Niall found nothing. The whole area was absolutely clean of magic. Neave was right. This thing did not reveal itself to fae. There were only a handful of forces in the universe that could do this. Those forces did not belong to this realm, among the humans. He searched and searched but only found a great sense of foreboding. Something was not right here. Vampires do not disappear like that. Light flashes like that do not happen without great strength. And they always leave huge marks. All signs did not just vanish in thin air like that. He was worried now. It was too much of a coincidence for Sookie Stackhouse to be in danger both the times when this force had manifested itself and this time he had been right there and still hadn’t been able to catch the source.
The girl was not the source. I would have seen it if she were. She does not smell like a human and she most certainly is not part fae. She has this verve though. There is a sure trace of this unnatural force within her. I need to get that girl watched night and day. She will lead us to the truth. But want if it took too long? Maybe putting her in danger is the key. I need to know everything before doing it though. I need an insider here.
Niall carefully considered who could do this job, just as he felt a vampire approaching from the direction of the bar.
His work there was done and he popped out of the realm, right when Eric entered the little clearing and saw the fairy disappear into the night, in front of his eyes.
Dang! Fucking fairies!
Eric quickly scanned the rest of the area, all the while writhing inside to return to Sookie and make sure she was alright. But he needed to find out as much as possible to ensure she was indeed safe. Plus there was the big gaping question of a missing Andre. He found Andre’s scent in traces at a particular trail, coming from the direction of Sookie’s house. Hmmm not good. But there was no other trace of Andre going back and Andre for sure wasn’t fast enough for Eric to not see where he went.
A small part of his dead heart was humming with a myriad of emotions; Caution, disappointment, alarm, anger, frustration, exhaustion…Quite the bouquet my intriguing little Sookie! After another sweep he turned back to check on her.
Sookie stood up from the floor and watched Bill warily. He started to walk towards her but she quickly took a step back and her hands went out in front of her in involuntary defense.
Bill grew alarmed at her response. “Sookie sweetheart let me explain…”
Anger faired inside her and she lashed out “Explain? EXPLAIN? Now you want to explain?”
“Sookie, Andre is my superior and is far older and stronger than I am. I could not have fought him.”
What?!? All the ‘Sookie is mine’ and ‘You are under my protection’ drivel and what not, and now he tells me he cannot fight for me? Wait a minute…He didn’t even try! If Eric hadn’t come … She took another step back and her eyes hardened.
“Well tough luck Bill. Now, please leave me alone.” Please go Bill. I don’t want to look at you. I am dirty and bloody and drained and my legs can’t carry me through another minute of this crap you are pulling at me. I have been used and violated and all the while my boyfriend stood and watched the freak show. I am so through this nonsense right now.
“But, I love you Sookie. You can’t be away from me!” This time Bill strode to just outside the door and looked hurt and sorrowful.
Oh for God sake he is looking as if he was raped, not me! Well fang raped…But he doesn’t get to look all hurt and stuff! And he sure as hell doesn’t get to pull the overused ‘I Love you’ card. Why didn’t Eric rip off his pleading eyes or something! “Bill, are you listening to me? Didn’t you just see what happened outside? Just go! Right now, I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I just want to go home and curl up and cry and sleep.”
“Let me take you home.” Bill looked at her hopefully.
“Oh no, Bill Compton. I drove to work and I am perfectly capable of taking myself back.”
“But you are hurting and incapable of driving safely right now.”
“Really Bill? Care to guess why I am hurting? Well perhaps I’ll fall dead while driving! But even then, I sure as hell will be a lot safer without you and your baby sitting. I am going inside now, to talk to Sam and get my stuff to leave. I do not want to see you when I come back. Have I made myself clear?”
Bill saw the stubborn set of her jaw and shoulders and her serious eyes. It was clear that she was in no state to have a conversation at that point. Maybe he could drop by later to check if her anger had passed and she would talk. He gave her a slight pained nod and went away. Sookie leaned a bit to have a look outside and listened around her. Hmmm Bill was gone. Thank God!
