Eric and I were in the secret alcove again. The one looking into the great hall, where I stood last night and saw Freyda bite Eric’s neck. Now Eric was silently setting up a huge sniper rifle in the middle of the cramped place. We were going to snipe Mab to pieces, hoping she was not shielding herself from physical attack in her overconfidence at having everyone under her mind control. Shooting her with the rifle loaded with iron bullets was going to take her down and hopefully free our people from her mind fog. With Mab down and Eric’s vampires and werewolves free of mind control, we had a fighting chance against Mab’s fairy army and a few enemy camp soldiers.
Considering we desperately needed an edge and were short on manpower, it was a passable plan.
“Where did you learn to fire this thing?” I murmured.
Eric kept tinkering and didn’t answer my question.
“I mean one would have to have training for such a weapon. I see twenty cogs and levers and have no fucking clue what they might do. I mean you can’t just read instructions on the back and fire a gun that size. Looks seriously complicated. Hey, do guns like that come with instructions on the back?”
Apparently my rambling was gathering steam of its own and didn’t need encouragement from Eric at all. Eric shook his head, probably in exasperation and viewed from the scope before bending down to make more adjustments.
“I mean… where is the packaging anyway? We should always save the packaging. We might need to return it if it doesn’t work. Gran always said-”
“You’re rambling sweetheart. Why are you rambling?” He whispered while looking through the scope again.
Being from the South, I knew sweetheart was lobbed around as casually and as frequently as sweet tea, but coming from Eric, it was special. Always hit me in the feels when he called me that. I fixated on the word and felt the knot in my stomach ease a little.
“I’m nervous. My head hurts. And it’s going to be a bloodbath.” I whispered back, twisting my fingers to keep my hands from shaking.
Eric turned to look at me and looked at me steadily. I am sure he was assessing the state of my feelings and cataloguing the invisible tells of my facial muscles or something of the sort. But I’d had too much drama for one day. My emotions were all over the place. Even I didn’t know what exactly I was feeling.
“Sookie Stackhouse.” He said under his breath, with emotion that shone in his eyes and hit me through the bond, “I know we are dirty, tired and up to our ears in it. We are fighting for our lives right now and may get seriously hurt. What’s new about that?”
“Ummm….Whats new is that, and it might be petty of me for feeling this way, but I just got married. To you. I wanted to have a proper wedding and not a hit and run, you know, with my groom half unconscious and covered in bloody burns and me not even in a dress. I wanted to celebrate it Eric. I wanted to not be running for my life for once. Why does it always have to be like this? Would we never catch a break?”
Eric took hold of my shoulder and bent to catch my eyes.
“Listen to me kara. Humans are a strange species. Above all, they want to fit in. If someone doesn’t fit their mold, they cut that person to force him or her to fit. If they can’t cut the outliers, they stuff them in a box and keep watch, just to make sure their tidy cookie cutter lives are not challenged or changed in any way. They don’t care what atrocities they commit. All most people want is to keep living in their boxes and for others to do the same. You and me, we are different. We don’t go looking for trouble. But, the world is such that to keep living as we want, we will always have to fight those who want to own us, control us or kill us. We have to keep fighting. Giving up on the fight means giving up on life.”
My stomach sank a little.
“Thats sorta depressing Eric.”
His thumb traced circles on my collarbone.
“You are my hope and my light. I fucking love you. You make me so strong little warrior. We will be ferocious in our fight. We will not be controlled, sidelined or imprisoned. Not everyone is our enemy. We will protect the people who fight with us. As long as we are together, we can take on anything.”
Before I could say anything else, his eyes snapped to my side, towards the opening of the alcove.
The plants obscuring the entrance of our hiding place rustled and in popped a head I hadn’t expected to see at all this evening.
“Oh there you are sis! Gramps said we’ll find you here.”
“Jason? What the…How did you-”
Jason pushed in and behind his shoulder I saw another head pop in.
“Niall?” Was all I could manage.
“Oh good. We are all here then. Doing alright Northman?” Niall smirked.
“Could be better. Glad you’re here old man.” Eric answered with a smirk of his own.
“Thats some gun!” Jason whistled, eyeballing Eric’s sniper rifle.
