Special thanks to Neverending White Nights, The Warning
When Eric arrived back at the house he shared with Godric he found him anxiously pacing the floor. It was unusual for a vampire of Godric’s age to allow his emotions free in such a way, it was also dangerous. If Godric lost control he could easily level a city block and it wouldn’t even slow him down. “Tell me.”
“They have some kind of facility set up in an abandoned factory on the outskirts of the city. They have more vampires and other supernaturals there, I think-” he stopped and took an unnecessary breath to calm himself, “I think they are torturing them, Eric, experimenting on them!”
“What kinds of other supes are there?”
“I smelled Were, Demon, Fae and more Vampire than just one we saw them take tonight.”
“How well guarded?”
Eric sat down for a moment, gathering his thoughts. This was bad. Clearly they needed to contact The Council and let them know what was happening here, but when they did, it would likely mean all-out war between the humans and the supernaturals. This was beyond bad. Settling into his mind he started to look for the why. They were missing the why.
“ARE YOU JUST GOING TO SIT THERE?!” Godric was losing it. He saw all his dreams of peaceful co-existence going up in flames. All his hopes and efforts dying in their infancy for what this world might be if they could all ever just learn to trust each other and embrace their differences. Eric didn’t answer him. He didn’t even acknowledge that he heard him. Why? It echoed through his brain. Why do this? Deeper he slipped into his mind, connecting possibilities and dismissing them at light speed.
He knew Burrell was in this, possibly driving this, but he didn’t know why. Logically, The Mistress’ blackmail could trigger a response like this, but for this operation to be this size it had been happening before her call was made today. They were missing something, something important his gut told him. Something they would need if they were going to come of this alive and stop a world war that would leave all the races extinguished.
Eric was pulled out of mind by the sound of Godric decimating a wall with his fist. Immediately he moved to his side, taken aback by the blood tears on his friends face. Godric in his unseeing rage lashed out at Eric, throwing him into another wall of the house, leaving an Eric sized body print. It would have been funny if it weren’t so unnerving seeing his calm peaceful companion of centuries completely unspool.
As far back as Eric could remember he had been distant from his emotions. He believed this had been true even before he was turned, but after a thousand years who could claim memories that old? Surely they had been over written by the way things should have been rather than how they actually were. He needed that space for more important information. Even his vampiric instincts to feed and fuck had been mastered, lest they master him. That was not acceptable. Feeding was necessary, the rest was extraneous. He locked that away, and held it captive rather than allowing it to do so with him. He truly believed that thought and reason were the only necessities of survival and he had spent a millennia proving it. Feelings made you weak, here before him stood the proof. The strongest vampire he had ever known reduced to a mewling infant with blood tears streaming down his face.
As Eric pulled himself from the wall, he marshalled his reactions and schooled his face to hide his disappointment at Godric’s loss of control. Slowly, he approached Godric again, as he stood in the middle of the wreckage that had once been there home, chest heaving with uncontained emotion. He wanted to help his friend, but saw no point in coddling him. They were fifty shades of fucked. Best not sugar coat it.
“I know Eric, I know. You are going to say that this will not help us. That this outburst will actually harm us if I don’t get it under control. You are going to tell me to push my feelings away and turn to my logical mind. To seek answers there, and count on cold reason to shine the light.” Eric smiled a little at his own predictableness.
“See, you don’t even need me anymore you know me so well, my friend.”
“I didn’t say you were right, you giant arrogant Norse asshole. I just told you what you were going to say.” A smile touched the corners of Godric’s lips and Eric sensed that his companion was getting himself back under control. Relief flooded through Eric, they still had quite a bit to accomplish tonight and a psychotic Godric would not be helpful in the least.
“Right,” Eric said, “Now to find my battle gear.”
“Battle gear? Are we going back to the factory?” Eric winced a little at the hopefulness in Godric’s voice.
“Where then?” Godric asked, wiping his face of tears. Eric leaned in and caught a streak on his thumb that Godric had missed, bringing his finger to his mouth. He was still a vampire, after all, no matter how well heeled.
“Stardust.” For a moment he thought he saw fear in Godric’s eyes, but the moment passed, and the game was afoot, as his literary persona used to say. He had a Fae to meet tonight.
