As soon as Eric was away the urge to go back was nearly overwhelming. Turn around, part of him shouted, only to be overridden by the part that said drive faster! His mind kept showing him the six large opponents that Sookie would have to face to save Lafayette and come back to him. He had no idea if she could do it.
Could she do it?
If he went back what could he do?
His foot was to the floor and when he looked down the speedometer was bouncing on 95. Shocked, he let up and tried to take some deep breaths to calm himself before he lost control and killed himself defeating all of Sookie’s work.
Home, gotta go home.
The last time he had been home was when he put his parents in the ground ten years ago. They had been killed by drunk driver on their way home from a church benefit. The driver had been killed as well. It had been a senseless waste all the way around and one of the darkest times in his life.
For the first time he had been glad that he lived away, to be there surrounded by their ghosts would have been too much for him to bear. At the same time, he felt he should have been there, that he could have done something to save them if he hadn’t been on the other side of the country. It had taken a long time to shake that feeling of guilt for moving so far away and missing out on spending time with them while they had been alive. It was an old wound, one that he didn’t pick at.
His breathing under control he started to become aware that he was traveling on a secondary road somewhere in Tennessee. Looking up at the rearview directional he was headed west. He needed to find the interstate and get back on the road to Virginia. There was hardly any traffic but still before he took his focus off the road and onto the GPS he glanced around. When he looked to the left, expecting to see nothing but darkness and trees he felt his mouth come open in shock when he saw a man’s face right outside his driver’s window flying beside the car. Glancing down he saw that he was now doing 55, looking back at the man, whose dark coat spread out around his body like wings as he kept pace beside the SUV, he remembered his thought outside the Sunshine Bar and Grille.
They look like they ride the wind.
Escatan watched the woman stuff the man twice her size into the SUV and then turn back to the restaurant. He had held back as Warlow had advised to watch from a distance. If she managed to defeat the others he was to follow and then report back where they were headed. Warlow was very interested in where they were running to. Almost as much as he was in capturing the woman. He wanted the man, too. This pathetic human Eric Northman, but he was at the bottom of the list.
Watching Northman pull out of the parking lot, Escatan had taken to the air again, relishing the feeling of the cool air buffering his body. He was Dark Sky Fae and the air answered to his commands. He was taking a chance yes, because Eric was the least important thing to Warlow, but he believed that if the woman succeeded in defeating his brothers then she would come to the man. He was following to hedge their bets.
From above he watched the SUV speed away, swerving like its driver was intoxicated, and then a short time later it slowed to a more reasonable speed and became more confident in its course down the two lane blacktop. Escatan came down closer, so close he was almost resting on top of the car, but not quite. After a few minutes he got bored with the easy catch and decided to have to some fun. He floated down beside the passenger window, staring at the man who was so much fucking trouble. He thought he was going to have to tap on the glass to get his attention but finally Northman looked over, his mouth dropping open as she saw him. Escatan smiled and waved at him.
As he had at sixteen when he saw the werewolf his foot came off the gas pedal, a reflexive reaction to the abject terror that flooded his system. His muscles felt like limp spaghetti noodles, over cooked and cold abandoned on a counter somewhere. But Eric Northman wasn’t sixteen anymore and he wasn’t going to go out as a limp spaghetti noodle. Not his style. He closed his mouth and pressed the button to roll the window down. The air flooded into the car, swishing through his hair. He forced a smile on his face and felt his muscles harden again.
“Hey, asshole. Need a lift?” The smile disappeared from the dark man’s face like Eric had punched him. That was gratifying and almost worth what happened next. He saw the man wave his arm and felt the car rising up off the road, tilting on its side. The world went upside down and into slow motion. He saw the windshield fill with the green of the bank on the side of the road and then he heard a voice. “You’ll be all right.” He relaxed completely and surrendered his body to the jerking motions of the tumbling vehicle. It was Sookie who had spoken to him. He had absolute faith in her.
The SUV rolled two and half times, going airborne between rolls. Eric relaxing into it had saved his life, that and his seatbelt which left him hanging suspended in the upside down vehicle. His consciousness faded in and out.
Shoes coming toward the car.
The sound of dark evil laughter.
The sound of high pitched screams.
Sookie had left the Sunshine Bar and Grille with one thought on her mind. Eric. She shifted into a peregrine falcon and followed the tug of the blood tie to his side. For the first time ever she was grateful for the tie. Pushing her body to its limits she flew up and fast through the night her sharp eyes found him from high above just as his terror bellowed through her. Going into a dive that reached over 200MPH, she let out a cry, tucking her legs and wings in to increase her speed and gain every edge she could. She had seen the Dark Fae beside the SUV.