My brother nudged me aside and caressed the butt of the rifle. With both hands. Eric slapped his hands away and gave him an annoyed glare.
“Aww don’t be like that. She’s such a beauty.” Jason whined.
“And she is not yours.” answered Eric with a little cock of his eyebrow.
“I have one too, ya know.” Jason pointed to the bulging pocket of his cargo pants, “I’ll let you touch mine if you let me in on yours!”
These two clowns…
“Ewwe Jason! Don’t talk to Eric like that.” I whisper yelled.
“Pull your head out of the gutter sis. We’re talking about guns, not boy parts. Honestly Sook.” Jason turned to me and whispered back.
“Shhhh…We are trying to hide here!” Eric interjected.
“I am shielding us. No one will know we are here.” Niall piped in and then gave Jason and I the patented I-dare-you-to-keep-arguing parent look, “By all means, hash it out right now you two. It’s not like we are running for our lives.”
I suddenly felt like a recalcitrant child and shut right up. Jason did too but with a ridiculous pout.
“Stop pouting Jason. You’re a grown man.”
“You’re pouting too. I just wanted to see the gun.” Jason shot back.
“Oh for Fuck’s sake!” Eric rolled his eyes and took a step back, giving up on protecting the rifle’s virtue from my brother and letting Jason touch to his heart’s content.
He squeezed around Jason and came to stand in front of Niall and I.
“You bring any others?” he asked my grandfather.
“Some vampires from Bon Temps and Shreveport.” Niall reported, “I scattered them around to covertly take down as many enemy fae as they can. They will come help us in the Throne room, when Jason and I give them a signal.”
“Whats the signal?” I asked in case I had to give it in a pinch.
“Fairies yelling from getting torched.” Jason supplied seriously and turned to fondle the rifle again, “So you planning to shoot and kill everyone all undercover like from here?”
“There would be hardly any cover once we take the first shot. We need to make that first one count and kill off as many enemy soldiers as possible in the confusion. We have a lot of fairies to work through. There still are vampires and a few wolf guards from Freyda and Stan’s courts in there. Even if the vampires start attacking the fairies, they are quite the group.” Eric replied.
“I wander who should be taken out first, Mab, Hallow the witch or Freyda?” mused Niall, rubbing his chin.
“We took care of Freyda and her maker Stan, gramps. Out of the witch and the fairy, I vote for Mab.”
“I’d say shoot Hallow. I can take on Mab if Northman creates a distraction. Hallow and her magic are mostly unknown to us.” Niall suggested.
“You weren’t so sure about killing anyone when you dragged me away from here just yesterday.” I accused self righteously.
“Breaking Mab’s magic mind hold on my vampires would go a long way in securing New Orleans for us. Killing her first would give us our fighters back.” Eric put in his two bits. “And I fucking hate being mind controlled.”
“I second that.” I said.
“Of course you do.” Niall rolled his eyes.
“Kids kids!” Jason raised both hands above his head and clapped twice, “Focus. We have a battle to fight. We can’t be bickering over who to kill first. Everyone will have their due turn.”
Jason turned to Eric and addressed him, “By the way, do you know where’s Bill Compton?”
Eric punched his hand with a fist, “We saw him lurking around not too long ago.”
“He’s been lurking here? Is he helping you guys?”
“Helping?” Eric huffed, “No. Mr. Compton has been biding his time to make a play for power again. Or for Sookie.”
Jason scratched his head.
“I though he would side with us. He does live in Bon Temps. He was Sookie’s friend.”
“Not after Sookie chose to be with me. He is nobody’s friend now.” Eric said with a lisp and I noticed his fangs were showing.
“What happened to Jessica?” I asked.
“She came to fight with us.” Jason replied.
“I’ll keep an eye on Jess, make sure Compton doesn’t manipulate her.” Eric said, “Now, I am going to shoot Mab. While her magic dissipates, Niall, could you get hold of my children and bring them here to recover themselves before they start fighting?”
Niall nodded once in acceptance.
“What should I do?” Jason asked.
“Kill as many fairies as you can. See if you find Bill. Shoot him, slow him down. Don’t let him escape. I want to deal with him myself but I might be busy for a while.”
