After dressing Sookie took his hand and teleported them to the front door of his home. They looked at each other for several minutes. There seemed like there was so much to say, but neither of them spoke for several minutes. Finally, Sookie smiled that same sweet smile she had given him at Stardust just a few hours earlier and broke the silence.
“It’s been memorable, Mr. Northman.” He opened his mouth to speak, to perhaps return the compliment but she cut him before he could speak. “I am going to send someone to guard you until this is over, one way or the other. We can’t lose you.” He frowned.
“I hardly think I need a guard, I am quite capable of caring for myself.”
“I didn’t ask you. I was telling you how it was going to be.” She pressed firmly on, seeing that he wanted to argue. “I proved tonight that this is necessary and you know that.” He shut his mouth and raised his eyebrow.
“So, this was all to prove a point?” his tone was cold, but it had more to do with his fear that she had not been as unzipped as he had been by their time together.
“You know that is not true. Feel me,” she whispered, gazing into his eyes. “I drank so you would know the truth of me no matter what happens now.”
“What’s happening now?” his other eyebrow going up, his tone slightly alarmed.
“Today, I see The Council, tonight the Queen, and then-“
“Then what?” he cut her off. “You’re going to the factory aren’t you?”
“Likely, yes, I already have a team selected.” He stared at her a long time, processing what he had thought he known about The Mistress and finding that disparate to what he now knew.
“This is why you do what you isn’t it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your “activities” you gather information and then do things like go on commando raids to torture dungeons.” She smiled, a little sadly, still looking him in the eye.
“Sometimes,” she whispered. “Sometimes I just misbehave for the hell of it,” flashing him a devilish grin. He opened his mouth about to offer to come with her, to help her and then he shut it again. He didn’t really care, did he? He didn’t really care, did he? Why risk himself for a bunch of supernaturals he didn’t even know?
“Call Burrell and tell him you handled the matter. He won’t be hearing from me again.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” he smirked a little. “I am reasonably sure he is behind what is happening at the factory.” Her eyes now large in surprise.
“Are you sure?”
“Fairly, he has a distinct odor to his person. I caught it on one of his round up soldiers earlier this evening.” Her eyes drifted close for a minute and when they opened again they were glowing, purple swirls in her irises. He was immediately turned on and slightly intimidated, and not at all sure that the two were not connected. Her whole body shook as she tried to contain her rage.
“I will make sure to tell Pythia about this,” she said through clenched teeth. So, she calls the AP by her first name, Eric thought feeling even more impressed with the tiny fairy before him, still holding his hand in hers.
“She likely knows, she is the Oracle, after all,” he sounded a little amused at telling her the obvious. She smirked then, too, the glow in her eyes slowly fading, as she nodded in agreement. “Will I see you again?” he whispered leaning closer to her.
“I am sure you will, I make the papers about as often as The Great Detective himself,” her smirk widened and he could feel that she was teasing him. Behind that though, he thought he felt a no. He continued to stare into her eyes, demanding to know why she had spun his head like this only to walk away. She sighed, “I have obligations, Eric. They don’t mean anything to me, not like-,” she stopped herself and took a breath before going on. “I don’t know.” She dropped her gaze.
“Do you want to see me again?” he pressed her. She looked back up and locked her gaze with his and suddenly she was leaping into his arms and kissing him furiously, all the yes in the world crammed into a single kiss. He didn’t breathe and he was still breathless when the kiss ended. Obviously, he wasn’t the only unzipped by this evening.
She dropped back down to the ground, a sweet smile still on her face as she slowly licked her lips, savoring the taste of him. She took a step back. “Your guard will be here when you rise, my vampire. Good bye,” and then she disappeared just as she had entered his life, a slow explosion of purple light.
Eric entered his home and noted that Godric had not returned. He was worried for a moment and then remembered that apparently Godric had a whole life that he didn’t know anything about. Feeling piqued about having missed that again, he headed to his rest chamber and as the day took him, he wondered if Godric would be a part of Sookie’s team when she stormed the factory. For a moment he almost regretted not offering to go, but before he could analyze that feeling the dawn took his brilliant mind away.