When she was almost there she felt something else from Eric, resolution and anger. Sure signs he was about to do something she would be sorry for. She watched the car start to flip over, her precious burden inside it. She screeched her denial into the night again pushing harder to get there faster. No one is sure how fast a peregrine falcon can go, but if they had been timing her that night their gauges would have seen she topped out at near 300MPH at the end of her dive, before she turned and slowed, claws extended.
She caught the Dark Fae as he approached the upturned vehicle taking his eyes in her first pass by. She turned, shifting in midflight back to her normal form, fangs out in her rage. She knew Eric still lived, she could feel him, but she also knew that he was badly hurt. She ripped at the body and tore out the Dark Fae’s throat draining him, and letting him fall to the ground as she moved to Eric’s side.
She tore the seatbelt loose with her hands, catching him before he fell and pulled him from the car. She took him a safe distance away and then tore her wrist open feeding him her blood. After a few minutes his wounds began to heal and he stirred in her arms.
Eric awoke to find himself pressed against the lovely breasts of a very naked Sookie. She had blood on her face, her fangs were still down, and the look of worry on her face as she stared down at him made his chest clench. “How bad is it?” he asked, not looking at himself, afraid of what he might see.
“It’s fine now. You are healing. Your ribs need a few minutes but then you will be good as new.”
“I gave you my blood.”
“Oh.” He paused. “Your blood does that…heals people?”
“It can.” She was brushing his hair back off his face now, her expression one he couldn’t read.
“Where’s Lafayette?” he asked rising to look around. He felt her stiffen.
“He didn’t make it.”
“They killed him? You couldn’t save him?” She looked away and didn’t answer him. He felt bad for making her think she failed. “I’m sure you did everything you could,” he reassured her. She didn’t answer. After a moment she stood helping him to his feet. He had a moment of dizziness and then it passed. He looked around and saw the car was totaled and the man who had been flying beside it was in pieces on the ground. He shuddered when he saw the man’s arm a foot away from his body. She had done that in her rage. She had literally torn him apart. He looked down at her again.
It came to him then that he barely knew her, let alone what she was capable of. Looking at what she had done here he took a breath and asked her, “What happened at the bar?”
“What had to happen. They are dead. I am not.”
“And it’s just that simple?”
“To me it is.” He ran a hand through his hair. It was beyond too much. This morning over breakfast with his friend who hadn’t made it to see the end of that same night he had thought he might be going crazy. Now after the shootout, the blood drinking, the dreams, the kisses, the accident and more blood drinking he was left sure that being crazy would have been preferable.
Sensing his overload Sookie looked at him, not without concern on her face. “Are you ok?” she asked him taking a step toward him.
“Fine,” he said shortly raising a hand to her and taking a step back.
“I need you to keep it together for a little while longer, Eric.” Her tone was cold and detached. How could she be so fucking detached when she had just killed seven men that he knew of. Did nothing phase her? He felt his stomach roll over and he heaved. He turned away and bent over, retching.
“Is this my life now?” he managed to get out between heaves. She didn’t answer him. After he stopped and wiped his mouth she stood back.
“We have to move. We need to find a new car. Come, I will carry you.”
“I can walk.”
“I know that. Come, I will carry you.” She shifted then into a beautiful chestnut mare. Nickering softly she stepped toward him and stuck her velvety nose into his hand. He didn’t smile but he didn’t pull away either. A moment later he moved to swing up gracefully onto her back, wrapping his fingers tightly in her mane. Together they galloped away into the night.
Back at the Sunshine Bar and Grille
Warlow knelt down beside the trembling Lafayette. I wonder why she left him alive, he thought as he looked around. Lafayette watched as several Warlow’s men waved their hands repairing the door and making bodies disappear. Within moments it was as though nothing had happened here at all. One of his men brought a silver knife to Warlow that was covered in blood.
“Is it hers?” he asked, looking at the knife with interest.
“We believe so. It smells like her. It might not be contaminated.”
“Wrap it up,” Warlow said and then turned back to Lafayette. “Wrap him up, too. If it turns out to be hers we’ll need a lab rat to play with.” The Dark Fae solider nodded and turned away to secure the knife. Warlow looked down at Lafayette a smile on his face.
“You’ve seen what she is capable of, haven’t you?” he asked the trembling man on the floor.
“Yes,” Lafayette whispered, afraid not to answer.
“Imagine,” Warlow said, looking off into the distance at something only he could see, “An army of them, just like her! All her power! All her abilities! All at my disposal! Imagine that!”
Understanding at last why Warlow wanted the woman that Eric called Sookie he wished again that she had killed him.