“I have a good gun and I know how to use it.” Jason stated, eyes serious, puffed up chest and all, “But what if I kill him by mistake?”
“I know about your gun prowess. I give you my word as a sovereign of these parts that I won’t hold Compton’s death against you, Jason.” Eric told him with equal seriousness.
“What would you have me do, oh great sovereign of these parts?” I asked, trying to break up the weird staring thing Eric and Jason had going on.
Eric turned his eyes on me and sighed.
“Stay alive. Please?”
I took hold of his hand and he squeezed mine in return.
“Alright.” I nodded.
“Do you have a weapon?” he asked me.
I raised my hands and waived them in front of his face.
“I have these. And the dagger.”
“Use whatever you have to kill, Sookie. Do not hesitate a second.”
“I won’t. I’ll be saving your ass before the night is out. Now Eric.” I nodded towards the rifle, “Take the shot.”
I summoned my lightening in my hands and Eric bent down to kiss my lips and turned to the gun before I could squeek. Then he viewed from the scope and pulled the trigger.
I couldn’t see the bullet’s progress. Obviously. But the next instant, I saw Mab’s head explode. Bits of her landed on Hallow and her elite soldiers, who’d been standing close enough. Niall disappeared into thin air. Eric sighted again and pulled the trigger. The bullet bounced off Hallow and killed a fae soldier at her side instead. Hallow looked wildly around and started chanting. Niall appeared in the alcove clutching Pam, dropped her at our feet and disappeared again.
“Go. Go…” Eric whisper yelled, dropped the gun and bit his wrist for Pam to drink from.
Jason and I ran into the ballroom, guns and hands blazing. I rammed the lightening orb into the first fae that tried attacking me. He went down, but another came out of nowhere. This one grabbed my hands to stop me from frying him too. I kicked his balls and pulled my arms free. Then I pulled out my dagger and plunged it in his neck. I looked around me but Jason was nowhere near.
It felt like everyone was running towards me, trying to get a good hit or grab me from five different directions. A huge werewolf shoveled me back two steps, where we rammed into a vampire I hadn’t seen before. He pulled at my hair to tilt my neck toward his ready fangs. I stabbed the were in his neck and twisted like mad to loosen the vampire’s hold on my hair. But he wouldn’t let go. Another vampire zipped to my front, his mouth went to my chest and all three of us stumbled. Before I could scream, his head blew off to bits and he disintegrated into goo. Toppling on me and the vamp at my back. I went down in the goo and tasted the horrible sludge in my mouth. Ugghhh blech.
Quick as I could, I slithered off the vamp behind me and got to my feet. He clutched my leg and I gave him a good shot of lightening. The vamp went right back down, turning into a crisp. Must’ve been young then. I looked up and took in the huge ballroom around me. In movies, in a fight involving a lot of people, fighters pair off conveniently into one on ones or maybe a few threesomes. In our very real fight to the end, enemy and friend soldiers weren’t so equally numbered, nor were they marked conveniently to pair off against each other. It was chaos at a level I hadn’t seen before.
Groups of vampires were attacking fairies and weaving away dazedly after they finished drinking from them. The fairies were trying to stop the vampires, banding together and holding each other’s backs. Werewolves were running amok within the melee, wrecking destruction where they could.
I tried getting a hang of what was happening. Looked like Eric’s vampires were coming back to their senses and banding together to make up for their fugue. Eric’s brain had taken a couple minutes to clear off and that too when I’d been there with him, force feeding him my blood. I hoped these vamps got up to serious fighting soon because we didn’t have any time. I silently thanked the lord that the fae lightening fingers ran in just my family and not all fae in general, or we’d be decimated. Already, the fae soldiers were regrouping, one huge shiny fellow taking the lead after Mab’s head blew to pieces. The new leader barked something I couldn’t catch.
Suddenly a pink tornado rushed by my side and ended in a torn up fae. Ah, Pam was back. I didn’t get a chance to yell a greeting because a vamp, maybe from Freyda or Stan’s court, jumped me and I got distracted.
