Last time on FauX…
“Eric, listen to me. I was born the night you found me and again when I awakened in your arms. You taught me what it was to love. I will always love you, my beautiful vampire.”
“I know, Sookie, I love you, too. Please! There must be another way!”
“I will protect you.”
Her face grim with determination, she jabbed the needle into her thigh and pressed the plunger.
She jerked the needle free of her leg and waited, taking a deep breath to prepare herself for the transformation. Her thoughts were racing back through the memories that she had seen in Eric’s mind.
The mangled form of the FauX shifter, Sam, his name had been Sam, and he had died in mid-shift. She thought of DeCastro and wild rampage through village of Logrono.
But I have something they didn’t have, she thought as the fire started to burn in her veins. I have to save the man I love. I won’t fail, no matter what comes!
Her whole body was on fire now, and she worked to keep her screams inside. If they found her too soon all this would be for nothing. I have been a supernatural my whole life. I may not have my memories, but I have my magic.
I HAVE MY MAGIC!
She opened herself then and let the fire sweep through her.
Eric watched her with blood tears running down his face. He could feel everything she was feeling, her determination, her confidence, her love for him and above all that her pain. He wanted more than anything to be able to take that pain from her
When he saw her start to shift form into a wolf, he knew what had been in the needle and he moaned for his beloved and her stubborn stupid perfect heart. “Sookie?”
She growled her response, grunting as she fought to control the change the injection was designed to trigger. She was so weak, and this was so risky, but he knew what she was hoping.
She was hoping that the FauX would remove her weakness to the iron chains that held her.
She was hoping his blood would stabilize her change.
She was hoping she could hold it back just long enough to free them both from the silver.
He hoped with her, and sent her what strength he had left, praying to whoever was listening that their hopes would not be in vain.
A moment later when she broke the chains, and rose from the table he knew their hopes had been rewarded. She stood for a moment shaking her head and trembling all over. Then she staggered to his side.
She removed the needle from his arm, freed him from the silver, and handed him the first bag of his blood before moving on to do the same for Godric. He drank quickly, knowing that recovering his strength was his main goal, even if his heart demanded otherwise. He had finished all the blood and felt his strength coursing through him again when she finished with Godric and came to stand before him.
Her eyes were glowing orange and her body was lit up from the inside with her magic. She was holding back the transformation, but only barely, and not completely. She had already lost the power of speech, but he saw what he needed to see in her eyes.
He reached out his hand to touch her face, making her growl her pleasure at his touch as her eyes closed for just a moment. She turned into his touch and kissed his palm. From the corner of his eye he saw Godric stand and finish the last of his blood, power and rage rolling off him in waves as he looked to them to see what was next.
Before he could think or move Sookie’ growl deepened, and she dropped to the floor. Her glow intensified and a moment later she shifted for the first time. If Eric had blinked he would have missed it and found in place of his beloved a very large golden wolf with blue eyes.
Her head was nearly to his shoulder, her mouth a tangle of sharp teeth and death. He had never seen a Were this big, most were larger than normal wolves, but none stood nearly six feet tall when their paws were all on the ground. Fearlessly, he reached out his hand and rubbed her soft golden fur. Somehow, she was still the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
She stepped closer and nuzzled her face next to his, softly licking his face and then she stepped back and giving him a last look so full of love it made him ache, she ran through the doors after Desmond, Hallow and whoever else was waiting for them out there. Eric glanced at Godric and they followed at vamp speed.
Eric followed Sookie’s scent which was still uniquely hers despite her new form. When he found her she had Hallow pinned against a wall, growling. Hallow, trying to get her head around what was happening, started chanting, her own eyes glowing indicating her own pending transformation. A second later in the corner stood a grey wolf almost the same size as Sookie’s golden form. Sookie attacked, and the air was filled with snarling and sharp teeth.
At that moment Desmond came in and stopped frozen at the sight before him. He looked at Eric and Godric and realized who the golden wolf was. “NO!” he screamed, as though that would change what had happened. Eric moved faster than he had ever moved in his long life and snapped Desmond’s neck before he could teleport away from the nightmare he had created. When his body hit the ground Hallow let out a piercing howl and attacked Sookie with renewed vigor.
