The Big Bang- The Full Set
As they entered the house Eric took note that the same four Fire Fae guards were with Appius and Gavin that had come to Fae to claim Sookie. His mind immediately started racing to figure out how to make sure that if he was going to die here that he would leave Sookie every advantage possible to ensure her escape. There might be nothing he could do about Appius but he could even the odds by dealing with the Fae. He cut his eyes to Sookie and sent her concern in the bond. He could feel her pain from the iron, but it was not as much he expected. That meant that while they wanted to subdue her, the iron content in the shackles was low.
Gavin protecting his prize, he thought sourly. They moved up the stairs to the red room where he had first met Sookie when he arrived in Oklahoma.
“Oh, what do we have here?” Gavin, asked taking in Sookie’s pregnant form. “Has something happened that mars my perfect set?” He walked toward her boldly placing his hand on her protruding belly. “Who did this, Sookie?” She tried to step back and away from his touch, but one of his guards caught her and held her so that he could continue to touch and probe her. Eric was not able to stop the growl that built up in his chest at the sight of his hands on Sookie, but he didn’t move.
He wanted to, but so far Appius had only commanded that he put him down, and if he brought attention to that fact he might lose the one advantage he still had before could figure out how to use it. He could still defend Sookie, he could, if the right opportunity presented its self, still kill Gavin. Even if it meant his guards took him out. Despite his instincts telling him to move, he held on, and waited.
Gavin had looked at Eric as he growled and realization dawned on him. Eric would never have let another impregnate Sookie. Which meant, this was his offspring. He stepped back, a wondering look on his face for a moment as he suddenly burst into laughter, clapping once again. “Oh! This is perfect! I will indeed have the perfect set now! Marvelous!” He stepped back then and continued to look at Sookie in awe. “How? You must tell me how you managed to make this happen! Can you do it again? Could I have a litter of Vae offspring in my collection?”
“What are you going on about?” Appius asked from the corner of the room where he had been leaning since they entered.
“Oh, Appius! You’re going to be a Grandpa!” Gavin was laughing and clapping again. His mind was racing as to how he could use this situation to help reinforce the current unsteady structure of the Ciar. Since Niall had died and he had taken lead on their efforts he had been hearing reports of turn coats and traitors moving over to the Albho. The empathy for Sookie, and the Fae reaction to how she had shown compassion to all Fae after A Sky Full of Stars, even after The Council had backed her, had inadvertently tipped opinion in her favor.
The Fae community as a whole saw her now a leader, perhaps the kind that was strong enough to lead the Fae into a brighter future where mass extinction was not a requirement. Oh, but when they see what she has done, how she has betrayed everything that the Fae represent, life, and light for her vampire lover who only walks the night and that she is heavy with his offspring, they will burn her to the ground! This is exactly what I need to shift the tides and add a one of a kind Vae to my collection. I don’t even need Sookie and her pet vampire anymore. I will have their offspring to show the Fae world what will happen if they fall behind her! Oh, but to have the full set…the Fae that loved a night walker, and the night walker who fathered the first Vae…that really was almost too good to pass up.
Appius lost patience with Gavin and his half answers. He had been losing patience with Gavin a lot in the past few nights, but had held his tongue. When Gavin told him what Eric had been up to he had first been disbelieving, and then enraged. He had been oblivious as Eric had kept his end of the bond closed since he had left Louisiana. That had not been a surprise as Appius had seen that Eric had shut his progeny off as well. It didn’t matter, Oklahoma had promised him pain, and suffering. She had been very convincing.
“Eric, I command you, explain what Gavin is talking about.” Rather than fight and waste his precious strength that he might need later he complied with this maker’s command.
“Sookie is carrying my children.”
“CHILDREN?!” Gavin completely lost himself then. “This is too good to be true. A full set, the Fae, the Vampire and a pair of Vae!” He began pacing the room, lost in his thoughts of how to use this to his best advantage. Eric took advantage of his distraction to reach out to Sookie.
Love, if I can get the shackles off, will you be able to teleport immediately? She shook her head slightly, indicating that she would need some recovery time. Would you be able to access any of your powers immediately? She shrugged slightly, no way to know. She pushed her love to him in the bond and he felt warmed and held in her emotions. He sent the same back to her, looking deeply into her eyes from across the room. I love you, Sookie. No matter what happens next, I loved you from the moment I first saw you. I will love you forever!
Sookie did not speak, but she redoubled what she was sending in the bond so that he could feel her, even if he couldn’t hear her. Silent tears were slipping down her cheeks as her love battled with her rage at the idea of losing him. She cursed herself then for not taking Appius out before, but there had been so much happening since Eric arrived here. You will make mistakes, Sookie. We all do. Don’t dwell on what you did wrong. Figure out how to do it better. Niall had told her that long ago, and despite all that had happened, hearing his voice in her head now, and remembering the time when there had been nothing between them but love made her stand a little taller now, despite the iron and the guard holding her shoulders.
Eric saw her stand taller and felt his heart swell with pride. She flicked her eyes to Appius, who like Gavin, seemed lost in his own thoughts for the moment and sent curiosity through the bond. She wanted to know what he was here for, if Gavin wanted to collect them, where did Appius fit into that plan? Gavin might be fool enough to think he had the ancient monster that was Appius under control, but Sookie knew better.
