Eric landed in Bon Temps, in the cemetery of all places, and found an old clunker of a car parked and seemingly abandoned not far from where he knew Sookie’s family members were buried. Also not far from the grave of William Compton. Eric walked around the car, carefully sniffing the air. He smelled Plumeria, Sookie’s blood and vampire, but no explosives so the car wasn’t booby-trapped that way. He found the trunk release in the front, not wanting to punch his way through the trunk in case he would further injure Sookie.
He raced to the back of the car where he found Sookie’s neck mangled with vampire bites. Bill appeared to be unconscious, as did Sookie. Eric’s first concern was for her, and he carefully lifted her from the trunk. She was breathing, but just barely. Giving her his blood was the only way she was going to survive until he could get her medical attention, and without thinking twice he tore into his wrist and held it to her mouth. She didn’t make any moves to suckle. Her heartbeat was there, but barely.
Bill had nearly drained her, and judging by the scorch marks on the front of his pants Sookie had been able to use the only weapons she had, even though they were bound behind her. There were shiny pink rings around Bill’s wrists, suggesting that he had been silvered as well, and Sookie’s blood had helped to heal his injuries. It took some work to massage his blood down Sookie’s throat, but he watched the bites begin to heal a little at a time. Her heart rate got stronger.
Eric pulled his cell phone from his pocket and for the second time in a week, called Dr. Ludwig to come and examine Sookie. Even an infusion of TruBlood might help. The doctor was snarky as ever, but agreed to come and check the ‘little girl,’ as she was fond of calling Sookie. After that he sent Nora a text message with his location. If the Authority wanted to take Bill into custody now was their chance, seeing as how he was unconscious and had attacked his sheriff’s human.
The mystery of who was responsible for this still remained, since there were no clues that Eric could find, nor did it make much sense that such a plan had been carried out only for Sookie to essentially be brought back home. Eric sat on the ground, and after removing the binding from her wrists, kept a watchful eye on Sookie, hoping and waiting for her to open her eyes.
His phone rang and he didn’t recognize the ringtone, but Pam had a habit of changing the one stored for her phone number every time something tickled her funny bone. At the moment it was Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ that pierced the air.
“Northman,” he nearly barked into the phone, just on the chance that it wasn’t his child calling.
“We’re on our way to you. You’re not moving,” Pam said.
“I found her. We’re in the cemetery in Bon Temps. I found her in the trunk of a car with Bill Compton. She’s been bitten,” Eric said.
Pam hissed and said, “Do I need to go back for extra silver?”
“No, he’s knocked out. Dr. Ludwig is on her way here to treat Sookie,” he explained.
“I’ll be on foot with Felicia and three others. What about that good for nothing progeny of Bill’s? Isn’t she nearby?”
Jessica, of course. He hadn’t even thought of her, but Eric couldn’t help wondering why Jessica hadn’t come in search of her Maker if he was injured. To Eric’s knowledge Bill was a Maker only because he didn’t have an alternative. Had it been his decision he never would have turned Jessica. As if that wasn’t obvious enough when Bill had tried to reason his way out of it with the Magister, there was the fact that he’d pawned his progeny off on Eric as soon as possible.
Unlike Pam, however, Eric didn’t think Jessica was useless; she just needed training the same as Pam when she was first turned. While Pam was eager to learn the ways of vampires, she was also difficult to control. Eric had learned early on that the threat of physical pain would do little to curb Pam’s petulant instincts. While many Makers attempted to beat their child into submission, Eric learned there were much more efficient ways of getting Pam to cooperate with him.
In the beginning denying her feedings hadn’t been possible because newborn vampires required a good deal of blood or they would simply attack the first human they saw. Food was food, and hunger had a way of making a person, either alive or undead, do foolish things. But he could deny Pam the choice of whom she would feed from, just as he could deny her the pleasure of fucking her meal when she was finished. Now with the invention of TruBlood he could punish her with a steady diet of nothing but synthetics for any length of time.
Any vampire raised on human blood would be insane to make the choice to survive on TruBlood. Now there were willing donors who went through a screening process and had themselves registered to feed vampires. True, it wasn’t as much fun as going hunting, but it was still better than the bottled crap. Eric had no doubt that Bill was attempting to raise a mainstreamer ripe for the AVL’s agenda. Jessica could be the poster girl for the mainstreaming movement with her innocent blue eyes, milky white skin and sweet demeanor.
Only her fangs would give her away as something other than human. There was absolutely nothing threatening about her… which was what made her so dangerous. He realized then that it was the same with Bill. His insistence upon maintaining his humanity was what made him seem that much more dangerous when his switched flipped and the predator in him took over. One moment he was the mild, unassuming gentleman who seemed more likely to teach Sunday school than he was the vampire capable of wounding the still unconscious telepath that was healing from savage bites.
