Sookie paced anxiously in the basement in the hopes that her call had gotten to Eric in time. There had been a few moments of panic while she tried to figure out what to do until Sookie remembered her cell phone was tucked into her pocket. Reception left something to be desired, but at least she had been able to get to Pam. If nothing else, she figured that would be enough to at least put out a warning.
Regardless of her irritation with Eric she couldn’t let Yvetta put a spell on him. Love wasn’t something that should be forced onto a person, and Sookie found it disgusting that Yvetta would even consider it, let alone formulate a plan. Her conviction to help put a stop to this Marnie person grew tenfold. Given what Sookie had learned recently about Bill, she took this attempt to use a love spell as a personal insult.
All of a sudden the door at the top of the stairs was flung wide open and Eric appeared with an unmoving body resting over his shoulder. Sookie sharply inhaled a deep breath, but then calmed herself when she realized that it wasn’t a corpse Eric was carrying. Yvetta was alive, but not conscious, and wasn’t exactly put down gently when Eric got to the bottom of the stairs.
He moved at vampire speed and unlocked the collar from around Sookie’s neck. She was relieved to see he was okay, and didn’t seem to be exhibiting any signs of having ingested any of that tonic. What she wasn’t anticipating was Eric’s gratitude, and the way his hands seized her face before he crushed his lips to hers. The kiss caught Sookie completely off guard and stole what little breath she had at the moment. A thousand plus years of kissing experience were hard to ignore, and she found herself responding to the way his lips moved against hers.
When Eric licked her lips, searching for permission to deepen the kiss, her lips parted easily for him. For the first time she felt his fangs, and when her tongue curled around one of them, Eric hissed and growled. One of his hands moved to tangle in her hair while the other moved down to her lower back to press her closer. She felt his excitement pressing into her, and it was enough to bring her back to reality. Sookie broke the kiss and gasped for air while Eric rested his forehead against hers, his hands still holding her to him firmly.
Sookie slowly brought her eyes to Eric’s, trying to figure out just what had taken over him. Was she wrong about the tonic? Had he taken Yvetta’s blood after all, but the spell had connected him to her first? She remembered seeing the movie Love Potion Number 9 a long time ago, and wondered if maybe it was the sort of spell where the first person someone kissed after taking the potion was the one they would end up falling for.
She tried to take a step back but Eric wasn’t letting her go. Thankfully, perhaps, Yvetta began to stir on the ground, and before she could fully become aware of what was happening, Eric left Sookie’s side to deal with the traitorous human. He yanked Yvetta up off the floor and threw her against the wall. She screamed in surprise and didn’t even get the chance to collect herself before Eric had her shackled there so she couldn’t move. It was then that Sookie noticed the shackles were made of silver, and she cringed.
Eric meant business.
Yvetta began to scream at Eric in another language, and only stopped when Eric reached out and slapped her. Sookie gasped at the brutality of it, but she didn’t say a word. By Eric’s posture it was obvious he was in no mood for games, and any further attempts to outrage him would only lead to a more painful punishment for what Yvetta had done.
Eric responded to the things being said, but Sookie had no idea what was going on, and since Yvetta was thinking in her own language her thoughts were pretty much useless to Sookie. However, there were images to go along with the things Yvetta was saying.
“What is she saying, Eric?” Sookie asked, since she didn’t know if the images would support Yvetta’s claims, or if they would negate them.
“She says she was forced to take the tonic,” Eric looked to Sookie.
“That’s a lie,” Sookie said, and Yvetta tugged at her restraints in effort to get at Sookie.
“Stay silent, or I will break your jaw,” Eric threatened in a voice that was far too calm for what the situation called for.
Sookie felt a chill run down her spine as Yvetta stopped struggling against the restraints.
“Your whore lies to you,” Yvetta glared at Sookie, and then suffered the consequences for speaking out of turn when Eric punched her in the stomach.
Yvetta threw up from the force of it, and Sookie wisely stepped back to avoid wearing whatever it was that had come out of the human. She cringed again while Yvetta coughed, sputtered and spit.
“Tell me what you hear, Sookie,” Eric said in a demanding tone.
Sookie’s eyes moved to Eric’s. She didn’t appreciate being ordered around, but given the circumstances she supposed she could let it slide.
“Yvetta approached Marnie,” Sookie said, and the use of that particular name was all it took for Eric’s fangs to come rushing out. He moved to bite Yvetta, but then remembered himself and stopped short of following through. “She went to Marnie’s shop to have tarot cards read. She wanted to know if you loved her. I’m guessing she didn’t get the answer she was hoping for since Marnie made a potion for her to…” Sookie trailed off when she saw the potion being made in Yvetta’s mind.
“What, Sookie?” Eric’s eyes were on her and she could feel herself getting paler by the second.
“Blood magic. Marnie used blood magic,” Sookie said quietly.
Yvetta began to yell in her language again and it was obvious that Eric had enough because then he really did break her jaw. Sookie was about to put her shields back in place so keep herself from hearing anything else in Yvetta’s mind when she saw Lorena’s face there. What the hell was Lorena doing in Shreveport? Bill hadn’t mentioned anything about another visit from his Maker? Is she was he was ‘working on’ when Sookie called the night before? She had heard enough from Yvetta for her liking and put her shields back in place. Yvetta screamed, whimpered and moaned in pain but Eric did nothing to ease the woman’s suffering.
“Sookie, come with me,” Eric said rather coldly, and started for the stairs.
Sookie stood frozen, staring at the woman who was very clearly in agony with the lower half of her mouth hanging the way it was. She was bleeding and drooling all over herself. Between the broken jaw and the bite wound on her neck it might not be long before Yvetta lost consciousness again from blood loss. That might actually be the kindest thing to happen to her.
