This wasn’t good. It wasn’t good at all, and it felt like time had stopped. Trapped in the trunk of a speeding car with an injured vampire with her hands behind her back… those were her only real weapons that stood a chance of helping her keep Bill at bay, and they were useless to her. She wondered, just for a moment, if her captors somehow knew this about her. It wouldn’t surprise her a single bit if it did. Binding someone’s hands behind their back was a normal thing to do when they were being abducted, so it didn’t guarantee that her secret had somehow leaked to someone it shouldn’t.
With everything she could emotionally muster, she silently screamed for Eric to come and find her. The fact that he hadn’t already… was he dead? Had he met the true death, or was he circling the wagons and coming up with a plan of attack? Being that he was methodical and liked to be three moves ahead at all times told her there was the likelihood that he was forming his posse right then and there, hellbent on exacting revenge not only on her kidnappers, but the masked man that had been fool enough to do Eric any harm.
But then she didn’t know if he was even injured.
Her mind was moving quickly, forming a list of potential kidnappers who might be responsible for this. The most obvious to her was Russell Edgington’s weres, whom she had been told wouldn’t stop until they had her in their possession. Suspect number two for her was Sophie-Anne LeClerq. Even though they had a contract arranged, it was just a piece of paper. What was Sookie really going to do if Sophie-Anne violated the agreement? Who was she going to turn to for help in a situation like this?
Assuming anyone in the vampire world even cared about her, aside from Eric and the vampire who lay wounded at her side, she would have to reveal her special skills in order to explain Sophie-Anne’s fascination with her and that would cause a boatload of trouble.
There was the Authority. Perhaps Nora had spilled her secret back to her cohorts, and they decided that she was too valuable, or maybe even too much trouble, to have floating around. Sookie didn’t know much about the Authority, other than they seemed to be a large and rather useless pain in the ass. For being such an ‘absolute power’ in the vampire world, they had yet to pull the trigger where any of their rogue vampires were concerned. Bill was still undead, as was Russell Edgington. The whole thing seemed to be one big joke, as far as Sookie could tell.
Then there was the Fellowship of the Sun. She doubted Steve Newlin had aligned himself with vampires and weres, but there was always the chance that there were more vampires like Godric. Vampires who were tired of violence, death and were jaded about the possibilities that immortality afforded them. The weres could easily sneak in under Newlin’s radar, as long as they stayed away from the church during the full moon. Hell, having weres as members might actually be ideal for that fucked up soldier academy the organization sponsored. The weres would be bigger, stronger, faster and have quicker healing times than the average human soldier.
Finally, there was Marnie… whom Sookie hadn’t given much thought to in a while, but that was understandable given all of the other threats. There hadn’t been any warning from Lafayette or Jesus in regards to any trouble brewing in the coven, but that didn’t mean Marnie could be counted out. Maybe Marnie wanted to make an example of her the way everyone else seemed to want to.
“I am not a fuckin’ poster girl for this bullshit,” Sookie cussed, and tried to figure out how in the hell she was going to get herself free.
Unfortunately, all the rubbing against the ropes that secured her wrists had left raw marks on her skin that started to bleed, and the smell of her blood triggered something in the injured vampire beside her. Sookie stilled when she heard his growls, and when she opened her mind to listen to what was going on his head, it was nothing but swirls of red and black.
Blood and death.
Before she could beg him not to attack, that was exactly what he did.
“Sookie’s been taken,” Eric said into his phone as he flew as fast as he could in the direction his blood told him to go.
“By whom?” Nora asked.
As much as he hated to involve her, he needed her help. If nothing else, he needed any fire power that Nora might be able to offer since Eric had no idea who might be responsible.
“I don’t know. Unfortunately the list of suspects is long, and Russell Edgington is at the top of my list,” he said.
“Russell’s been locked away for days,” Nora reminded him.
“All it would take is a phone call or a command to his child,” Eric countered. “Lorena isn’t under the Authority’s probation, and the Authority has no right to interfere in the Maker/child relationship. If he gave her an order, she’s carrying it out.”
“Where was she taken from?” Nora asked.
“The penthouse roof,” he answered. “We were ambushed. A silver net was dropped on me, and she was poisoned or drugged with a dart.”
There was a moment of silence.
“Weres wouldn’t have bothered drugging her. They would have taken you out first and then taken Sookie by force,” Nora proposed. “Unless whomever it is knows that she isn’t just some defenseless little girl, that her hands are deadly weapons.”
But who knew about Sookie’s fae lineage?
The list was short, but it seemed to be growing a little more all the time. Eventually Sookie’s secret was going to go public, and then they were really going to be caught in a shirtstorm.
“Which direction are you heading?” Nora asked.
“East,” he said, his instinct telling him he was going to end up in Mississippi, and he didn’t like the odds there.
At that moment Sophie-Anne was a much more preferable opponent. True, it would be a mistake to underestimate her, but Eric was confident he could take Sophie-Anne out in a hand-to-hand situation. He had many centuries on her and there were practically no vampires in the Americas that could conceivably take Eric out that way.
The big exception being Russell Edgington, and that had more to do with his age than any battlefield skills he might have. Russell could have bested Godric, and Godric was an exceptional fighter. He had been table to teach Eric a few things where battle was concerned, and he was a skilled fighter before he was even turned. But Russell… he was easily the oldest thing on the entire continent. There were, to Eric’s knowledge only four vampires left undead who had reached Russell’s age, and one of them headed up the Ministry in Europe.
But it was too soon to call in a favor from Roman.
“Let me assemble a team,” Nora said a minute later. “Call me with any new information you receive.”
Eric didn’t need to ask why Nora was consenting to help him. If their bond over a Maker wasn’t the reason, and he doubted it was, it was because Sookie could conceivably be something useful to the Authority. Finding this asset could be wonderful job security for Nora.
Then all of a sudden Sookie stopped moving, and it took Eric a moment to figure out where she was. Bon Temps. Whoever had taken Sookie had brought her home.
“Bill please,” Sookie whimpered, his fangs tearing at her throat.
His bites were vicious and his hunger for her blood was almost as deadly as another that was making itself known against her backside.
“He dresses you like one of his whores,” Bill said, and then bit her again.
Sookie moaned, but it felt more like a death rattle than it was anything sexual. She was vaguely aware that the car stopped moving, but the world was starting to get fuzzy.
“Bill,” she croaked, and wanted to slap at his hands but hers were still bound behind her.
She felt her heartbeat slowing to a dangerously low rate. Sookie pushed the last bit of energy she had into her hands, figuring it was at least worth a shot. There was a small burst of light, and then everything went dark again.