Since her transformation Sookie had been seeing the world through a red haze that was driven more my instinct than by intellectual thought. It had brought with it the feeling of freedom that she had sought her entire life. There was only the prey, only the now, and the sweet taste of blood on her tongue.
Somewhere inside her she knew that Desmond was dead. She knew that Eric had killed him. She knew that she loved Eric, but it was all so far away. In front of her was her opponent, and it was fight or die.
When Hallow attacked her, trying to get to her throat and rip it out, she dove under the large grey wolf and let her pass over her furry body. She flipped in mid-dive and reached up with her long wolf claws eviscerating Hallow. When her blood and guts exploded onto the floor Sookie was already standing and watching as her opponent landed on her side and slid into the wall with her momentum, leaving a trail of blood and entrails behind her.
Hallow struggled to rise again, growling as though she wasn’t already dead, Sookie dropped her head closer to the ground and bared her teeth, demanding that her opponent rise and fight again. When Hallow finally accepted what everyone else in the room knew already to be fact, she fell down and changed back to her human form. Sookie’s chilling howl of victory split the air, making the hair on Eric’s neck stand up.
Is she totally gone? He moved toward her, his arm extended, a look of terrible hope on his face. Sookie backed up from him, hunkering down to leap and attack this new opponent.
“Sookie?” He called to her, his voice breaking. “Susanna?” He tried her other name. “Princess?” Any name, anything to remind her who she was.
When he said Princess she stood and looked at him with her head turned to the side. She stared for a long moment, and he thought he saw the flicker of something in her eyes. Memories? Love?
Her large golden body convulsed like something was trying to break out, and she howled in pain, making him howl with her because he could still feel her, just as he had before.
He felt her fear when she couldn’t change back.
Sookie know the vampire before her. His scent that had always been so pleasant to her was now even more so, because with her new nose it was like she had never smelled him before, only places he had been.
She took a deep breath and tried again to become this Sookie-Susanna- Princess that he called for with such love and passion. She wanted to be that person again, to have him hold her close. Right behind that she caught a glimpse of them mating and she wanted that, too. Now with her new senses and new freedom she wanted to run with him, howl with him, love with him in the sacred moonlight.
No matter how much she wanted that, to be with him like that, it was not to be. She could not go back and his form was not her form. There a moment of deep pain and regret. She howled her pain so loud that Eric covered his ears.
She dropped down, resting her forelegs on the ground, her tail high in the air and looked at this man Eric, howling and growling her need to be free, asking him to be free with her.
Eric, who had never heard a single one of her thoughts before understood with perfect clarity none the less, and he felt his heart crack.
“I can’t, Sookie. Please, come back to me!” She howled again, staying down, asking again in her new language for this man to come with her. She saw him sink to his knees, blood leaking from his eyes, his hand still out to her.
To anyone other than Eric her transformation was over when her physical form shifted, but he had been tracking her through the bond and he knew that she was still transforming. Every moment she stayed in this form the further her thinking rational mind slipped away. Every moment she stayed in this form the more wolf she became.
He was losing her second by second and he knew it. He felt the sense of freedom and sensation of being alive that flowed through her entire being. He felt her simplistic animal joy of her new form and despite the fact that his heart was taking yet another pummeling from this tiny girl that he had met only a few days ago, he also felt joy for her.
She had found the one thing that she wanted more than anything in this world.
She howled again, come with me, she said to him.
“I can’t Sookie. I can’t come with you. Please come back to me, please…”
She rose then and walked to him, resting her blood soaked muzzle on his shoulder, licking his cheek softly before turning around and heading for the door. She stopped and turned back to look at him, and he felt the last of her rational self disappear, leaving only the magnificent golden wolf before him.
Her last thought when she looked at him was of love and longing and she expressed it in a sharp soul breaking howl and then she ran through the door and out into the night to find her new destiny.