“Sookie,” Eric put a little more authority in his voice, and Sookie’s legs started to move before she gave them the command.
Her mind was swimming with conflicting thoughts. She was torn between holding onto the morals she was taught by her Gran, and trying to accept that vampires doled out justice very differently than humans did. She felt guilty for Yvetta’s pain, even though Sookie had only done the right thing by telling Eric the truth. Yvetta had known there would be consequences for her actions if she had been discovered, and yet she chose to roll the dice and try to bewitch Eric anyway.
“You aren’t responsible for what happened to her,” Eric said once they were upstairs and back in his office.
“Couldn’t we just have Jesus come and break the spell? Was it necessary to hurt her?” Sookie asked, her arms folding over her chest.
Why did vampires always have to be so violent? It seemed like there was no way of negotiating anything with them. Sookie felt disgusted with herself for any roll she had in the injury that was inflicted on Yvetta. Of course there needed to be consequences for her actions, and compared to being drained on the spot, a broken jaw wasn’t so bad. But Sookie had a feeling that was just the beginning.
“Blood magic is different, Sookie. It is used to bind people together. Every person that drinks from Yvetta will fall under that spell. I had already rejected her, but had you not informed me of what was happening it’s very possible that Pam would have, essentially, become infected. You did a good service. You have nothing to feel guilty for,” Eric tried to assure her, but it would take time for the words to sink in.
“Why was Lorena here?” Sookie asked suddenly, her mind shifting back to that topic.
“She was looking to make a deal with me,” Eric said, and guided Sookie over to the couch to sit down. He sat at the other end of the sofa before he said, “She wants Bill back, and she sees you as the only obstacle to making that happen.”
Sookie snorted and said, “Her cheese done slid off her cracker.”
Eric actually laughed at Sookie’s euphemism, and she even found herself smiling just a little at the sound of his laughter. He had a hearty, booming laugh that was impossible to ignore. He didn’t laugh often, as far as Sookie could tell, she so was glad to be able to cause him to do so.
“I do so enjoy some of the phrases you southerners have devised,” Eric admitted with a bemused smile.
“I learned that one from my Gran,” Sookie’s smile faded.
“What troubles you?” Eric asked her, and reached for her hand.
Sookie’s eyes met his when his fingers brushed over her fingertips. She had so many questions and wasn’t quite sure where to begin. She figured she might as well go with first things first.
“What will happen to Lorena and Yvetta?” Sookie asked.
“Without knowing the particulars of the spell that was placed, it would be hard to say. My guess would be that the longer Lorena feels she is being rejected by the object of her affection, the more insane with need she will become. She’s dangerous enough already without this spell being cast on her. For the time being she will be looked after by Pam to ensure she doesn’t harm anyone in attempts to get to Yvetta,” Eric explained.
“And Yvetta?” Sookie asked nervously.
“The easiest way to break a spell involving blood magic is to kill the person who’s blood was used to generate the magic,” Eric said.
“So you’ll kill her?” Sookie’s heart sank.
“More than likely, yes,” he nodded, and clearly felt no guilt over it. He lifted Sookie’s chin when her head sank and he said, “You are not at fault for this, Sookie.”
“I know, but it’s a human life,” she sighed. “Can’t you just glamour her into forgetting about all of this and send her away?”
“The spell wouldn’t be broken that way Sookie,” Eric said as gently as he could, and not because he felt compassion for the whore in the basement, but because he could feel Sookie’s turmoil over what was going to happen.
“I got the impression that Yvetta and Marnie had talked quite a bit, but I stopped listening to her earlier before she came upstairs because I didn’t want to hear anymore. It might be possible she knows more about what Yvetta has planned. If I could go downstairs-” Sookie started to suggest but was cut off.
“I would go with you,” Eric said. “She’s too dangerous for me to let you down there alone with her.”
Sookie nodded, and the two of them went back to the basement. Yvetta was unconscious, which was actually a good thing because it meant her mind would be wide open. Sookie wasn’t used to digging into people’s heads for information, but she was determined to give it a try. She reached out and lightly rested her hand on Yvetta’s arm. There was no movement from the broken woman.
It took some time, but Sookie was able to locate the visit she had seen earlier. Apparently Marnie had become slightly enraged when Yvetta told the witch the spell she wanted to place was on a vampire. Yvetta told Marnie how Eric had fed from her, made love to her and then discarded her like she was nothing. The love spell was meant to be a punishment, in some twisted way. Marnie, in turn, had told a sad story about how her brother Mark had been drained to a slow, painful death by vampires. They had fed him TruBlood to keep him alive the same way drainers would do with vampires. It took more than a week for Mark to die, and Marnie had sworn revenge in her brother’s name.
Sookie understood the frustration of suffering at the hands of vampires, or just in general. She had seen her share of pain in life, but it never would have occurred to her to try and wipe out an entire race in attempts to try and right a wrong. Sookie tried to come up with an alternate solution to killing Yvetta, but her mind was coming up short. It was one thing to be a lovesick woman, but it was another to be spiteful and plan something like this in the spirit of revenge. The plan had backfired, and while Sookie certainly wasn’t Lorena’s biggest fan, she was innocent in this situation.
When Sookie relayed the information to Eric, the only sound that came from him was a deep, guttural growl rumbling in his chest, and based on the how tightly his fists were clenched Sookie knew he was holding back because she was there. She wanted to say something to him but didn’t know what. There wasn’t much of a way to put a positive spin on anything she’d learned.
Eric seemed to shake himself and then said, “Come, let’s get you back home.”
With that, Sookie took one last look at Yvetta, whom she was sure she would never see again, and then went up the stairs.