Chapter 19: In the Middle of Nowhere

The small restroom was not very well lit. The fluorescent bulb was buzzing and flickered a bit. However the light was enough for Sookie to notice the small green and blue patterns flickering on her forehead. She looked up at the light bulb but there was no colored screen to reflect on her face. She bent right up to the point when her nose touched the mirror and the markings were still flickering on her forehead.

Oh dear God! Now what?

The mirror was not very clean, rusting at the corners with a layer of soap drops on the entire bottom portion. She saw her trembling hands and looked back up into her image. For a moment, she just stood there, staring onto her forehead in her reflection, fascinated and scared of the changing patterns of the markings.  She took some tissues and started to furiously rub her forehead to get rid of whatever it was. The markings kept flickering, changing patterns and moving in an eerie way. Without breaking sight of herself, Sookie took some more tissue, wet it at the basin and cleaned the mirror with it. She took another wad of tissues and wiped in circular movements, keeping a firm pressure to make the mirror as clean as possible. The bar on the other side of the door was hurling a truckload of emotions, voices, monologues and conversations at her, but she concentrated on the task she was doing. As she diverted herself and tried to force her hands to stop shaking, the markings started to lighten up.

Is calm helping?

She fixed her unblinking gaze on her forehead and willed herself to empty up her mind, tighten her shields and take deep breaths. The markings faded further.

Shit! Am I possessed or something? It has something to do with my state of mind. It’s fading now…But I have never seen them before and I have been in some really shitty places…What are they? And what the hell was that vision? Was it real? Was Eric real? Was that woman really with him? Did he take her to that other room at the back?

Her eyes watered up at that thought and the shifting tattoos started to darken again. She looked at her image and sternly told herself some hard truths.

No don’t think about Eric. Don’t think about that woman. Why does it disturb you so much? You have no right over him and given that he has already saved you more than once, you already owe him.

Her insides squirmed again…But that woman…with Eric!

Her mirror image silently demanded… So what? He can take whoever he pleases to wherever he wants…

Her heart dropped to her stomach and she cringed at thinking what he might be doing to that blonde. The mirror image seemed to soften her eyes and look at her pleadingly.

It is just fascination and infatuation. He is so beautiful and out of the world.

Yeah that he is…Both her and the image agreed heartily on that!

It will go away. We have other crap to deal with right now.

She reached up and touched her forehead gingerly and nodded at herself.

The marks were now fading away. The only traces left were on her temples, with some lines receding inside her hairline.

Yes she had other things to deal with.

~~

When Eric smelled the fairy walking inside his bar, his first instinct was the vampire’s instinct within him. The instinct was to fly to her, hold her down, rip her apart and drain her, taste her in every way possible. His ears told him of the collective snap of fangs all around him. But there was something else. The fairy walked up slowly and seductively to him and his hyper sensitive senses told him that this was not the full blast of her scent he was getting. The slight silver aura surrounding her told Eric that she was a pure full blooded fae. But her scent was muted. Why was her scent muted? Why could he still think about all of this if she was indeed a full fae, walking towards him like that. He should have lost his mind by then. Even his thousand years of practice on restraint couldn’t prepare him to keep his wits around him when a fae decided to come within the range of his senses. He knew fae were dangerous. More than bodily harm, they could wipe off a vampire’s sense of preservation with their scent alone and that had been the undoing of many hapless vampires before Eric. He pinned his piercing eyes on the advancing fairy, very focused on remaining in control and on guard for any sudden moves on her part.

She came to him, introduced herself and demanded a private word.

Claudine…hmm…did she say Crane? Is she related to Brigant and can block her scent? I would very much like a private word. Maybe she could throw some light on the shit happening around. Maybe the fairies were involved all along.

Eric gracefully rose from his throne and started towards his office. His office would be safer. He needed to take this fairy away from the other vampires of the bar. Her scent might be somehow muted, but the others would still be gob smacked with it and they might not be able to control themselves. She could be related to Brigant and her getting drained may get him into more trouble. Not that he cared for the fate of the fairy, but he still needed to question her and understand why she was here of all the places. Later perhaps he could get a treat? How could he pass up on that opportunity?

Something tugged at the back of his mind. He reached the door of his office and ushered Claudine in. She reached inside and almost instantaneously he was hit with the powerful scent of a full fairy, in all its drowning, mesmerizing, hypnotic strength. He almost tore down the door knob he was still holding.

Fuck! I can’t fight this!

Just as he was about to lay down his defenses, unable to resist the bewitching scent pulling him towards the fairy, another Earth shattering force cut down the haze surrounding him and blasted the invisible strings of control the fairy was holding over him a second ago.

‘Eric Stop’

Two words!

He had a moment of pure bliss as he recognized the voice that said the two words, wash over him. Then he saw her.

Sookie.

In the middle of Fangtasia.

Surrounded by worthless vermin.

His one point of bright light in the endless darkness surrounding him.

Three fucking weeks agonizing over getting her out of my thick head and getting her as far as possible from the clusterfuck coming this way and there she stands again! She came here again! She is here!

Before Eric could drink in his fill of her sight, she disappeared from his sight and just like that their moment ended. He scanned the floor in a split second and took a sniff for her scent. Nothing but fairy scent came assaulted him, but curiously he was holding fort even through that.

She is not here!? I can’t sense her! WHAT the fuck?