When they touched down in the parking lot of Stardust Eric paused a moment to smooth out his hair and adjust his clothing. While he had no use for the appearance of things he was not oblivious to the fact that he was considered to be attractive. It was a fact, one that he had used to his advantage over the years when necessary.
Sookie Stackhouse owned the club they were about to enter and this was the most likely place to find her. Besides, when confronting prey in their own lair they often became less cautious thinking they had the home court advantage. That couldn’t be further from the truth, in fact it should be called the home court disadvantage. Their surroundings gave off unconscious clues and insights into who they were beneath the skin. It told tales they themselves would never share with even their closest companions. It didn’t matter if they decorated themselves or hired someone else to do it, by finding their surroundings acceptable they gave themselves away one piece of merchandise at a time.
Seeing the Fairy in her realm gave him the advantage. He pressed it further by wearing clothes that he wouldn’t normally wear, to take her further away from the truth of him, should she prove a worthy adversary, which was highly unlikely, but still, advantage must be taken when possible. Normally Eric wore jeans and t-shirts under his long coat, and he never ever left the house without his high top converse tennis shoes. Godric had told him once that his wardrobe was as eclectic as his personality. This had pleased him, but from the look on Godric’s face he didn’t think it was supposed to.
Tonight he wore a red silk button down shirt, with tailored black slacks and black shoes. He had also dug out his waist length leather jacket to finish it off. He believed he looked like someone who would come to Stardust and would not stand out, but that if he did he would look “good” to those who noticed him. It was very advantageous to sweep an adversary off their feet and gain time to think.
Glancing at Godric he noticed that he too had changed from his usual blue jeans to black with a soft tan sweater that brought out the gold in his brown eyes. He looked more like a teenage boy on the prowl than an ancient vampire.
“Is that gel in your hair, Godric?” his voice louder than normal betraying his shock.
“Shut up, Eric!” he hissed back as they approached the door man.
“I said shut up! If you keep taking in air to yell so loud about the gel in my hair you’ll split your tight pants!” Eric was about to argue that his pants were just right when they arrived at the door. A vampire, he thought, taking him fully for the first time, shoving aside his wonder at Godric’s strange actions. He had seen Godric wear hair gel before, but usually when he was going out, alone for the evening. Eric never pressed him on where he went, he knew firsthand how sometimes you just needed to be alone with your thoughts. It was a courtesy that Godric had afforded him over the years, so he felt it was a small courtesy that he could return. Before he could speak to the vampire at the door, the doorman spoke first.
“Welcome back to Stardust, Godric.” The vampire smiled at his associate.
“Thank you, Rasul. It is good to see you again, my friend.”
WHAT THE FUCK? Nothing, nothing ever, nothing ever caught Eric Northman by surprise. EVER! Despite his eternal muscles, Eric felt the need to sit down.
“Who is your companion this evening, Godric?” Rasul asked, eyeing Eric appreciatively from head to toe.
“Eric,” Godric answered, unable to suppress his humor over Eric’s reaction.
“Eric,” Rasul intoned, nodding his head respectfully. Control, control, Eric chanted in his heart. Shock is only an emotion. Not needed here, not helpful here. Stop, center, find the image you want to project and project it. Conversations would be had later!
“Rasul,” Eric nodded back, sounding confident and amused at the vampire’s approval of his attire for the evening. Apparently he hadn’t totally lost his edge. Falling back into his more useful processes he noted that the vampire had no scent whatsoever. Not possible, his mind racing to figure out how there could be nothing. No traces of him or of passing guests entering.
“All are welcome to Stardust,” Rasul intoned as he opened the door for them to enter. As they passed through the door there was an electronic hissing sound and he felt himself coated in a light liquid mist. Before he could react, a beautiful woman dressed like a Greek goddess approached him and took his hand. She had no smell and now neither did he! Something in the liquid that had hit him was suppressing his natural scent! There were no smells anywhere in Stardust that his ancient nose could detect.
“We are one, in Stardust,” the woman said, leading him deeper into the club. Eric worked to take in his surroundings, suppressing his pique when Godric struck up a conversation with the woman.
