“WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?” Alcide’s voice filled the house, rattling the windows with his rage. He had attacked Pam as soon as he rose, demanding an explanation. She had tried to reason with him, to explain, but he refused to listen and accept her answers. Eric was not without empathy. He had been locked in the same cycle of denial since Sookie had disappeared from his arms.
He had been the first to awaken, Pam shortly after, and during that time while they waited to see if Alcide had survived the change he filled her in on what he had learned from their prisoners. He had left her then, to wait alone, while he went to procure a meal for them all. It hadn’t been too difficult, a few party girls at a casino, a little glamour, and it was like he had not spent the last month living another life, being another person.
He’d hated himself as he fed, as he tasted someone who wasn’t Sookie and he fought the urge to rip her apart for disappointing him for not being her. Now, the five party girls sat quietly in the corner, dressed in sparkly gowns, glamoured completely out of their minds while Alcide screamed upstairs and Pam tried once again to reason with her fairy lover, now vampire.
Eric was not without empathy, but he was without patience. He zoomed up the stairs and ended the pointless quarrel, “ENOUGH!” Silence fell, “Pam, leave us.” She wanted to argue but she was smart enough to realize that no matter how her heart was breaking there were things that needed to be done, and Eric had already shown a tremendous level of kindness and patience in letting her try for this long. Hanging her head she went downstairs to stand guard, hoping that Eric could get through to him.
Expecting a fight from his grandsire, Alcide bared his new fangs and crouched. Eric’s words cut him to the bone, causing more damage than any blow could have.
“You promised her.” Alcide jerked back. “That night when we met, you promised her that if she fell, you would fight on. Do you not remember giving her your word?”
Alcide snarled, “Of course I remember! I have known her a lot longer than you!”
“And that is what makes this so inexcusable.”
“I didn’t know that it would mean I would have to become this!”
“This? This is what allows you to keep your word to her. You looked at me that night and saw not this but the man inside, and you recognized that I am more than this. I am more than vampire, remember?”
“Yes,” Alcide dropped his head in shame remembering that night and his acknowledgement of the man and warrior that lived in the heart of Sookie’s chosen.
“Then look inside and find the same man you were, and the promises you made. She has fallen. We all need you now more than ever. Can you do this for her, if not for yourself?”
“I’M SO FUCKING HUNGRY!” Alcide screamed again, blood tears running down his face. “I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE!”
“We will help you deal with the hunger, if you let us. We will help you, and then you will remember your word and help us, and everything else can wait. Either there will be time later, or we will lose and this…none of this will matter. Do you understand?” Alcide nodded, trying to rise, trying to be the man he knew they all needed him to be.
“Pam,” Eric spoke in a normal voice, “bring two of the girls and care for your child.”
His hunger satiated for now, Alcide listened to Eric recount what had happened since he had arrived in Nevada. “Blood magic,” Alcide spoke when he was done. “That’s how Sookie followed Compton using Logan’s blood and I think that is how Niall took her. Fairies are all tied together by the blood in their veins. Family calls to family, blood to blood. I think Niall teleported her away through their connection in the blood.”
“The blood. It all comes back to that doesn’t it?” Eric asked no one in particular, his mind spinning a thousand miles an hour. “But if she were in Louisiana I would still feel her. I thought for a second I did, and then she was gone. Why can’t I feel her if he only called her to New Orleans?” Alcide shrugged.
“Perhaps he is blocking the tie. Perhaps he took her back to the Fae realm. Would you be able to feel her in another dimension?” Eric’s turn to shrug.
“There is no way to know.” Alcide chuckled grimly.
“Yeah, we’re breaking new ground all over place now, aren’t we?” he hesitated a moment. “What about me? What does it mean that I am now vampire?” Eric looked at him in askance.
“You tell me, Nevada. What can you do now besides drink blood?” Alcide rolled his eyes in disgust a moment and then closed them, concentrating. Slowly, he started to light up, like he had before and then he popped from one side of the living room to the other. For a moment his old familiar smile graced his face and Pam felt her undead heart lurch. He felt her joy in the bond they now shared, would share for all of eternity, and the smile faded immediately.
“I was Earth Fae before, I could tap the earth itself and channel it’s power.” Eric’s heart broke a little more as his words summoned the image of Sookie with the Were she had brought back. Pushing it back, he rose.