Eric was well aware of the eyes and ears on him that Sophie Anne had employed to pile more proof against him. They were all around him and he couldn’t get rid of them just for the logic of not letting Sophie Anne know that he was aware of being followed everywhere. He had to pretend to not know. He had to pretend to go about his duties as usual and look for Andre with all his resources. Most of all he couldn’t show interest in Sookie Stackouse. He couldn’t lead the queen’s agents straight to her by going anywhere near her, especially when the queen was interested in Sookie as well. It was turning out to be a demented cat and mouse between them now. Staying away and still protecting the telepath with all his cunning. That and finding clues on Andre, which were nowhere to be found. All the while going through one ancient text after another, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of Sookie and the light. He knew he needed to follow the light trail. He didn’t know how but he felt it within his very skin his need to follow it. It was hiding something from him and Eric wasn’t one to give up on a chase like that. In between keeping Sophie Anne’s sniffers away from the trail of Sookie Stackhouse and following it clandestinely himself, he was getting obsessed with the idea of this more than human girl prancing around in his mind, just out of his reach, teasing him to come catch her. He had but to hold out his hand and touch her.

Just like she flitted in and out of his out of control mind, she came to his bar and disappeared out of sight again.

Not again! She is not leaving a fucking trail of questions behind her again!

Eric left a very surprised and very annoyed fairy in his office and practically tore out of the bar in pursuit of the one woman he wanted to pillage and wanted to avoid in huge, equal, distracting quantities.

~~

Someone knocked. “Hey! You plannin’ on coming out tonight or what?”

“Give me another moment!”

Sookie glanced again at her forehead, panicking again at the receding, flitting marks. She couldn’t hide out in the restroom any longer. She quickly removed the hair tie holding her hair in place and spread out her hair in front of her eyes and face, to cover the marks and doing it as much as she could without looking like a banshee.

Banshee with angel wings! Yeah right! Happy Halloween indeed!

She ducked her head and opened the door to the restroom to slip out without showing her face to whoever was yelling outside. She also knew she couldn’t do her remaining shift with Tetris flashing on her head. She ran to Sam’s office to grab her bag and went up to hearing distance from Sam. She called out to him from afar and said that she was not feeling well and going home. He started to walk towards her, but she quickly backed away, afraid that he would see something was totally wrong about her face and beat a hasty retreat through the back door, saying another apology as she ran towards the backdoor.

She knew she couldn’t go to her home.

Gran wouldn’t miss this freak show and I need to sort this out first. Who can help me?

She quickly rattled down her list of friends, family, acquaintances in her mind, ticking each one off the imaginary list, finding they would be even more grossed/ freaked/ wierded out than Gran would. Everyone except…

Oh for the love of God! I can’t go there after that freaky vision! What if it was true? What if he was with her?

Don’t think about it! Focus Stackhouse!

Am I hallucinating? Should I go see some shrink? Oh my God what do I do…

Why am I talking to myself like this?

Sookie was absolutely freaking out by the time she started her car and turned away from the parking, with no idea where she was going. She was driving, completely lost in her mind. The evening rush, the bizarre hallucination, seeing Eric, the moving signs on her head, everything became one big chunk of dead weight on her mind and heart and she couldn’t see anything else.

So lost was she in her little bubble that she did not notice when her car crept towards the wrong side of the road and she was suddenly blinded by a car coming straight towards her.

She gasped and jerked the steering wheel away from the road. Her car shuddered and skidded across the loose gravel, screeching towards the woods edging the road. She hit the break with all her strength, but her car had a life of its own and it went straight into the trees, bumping and jouncing her till she was screaming, coming to a stop right at the bank of a swamp, the front wheels already getting sucked in the muddy water, before coming to a complete stop.

There was a moment of silence. Sookie took a mental inventory of her body, one by one concentrating on her limbs, senses, head, back. She looked down herself and thanked mankind for seatbelts. Finding herself in working condition, she turned her attention to the car and the spot she was in. She leaned a little and felt the front of the car go down a bit. The tires made a squishing and gurgling sound and she saw the hood go further down in front of her.

She froze. “Uh o’. Not good.”

She realized moving would get her straight inside the swamp and her car really hung on a fine balance. She tried reaching towards her phone in her purse sitting on the back seat, but her slight movements took the car down further inches.

Crap would this night ever end!

It was late into the night. Except from that one strategic vehicle on that turn, that had thrown her off the road, she could not hear anything else around. There were just miles of happily chirping swamp insects all around her. While driving aimlessly trying to find a solution to her problems and trying to clear her head, she had driven to some obscure and eerily empty stretch of the road, with no signs around for reference.

Shit where the hell was I going? And where the hell am I?

Looking around and not recognizing anything around in the surrounding area, Sookie started to get really worried about what to do next. It felt very inconsequential and very stupid but she couldn’t help a small plea from leaving her lips.

“Help”

Only the insects answered with meep meeps.

She knew no one would answer of course. The human settlements were far off! Her night was getting more unreal and freakish by the minute, something straight out of some comedy of errors movie.

Half buried in a swamp in the middle of nowhere with no one to help and a phone I can’t reach to at the back.

Now would be the time for her swooping vampire fantasies to come true. She couldn’t control her small snorting smirk at that thought.

However, keeping up with the outlandish night she was having, the chuckle she heard next, from somewhere above, merely made her roll her eyes in sheer relief and sheer disbelief.

“Do you spend your lovely days planning these rescue missions for me, Sookie? What are the fucking odds here?”

Yeah enter swooping, freaking infuriating, gorgeous vampire to the rescue of perennially troubled blonde Cinderella again! Bit me now!

She sighed and her body sagged on the seat, as a sweeping feeling of safety coursed through her.

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4 thoughts on “Chapter 19: In the Middle of Nowhere

  1. Ah the markings again. At least she’s figuring out the tie from her emotions to the marks. aww for jealous Sookie.

    Well at least Eric was distracted from messing with Claudine. Ack for her distracted driving. Yey Eric for finding her

    Like

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