It was Eric’s turn to shrug. In all this crazy that currently surrounded them, he was the wild card. He will want pain. My pain, for as long as he can get it. It is what he has always wanted. He felt Sookie’s rage again in their bond. He didn’t try to comfort her. First, it would he would have been a lie, and second he respected her too much to treat her as anything other than a comrade in arms.
He saw her then in his mind, the first night he had met her, here in this very room. “I have no illusions, Eric. I know what you are, and I know what that means. We are natural enemies, we are both opportunistic creatures, but we also understand honor, and passion, and the value of comrades in arms. ” Oh, what a ride it’s been, my love, he sent to her then, allowing a small smile to light up his face as he thought of all they had seen and done together in their brief time.
She saw his memories of their introduction and heard his words of praise and love and in that moment would have given anything to have him be able to hear hers. The woman who loved him above all things would fight to the death to protect him, but the comrade that he recognized her to be, the warrior of honor would kill Eric herself before she let Appius have a single drop of pain and suffering from the man she loved. That was a last resort though. Plan A was to kill Appius. She liked Plan A, a lot, and more with every second that passed.
“Appius it’s time to go. Tell your progeny-”
“No,” Appius spoke quietly from the corner, still not moving not even looking at Gavin.
“Appius, I don’t have time for this. You need to-”
“Eric, kill the guards.” The third head dropped to the floor before the word kill was past Appius’ lips. Appius moved just as quickly and had cuffed New York in a set of iron shackles, while also taking out the fourth guard. Not a single fireball had been launched.
All of this had happened too fast for Sookie to follow, but when it was over, she found herself standing in the midst of four headless bodies, two ancient vampires, a shackled fairy king, and her own shackles had been loosened. Eric looked at her and winked. He had given her the opportunity, now she had to find a way to slip them off and stall for time to recover.
“Appius!” Gavin screamed, not quite up to speed on what had just happened. “I demand that you let me go, right now. This was not part of our deal.”
“Deals change,” came Appius’ cold reply as he looked at Sookie, assessing her again, with new eyes. She stood tall under his probing gaze, refusing to look away.
“I demand that you let me go, this very instant!” Gavin yelled again, still not quite registering that he was no longer in a position to demand anything at all.
Appius looked at Sookie again, and then he was beside her, his hand on her belly. “Why have you done this?” he asked deceptively calm. She looked deeply into his dark eyes, thinking that she knew what she would see. This was not her first meeting with Appius. In their previous discussions his eyes had been dead and cold, now they were afire with something she couldn’t quite name. It seemed almost like…envy.
“I told you, Appius, they are in love!” Gavin screamed from the floor. Appius ignored him and continued to look at Sookie. In that moment she saw how very wrong she had been about the immortal before her. When they had met to discuss Eric coming to Oklahoma she had played to his hatred for his progeny and promised pain and suffering untold. When he had readily agreed she had been sure that she understood what motivated him was hatred and a strong streak of sadism, not to mention the desire for wealth. He had asked her for a billion dollars to have Eric come to her, and she had quibbled enough to make it seem like it hurt, but in truth had thought it a bargain.
Now as she looked into his eyes, she saw how very wrong she had been.
Appius loved Eric, probably just as much as she did, in his own twisted way. Two things happened in that moment, she split into trying to figure out how to answer his question that would not end her death, and she was reeling from this realization that what truly drove this creature to punish the man she loved was that he did not love his maker back with a similar passion.
He loved her with that passion.
To tell Appius that she was carrying Eric’s children because they loved each other would be a death sentence for them both. In that moment she pitied Appius more than she had ever pitied another creature on the face of this world. To show him that pity though would also be a mistake. Looking him in the eye, she matched her tone to his and gave the only answer she could that might buy them enough time to live and come up with a better plan.
“Explain,” he demanded, his hand tightening on her stomach. She refused to give in to her desire to cower and beg for the life of her unborn children.
“When I saw that The Fae King of Nevada was turned to vampire and retained both his fairy power and was granted vampire gifts as well I realized that I needed some of that power for myself. I didn’t want to be turned,” her voice filled with contempt as though the idea of being a vampire sickened her, “but if I could birth Vae, then they would be mine to command!” Appius looked into her eyes, weighing the truth of her words
“THEY ARE MINE!” Gavin screamed from behind Appius, breaking the staring contest between Appius and Sookie. “The vampire is mine! The Que-”
His words were cut off as Appius’ hand closed around his neck. He looked at the Fae in his hands, his head turning to the side, looking at him curiously. There was an audible click as his fangs descended.
“The vampire is MINE!” he told Gavin, as he sunk his fangs deeply into Gavin’s neck, drinking greedily until the Fae king disintegrated in his grasp, nothing left but a cloud of dust. He turned to Sookie then, his eyes fully dilated, his fangs still extended and bloody. “The vampire is MINE!” he said again, and vamped to her side. “He has been mine since the moment I saw him. He will be mine forever!”
Sookie, looking into the eyes of certain death, accepted it, and did they only thing she could do, she told the truth. “He will never love you,” she whispered quietly, looking him in the eyes to drive home the truth. Appius stood there a moment with the weight of her softly spoken words cutting through him like silver knives. After a moment he stepped back and stood to the side.
“Eric, I command you to kill her. Kill her now.”