Sookie’s phone was ringing when she returned home. She glanced at the caller ID and put on her best smile. “Hello, darling.” she answered.
“Did Northman make his appearance tonight at Stardust as we predicted?”
“Yes,” she answered, wondering if a no would have gotten her killed, sure the whole time that answer was yes a well.
“He had no idea he has a target on his back or that he was being played.”
“That will make him much easier to eliminate?”
“It certainly should,” she answered, working to keep the smile on her face.
“Excellent, the situation will be handled tonight.” The caller hung up not waiting for a response. She stood there for a long minute, her fake smile abandoned now for a real one.
“That’s what you think,” she whispered to the empty room.
When Eric came up from his chamber he found a very large, very angry Britlingen standing in the middle of his kitchen with a very large, very angry looking sword strapped to her leather clad back. The front of her vest was covered in throwing knives, some silver, some iron and all lethal. She was taller than Eric, who topped out at 6’4 himself and looked like she would just as soon kill him as anything in the room.
Godric was, as usual, at his computer. Probably tying on his fucking blog, Eric thought, his anger at Godric’s secret life coming back to him full force.
“Someone dropped off a package for you,” Godric tilted his head in the direction of the Britlingen, and kept typing as though this happened every day. Eric and the warrior eyed each other warily.
“You are Northman?” she asked him, stepping in his direction hand on her knives suggesting that he damn well better be Northman or he was in for a world of hurt.
“Obviously,” he said, moving to fridge, adopting Godric’s nonchalance over the whole matter.
“I am Batanya. I was sent here to protect you,” she continued.
“Who sent you?” he tossed over his shoulder as he pulled out a blood and popped it in the microwave.
“I was told you would know, beyond that I am not to say.” She stepped back now, a soldier at rest. He let the matter go for now and went over to Godric.
“Blogging again?” contempt dripping from his tone. Godric elected not to comment. “Where were you last night?”
“Not getting a Britlingen. You?” Eric sighed. Why the hell was Godric angry at him? He didn’t have a secret life that no one knew about…well maybe after last night he did. He was at once amused and put off. He took a drink of his blood and for the first time in a long time wanted to spit it out. It had never tasted good, but after Sookie, it was absolute dreck.
Sookie, his mind whispered, her face in orgasm flashing before his eyes, the feel of her, the taste of her. He had lost himself, and now he had no idea how to slide back into his old life, his real life, he corrected himself. Godric looked up.
“Problem with your blood?” He had a knowing smirk on his face that only pissed Eric off worse.
“Do we have any cases?” Eric asked through clenched teeth.
“There was a body found tonight next to the river. Bill Compton from the Shreveport PD called and asked if you could come take a look.”
“Fucking Compton, he needs help to find his ass.” Despite his contempt for Compton and his detective skills he thought that a case might help him get past what had happened last night. Leaving the blood on the counter and grabbing his coat he headed for the door. Godric and Batanya moved to follow him, racing each other out the door. Eric was surprised to see Batanya flying in formation behind him. I didn’t know Britlingens could fly he thought, and then right behind that, of course, she thought of everything. He couldn’t keep the smile from his face, but he did squash it quickly, first because he didn’t want Godric to see, and second because it pissed him off to be smiling over a fairy he might never see again.
Then he got angry over the fact that he actually CARED that he might never see her again.
By the time they touched down on the riverbank he was looking for place to unload. Queue Bill Compton, all around useless detective and general fucktard. He hurried toward Eric cutting him off from the corpse. “Careful, Northman, this is a crime scene! Make sure you take the proper precautions and do not walk through the evidence!”
Eric looked at him, smiled, and levitated a foot off the ground, and floated over to the corpse laid out on the riverbank.
They had waited for him before turning the corpse. The corpse was a middle aged man, and had been in the water for about 12 hours. He noted that the corpse had been drained, neck torn open, fang marks easily discernable on several parts of the body.
“You will find in the autopsy that he had a liver condition for which he was utilizing homeopathic treatment, bergamot, I believe.”
