Orbit/ A Wish
I had been on my way to her when I felt her rage blow through me. I pushed myself to fly faster fearing that Bill’s plan to have us there night after next was a ruse and that she was under attack now. Moments before I touched down in her yard I felt her rage fade away to despair. I found her on the ground in front of her farm house tears flowing silently down her cheeks.
I took a breath, looking for intruders and was shocked to find that Nora had been here. If she had hurt Sookie there was no place on the planet that she would be able to hide from me! “Sookie?” I picked her up from the ground and carried her at vampire speed to the porch, sitting on the swing and holding her close. “What happened?”
“Your sister was here.” I nodded somewhat impatiently, knowing that part already. “She said that Nan plans to take me at the festival and if you try and stop them they are going to kill you.”
“Take you where?” She shrugged.
“Away. Bill told them about me.” My fangs came down as my blood boiled. I should have lowered that drawbridge on him already.
“I will not let that happen!” I reassured her, my mind spinning. I needed to talk to Nora. I needed to know what they knew. Why did they want her? And how did that get Bill what he wanted? It doesn’t, it just makes sure that if he can’t have her I can’t either. Bastard. Perhaps he had some long term plan to get her back, play the hero, save the day. I knew one thing for certain, his plan was to have me die no matter if I resisted her abduction or not. He knew I would never let her go. That I would never give up.
“I can’t let you risk yourself for me, Eric. It was what I was worried about at the beginning of all this. I was afraid that someone would hurt you to get to me. I thought it would be the Fae, but it seems that Bill plans better and moves faster. I should go.” My arms tightened around her, refusing to let her rise.
“We can figure this out together, Sookie. We can if you stay and fight with me!”
She shook her head. “No, if it were only me I would fight them! I would kill them one by one until they were all dead or I was and I wouldn’t think twice!” she said fiercely. “But I can’t let anything happen to you, especially not because of me.” I surprised her by kissing her forehead and holding her close. I knew exactly how she felt because those same thoughts had gone through my mind just before I handcuffed myself to Russell and sat down at the sunshine buffet. Nothing was too much to risk, except her.
How could I fight her on something that I myself understood so well? “Let’s think about this,” I said racing to find something that we had in our arsenal that could do what we needed in this delicate dangerous situation. “If you leave, Bill will kill me anyway, and he will turn the world upside down to find you. With all the power of The Authority at his fingertips there would be no place you could hide, Sookie. We have to find a way to take him out of play permanently and convince The Authority to no longer be interested in you.”
“That would take a freaking miracle,” she said sounding hopeless. Hope bloomed inside me and I felt a slow smile spread over my face.
“Or a wish,” I kissed her hair and laid it out for her.
Two nights later…
“Ready?” Eric asked me from the doorway of his bedroom. I caught his reflection in the mirror and turned to get a better look at him in his grey suit and black button down shirt. He looked good enough to eat, and I would have if there were any room left. Butterflies the size of elephants were currently stamping around in my guts. “You got this,” he said to me, opening his arms to me. A hug would go a long way to calming me, and he knew that. He always knew what I needed.
“Pam’s ready?” I asked snuggling him for what could be the last time.
“Pam is ecstatic. She has lists and plans that will take centuries to execute.” I pulled back and nodded to him, taking one long last look at him. Flashes of our first night in Fangtasia came back to me, his face when I had danced before his throne, and then on his leg. When he took me against the wall and when he named the stars in my yard. Our date pretending to be college students at the SBAS, our intense night when I had changed into him. So many and so much, we had lived a life in just the small time we had had together. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. “Shhh,” he comforted me. “We will have many more nights together, Miss Stackhouse. Nights to explore the stars and achieve orbit in each other’s arms. Bill nor The Authority will win this night from us.” I bit my lip, using the pain to focus on.
He was right. If I didn’t get my shit together we would have lost before we even started. We were silent on the drive over to the community center where the festival was set to take place. His fingers where threaded through mine and I let myself enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling his cool skin on mine as though this were just another date that I had thought up for us. Some ridiculous event to see if he cared enough to play along or to amuse him even at my expense. When he shut the motor off I turned to him, my hand going up to touch his face.
“I love you, Eric Northman. It’s a forever kind of thing, and I thought I should let you know.” He captured my hand and kissed my palm.
“And I love you, Sookie Stackhouse. It’s a forever kind of thing for me as well.”
When we entered the auditorium Bill greeted us immediately. It was 7:45, which gave us time to get acclimated before Nan arrived. “Sookie, how lovely to see you,” he slithered up to her looking like a vampire who ate the canary. I hope he choked on it. She nodded, took a deep breath and started the show.
“Bill, I would like a few minutes alone with you to…talk about some things.”
“Sookie,” I growled over her shoulder. “I forbid you to be alone with him.”