“Show me.” They all moved outside and watched as Alcide knelt to the ground and summoned his power, soon he was enveloped in a glow, that again called to mind the image of his beloved. Alcide approached him then and reached out to take his hand, the glow moving up Eric’s arm as well.
“You have had her blood.” It was a statement and Eric waited to see if Alcide could find her through the blood they share. Taking Eric’s other hand he pulled him into his the vision that he was seeing as he searched for Sookie. Around him Eric saw the strings of creation glowing again, moving past so quickly it was like he and Alcide were disembodied and flying through them. Sookie, his mind called out, the bond reaching for her as well.
Suddenly, the stopped a wall of green energy before them. “The border to the Fae realm,” he heard Alcide tell him, distantly, back in the place where their physical bodies still stood, clasping hands.
“Is she there?” Eric demanded. Alcide tried to move forward but was pushed back the wall.
“I can no longer cross,” Alcide’s voice was filled with pain at being denied entrance to his true home. Eric, feeling his own pain, pushed his disembodied spirit at the wall, ramming into it.
“Sookie!” he screamed, as he hit the wall over and over. He felt Alcide’s energy flow around him, attempting to calm and comfort, though his own pain was great.
“I am not surprised that vampire can’t cross to Fae.”
“But they can! I know they can! Sookie told me!” he felt Alcide’s shock at this information.
“Then perhaps it must be a physical crossing, or perhaps there is another magic at work here. I only know that she is not on this plain. I cannot tell if she there, and we cannot cross, at least not now.” Slowly, he returned Eric and himself to their physical bodies, both falling to their knees from the weight of re-entry. Pam was at their sides at once asking what happened, trying to help them both stand.
Rage filled Alcide to see her again, what she had done to him was unforgiveable. She made a choice for him that he would not have made, and then right on the heels of that came Eric’s words. You promised her. He felt the rage recede a little and rather than shove her away he accepted her hand. She smiled at him tentatively and he did not return it. She nodded, understanding that they were united in common purpose only and that she had lost him forever by choosing to turn him rather than let him die.
Eric, feeling the pain of his child’s heart break tried to get everyone back on track. “Show me your vampire gifts.” A moment later Alcide was on the other side of the yard, taking a deep breath of night air, and coming back at the same high speed to tell him what was happening within a mile of their location. Heightened senses and speed, in addition to the retention of his fairy gifts made him a formidable enemy and valuable ally. Eric clasped his arm in a sign of union and brotherhood and they returned inside the house to plan their next move.
After Alcide had fed from the third girl, they released them waving at them as they drove away, laughing and happy, glamoured to remember the best party they had ever been to, and forgetting how to get back to where it had taken place. They returned to the basement and surveyed their prisoners.
“I saved Compton for you, child,” Eric whispered to her. He and Alcide took Coleman and Hamilton upstairs to give her an opportunity to vent her pain and frustration in private. Seating the still bound fairies upstairs, Alcide removed Hamilton’s tape and iron nails. His wounds were severe, but once the iron was removed he was able to sit and listen as they told him of the Ciar and the Albho and the battle that had been going on around him for the past few years. Eric was barely listening as Alcide filled him in, lost in the realization that iron no longer affected Alcide at all. He was also largely unaffected by the free flowing Fae blood that filled the room, displaying on a few of the signs one would expect from a newborn around any blood at all. Eric glanced down at his own ring that still protected him.
Wonder how he will handle sunlight?
Eric did notice that Coleman was paying close attention to what Alcide had to say and slowly his anger turned to misery as he realized that he had been misled by Niall as to what was really going on. Eric moved toward him and removed the tape and nails from him as well, relieving his agony and giving him a chance to sit up and speak through his still wounded mouth.
“I int o,” he managed to get out, gaze on the floor. “Niall ai otect amily.” I didn’t know. Niall said I was protecting my family. Eric looked to Alcide.
“His wife Claudine is Niall’s granddaughter, Sookie’s cousin.”
“And they have three children,” Eric finished, making Coleman jerk his eyes from the floor back up to lock with his.
Just then from the basement Compton let out a blood curdling scream, and through the bond Eric and Alcide felt a rush of bloodlust that made them aroused and excited. They both wanted to be in that basement with her, bathing in Compton’s blood. Eric was old enough to hold himself back with minimal effort, but Alcide was a newborn and his drive was overwhelming. Eric nodded at him, releasing him to go the Pam’s side.
