Pam, Felicia and the others arrived in the cemetery about the same time that Eric was getting off the phone with Jessica, who was bringing TruBlood from the supply Bill kept in his refrigerator.
“You need to feed,” Pam said as soon as she spied the burns on Eric’s face and arms.
“It can wait,” Eric said with distraction obvious in his voice. Getting Sookie healed and Bill secured were much bigger goals. “Silver Bill.”
Sookie turned her head so she didn’t have to watch. She heard the sizzle of the silver being applied to Bill’s skin, and then the roar that escaped him. He was unconscious no longer, assuming a vampire could be knocked unconscious. Eric had already been on the cusp of killing Bill before, but now Sookie wasn’t sure there was anything she could say to stop it from happening.
“Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of a ripe young—” Pam started, but Eric cut her off.
“Enough, Pam,” he said. “Keep watch for anyone else in case they’re standing by waiting to take Sookie again. This might have been a drop off point.”
The idea had just occurred to him since it was still baffling as to why Sookie’s kidnappers would bring her back to Bon Temps, of all places. And why had Bill been taken as well? Finding Bill in the trunk led Eric to believe that it was Russell, or at least his waste of fangs progeny Lorena who was behind this. Eric supposed she had a score to settle for allowing her to drink Yvetta’s cursed blood, even though Eric hadn’t known a damn thing about that. He’d known Yvetta wasn’t quite right in the head, but in proving that some things about men never change regardless of how many centuries they live, he was still of the impression that slightly crazy girls were the best in the sack.
It was a mistake on his part and it seemed that Sookie could very well be the one paying the price for his insensitivity and carelessness. Eric had wrongfully assumed Yvetta wasn’t a threat.
There was a rustling sound in the trees and then Nora appeared with a team of men dressed in black who looked an awful lot like the ones that had assaulted Sookie on the roof, which made Eric wonder if he had made another grave mistake in trusting his sister. Once upon a time her loyalties were to him, Godric and the family created by their beloved Maker. Now he wasn’t so sure.
Did Nora really come with the intention of helping him to avenge Godric’s death, or was she just in it for herself? Maybe she was tired of her station in the Authority and looking for a power boost. Dethroning two corrupt regents and bagging a fairy would definitely get her noticed by her superiors, and because he wasn’t willing to take any more chances where Sookie was concerned, he scooped her up without a word and disappeared into the sky.
Of course Nora could follow him but once he was inside the barrier near Sookie’s home, she wouldn’t be able to follow if she had intentions of doing Sookie any harm. If there was going to be a battle, this was where he preferred to have it. Sookie would be kept safe and he knew the turf well enough to have a bit of a home field advantage. Not to mention, he was willing to bet that if Bill was released from the silver he would do whatever he could to defend his ‘one true love’ from abduction by the Authority, or even death at their hands just to make a point.
Eric landed inside the barrier with Sookie in his arms, and when Nora followed he didn’t know if he should be relieved or worried that she was just that good of a liar. The only thing they had going for them then was that Nora didn’t have an invitation to the house, and Eric planned to keep it that way.
“Why did you take off like that?” Nora asked once they had landed in the yard.
“Because Sookie needs blood,” Eric said, and proceeded to the house.
“She’s fae. Normal blood won’t work,” Nora said as she followed.
“How do you know that?” Sookie asked suddenly. “About the blood, I mean.”
“The Authority has information on species of all kinds,” Nora answered quickly.
“So you could tell me all about fairies and instead you’ve said nothing?” Sookie stared at Nora. “I don’t know how it works were you come from, but if you’re expectin’ someone to scratch your back, you gotta scratch theirs too.”
There was an awkward moment of tension where no one said anything. Finally it was Sookie who shook her head, having lost her patience, just as Jessica appeared from the trees with a case of TruBlood in her hand.
“Here you go, Sookie,” she said, having no problem crossing the barrier to get onto Sookie’s property.
“Thanks, Jess. Would you mind settin’ it down in the kitchen for me?” Sookie asked.
“Of course not,” Jessica answered, glancing at Nora, and then going on into the house without saying anything else.
“We’ll handle Bill from here,” Nora said. “Do you wish to have him brought up on charges for attacking Sookie?”
“Yes,” Eric said. “Sophie-Anne is also aware that Sookie was taken, so I’m sure she’ll want to prosecute him for assaulting her asset.”
For once in her life Sookie didn’t feel so bad about being treated like a piece of property. There was a battle of wits going on to see who was going to control her, and she decided right then and there that she was going to be the winner.
“Eric you can put me down,” Sookie said, but he seemed to ignore her while he and Nora continued to talk like she wasn’t even there. “Eric!”
The conversation stopped and two pairs of vampire eyes settled on her.
“Please put me down,” she said as politely as she could.
Eric set her on her feet. She was bit wobbly from the blood loss, but the Illumia that Dr. Ludwig had given her had helped quite a bit. Jessica came out of the house and stood with the rest of them.
“Is there anything else I can do?” Jessica asked.
“No, thank you,” Sookie smiled at her. Jessica wasn’t part of the problem, as far as Sookie was concerned. At least not for the time being. The young vampire had nothing to do with the predicament she found herself in.
“You can go,” Eric said, and after nodding to him, Jessica took off toward Bill’s house.
“What will happen to Bill?” Sookie asked.
“He’ll go before the Magister to answer for what he’s done to you. If he was involved with your abduction, he’ll hopefully confess his part and punishment will be handed down.”
“What will his punishment be?” Sookie asked.
“He’ll lose his fangs for sure,” Nora said. “The rest will be at the Magister’s discretion, but since he’s already appeared before the Magister once recently, I would presume it would be a fairly severe penalty.”