“You have no right to forbid me anything!”
“I have every right, you are my bonded!”
“I don’t even know what that means!” she said, whisper shouting, which was the very definition of pointless in a room of vampires. Bill had watched our exchange with some interest.
“Sookie, I will be happy to talk to you, but later, all right? I am the host tonight after all, but I promise to make time for you before you leave tonight.” She smiled at him faintly, and let it go at that. It was what we had expected.
“Of course, Bill. Thank you for your time.” By the time he got to her curiosity should have him pretty well spun up and distracted if we were lucky.
Nan arrived at 8:00 like the queen herself, smiling and waving at the cameras that greeted her. She even signed a couple of autographs before entering the auditorium. I had been standing next to Sookie but maintaining my distance to reinforce the disquiet that we had acted out for Bill upon our arrival. When Nan’s flat cold reptilian eyes landed on Sookie I felt exactly as I had in that hotel room Dallas, disturbed.
Yes, she had stood up to her for Godric, but that was because she had felt it was the right thing to do. Standing up to her had been both reckless and awe inspiring to me. Sookie had no idea what she was risking that night, but I had come to believe that even had she known, she would have done exactly the same thing.
“Why, Miss Stackhouse, a pleasure to see you again,” she said out loud. All the better to eat you my dear, I heard in my head, and prayed that I wasn’t suddenly able to telepathically hear vampires. She nodded to her and smiled slightly. “Before the end of tonight I would like to talk to you for a few minutes.” Sookie’s eyes flashed to Bill’s and he shook his head at her slightly. This was not his idea. But of course it was, from beginning to end this was Bill’s plan of revenge on me.
“Of course. Anything I can do to be of service to you and the king.” She arched and eyebrow at Sookie and then looked like she had swallowed a bug. So, everything was normal there. Pam came over then and Sookie made a fuss about all her efforts for the festival. I had told her that most of it had been her ideas and I had to say it looked better than anything that Bill could have come up with on his own.
The evening dragged on forever. Finally, Nan was speaking and I saw Bill motion for Sookie to join him backstage. She moved quickly, not knowing how long she would have. Mere moments later I heard Sookie calling for me, her voice filled with terror. I vamped to her side.
“Sookie?” I asked looking at Bill questioning. Bill nodded slightly and then launched into a tirade worthy of a tiny despot.
“I demand that you let her go at once, Sherriff!”
“She is mine!” I declared.
“We shall see,” Bill stomped off and returned to the stage just as Nan finished her closing remarks. Sookie and joined them back out front in time for me to overhear Bill and Nan’s conversation under the clapping of those present.
“Let’s get this done, I want the fairy loaded and on her way to the Authority within the hour.” She took a breath then and looked at him oddly. “You smell of her,” Nan accused.
“She had asked to see me about a personal matter.”
“The agreement was that you could have her AFTER The Authority was done.”
“Of course. I merely wanted to make sure she was not planning anything untoward for the evening.” Nan rolled her eyes but didn’t press further on the subject. Bill needed to press further. “Nan, I think it might be better for Sookie to stay with me, after all. I know her better than anyone else and any information she has is more likely to be shared with me than anyone else.” Before Nan could speak Sookie and I came over to say our good night. Nan held up her hand reminding us to linger for some vampire business until after the humans has departed.
I nodded his head gracefully, my face a mask of cold calculation. From the corners of my eyes I saw Nan’s storm troopers enter the room, blocking the exit. “We will be taking the fairy with us,” Nan said coldly, looking at me. My fangs came down as Sookie started to scream and clutch at me.
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to quiet her.
“Your King has alerted us to potential advantages in her blood. We want to study it and her. Possibly synthesize a version of True Blood based on what we find. You will release her to us, or we will kill you and take her anyway.” The storm troopers moved in as she spoke and Sookie started to flip out.
I saw Pam coming up alongside us. I looked around and then down at Sookie. I soothed her, whispering how she would be fine, and that I would see her soon, but she could tell I was lying and started to flip out all the more. “You said you loved me, Eric! ERIC DON’T LET THEM TAKE ME! PLEASE!” Then I stepped back, looked at Nan and said the only thing I could say that would keep up both alive.
“I surrender to the will of The One True Authority.”
“NO!” Bill shouted, pulling a stake out of his pocket and moving toward Nan, “SOOKIE IS MINE!” Pam stepped in and staked Bill. Nan’s eyes were round and shocked when Pam looked at her with concern and asked if she were ok.
Pam was made the Queen of Louisiana. Sookie was hauled off to the Authority her cries and curses of my betrayal filling the night, but I was left alive. I immediately petitioned the Queen for permission to leave my post and travel for an indeterminate time. My request was approved and I left Shreveport that night, alone, destination unknown.