Alcide entered the basement just as Pam removed Compton’s head and threw it across the room, she was holding the chains that had been used to restrain him in her hands letting them burn her flesh, hoping the physical pain would relieve the emotional pain that traveled through her in unstoppable waves. She had lost everything. Everything! And then she sensed her everything standing behind her.
She turned, grasping the chain and pulling it through her other hand slowly, letting it burn away her skin. The pain added to her bloodlust and her arousal as she looked on her heart’s desire, two feet away and unreachable. He was shaking with need and for a moment she wondered if she had it in herself to do this for him, to ease his ache and keep her heart tucked away because this wasn’t about hearts, this was about bodies and what they need.
I can do this. It’s the least I can do for him, after everything I have done to him.
She went to him, and as soon as their lips crashed they were both lost in the moment. He flipped her around and jerked her clothes off, burying himself inside her, thrusting hard, punishing her and himself for not being able to control this feeling that brought them crashing together. His hands tangled in her hair pulling her neck aside, and he buried his face there while he continued to fuck her deep and hard.
“I loved you!” he sobbed in to her neck. She cried out in response to his words, tears flowing down her face at his reminder of what she had lost. She held the silver tighter in her hand as his words burned her more than silver ever could. “I trusted you!” he spat, pounding into her now, her body peaking around him, but he refused to surrender to his release. He wasn’t done with her yet. “You were my friend, and my mate,” he ground out through a locked jaw, speaking over her screaming out her orgasm and he thrust harder still. “Now I am a monster, and you…you are my sister, my mother, my maker! You were everything to me, and now, now you are nothing!” he screamed into her neck just seconds before he buried his fangs in her flesh, drinking her down as he reached his release, taking her with him again, despite the anger that filled his words and the pain that ripped at her heart.
He released her neck and held her a moment, remembering before pushing her away and stepped back. She turned to face him, her face and clothes ravaged, blood tears on her cheeks. “You’re still everything to me,” she whispered. He stood there a moment not moving or speaking and then he reached out and took the silver chains from her burning hands, holding them a moment, noticing that they did not burn him as they did her. Then he dropped them to the floor and turned around and walked slowly back upstairs.
It was a big house, but it wasn’t big enough to prevent everyone in it from hearing and knowing what had just happened. Eric had felt it with them and had to step into another room to fight the bloodlust and rage that was pounding through his system as they fucked loudly downstairs.
He wanted to kill everyone in that house, and everything outside of it in that moment. It was his nature to bring death and he longed to stop fighting what he had been fighting since she left him. The twisted humor of his whole life swept through him in that moment and he leaned against the kitchen counter laughing insanely. Appius had never broken him, never even came close, but the loss of one little fairy woman that he had known for a month had done what Appius had never been able to do.
It was never about hate, it was about love. It was about love, and what in the wake of losing that love you allowed yourself to become. I am using this for an excuse, and trying to numb my pain by doing the kinds of things that she would hate me for because I want to punish her. As if she chose to leave me.
In that moment of clarity he realized that if he didn’t get his shit together he was headed down the path of Appius, only he would put his maker to shame at the things he would and could do the wring his vengeance from this pitiful world and its occupants. She might no longer be here, but he could make them all bleed in payment for her loss. He could pile the horror and the terror so fucking high that someone would return her to him. Some deity would see the mountain of corpses and the river of blood that he would reap until she was ransomed back, and then, then he could punish her for letting herself be taken in the first place.
“Promise me, promise me that you will fight, Eric. That no matter what you won’t let them win! Promise me!”
“Damn you, woman,” he muttered, clenching his fists as he heard her last words to him. “Damn you for making me be a better man that I want to be right now!”
He sensed Alcide coming back upstairs, and stood, forcing all his crazy back down into the darkest corners of his mind. I will keep my word to you, and spend all my nights trying to get back to you, but you better keep your word to me, too, or there will be hell to pay, and I will be the ringleader. The Ciar hasn’t even dreamed of the kind of pain and darkness I will rain down on them if you don’t come back to me, he swore to himself and to her and to anyone who was listening.
Then he went back to business. Entering the living room where Hamilton and Coleman were seated he pulled up a chair close them and said, “I’ll make you a deal.”