His kiss was everything she had ever hoped and somehow more than she had dreamed. All the times she had watched him kiss someone else flared and burned in her mind. They burned inside her, and then they burned up along with whatever little resistance was still in her. He pushed her up against the wall of the Sunshine Bar and Grille and deepened his kiss, determined that when they stopped, if they stopped he would have kissed away all her foolish notions about how they couldn’t work.
He knew it was fast, but everything had been fast since she had swept into the diner this morning and saved his life. If it wouldn’t slow down then he was damned if he would fall behind. The fact that she had gone to such great lengths to protect him for so long was overwhelming. He was determined to find out whether it was just because he was her job or if there was more to it. From the tears she had on her cheeks there was more. He wanted to know how much more.
Random disjointed thoughts moved through Sookie’s mind as he pressed his body to hers. Protect…keep him safe…oh his tongue…too exposed. She flipped them around and pressed him against the wall, so that at least his back was shielded from attack and then covered as much of his front with as much of her front as she could. Her hands rose up to tangle through his hair. She took a deep breath through her nose and froze. Pulling back just enough to use her lips for something other than kissing she whispered, “Don’t move.”
Where the fuck is they? Lafayette was watching Sookie and Eric make out against the window feeling guilty as shit about the fact that when he went to wash his hands he had called Warlow and told him where they were. “Stay there. I will send someone to you.” He had come back out while Eric was singing to her. She had been so into what he was doing she didn’t even notice he had sat back down. He watched her, the tears on her face as the song went on and wondered not for the first time what the fuck he was doing.
He knew, but the reasons seemed small when he realized that the call he had just made was going to bring this budding love story to its knees. Giving Eric a push to go after her was not only about his guilt but also about the fact that they needed to be there when the Dark King arrived.
It was hard to remember a time before he had made himself that monster’s bitch. A time when he didn’t know that supernaturals existed in this world. At first he had been dismissive, but then the King had given him a demonstration of his power and might. Lafayette shuddered at the memory. Perhaps it had been more than financial need that had driven him to say yes to what Warlow proposed. Perhaps it was a shred of genuine terror that having seen what he was capable of a ‘no thanks’ would have led to him being the demonstration for whoever Warlow approached next.
Could she stop him? Lafayette wondered as he watched them kiss, her flipping Eric, who was twice her size against the building and kiss him like she was never gonna kiss him again. He saw her again in the diner and what had been a stray thought became a tiny shining hope. It flared only a moment when he realized again that he had called Warlow and he knew where they were. “Shit!” he exclaimed, rising to go tell them what he had done. He looked away as he rose and when he looked back they were gone. “What the fuck?” he started toward the door and then froze as it opened.
Sookie had been blasted from her kissing euphoria when she took a breath because she smelled them right behind her. Dark Fae! Immediately she suppressed her scent and then cloaked herself and Eric, telling him as quietly as she could not to move. Please, Eric, she thought, don’t move!
This was all new to Eric and he was in a kissing haze but he wasn’t stupid. He froze when she told him to. From the corner of his eye he saw them, six of them, big like the guys in the diner had been. Wrong like the guys in the diner, too. All dressed in the same long black trench coats that billowed out behind them like the wind responded to their desire, swirling around them to enhance the effect of their arrival into a dark cool nightmare of entrancing evil. They look like they ride the wind, he thought, only to find out later that he was more right than he knew.
They moved right past where Eric and Sookie were cloaked heading for the door. “I smell her,” one of them said, licking his lips, appearing to be hungry more than sexually aroused. He felt Sookie shiver but remained still. One by one they went in. When the door closed he whispered, “Lafayette!” She was watching them over his shoulder. Six devils in the Sunshine Bar and Grille, filling it with their broad shoulders and dark auras. Make that seven devils, she thought when she saw them approach Lafayette and start to question him.
He knew them! “FUCK!” she whispered. Then she picked him up and moved faster than she had ever moved before. Eric found himself beside the stolen SUV the keys in his hand. “Listen to me,” she told him pulling his face down to hers. “Drive, go home. No one knows where that is but you and me, right? Lafayette doesn’t know?”
“No,” he confirmed. “But we can’t leave him.”
“I’ll take care of Lafayette but I need you away from here. I need you safe.”
“I can’t leave you!”
“I will catch up, but if I don’t, if I am late, the crystal is in the loft of the barn. Find it! I will find you!”
“No, time. Go!”
“But what do I tell them, the owners now? My parents are dead the farm was sold, Sookie!”
“You own it. I bought it for you. You’ll be safe there. Go! Wait for me there. The house should still be warded. Get the crystal and get inside!” She was opening the door and shoving him inside as he tried to protest. Things were happening even faster now and he was not sure what to do. “GO!” she said to him, “I will find you, I promise!”
“Sookie-“she slammed the door and turned away striding with purpose toward the bar. He started the car and tried to leave the parking lot in the least attention drawing way possible but he was shaking so hard with fear and adrenaline that the car was jerking as much as he was. He watched her in the rearview mirror for as long he could and made himself drive on into the night fighting with everything he had not to turn back.