Godric called in his team to clean up the lab and catalogue what they found there. He reached out to The Council to inform them of what had happened and to let them know that a new leader for SIN would need to be selected. Through all that Eric sat still in the corner of the room, in down time, processing that he had met and lost the love of his undead life.
Godric took him home with him, and they were sitting in the room that they had all been abducted from not speaking when Eric finally blinked and looked around, becoming aware of his surroundings for the first time since Sookie had left him.
“What about Compton and Ravenscroft?”
“They were not at the lab, we have warrants out for them. My team is still tracking their financials. We have some promising leads.”
“I want to go after them,” Eric said rising from his leather chair by the fireplace.
“It’s noon outside, so you will have to wait.”
“First thing tonight.”
“Are you sure.”
“Someone has to pay for this.”
Godric looked at his friend of over a thousand years. “What about Sookie?”
“She is gone.”
“But you still feel her in the tie?”
“That’s how I know. I felt her become completely wolf before she left. She wanted to come back, she t-tried to come back, but she couldn’t.” Godric thought for a moment.
“To our knowledge she is the first supernatural to ever take FauX. That in itself is unique, but she had also taken your blood, which she thought would stabilize the formula.”
“Does any of that really matter?” Eric’s tone was as cold and dead as he felt inside.
“Oh, fuck you, Godric! I can’t play these games with you now!” Eric’s fists were in knots like his heart and he wanted very much to inflict the kind of pain he was feeling. That was why he needed Compton and Ravenscroft. Some fucking body had to pay for this!
“Old friend, I have never played games with you. As long as you are in this condition I can’t sanction your hunt for Compton and Ravenscroft. You would be a danger not only to yourself but to any team I sent with you.”
Eric unclenched his fists and dropped his head. “As always you are right, Godric. I quit.”
When the sunset that evening Eric left Godric’s home in a gust of wind that slammed the front door behind him.
Eric found Ravenscroft in Majorca under the name Ginger Fowler. He staked her out in silver and let the sun burn her from the face of the earth. He was burned himself before he dug a hole and went to ground, but it was worth it to hear her screams when she burst into flames.
Seeing her face melt did nothing to fill the ache in his heart.
He found Compton in Mississippi, hiding under the vampire monarch of that state. He paid Russell Edgington a million and half dollars for the right to kill him. He drained him to near death, as Desmond had tried to do to him and Godric, and then he let the rats gnaw on him for several days before giving him a few sips of his blood back. Then he set the rats free for another week.
Finally, he took to the swamp and let the gators pick over what the rats and left behind.
He pulled the remains of Compton from the water and then chained him to a tree to meet the sun. This time the forest offered enough coverage that he could stand to the side and watch to the end and not be burned himself.
If I had more people to kill I could get really good at this, he thought as Compton turned to smoking sludge.
For you, beloved, he thought as he went to ground in the muddy swamp. He could feel her somewhere out there in the world, here with him pounding through this veins like a heartbeat.
Though she would no longer know him, he would never forget her.
A month later he was in Morocco watching The Bucket Game. He felt some mild amusement when they lost and filled the bucket to the brim. He was about to take a chance himself when the King of Fae pulled up a chair at this table and ordered a drink.
Eric looked at him, remembering their last conversation and how Sookie had defended him from this fairy.
Maybe I won’t need The Bucket Game after all.
“I think we can bring her back,” Niall said, still not looking at him. Eric’s eyebrow went up, but he didn’t say anything. Niall turned to pin him with his gaze. “Godric told me what happened, and I think that it was because she used her magic to control the transformation that she was unable to change back.” Eric’s other eyebrow went up.
“The FauX was not designed to cause a permanent change, and the addition of your blood would have stabilized the change as you suspected, but it was the use of magic that made the change seem irreversible.”
“And you know this how?”
“I’ve been studying Desmond’s work since The Council was informed of his treachery and his demise. I believe I understand it and the magic that she used well enough to bring her back.”