“How the hell can you know that?” Compton huffed at him, breaking his own rules and trudging through the cordoned off area.
“Elementary, my dear, Compton.” It really was too easy to fuck with this guy.
“Well is it ‘elementary’ to see that he was drained by a vampire?” Compton now looking up at Eric, who was still floating over the corpse. He had a smirk on his face that made Eric want to wipe his entire face off.
“I see you’re finally earning that detective badge, Compton. That’s good, maybe they will let you keep it after all.” Bill puffed his chest out clearly planning to comeback with something to that comment when Godric cut him off with a real observation.
“There is no blood that I can detect within a thousand yards of this corpse. He was drained somewhere else and dumped in the river.”
“Are you taking notes, Compton, there might be a test later on what a real detective acts like,” Eric needled. He noted that Batanya was nearby senses keying in on something but kept his attention on Compton. “Roll him over.”
Compton, the ME and Godric all gasped when they saw his face. “That’s governor Burrell!” Compton yelled, just as Eric heard the arrow coming at him from the tree line. Batanya moved faster than Eric could and caught the arrow in midflight. It was so clean and neat the humans didn’t know anything had happened. She moved to the tree line a blur of speed and knives, again the humans were completely unaware.
All of that transpired in the amount of time it took Eric to say, “Obviously.”
Godric caught his eye, asking if he should go with the Britlingen or stay. Eric signaled he should stay. This is what he had a body guard for, let her guard his body.
“You don’t seem surprised, Eric. Why is that?”
“He had a bad liver, an incontinence issue, was fucking around on his wife, and seemed a to an all-around asshole. Matter of time.”
“And just how would you know all that?” Compton pressed him.
“I’m a detective, look it up. Perhaps there will even be pictures to help you with the big words.”
Eric managed to get away from Compton without telling him that he had been summoned to Burrell’s office the previous evening, but he knew that, just like Burrels demise, it was just a matter of time before even an incompetent like Compton connected those dots. At that point he could give up Sookie or himself, and neither option was acceptable. Before that happened, he needed to figure who had drained the governor and how all this connected back to him, her and the factory.
Batanya had returned to his side, but made no report. Not surprising since she didn’t work for him.
Had Sookie stormed the warehouse yet? Could he still get there in time? If he could, should he? Right now he was about to fall under suspicion for murder, being at the site of countless others was not a logical move to make at this time. He needed to think. He returned to his home with Godric and Batanya on his heels.
“WHERE THE FUCK DID NORTHMAN GET A BRITLINGEN?!” Russell screamed as he trashed the room. Sookie watched him from a safe distance. When he was like this there was no reasoning with him, no talking to him. She had seen him tear a vampire’s limbs off when he was in a rage. She felt relatively safe at a distance knowing she could teleport away if he soon didn’t get himself back under control. It wouldn’t be the first time.
It was all she could do to suppress her smile as she watched him rage on and on about the body guard that Eric now had.
“I WANT NORTHMAN DEAD! DO YOU HEAR ME, BITCH, I WANT HIM DEAD, AND I WANT THIS WAR TO START NOW!” Before she could answer Talbot came in the room and made it worse.
“Russell, the factory, they are gone.” Russell stopped his ineffectual room destruction and turned to face Talbot, his tone and face cold and deadly.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I…I …w-when we got to the factory tonight everyone was gone. The guards the captives, they were all gone.” He looked down at the floor and Sookie was sure for the first time that vampires did indeed pray to someone.
Russell sat down, hard, the wind out of his sails now.
“Who did it?” his jaws clenched, fangs tearing his own lips. “WHO DID IT?”
“W-we d-don’t know, Majesty. It looked like they had been gone for months, but I was there just last night and-“
“Magic!” Russell cut him off. He pinned Sookie to the wall with his gaze. “Find out who did this and bring them to me, NOW!” Nodding her acquiescence she teleported away.
Talbot had almost slunk out of the room successfully when Russell spat at him. “Bring me that fucking witch, if I can’t get to Northman through his body guard maybe I can separate him from her.” Talbot nodded and sped out of the room, glad to have escaped with this undead life and limbs intact.