Then the scales tipped. The vamps got drunker and drunker after they were through with the fairies and became ripe victims for attack. I saw fairies starting to let vampires drink from them and kill them in the act, Freyda’s and Eric’s vamps alike. It was every supe race for its own. The werewolves were fairing a little better but they had their hands full with the sheer numbers of fae soldiers attacking us from all directions. Just how many of the fuckers did Mab bring from the other world?
We were losing.
My thoughts went to Eric’s words before we’d started fighting, about people not liking others that were different. If we lost this fight, I had no doubt they would kill Eric while Jason and I would be taken as prisoners by the victors. It could be the fae who would lock us up in their world and use us any way they wanted to. It could be Freyda’s vampires who would lock us up and use us for my blood. The werewolves were pawns but if they caught us, they would sell me to the highest bidders. None of the outcomes would let me live as I wanted to, with the vamp I loved. I couldn’t let that happen.
I heard Jason’s yell and started running towards him. Hallow had him frozen from the neck down and two fae soldiers were wrapping chains around him. Right. So the fae would be the ones who got the prisoners. I raised my hands and threw an energy ball right at the witch. The ball went in her chest. Hallow shook and her hold on Jason went away. Jason head butted one soldier and kicked the other one in the balls as he unwrapped his hands enough to pull out his gun. Hallow looked my way, her face twisted in hate and started chanting again. A bullet entered her head from the side. The witch’s eyes went round in surprise as her body gave way. I hit the recovering soldiers with sent bolts of lightening and Jason shot them through their heads when they got distracted.
“Stay with me Sook. We make a good team.” Jason grinned as someone thwacked his head with a chair. Jason turned and punched the werewolf straight in the face. The wolf went down and Jason shot him for good measure.
I ran and took his back, hands crackling again.
“How much juice you got left?” Jason asked while shooting.
“I don’t know. I should’ve been spent by now, but the lightening keeps coming and coming stronger than I’ve ever seen. I think it’s because of my completed bond with Eric. I feel like Hercules, like I could move mountains right now. It’s awesome.”
We were jumped by a group of three werewolves and it became intense for a couple minutes till two of the wolfs were torn apart by a speeding vamp and Jason shot the third one. Our rescuer stood in front of us, covered head to toe in blood and gore.
I shot him right off his feet. Bill got back up.
“Sookehh. I saved you. I will always save you when no one else does. I was the first vampire you belonged to and you will always be mine. Where is Eric now huh? He’s left you in danger, to fight on your own. Where is the bastard? I’ll kill him for putting you in danger again!”
“We are in the middle of fighting a battle. Could you maybe not lay your claim on me for about two seconds while we are busy?” I yelled.
“But you are mine. For ever.” Bill whined.
I turned to Jason and pointed a finger at Bill.
“Is he for real?”
“Yeah sis. He is. Do the honors. He is all yours. I have your back.” Jason replied and turned to shoot someone at our back.
I looked at Bill, feeling angry beyond measure.
“Run before I kill you.” I growled. I’d had enough of this vampire. He had the gall of trying to lay his claim while not helping us, when we needed every pair of hands we could get.
Bill zoomed closer, grabbed my hand and started pulling. “No. You are coming with me.” he growled back.
If I hadn’t bonded with Eric right before the fight, he would have taken me away while everyone was busy fighting. But I’d had Eric’s blood. Our bond sat in my heart, warm and strong. It made me strong too. I yanked my arm to dislodge Bill’s hold and Bill stared at me, shocked.
“I…I…We need to t…take you to safety…somewhere…” He stammered and grabbed my arms.
“I don’t need you to take me anywhere. Let go!” I told him while trying to get my arms free of him.
“Where is Eric? Why is he not protecting you? He is not fit to be your protector. Where is he huh?”
Suddenly Bill was lifted a foot in the air. He lost hold of my arms and yanked at his throat. Eric shifted his hold to stare the dangling Bill in his eyes, fangs out, eyes full of fire.
“I would have loved to take my time with you Bill Compton. But I am pissed, short on time and getting rid of you right now sounds fucking great. This is the last time you lay an unwanted hand on Sookie. You know the punishment of touching your queen like that.”
“Queen?” sputtered Bill.
“Queen.” Eric nodded and twisted Bill’s head clean off his body.
I stared at the remains, shocked at how suddenly Bill met true death.
Eric looked at me. A fairy attacked him from the back and met the same fate as Bill.
