The Big Bang- In A Strangers House
You don’t walk into a stranger’s house and tell them how to do things. There is a complicit allowance when you willingly cross their threshold that you accept their ways, do things the way that they do. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes you learn something.
Sometimes, if you hang in long enough they even ask you to teach them something.
The hot water sluicing her body did nothing to calm her churning thoughts. She had just bonded to Eric. Number two on her bucket list. She wanted to be back in his bed, and back in his arms. She wanted to spend the whole night there and the rest of her nights as well, but that was not what was going to happen tonight. No matter how much she wanted it.
I am so tired.
She slumped against the wall, letting the water fall over her, letting it all go for just a moment as she remembered his beautiful face as they made love. His eyes shuttered as he felt her with his body and with his soul. The taste of him on her tongue, the feel of him inside her veins. Pythia and Morgana had no idea who the man was they had talked about for so long.
There was no way they could know how magnificent he was, and he wasn’t even trying. He just was that way.
Strong. Brave. Fierce. Handsome. Funny! She laughed then, softly. Oh, makes me feel so fucking alive! I thought I knew what that meant before Eric, and now I know that I know nothing.
I know nothing.
I know one thing.
I know that no matter what happens, no matter what comes. This time with him will see me through to the end…whatever that end might be.
Forcing herself to stand, she resumed bathing, a grim and determined look on her face. She would do what she had to do to save him, to save them all.
He could feel her, like she was still there beside him. She was tired, and determined. It was her determination that caused him the most concern. Did she not know that she was no longer alone in this thing? That he was right here, and stronger than ever thanks to her stubbornness.
Would she let him in?
Would she let him help her as a bonded was supposed to do?
He wouldn’t find out until the time came.
He wanted to join her, but sensed that she needed this time to prepare for what was to come. Whatever that meant, he would be ready.
They met Flood in her office when he arrived. She had not spoken since leaving the shower, but she allowed him to hold her a moment before she headed downstairs, allowed him to place a soft kiss on her forehead. She was wrapped in her own thoughts now. Her emotions held tightly down, giving no clue to what was coming. He could sense that she wanted him with her, needed him there. Just there, beside her.
There is nowhere else I would rather be, he sent her, hoping she was listening.
“Colonel,” she rose to greet him as he entered. John stood in the hallway, having shown Flood in. She nodded to her guard, dismissing him without a word. Eric listened to be sure that he had really left before looking at her and nodding.
“Majesty,” Flood said in way of greeting and then looking toward Eric, asking if he could speak freely. She nodded.
“We have found the location of the Ciar headquarters and have had it under surveillance for several days now.”
“Show me.” He pulled out some photos and passed them to her. Eric moved to her side. She flipped through them. “New York, Texas, California,” she named the faces as she flipped through them. “Niall,” she muttered through clenched teeth. She hesitated a moment, and Eric felt her anger and pain as clearly as if it were his own. He opened himself trying to take it from her, and thankfully she let him help her shoulder that burden. He was relieved at this first sign that she recognized his place with her now. She moved on, and stopped on a picture of man that she didn’t recognize.
“Compton,” he ground out beside her. “Vampire.” She flicked a gaze at him, questioning what she had heard. His grim look told her that she had heard correctly. She flipped to the next and he hissed beside her. “Lorena, his maker.” Flood looked anxious.
“Are you telling me that they have vampires on their side? How can that be? Don’t they understand what will happen if the Ciar win?” Sookie shook her head and dropped the photos on the desk.
“Niall is an excellent strategist. He would have told them what they wanted to hear, bribed them with Fae blood and used them as assets. Vampire can be excellent allies.” She glanced at hers then and he felt her genuine warmth and affection for him. “But they don’t have what we have. None can compare to my bonded.” He heard Flood inhale, seeking evidence of the tie that she had just revealed. She had not masked her scent after her shower and he could smell his blood in her. He had no doubt that the Were could as well.
“As none to mine,” Eric said to her, his eyes smoldering with passion and pride. He felt her send that back to him and he moved closer to her almost touching but not quite. “Those were likely that vampires we sensed last night,” she said, echoing his own thoughts.
Flood cleared his throat drawing their attention back to him. “Bonded?” he questioned. He had not expected that. She spoke often of the races uniting, but this? When she looked at him, he saw in her eyes that they were at the place where the rubber met the road. She had been speaking the truth, and she bore the evidence of that in her veins.
“Is it my honor,” she said, and when she looked at the ancient warrior at her side, she saw the same in his eyes. The strength rolling off them made the Colonel’s knees weak. They were regal, beautiful and monstrous in their union. He dropped to one knee and bowed before them.
“No. The honor is mine,” he told them.
When Flood left she stood there a moment looking at the place where he had knelt for them moments before. It begins tonight, she thought, and moved to Eric to stand before him. Reaching up to touch his face, she searched his eyes a moment and smiled at him.