Inside, she thought. I want them inside. There are six of them, if they get me in an open area where they can spread out and attack me I won’t have a chance. Inside. Stay inside you fuckers. She put on a burst of speed when she heard the sound of Eric’s car grow distant as he escaped. Her focus came to the battle in front of her and for the first time since before she had walked into that diner her life was cold, controlled and made the kind of sense that she had been bred to understand. She could taste the blood in the air that was about to be shed. Her fangs came down and she chuckled at the feel of them, her vampiric nature rising to the surface.
“To me!” she called out, extending her hands up in on the air to catch her magical Fae swords. Vengeance and Death she named them, and she wielded them like they were an extension of her body. She sent her shields out before her causing the doors to explode inward, shards of wood and glass cutting through the bar like lasers. She entered behind them and launched herself at her first opponent.
Dropping down and spinning on her toes she cut his legs off at the knee with Vengeance, rising in a fluid motion as came around again, moving with liquid speed she severed the spine of the next one with Death. She saw that the doors had killed one, glass shards lodged in his face and eyes. That left three and the traitor. She saw Lafayette on the ground bleeding. He was last.
She heard one behind her, the one who had smelled her outside. He had a gun in his hands with silver and iron bullets. He pulled the trigger at point blank range, she moved as he did going toward him, stepping around his bullet to skewer him on the neck, Vengeance rising through the top of his head like the fin of a shark. Before she could pull it out she felt a sharp slicing pain her side. She let go of Vengeance and faced her opponent with Death at the ready.
“That’ll leave a scar,” her opponent said in a light manner as he lunged again, his own sword moving faster than a human eye could see. She deflected and noted that her wound was slowing her down. Where was the last one? Knowing that her wound would lead to her losing an all-out sword fight she dropped down and grabbed the gun from the ground firing a round that landed right between her opponent’s eyes. As he fell she felt a knife pressed to the side of her throat. Correction, a silver knife from the burns forming on her skin.
“That’ll do,” he said in her ear, pulling her to her feet, keeping the knife on her jugular. Not hardly, she thought, waiting for her chance. She had learned a long time ago that thinking you had the advantage only made you vulnerable. She pressed herself against the blade, making it cut her so she could turn and bring Death up between his ribs, right into his heart. The knife severed her artery, as he fell to the floor she went down with him her fangs seeking his own arteries to heal her wounds. She tore him open, growling in ecstasy as his blood flooded her mouth, traveling through her to all the places she needed to heal. When she rose, she was covered in his blood, her fangs still down and her eyes a light. She moved toward Lafayette cowering on the floor.
She stood there letting him get a good look at her, letting him feel afraid, letting him know that she planned to do to him what she had done to the others, and that she was going to enjoy it so fucking much more.
“I’m s-s-sorry,” he got out, his eyes large with fear. The smell of him turned her stomach. She went into his mind and saw how he had come to this place. His mother, her illness, his financial troubles, his meeting with Warlow. Warlow’s desire for her.
This was about her? She dug deeper, looking for some clue why he wanted her but Lafayette did not know. Perhaps it was just to take her out, to leave Eric alone and vulnerable. The question was how did Warlow know about her?
Then in his memories she saw the necklace that Warlow wore. He had a piece of the Tempus Key around his fucking neck! She knew that he might have it, had been told that was how he would know about Eric and why she must protect him. The fact that he also knew about her meant that someone in 2065 had betrayed her. They had told him she was here. Or maybe she had been careless and given herself away as she watched over Eric?
She needed to think. This was not the place for that. She knelt down beside Lafayette, resting Death on its point on the floor beside her. She looked at him long and hard. Eric had cared about this waste of space enough to risk his own life to save him, and the whole time he had been on Warlow’s payroll. For Eric, she wouldn’t kill him, but it wasn’t mercy that stayed her hand.
“What Warlow will do to you for this,” she said tilting her head to the wasteland of bodies behind her, “Is far worse than anything I could do.” The man shivered and whimpered. “You know I am right. So far all you have seen is sweetness and light, and that includes the demonstration he gave when you agreed to work for him.” She chuckled. “I bet you didn’t know a human being could be cut into so many pieces before that meeting, did you, Lafayette?” He whimpered again. “You know he plans that for your whole race? To slice his way through each and every one of you like so much wheat to be reaped. He plans to take this world for his own. That’s bad. But you wanna know something even worse?” He shook his head, but nothing could have stopped her from telling him the full breadth and width of his mistake, his betrayal. “What’s worse is that the only thing that can stop him, the only hope your pitiful little race has at all is the man…you…just…betrayed.”
Lafayette let out a keening moan. “You…you will save us? You will, right?” he begged clutching at her. She rose. There had been a handful of people in this place before she had blown the doors and baptized them all in blood. Some were dead, casualties of a war they didn’t even know was happening. Some were hiding. She could hear their banging heartbeats. They meant nothing to her, but they mattered to Eric. She looked back down at Lafayette, the expression on her face calm and hauntingly beautiful even with her the gore that covered her skin.
“No, I’ll save him.”