“He’s a hybrid, like you,” Claudine said.
“So does he have the ability to heal people like I do?” Sookie asked, since that could come in handy.
“No,” Claudine said. “When he was turned any magic he had died with his mortal body. He may not have gotten the spark that you did, but he would still respond to your light. It’s complicated. This pairing… we have never seen it happen here in the earth realm.”
“So we’re like guinea pigs,” Sookie snorted.
Wasn’t that just wonderful?
“A fairy giving her light to a vampire is unheard of, Sookie, and for obvious reasons. If there was more fairy in your blood it probably wouldn’t last. He would lose control of himself when feeding, and drain you.”
“Eric wouldn’t do that,” Sookie said, but then she remembered how insatiable Bill’s appetite could be when it came to her blood. While it was true that Eric was an older vampire than Bill, and had better self-control, she couldn’t help but wonder if that would be tested if there was more fairy in her. Maybe Claudine was right.
“He might not,” Claudine conceded, but then moved over to Nora. “But this one might. Keep your guard up around this one.”
“That’s Eric’s sister. Well, vampire sister,” Sookie said.
“I cannot sense where her loyalties lie, Sookie. She isn’t trustworthy,” Claudine advised, but Sookie was already getting that impression.
“Who kidnapped me Claudine? You said you saw it.”
“Vampires,” she said, moving closer to where Eric, Pam and Bill were located.
“Who hired them? Who was in charge?”
“The one who made this one,” Claudine said, touching Bill’s face face, and suddenly the beautiful fairy warped into something older and decrepit looking. Her hand glowed and then Bill reanimated just as Claudine disappeared into thin air.
Bill blinked, looking around until her eyes settled on a very angry Sookie. Before he could get a word out, Sookie lifted her hands and shot Bill with a dose of her light that left the vampire howling in pain… after he bounced off of a tree trunk. Bill was left writhing on the ground as best he could considering the silver, and Sookie moved to stand over him.
“You tried to kill me,” Sookie accused.
“It wasn’t me,” Bill said weakly, still writhing in pain. Now he wasn’t just suffering from the silver, but the burns from Sookie’s light.
“Lorena made you do it, right?” Sookie glared at him, and Bill looked shocked for all of two seconds before answering her.
“She did this to punish me,” Bill explained. “And Eric for Yvetta.”
Sookie was tempted to shoot Bill again, but decided against it. Instead when she lifted her glowing hand she stilled Bill all over again so he couldn’t move. She walked back to where Eric was crouched down beside Pam and zapped him with her light as well, freeing him from the stilling that Claudine had done. Eric looked a bit disoriented for a moment, but stood quickly.
“How did you get here?” he asked Sookie.
“Claudine,” she said. “She’s the one who freed you from the silver on the rooftop. She healed me and she told me some pretty important information, but I don’t think we should talk about it here.”
Eric gently tilted Sookie’s head to inspect her neck, but the wounds were gone. While the smell of Plumeria was heavy in the air he didn’t feel the urge to attack Sookie the way he would with another fairy. He wanted to bite her, but then he always wanted to bite her.
“We also have a problem,” Sookie said.
“I would say so,” Eric looked around to see the other vampires frozen in place.
“I can fix that,” Sookie sighed. “I mean we have a problem with Bill.”
“Clearly,” Eric said.
“No, we have another problem. Lorena is the one who orchestrated my kidnapping. She’s getting back at your for Yvetta, according to Bill, and throwing him into the trunk with me was a punishment.”
“Unfreeze him,” Eric said, and in the blink of an eye he was standing over Bill’s crispy body.
“Don’t kill him,” Sookie said. “He might be able to give us more information before Nora takes him in.”
“He nearly drained you!” Eric barked, wheeling around to face Sookie. “For this offense he should die at my hand.”
Sookie moved toward Eric and spoke calmly. “He hurt me, and you have every right to be angry about it, but we can’t kill him yet. Not when he might have more information. Let the Authority deal with him, Eric. Think about the bigger picture.”