“You got anything to say about that?” he asked me, a mad kind of light dancing in his eyes.
“Good riddance I say” Pam said from the other side and I saw her flanking me. I saw Willa and Tara at Jason and my sides. Violet entered the circle around us and winked at Jason. My brother winked back. They were all here to protect me and each other. They were all here, together, like a real family. I wowed that I would fight even to death, protecting them back. We were all in this together now. There was nothing to be afraid of.
I ran up to Eric and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.
“I love you Eric Northman.” I told him, pouring all of me in the words at my lips.
“And I love you Sookie Stackhouse.” He smiled, blue green eyes shining bright with love and lust and adrenaline and something more. Mad. My honey was mad. For me. And I was so mad for him.
“Love ya too grandmomma!” Tara called out and all of us laughed in the midst of fighting for our lives.
We gave as good as we got. For all the build up and tensions, after Mab was shot, we crushed our enemies in less time than I would have thought it would take. Although each second of that time felt both unnaturally stretched and fleetingly fast.
Toward the end, Niall captured many fae soldiers in twos and threes and threw them between dimensions, from where they couldn’t escape. We killed the rest. Eric and his vampires and wolves killed the vampires and wolves that had been attacking us in their bid to avenge the deaths of Stan and Freyda. Hallow turned out to be the only witch in attendance. Her body was taken away to be burned. We lost a lot of people and I could feel the loss coming through Eric in waves of pain. Willa had bloody tears on her face, no doubt because of her sire’s leaking feelings. Or maybe she’d lost friends? I resolved to ask her about it later.
I saw Jessica bent over a pool of blood, quietly sobbing. Must’ve been Bill’s remains then.
Jason and Violet had disappeared off to somewhere, no doubt to prove to each other that they were as alive as they could be. Good for them.
Pam and Willa were identifying bodies, the wolf bodies by face and the vampires from whatever solid they left behind in their remains, wallets, jewelry or weapons. Pam made notes on her phone as they finished each set of remains and then they moved on to the next, while two werewolves led by Tara cleaned up after. Niall was going though the ashes left behind the fae. I shuddered.
I was still hopped up on Eric’s blood. Instead of feeling tired, I was feeling frisky. Eric caught my eyes from across the hall where he was talking to a couple of his vamps, no doubt issuing instructions. He gave me a wicked smile. I got the feeling that he was hopped up on the bond too. The other vamps made themselves scarce as Eric sauntered to where I was standing, dirty and sweaty and surrounded by death.
“Hello wife.” He purred and put his big hands on my waist.
“Hello husband.” I stood on tiptoes and kissed his chin, eyeing pieces of unidentified vamps and ash on his shirt. “You’re filthy.”
“Mmm. You too. Let’s get filthier.” he smirked, picked me up and sped us to the hidden alcove again. Eric swept the mounted sniper rifle aside and pinned me to the back wall.
“What are you doing?” I asked, breathless and tingling.
“This.” Eric said and ripped my atrociously dirty pants clean off my legs.
He cupped me over my panties and kissed me. His lips angled over mine and he tasted my mouth like a starving man. The kiss was everything I had been missing the whole cursed day. I circled my arms around his shoulders and let him know how much I needed him, through my mouth, through the bond and through my limbs wrapped around him. His fingers went inside my panties. He gently parted my folds and ran his fingers up and down, dipping a little. I got hot and slick from just that.
“Eric please.” I whispered in his ear and nipped the sensitive skin there.
His fingers felt so good. His hand was practically vibrating. Amen for vamp speed.
“Tell me what you need.” He murmured as he placed open mouthed kisses at my throat while stroking me into a frenzy.
I looked into his eyes. He looked feral. My crazy viking, fresh from winning a battle. He wanted to claim me and wanted me to scream. And he wanted me to demand it from him.
“Take me husband. Fill me up.” I rocked hard against his fingers, “Fuck me raw, right here against this wall.”
Eric fumbled with his pants as he kissed me again.
“I love you.” He surged into me, mind and body, and I came violently, chanting his name like a prayer.
“Hold on tight kara.” He groaned and pressed me harder against the wall as he began thrusting hard “I’m just getting started.”