Stardust was a blank read. The walls and carpet were gray. There were no tables, no chairs, no decorations on the walls. The bar ran completely around the club, but there were no colorful bottles on display. He saw people drinking, but could not sense any smells from the beverages. Many people were present, talking in small groups or walking around. No doors except the one we came in, he thought, fire code violations running through his mind. No doors, he thought again. He had been expecting there to be doors that led to rooms where one could explore the sorts of things The Mistress was acclaimed for doing. There was no music, and despite that he could not hear what the people were saying in the room. In addition to the scent suppressor she had some kind of acoustic suppression as well.
Curious, he approached a group of people whose lips he could see moving. Complete silence until he joined their circle, coming in on the end of a sentence. “-dancing tonight.”
“Who’s dancing tonight?” he pressed them to tell him. They smiled at him and he thought he saw fangs, and sharp teeth in the low lighting but he couldn’t be sure what they were without his senses. One of them might be human, and he couldn’t tell! Fucking fairies and their magics! They didn’t answer him, only smiled and moved away to continue their private conversation out of his range hearing. Frustrated beyond anything he had ever experienced before he turned to look for Godric, but he was gone! An unaccustomed sense of panic filled Eric as he fought for control again, in the space of minutes.
This wasn’t how this was supposed to go!
Be at ease my vampire. He heard a soft feminine voice whisper in his ear, and felt a fleeting touch on his shoulder. Spinning around quickly he saw no one near him. He growled instinctively, his fangs coming out in response to the unexpected intrusion on his space.
Oh, those are beautiful, lover. Will you use them on me? He felt the whisper of a kiss on his lips, a tongue darting in to caress his left fang. Pleasure roared through the gateway his anxiety had blown open in his emotional walls. He groaned and shivered, his eyes drifting slightly closed. No, he said to himself, no! This is not me! I am not a slave to my instinct! Fighting for focus, he heard her again.
Let go my vampire, open your eyes, and let go.
At her command his eyes opened as the lights dimmed slightly and music came from everywhere all at once. The volume a comfortable level but still filling him as if all his existence he had been nothing but an empty ear waiting. It pulsed through his very being, the slow driving sexy beat of Neverending White Lights -The Warning. As the lyrics started the most beautiful creature he had ever seen appeared before him in a slow blast of lavender light, naked and moving sensuously to the beat.
In moments I forget, I’ll tell you what it takes
But you don’t want to know this yet
I let the virus bite someone else’s brain
I invade you now
I fade you out
I made you now
I erase you now
He tore his eyes away from the vision before him and looked around the room. She was there to the right dressed as a goddess, to the left as a warrior, on the bar as a fairy, against the wall as The Mistress in leather, in the crowd as human in plain clothes. She held them all captivated, but only the one before him was naked. This one danced only for him.
Sookie, my name is Sookie, Eric. Her voice in his ear again, though she never stopped moving before him. The lyrics continued.
These moments make you cry for someone else’s life
They over feed you all until you die
They say they love you but they all love you, no way
Your cuts will drain your heart away
Take someone else’s life away
Someone else’s life away
Her music, her music, his brain spun like a tire in the mud, no traction. Her music would tell me something, if I could just…
All thoughts left him as her hands came up to run through her long blond hair, thrusting her perfect breasts forward, begging him to reach out and touch them, to kiss them. He wanted to, gods help him, he had never wanted anything so much in his existence, but before he could her hands came down and did it for him. He felt himself groan and realized that Godric had been right about his fucking pants. They were entirely too goddamned tight.
I can fix that, lover. She waved her hand and he glanced down to see his usual clothing of jeans, t-shirt and high tops. She even remembered the coat.
Of course, lover. That coat is so….you.
She purred that last word and Eric realized that these pants might be too tight as well. Pushing to regain control he clenched his fists and closed his eyes, fighting the hypnotic beat of the music as the words washed over him. Closing his eyes to her image had been a mistake, because now he could feel her touching him. Her fingers ran through his hair as she rubbed against the evidence of his response to her. Now we are both naked, lover. She purred in his ear again, and he knew then he was lost. The pulsing lyrics only confirmed it.
You had a warning
You didn’t want it
You can’t come crawling back now
You had a warning that you wanted
As the beat faded Eric opened his eyes and fell directly into the blue pools of her gaze. She held out her hand for him and he placed his in it. She smiled the warmest kindest smile he had ever seen on the face of another being. Then she winked at him and all was blindingly purple.