There was a small popping sound and then Dr. Ludwig appeared, medical bag in-hand, wearing the same blue scrubs she always had on when she treated a patient. Come to think of it, Eric couldn’t recall ever seeing her in anything else.
“She needs blood,” Eric told Dr. Ludwig.
“Blood won’t help her,” Dr. Ludwig stepped closer. “I take it that was his handiwork,” she motioned to Bill, who had Sookie’s blood dripping from his chin.
“He nearly drained her. Of course she needs blood,” Eric argued. “I gave her some of mine, but I didn’t want to give her too much.”
“She’s fae, Northman. She needs Illumia,” Dr. Ludwig set down her bag, and reached into it. She produced a glowing bottle that she quickly uncorked.
“What is that?” Eric asked. It looked like it might be radioactive.
“She doesn’t have the same blood as a human,” Dr. Ludwig explained. “Her blood type wouldn’t match at any hospital if she was brought in under these conditions. The fae in her genetic makeup would override the usual human typing system. If you give her TruBlood, it will help make up in volume what she’s missing, but it won’t heal her. She needs Illumia to reactivate the fae chemicals in her system. This will heal her from the inside.”
The problem was getting Sookie to drink it, but it seemed the little bit of blood Eric had been able to get into her was enough to allow Sookie the reflex of swallowing. When the first bottle was empty, Dr. Ludwig reached for a second. Eric watched as Sookie’s body began to glow a little as the Illumia did its work. The wounds at her neck closed, and by the time the second bottle was empty, her eyes were open.
She started to cough violently, and for a moment Eric worried she was having a bad reaction to the tonic that Dr. Ludwig had given her. Sookie settled down and her eyes fixed on Eric’s face.
“You’re here,” she smiled at him.
“Of course I am,” he picked up her small, clammy hand delicately and kissed her knuckles.
“You were hurt,” Sookie sat up, and reached to touch what remained of the burns on his face. They had healed some, but not entirely.
“A silver net was dropped on me,” Eric explained. “That was how they were able to take you from me.”
“No feeding from the little girl,” Dr. Ludwig said. “You need fresh blood, but she’s too weak to supply you. You’ll need to find a donor.”
Sookie gasped at the sight of Dr. Ludwig. She hadn’t seen the tiny doctor since the maenad attack, but meant to thank her for all of the help she had provided.
“Dr. Ludwig, right?” Sookie asked nervously.
“That’s right,” the doctor nodded. “You’re certainly a shit magnet, aren’t you?”
Sookie offered a small smile and said, “It would seem so. Thank you for all of your help the last time I saw you, and tonight as well.”
“The vampire pays well,” Dr. Ludwig snorted, and handed Sookie a third glowing bottle. “This is Illumia. I’m sure you had some when you were in the Summerland. I smelled it when I came to see you.”
“You came to see me?” Sookie looked surprised.
“The vampire panicked,” Dr. Ludwig smirked. “Didn’t know where you’d gone. I want you to drink this before sunrise. You are to stay in bed for at least the next three days while you recover. You have fae in you, but you’re mostly human and your body isn’t made to take the kind of stress it was put under tonight. And no feeding vampires.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sookie nodded, taking Dr. Ludwig seriously.
“Nice job with that one,” Dr. Ludwig nodded to where Bill was still knocked out in the trunk of the car.
“I zapped him, I think. I saw a flash of light before I passed out,” she explained.
“Got a direct hit by the looks of it,” Dr. Ludwig went to inspect the crotch of Bill’s pants. “He’ll live… although not comfortably for a while. You definitely didn’t heal this one.”
“Can I do that? Heal people?” Sookie asked, and Dr. Ludwig nodded.
“You can do anything you want to with that light, little girl. You can uproot a tree, still a vampire from moving, or blow their crabby asses to kingdom come if you want to. What you choose to do with your light is up to you,” Dr. Ludwig came back to stand in front of Sookie, and looked to Eric. “Get her a six pack of O neg to mix with the Illumia. It’ll sweeten the blood and make it easier for her body to recognize. Whatever you do, Vampire, do not drink the Illumia.”
“Why not?” Sookie asked.
“Because you wouldn’t survive the after effects if he did,” Dr. Ludwig said. “Just a single drop of that would be like drinking a thousand fairies back to back.”
“It would cause me to go mad,” Eric said.
“For starters,” Dr. Ludwig said, and then cocked her head like she was hearing something Eric and Sookie couldn’t. “I have to go. I’ll send my bill.”
With that, she was gone.