, concern and regret etched on his face.
He did not say a word, but instead wrapped his arms around me and held me in a tight embrace. He could feel my emotions over the maker-child bond, and I knew he was feeling the same thing. The difference between us was that he was twice my age and had fully mastered control. My control was well established, but when it came to Sookie or Godric in peril, I found myself as sturdy as a house of glass.
“I thought you met the true death.” I murmured, my voice wavering as it cracked with grief and worry. “And now Sookie could very well succumb to her… her end.”
I knew not what to do. I may be a 1000 year old vampire, but I needed my maker’s guidance in that moment and he was well aware of how much I needed him. These moments were so rare anymore.
“Have hope, my child.” He said squeezing me tighter. “We will weather this storm as one. We have survived much heart-ache and anguish in our long lives, you and I.”
“We did this to her.” I choked angrily, trying but failing to hold back the emotion in my words. “She is dying because we nearly killed her—nearly killed our bonded!”
“The situation was beyond our control. It will never happen again,” he tried to assure me, but I was blinded by my own self-loathing.
“You do not understand.” I hissed, turning away from him. “When we were draining her, I enjoyed the taste of her blood, and I took pleasure in feeling her coursing through my veins.” At my core, I was vampire and that would never change. But for my nature to conflict with my heart was a sober moment.
He stepped forward and put his hand on my shoulder. “Eric, there is no denying that her taste is very appealing, you cannot be held at fault for the way your body reacts when you drink her blood.”
“If she survives this, I fear that I will not have the fortitude to drink from her again.” I whispered, turning to him. “I do not wish to bring her harm.”
“You must drink blood, my child, and she is your mate. To drink from her is natural and expected. To take sustenance from another would be of the highest insult to your bonded. I believe Sookie would not be agreeable to you feeding from another.”
“I will survive off of Tru-Blood if I must.”
“We both know that Tru-Blood cannot fully sustain us. I lived off of it for two years before I met Sookie, since the Great Revelation, and it had adverse effects on both my mind and body. I am just now recovering and back to my normal self.” I remember my maker telling me of how he barely hung onto self control the first time he tasted Sookie from her femorial artery in the other world. It had been two years since he drank human blood and her sweet nectar had almost been to much for him. It took every bit of his strength not to rip her clothes from her body and ravage her in wreckless abandon.
“I am afraid…” I sighed heavily. “I am afraid if I drink from her it will only serve to remind me that I nearly took her life. She may die still. My broder, I love her fully. I cannot bear the knowledge that I brought her such pain and more importantly I am afraid that Sookie will now fear us when we drink from her.”
“Sookie knows that we did not attack her of our own volition. We must assure her of our love,” Godric said, putting his hand on my face. “That includes doing all that a bonded should do, the sharing of the blood. It is a sacred right for a bonded to sustain their vampire with life. Though she is not knowledgeable about these rights, someday she will be and will understand them. She will resent that you denied her. Our Sookie will survive this and she will live a very long time, we will assure that.”
I exhaled an unnecessary breath. He was right. To deny myself from taking Sookie’s blood was only insulting her. I must battle my own demons in a different way, and I must come to terms with Sookie’s fragility. This has been an ongoing fear of mine since I realized my feelings for Sookie. I first felt this fear during the blood bond ritual, and I knew then that Sookie sensed my feelings, when our connection was solidified. Her confusion then was apparent, but she respectfully did not question me about it.
“While we wait for Ludwig to treat Sookie, I should go check on Pamela.” I needed to do something besides standing around talking about my feelings. I was not accustomed to even acknowledging they existed, let alone spilling them to my maker.
“Very good, my child.” Godric said, patting my shoulder. “I will stand guard here to await news from the doctor.” Sookie would never be left alone again. Either Godric or I would always be within ear shot to see to her safety, especially after what happened tonight.
I headed across the mansion to the room I had seen Pamela drag Talbot in. On the way there, I thought about everything Godric had said. My maker was wise, and I valued his words. He had taught me much over the last millennium. I hoped that next time I drank Sookie’s blood I could overcome my fears that I was capable of causing her pain and prayed that she would not be frightened of us either after what we did to her.
Before I opened the door to the room Pam was in, I could hear glass shattering, followed by shrieking wails from Talbot. I raised one eyebrow and walked inside.
The scrawny vampire was on his knees on the ground, his hands in his hair as he grasped the sides of his head. “NOO!” He begged, “Not the curtains! Those are Maria Antoinette’s crystal laden curtains! They’re worth over 125 million dollars!”
Pamela was standing by a window with a wicked grin on her face. “Oh these?” She said menacingly with a laugh before she tore them down and ripped them to shreds. “Oops.”
“What in the hell?” I laughed with a curious smile.
“I have discovered a compelling method to torture this bitch.” She said diabolically, her red lips turning upward in a devious smirk. “He seems overly concerned with the ornaments and furnishing of this place.”
“He is insane.” I said, looking at him in disbelief as he groveled on the ground and gathered the curtains in his arms, petting them like a furry animal. I could have swore I heard him whisper ‘don’t you worry, I will avenge you my precious and take care of that evil witch.’
Pam tipped over a statuette of a Greek god off of a pedestal and Talbot fell on his side and started crying when it hit the floor and shattered.
“See?” She cackled.
“I do. But why are you torturing him? What information are you trying to obtain?”
“Nothing in particular.” She shrugged. “It’s just fun, and I’m trying to pass the time.”
There was a knock at the door and I spun around ready for a fight, still on edge from the earlier battle. Alan Nut walked through the door with his head down like a whipped dog.