Bloodlust demanded that Eric seek vengeance for what was his, but he knew that Sookie was right. If there was more information to be had, Bill was the only real chance they had at coming by it easily. If he was desperate to remain alive and regain any of Sookie’s trust, this was certainly the way to do it. Eric didn’t like it, but he knew the alternative could cause more trouble than anything else. If they played their cards right there would be a way to completely clean house. No more Bill, Lorena, Russell or even Sophie-Anne, but it was going to take some excellent dot connecting and maneuvering.
That meant not killing Bill.
There was a flash of light and then Pam’s voice.
“What the fuck?” she demanded.
“Long story, Pam,” Sookie said.
“Pam, go get the van. We need to transport Bill back to Fangtasia. Sookie and I will take care of the rest of the mess,” Eric ordered.
Sookie heard the whoosh of a vampire moving inhumanly fast, and then she knelt down beside Bill’s head. She closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on working her way into his mind. She didn’t know if it was going to work with Bill being stilled as he was, but it was worth a shot. Somewhere in the background she heard the gross explosions of vampires being staked, and she assumed it was the guards that had been transporting her and Bill.
“Bill was in the middle of a game of Wii golf when he was taken,” Sookie said as she sifted through Bill’s memories. “He didn’t know what was happening. Jessica wasn’t home, but she probably just would have been staked if she had been. He was taken by a pack of werewolves from Jackson that are under Russell’s control.”
Eric growled and for a moment seriously considered staking Bill anyway just to get it over with, but there were more painful ways for the vampire to die. Hell, just being forced to listen to Sophie-Anne talk about herself for an extended period of time could be enough for any vampire to want to meet the sun. All of a sudden, staking Bill was much too easy.
“What about Nora?” Sookie asked, looking to where the woman was standing a few feet away.
“What about her?” Eric asked.
“Should I see what she knows? She won’t feel me in her mind if she’s still,” Sookie said. “Claudine said she can’t get a read on her, Eric. She isn’t sure of where Nora’s loyalties lie. If she’s going to betray you, we should know about it now so you can plan.”
The idea that Nora would betray him hurt, but already there had been hints that Nora’s priorities had changed pretty extensively since the last time she and Eric where together. Eric nodded, and Sookie moved over to the other vampire. She put her hand on Nora’s shoulder and while it took a moment, Sookie was able to get into Nora’s mind just as she had Bill’s.
She discovered that Nora had essentially written up reports of everything she had witnessed since arriving in Bon Temps. She also saw the meeting with the queen in New Orleans, and the subsequent time spent in that locked bedroom with Eric. Her hands began to shake with anger as she saw Nora taking advantage of a sleeping Eric. She was angry for just a moment with Eric for not telling her about what Nora had done, but then she thought about Uncle Bartlett, and what he had done to her.
Sookie hadn’t told Eric about that yet, and since he hadn’t invited Nora to make sexual advances on him, she could understand any shame that might be attached to it. Nora had taken advantage of Eric when he was in a weaker, or at least more vulnerable position. It was tantamount to rape, and that only made Sookie distrust Nora a little bit more. For a moment she seriously considered ending the vampire right then and there. It would be so easy to do it…
“Sookie, don’t,” Eric said, suddenly at her side. “We can still use her, remember?”
“I saw what she did to you in New Orleans,” Sookie said. “I understand why you didn’t tell me, but I wish you would have.”
“Because of my history with Nora I didn’t want you to think that I had allowed it,” Eric explained.
Sookie turned her head to Eric and said, “I trust you, Eric.”
She lifted her glowing hand and touched Eric’s cheek. For him it was like feeling sunlight on his face again, and he couldn’t help but pull her closer to kiss her. Sookie allowed herself to get lost in the kiss for a few moments before pulling away so she could finish her task.
“She told the Authority about me,” Sookie told Eric. “They don’t know that I’m part fae, but they know I’m a telepath and have an interesting set of skills. They wanted me to come in for questioning.”
“No one ever comes back from questioning by the Authority,” Eric glared at Nora.
“Then how do we get away from them?” Sookie asked, and Roman’s face appeared in Eric’s mind.
“I have an idea,” he said. “First we need to release Nora. She’s going to have to go back to her bosses and admit her failure. In the meantime we’re going to need to go to ground, I’m afraid.”
Sookie nodded, having had a feeling he was going to say that. In a split second decision she turned toward him and said, “Eric, I want to finish the bond.”