“So something a little more hardcore than probation, right?” Sookie snickered. What joke that was.
Nora dropped fang and Eric moved to stand between her and Sookie, but the protection spell went to work and expelled Nora from the safety zone.
“She’s still mine, Nora. Authority or not, I will end you if you attack her,” he warned.
A brilliant flash of light lit up the sky from the direction of the cemetery but no sound accompanied it until the screaming began. Pam’s pain hit Eric immediately, and his instincts told him to go to Pam. He looked to Sookie.
“Go,” she said, and in an instant Eric was gone.
There was a brief moment where Sookie and Nora stared one another down, and then Nora was following after Eric to check on the other vampires that were in the cemetery. Sookie wanted to go as well, but her strength was suddenly waning. She staggered toward the house and practically crawled up the back steps to get inside. She found the TruBlood in the fridge and opened the remaining bottle of Illumia. She poured a few drops into a bottle of TruBlood and without bothering to warm the synthetic blood, she forced herself to drink.
It tasted awful, even with the Illumia in it, which had to have helped sweeten it a little. But sweetened shit still tasted like shit.
Sookie sat with her back against the cabinets on the kitchen floor, and drank more of the concoction she’d made for herself. Her eyelids grew heavy and before the bottle was empty, the world went dark again.
“What was that?” Eric asked as soon as he arrived back at the starting point in the cemetery.
No one moved. No one spoke. Vampire’s that were mid-stride in a run were frozen in place. Was this the work of the witch, or… Plumeria. The smell was stronger than it had been before, suggesting there had been a fairy nearby.
He walked over to where Pam was crouched over Bill, more than likely taunting him with the promise of punishment after punishment for what he’d done. Eric knelt beside her and was just touching her face to see if she would move, when there was another flash of light, and then he was frozen in place as well.
Claudine suddenly appeared from out of nowhere and looked around to admire her handiwork, and then disappeared again. When she reappeared, she was in Sookie’s kitchen. She knelt down beside her and took the bottle of TruBlood from her hand. After setting it on the kitchen counter, she shifted Sookie’s position so she was lying flat on the floor. With her hands hovering about three inches away from Sookie’s skin, she allowed them to start glowing.
Slowly Claudine moved her hands over the length of Sookie’s body, from her head to her feet, transferring her light to Sookie, healing her much quicker than the Illumia and TruBlood concoction ever would. When Sookie was healed, Claudine slowly brought her out of the darkness that she’d shrouded Sookie in.
“Claudine!” Sookie said when her eyes focused on the fairy. “What are you… am I dead?” Sookie looked around, panicked by the fact that she was in her kitchen but not in the position she had been when everything went black.
“No, you’re not dead,” Claudine told her. “I came to heal you. I would have come sooner but there were too many vampires.”
“So that light was you?” Sookie asked, slowly pushing herself up into a sitting position.
Claudine nodded and said, “I needed to still them so they wouldn’t interfere.”
“Still them?” Sookie looked confused.
“Come on, I’ll show you,” Claudine offered, and helped Sookie to her feet.
“How did you know I was injured?” Sookie asked as she led Claudine out of the house.
“Because of this,” Claudine lifted the pendant hanging around her neck. “I have been tasked by our great-grandfather to keep watch over you.”
“I have a great-grandfather?” Sookie asked.
Claudine nodded and said, “You have quite a large family, cousin. Sadly this realm is not a safe place for a reunion. But I might be able to get you an audience with Niall if you’d like to meet him.”
“I think I would,” she said, but was a bit nervous about it. “Did you see who kidnapped me?”
“Aye,” Claudine said as they walked along. “I’m the one who freed your vampire. He was trapped on the roof of that building with silver draped over him.”
“That was you?” Sookie’s eyes went wide. “Why would you save a vampire?”
“Because you’ve Chosen him, Sookie,” Claudine stopped walking.
“What does that mean?” Sookie asked.
“As fairies, we take a mate for life, and—”
“Whoa, whoa, I did not take Eric as my mate for life,” Sookie said quickly. “We haven’t even gone out on a date yet! We were gonna tonight, but that got ruined.”
“I’m not familiar with human mating customs, but the fairy in you has chosen Eric,” Claudine insisted.
“I don’t… how did that happen?” Sookie asked, confused by what was happening. Not having read those letters from Gran and her lover was really starting to become a problem. She had completely forgotten about them with everything else that had been going on lately. Remembering to feed herself was tricky enough sometimes, never mind those old letters.
“You’ve given him your light, Sookie,” Claudine said.
“I what? When did I…” she trailed off, but then remembered the morning when she had given Eric her blood with the intention of seeing if he would be able to walk in the sunlight. “But I didn’t know I was doing it! Now you’re telling me that I’m in some kind of fairy marriage?”
Well wasn’t that great?
“Sookie, calm down and listen to me,” Claudine said as soothingly as possible, but it was obvious the fairy was losing her patience. Perhaps that was a family trait. “How much do you know about Eric’s background?”
Sookie thought for a moment and said, “Not much. I know that he was turned on a battlefield more than a thousand years ago, and that his family was slaughtered before he was turned. I don’t… why are you asking me this?”
“What about his parents? What do you know about his parents?” Claudine asked, obviously trying to get to something.
“I know his father was something like a king or a chief…” Sookie trailed off, realizing how little she knew about Eric’s parents and life prior to being made vampire. Hell, she didn’t know much about his life at all when she thought about it, but it would take time to share more than a thousand years of living.
“Sookie, a fairy can only share their light with another fairy,” Claudine revealed, and Sookie’s eyes went wide.
“Are you telling me… Eric’s a fairy?” Sookie asked, stunned by what Claudine was suggesting.