“What is it?” I hissed, not especially happy to see his face. I know that he was commanded by Edgington to do the things he did, but those things were to my bonded, and I did not forgive easily.
“Someone is here who is calling himself the Magister.” Nut said apologetically.
“What?” I snarled. Why in the hell was that sniveling piece of shit here and how did he even know what was going on? I did not need this headache right now.
“He says word has reached him that the King of Mississippi has been killed and he is here to investigate.”
“How the fuck did he find out so fast?” Pamela said, walking up to me and ripping a tear in a chair cushion on her way, which caused Talbot to start bawling even louder.
Before I could answer, the Magister walked in, twirling his walking stick and looking smug.
“Well, hello there Mr. Northman.” He said with a snide tone. “How is it when there is trouble, you always seem to be at the center of it?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I flashed some fang.
“Killing a vampire monarch—I would call that the center of it.”
“Edgington initiated the war. I only finished it.”
“Calm yourself Mr. Northman. I am not here to pass judgment.” He sassed.
I retracted my fangs. “How is it that you were able to so quickly discover the events here tonight?” I demanded.
“I was having my bonded for dinner…” He waggled his eyebrows. “When she received an urgent phone call that there was a medical emergency here. She had to leave to attend your human, which I am thoroughly annoyed about I’ll have you know.”
My lip curled up in disgust. “Eeeph,” I sneered in revulsion. Ludwig was his bonded?
“I have come because there is the matter of appointing a new King. I have come all the way here, and I intend to make someone the monarch before I leave. We cannot have this state fall into utter chaos can we? The neighboring states will thrust us all into war to fight over the scraps.”
“I have no interest in being King; you know this.” Ingraining myself deeper into vampire politics was something I had averted for a long time. Godric too was uninterested in such a path. We had managed to avoid such a role and only take Sheriff positions up until this point. The thing about Kings and Queens was that their lives tended to be fairly short lived. Yes some lasted several centuries, but it always ended the same. Enemies always came out of the woodwork.
“You may not have a choice,” the Magister said curling his lip up. “You are 1000 years old, it is time you took a more active role. Besides, it is tradition that the one who kills the old monarch becomes the new one.”
“Nut killed him.” I spat, pointing over at the baby vampire.
The Magister turned to Nut-sucker incredulously and laughed. “He is barely a few months old. How in the hell did he manage to slay a 1600 year old vampire?”
“He was 3500 years old,” Pamela hissed.
“He was registered with the authority as 1600 years old.” The Magister growled, looking Pamela up and down.
“Everyone knows that ancients lie about their age.” She argued.
“What’s wrong with him?” He said pointing at Talbot who was lying on the ground and foaming at the mouth.
“He’s a pussy.” Pam said. “Don’t mind him.”
The Magister sighed. “I guess there is no way around it.” He looked over at Alan and quickly said in a low voice. “I decree you king, may your reign be a success blahblahblah. Try not to get killed your first month on the job. I hate coming to this backwater state”
“What?” Alan Nut gawked, with wide eyes.
“You’re King. Congratulations.” The Magister sneered with a forced smile. “This mansion is yours now I suppose. Good luck.” And as fast as he had come he was leaving without a backwards glance. Fucking authority agents always thought they were so important!
“What am I supposed to do now?” Alan said looking over at me dumbfounded.
“You made a TV show about this world for seven years. You should know,” I grumbled. “Besides, I don’t have time for this. My maker is calling me.”
I could feel Godric’s pull over the bond and I quickly made my way across the mansion. Alan and Pam were following me and she was dragging Talbot behind her by the collar of his shirt.
I saw Ludwig standing outside the door with Godric as I approached. “Any news?” I asked hurriedly.
“Sookie is recovering.” Godric turned to me with a relieved smile. “The transfusion was a success, but she is weak.”
“We should give her our blood.” I said.
The doctor glared at me with contempt. “No vampire blood for 24 hours. There is nothing to heal. Her body is just adjusting to the transfusion which is making her fatigued. I will check back here tomorrow and see how she is recovering from the lemon poisoning, meanwhile plenty of rest and relaxation.”
“Thank you doctor,” Godric said.
“I’ll send you a bill.” She grumbled, turning to face Pam and Talbot. “What is wrong with him? Why is he moaning like that and foaming at the mouth?”
“Umm,” Pam began. “I tortured him by breaking items around the house.”
“Damn vampires!” The doctor spat. “You’ve caused him to go insane. Just what I need! I’ll have to take him to Sunny Acres!”
“What is Sunny Acres?” Alan asked.
“It’s an insane asylum for vampires,” Pam chuckled.
“It is a rehab facility.” Ludwig said with grouchy irritation. “You’d be surprised how many vampires have emotional problems, what with living for eternity and all. Also, I must inform you that I went to go check on the witch outside and she is gone.”
“What do you mean she is gone?” I said alarmed. “She may pose a threat.”
“Don’t get your panties in a wad. Someone dragged her away. My assistant, who is a world class tracker by the way, followed the skid marks in the dirt and the trail ended a few hundred feet into the woods. It would seem the trail just disappeared at that point. Anyway, Bye.”
And Ludwig poofed away.
I turned to Godric. “Can we go in and see Sookie now?”
I felt the relief sweeping through me as my inner storms abated. My bonded would live! I would have to figure out what happened to the witch later but for now I wanted to see Sookie. I wanted to pull her into my arms and tell her how much I love her. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was that I hurt her. And I could feel Godric’s need to see her as well. He has been separated from her and his need to see her was nearly shattering him. Despite everything that had happened, we were finally together again. We could finally be one.