“And if you can’t?” Niall reached into his pocket and brought out a slim black case. Eric opened it and saw a syringe filled with a golden liquid.
“Then you can try and join her.”
“I have no magic.”
“I do.” Niall smiled then, and for just a moment he saw the resemblance between Sookie and her father.
The golden wolf had claimed her territory in the Bodcau Wildlife Management Area to the northeast of Shreveport. Her size alone discouraged other wolves from infringing on her territory. She avoided humans completely, innately distrustful of them. She had been courted by several male wolves, seeking to bring her into their pack but they held no interest for her.
She had a mate. She knew that, and though she could remember nothing but his scent, he was the one she wanted.
The others were unworthy and she sent them packing, licking their wounds from crossing onto the land she had claimed as hers. She ran with the moon and sometimes she dreamed blue eyes and his scent. His scent was safety and love.
None but her one true mate would ever do.
She was crossing through the dark moonlit forest on the edge of her territory when two men appeared in a blinding flash of light. Slinking down behind a tree she let the breeze bring their scents to her.
MY MATE! She jumped to her feet. HE IS HERE!
His scent represented peace and safety and casting aside her instinct for self-preservation and the avoidance of humans she hurled herself toward the scent of her one true mate.
Eric heard her heart racing and her soft pads pounding the forest floor before he saw her running toward him. He had no idea whether she meant to attack or kill, but he was struck with one single thought. The same thought he had whenever he saw her.
Her howl of joy split the night just before she reached him, not slowing she tackled him, taking him to the ground, rolling over and over with him, licking his face, taking deep breaths of his scent into herself to reassure herself that he was indeed here at long last.
She heard him laugh as she licked him and some ache inside her that always been with her stopped.
They landed with her large furry body on top, her forepaws on his shoulders and her large golden head on his chest. His arms came around her large furry body and he held her close to him for a long moment.
“Sookie,” he whispered, place a kiss on top of her furry head. “I have missed you so.”
She yipped her response of agreement and pressed her head against his chest, her tail thumping against his leg in her pure wolfy expression of joy.
Niall cleared his throat behind them, and Sookie was immediately on her feet between this stranger and her mate, her teeth bared and her muscles bunched to attack.
“Well, this is familiar,” Niall said, his tone light despite the fact that a large golden wolf was about to make him a snack. Eric rose to stand behind her.
“SUSANNA!” Niall called out, his voice rolling like thunder through the woods around them, and her large body convulsed.
“What did you do?” Eric asked, feeling her pain in their tie just as he had before.
“Blood calls to blood, vampire. Quiet now and let me do what we came here do to.”
Susanna, Niall said, slipping into her mind, looking for some trace of his elegant Fae daughter in the giant beast who stood before him. Susanna, do you know me? She shook her large head, trying to get the voice out of it. Susanna, it is your father.
F-father? Her voice was faint to his mind, as though she were far away.
It’s time to come back, daughter. Come back to me, come back to your vampire. He is lost without you.
Eric? A little louder this time.
Yes, I found him ready to end his life. I fear what may become of him of you don’t come back to us. Her large body shook again, and she fell to the ground, glowing slightly. Eric saw Niall light up then as well, as he knelt beside her on the ground, reaching a hand out.
Come home, Susanna, my Princess.
The pain was intolerable. She ran from it, deeper into herself. She heard Eric gasp behind her.
Eric! She called to him and tried to drag herself to him.
Susanna! Niall called out again in her mind. Eric seeing her struggle and feeling her pain knelt beside her, too, rubbing her large head, offering comfort. “Sookie?” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
She howled, her whole body going taught, and in the middle her howl became a very feminine scream. Where the wolf had been was now his Sookie. He looked at her father, kneeling on the other side of her and saw tears in his eyes.
“Thank you,” he said to the King of the Fae.
“It took us both to bring her back,” Niall told him. Nodding, Eric picked her up, holding her close, kissing her forehead softly. Niall thought he could see perhaps what Susanna saw in this vampire, at least a little. He reached out and touched Eric, taking them all home in a blinding flash of light.