She was in no state to work and going to talk to Sam with bloody clothes would mean another interrogation which she could not stand. She quickly snuck to Sam’s office, got her purse and jacket that were stowed in a locker and made her way towards her car. She just needed to be home. There was still a trace of adrenaline from her struggle with Andre, coursing through her body, which was not letting her to just collapse right there and cry her heart out. No! I can’t do this here. I need to get home. Ok first things first. She took out her phone and called Sam.
“Sam I am sorry, I am not feeling well and am going home.”
Sam went into alarm. “Hey Sook! What happened? You were looking uncomfortable earlier, uh, with Bill. Is he taking you home?”
No, no more questions please. “No Sam he left earlier. I am going on my own. I really don’t feel well and need to rest. Can you please manage today without me? I can make up tomorrow.”
“Please take care of yourself Sook. I told you not to come today. Just please rest ok? We’ll manage here. Don’t worry cher…”
“Thanks Sam…You are the best…”
Hovering in the neighboring trees, Eric saw her leaving the parking lot and grimaced at her car. That car belonged to the scrap yard like a year ago.
I need to do something about it. She is not safe driving that death trap.
Against all his centuries worth of accumulated sense, he followed her while she drove towards her home, remaining in the air and out of sight. He tried turning back, fighting his self every step of the way, telling himself that she was safe now and there was no other vampire in the vicinity. He did not need to follow her home like a guard dog. With every step of this lost battle, he grew more determined to fight the pull this fascinating girl had over him. She reached her home and Eric felt an annoying stab within him at the journey being over too soon.
No! I cannot reach out. I am a mess right now. I need to figure this out. Somewhere where her scent is not drowning me… Bloody Hell! What am I going to do!
With one last look at her lovely face, he tore himself from her scent which was growing on him and sped towards his home before he could do something foolish like reach out and touch her.
Gran was away, on one of her sewing circle evenings, and Sookie felt grateful for not having to face her in her current state. She just wanted to hide herself from all prying eyes and all questions. The realization of what had happened to her out there was getting all real to her now. Before this, when she was in the lot, then in the car, her complete focus was on dealing with the now and saving the pain for later. Well now, later was here already. She made herself walk towards the bathroom, methodically strip away her soiled clothes and shoes and untie her hair. She started the shower and waited for the water to warm up. Then she stepped in the water, gave herself away to her secret retreat and let go of all control.
She cried and furiously pulled her hair out. In her frenzy to clean herself, she broke her nails and even bruised herself. To feel such helplessness! Helplessness against that no count, god forsaken vampire out of nowhere who physically brought her to her knees and she couldn’t do anything to save herself.
Ah, pure agony!
The one person she turned to was a sorrier vampire than the first one. Oh I am so over Bill Compton!
She howled out in anger, frustration and hatred; anger at her fate for having thrown Bill Compton her way, frustration at herself for being naïve and a helpless damsel in distress and a consuming hate for Bill. She cried till her eyes were red and swollen and no more tears would come. She knew Eric had saved her, healed her shoulder but the betrayal of Bill made her head throb in pain and fury, her whole body was covered in bruises and she was one step away from breaking down completely.
Stop it! Stop this nonsense. I won’t lose myself for Bill. He came into my life posing like a dream and I trusted him like a stupid ignorant country bumpkin. Look what that trust got me. I was almost killed tonight. God, did I actually spend so much time with that creep? Thank the Lord Almighty I didn’t let him do what he wanted to do.
A lone tear escaped from her eyes as Sookie steeled herself.
“I will never be helpless again. Never! I will find a way to protect my family and myself. If there is any such way under the sun, I swear to God I’ll find it. And then I’ll show these crazy ass vampires what a human can do!”
She closed her eyes and took a steady breath. Every pore of her body vibrated with life as she made her promise again and again, to herself, to gran, to Jason, to God. Something happened to her that night which she didn’t see. Slight, disjointed patterns glimmered blue and green on her forehead, shoulders and arms for a second and then went away, almost as if washed away with the water.
The water turned cold.
With utmost self-assurance, she turned the faucet shut, dried herself, dressed in fresh clothes and went to the kitchen to get something to eat.
She learnt her lesson today. One she would never forget.