“This is going to be hard for you. What you will see tonight must happen and you must stand at my side and not interfere even though it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. Do you understand?”
“What is happening?” he asked pulling her to him, seeking to give and receive comfort in that moment.
“Tonight, we walk into a strangers house, and we do things their way.” She stepped back and he saw her dress and heels disappear. In their place now were tight close fitting black clothing. Strapped to her back were two swords that flashed dangerously in the light of her office. Before his eyes, the Queen became the Warrior . When she spoke then her voice echoed in his ears and in his mind.
“You are my lover, my protector, my friend and my bonded. I would have no other. Tonight we fight for allies in this war, to prepare for the battles yet to come. You must remember no matter what you see, or what you feel, you must not interfere. If I am to lead them, they must find me worthy to do so.
“In a strangers house, you do things their way.” He nodded and she took his hand, leading him to door of their house where they took to the sky, still holding hands.
In the night as they flew he looked at her, and was struck by this side of his chameleon girl that he not seen before. She was Death Incarnate, the Morrighan personified. He had never wanted her as much as he did in that moment. Blood lust was pounding in his veins at the thought of what she was about to do and he felt her take that from him as he had taken her pain earlier. She drank it in, and he saw her eyes light up from the inside.
She smiled at him then and he nearly fell from the air to be captured in her wild gaze. She was pulling his soul out of him, along with his blood lust and desire to rip and tear, she drank them and him and he knew now what she meant when she said she needed him. These things were in her already, but he gave them substance. He gave them power.
When they landed in the clearing where the pack was gathered, he wanted to fall to his knees before her as Flood had done earlier.
She looked at him one last time her eyes afire, before she turned to face the pack. Her voice ringing out into the dark and through the trees.
“I am the doorway through which all beings cross into themselves. Send forth your champion that he may meet himself this night!”
The Were respected physical prowess, and would fight to the death to name their leaders. She had planned to walk into their home and do things their way, the only way she could to win them. His insides rebelled, and he felt himself tear in half. He was her protector, her bonded! He should fight! And then right behind that, he knew rationally that it could only be her, the leader of the Albho. If their support was to be won to her cause then she had to do things their way, and it had to be her.
Oh, how well she knows me, the thought.
You must remember no matter what you see, or what you feel, you must not interfere. If I am to lead them, they must find me worthy to do so.
He clenched his fists, and forced himself to stand still. He would not shame her here on this battlefield. He would do as she asked. His resolve was tested a moment later when in answer to her call a large wolf came forward stripping off his shirt as he moved. He was as tall as Eric, well-muscled and his eyes were already glowing in anticipation of what was to come. Holding his transformation back, not really believing he would need to shift to defeat the tiny creature before him.
Eric’s eyes flicked to the circle of Were gathered around the fire noting that Flood had joined them, and with him were several Were soldiers in uniform. The surveillance team, he thought before looking back to his bonded. With a grace that made his dead heart roll over, she bowed to her opponent and simultaneously withdrew her fairy swords. The Wolf took that moment of her head being down in the bow to charge her, but ran through air as she side stepped his maneuver, swords flashing in the firelight.
Her fangs were down, and her ears were pointing through her hair as she danced with her opponent so quick and nimble that they might have been back at the gala of the previous evening. He was frozen to the spot hypnotized by the amazing woman that he was bonded to. He reached out to her then through their connection, and found perfect calm and peace inside her. Her whole being was focused on this moment. He retreated quietly and watched, falling in love with every move she made.
The Were came back again reaching for her with his long arms, trying again to tackle her and gain the advantage over her wicked blades with his brute strength. He got one hand on her and she flipped hilt of the sword in her hand, wrapping her fist around it before landing a punch on his jaw that took him off his feet and back a foot to land on his ass.
I needed your strength.
Yes, she had needed him tonight, and he was proud to have been there for her. Proud to be hers as she ran at the Were who was on the ground and brought her leg up to round house kick him under the chin. It was a blow that would have snapped the neck of a human. The Were roared in pain and came up his transformation beginning now that rage had taken control of his rational mind.
“I will gnaw the marrow from your bones, bitch!” he called to her, his words barely intelligible at that end as his transformation completed. He was on her in an instant, going for her throat, seeking to tear at her flesh with his sharp claws. Her blades flashed again as she turned away and back into his body skewering him on his own momentum. His high pitched cry pierced the night air as his graceful leap ended in him crashing to the ground with a palpable thud.
A moment later the pack around the fire let out a chilling howl in unison.
Sookie jerked her sword from the corpse of the wolf and turned to face them, fangs flashing like her blades, fire in her eyes, her whole body now taking on that same glow. He watched her rise from the ground and stop, hovering there before them as her voice rang out again.
“Your champion has fallen. What say you?”
As one the pack fell to their knees before her, heads low to the ground.
The entire battle had taken less than three minutes.