“Oh, fuck!” a voice said from behind Sookie. I looked up at the man speaking—no the fairy, given his scent.
“Sookie!” he cried out with concern.
“Who the fuck are you?” I asked.
“Claude, Sookie’s cousin. I took over the role of watching over her when my sister died.”
“You’re not doing a very good job of it,” I gritted out, even as I held my bonded wife closer and marshaled my remaining magic to keep from burning us up.
“You’re the one who killed Russell—the one Sookie likes,” he remarked before looking at the sun behind me. “Wait. You should be burning.”
“Sookie insisted I take some of her blood, and I insisted I take enough so that she couldn’t feel it when we did burn. If you are, indeed, her fairy godfather, then get her the fuck out of here!” I yelled out. “Now!”
He looked down at our chains. “Some are iron. I cannot break those with magic.”
“Fuck!” I yelled, even as I felt my back beginning to scald.
“You are burning,” Claude observed. “Take more blood.”
“No. If I do, I might kill her,” I said.
“Fuck,” Claude said nervously. “Then take some of mine.” He thrust his wrist toward my mouth, careful not to get too close to the iron chains.
I didn’t have think about it. Another second, and I would have been burning Sookie. Instead, a few seconds later, I was feeling downright chipper.
Claude pulled his wrist away—a good thing. For him.
I wasn’t about to stop.
“Gods, you’re tasty,” I slurred, “but nothing compared to my bonded.”
“Bonded!” Claude yelled, inhaling deeply. “Fuck! It was bad enough when it was once made. Now she positively reeks of you.”
I chuckled—actually more like giggled.
“She loves me. She wanted the bond—wanted me. She is my wife!”
“There goes the fucking neighborhood,” Claude muttered with a little whine. “Oh well—best to make the best of it! Now,” he contemplated, “how to get you out of here?”
“The silver chains,” I said in a moment of relative lucidity. Or, perhaps, the “booze” was making me more creative. “Can you break those?”
“Why? So that you can eat me?” he asked.
I rolled my eyes. “If the silver is gone, I can break through the iron, fairy boy.”
“Oh. Good idea.” He called a ball of light to his hands and then paused. “You won’t eat me—will you?”
“My wife likes you?”
He nodded in affirmation. “Yes.”
“And you are helping to save our lives?”
He nodded again. “Yes.”
“Then I’ll resist you,” I assured.
“You can do that?”
“I guess we’ll find out,” I slurred.
He took a deep breath and nodded—before sending his light to break the silver chains. I felt them dropping, their weight pulling the iron chains downward. Sookie’s body teetered back a little, but didn’t fall.
Luckily, Bill hadn’t twisted the chains together, likely seeing no need for such a thing.
“The binds on my hands,” I said.
Claude nodded and quickly used magic to break those as well.
Thanks to Claude’s blood, I was already healing from the silver burns when I broke the chains around my bonded. I caught her body and laid her gently onto the rooftop before turning her over and snapping her wrist restraints in two. In the next instant, I was biting into my own wrist and bringing it to Sookie’s mouth.
When Claude moved to stop me, I growled menacingly.
“Alrighty then,” he said, backing away. “I was just going to suggest we get out of the sun, but—then again—my blood is more potent than Sookie’s for protection.”
After taking some of my blood, Sookie stirred in my arms, though her beautiful brown eyes took a moment to open. They focused on me as she took another gulp of my blood. I growled again.
“Wife!” I said as I removed my wrist and kissed her. She laced her fingers in my hair as she returned my kiss just as feverishly.
When she finally pulled back, she gasped. “Why does heaven look like the roof of the warehouse?”
Claude cleared his throat.
“And why is Claude in heaven?” she asked, still obviously trying to “catch up.”
“Hi, Cuz. I saved you.”
“Your vampire helped,” he added with an eye roll. I guessed that those ran in the family.
“How did you get here?” she asked.
“I am—as your vampire called me earlier—your fairy godfather now. I took over from Claudine, who was sort of a disaster at it—if I’m being honest. Anyway, I followed your light here, but I’m afraid that I’m not allowed to teleport to you until your situation is dire,” he said apologetically. “I felt you weaken and then strengthen several times before I was able to come to you.”
“Fuckin’ fairy rules,” Sookie puffed out, even as she sat up. She looked at me with concern. “You okay?”
“Your fairy godfather gave me some of his blood, but I have sworn to try not to drain him,” I said, crossing my heart.
“You’re drunk?” she asked, her lips twisting up into a smirk.
“A little,” I winked.
“Come,” Claude said, “I can teleport us out of here.”
“Eric too?” Sookie asked.
“Yes—since he’s of your blood now,” Claude replied. “But it will probably hurt him a little. Vampires are not meant to travel that way.”
“Wait!” Sookie yelled out.
“I do not mind a little pain,” I assured my bonded. In fact, I wasn’t minding much at all in that moment.
“No—it’s not that,” Sookie said. “We can’t leave?”
“What?” Claude and I asked at the same time. Suddenly I felt quite sober.
Sookie looked at me with pleading eyes. “There are approximately thirty humans inside,” she said before closing her eyes. “They are naked and scared ’cause they have been brought here to be food! Plus, we still need to kill Billith, and he, she—it—is probably sleeping right now.”
“What if he’s not?” I asked her.
“Well, Claude will help,” she said.
“What’s a Billith?” her fairy cousin asked.
“He is a vampire God,” I said looking at him pointedly. “And I’m positive he’d love to drain you dry.”
Sookie rolled her eyes. “I’m sure he’s sleeping! I can’t feel his head.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well—you know that vampires are like voids to me, and when Bill became Billith, his void got bigger; I can still feel it, but it’s smaller now. When y’all are asleep, I can still feel the void, but it’s not the same.”
I contemplated as Claude spoke up. “Well—whatever we are going to do, we should do it now. I doubt if my blood will protect you from the direct sun for that much longer since you took only a little. And—honestly—I’ve no desire to give you more.”
“He’s mine!” Sookie growled.
Claude chuckled. “Ah—nesting. Fae women do this after choosing a life-mate.” He looked at me with a little pity in his eyes, and—when he spoke again—it was just to me. “Good luck. Of course, being immortal will help you survive her.”
“What are you talking about?” Sookie asked.
“Later,” Claude winked at her. “Now—are we to free humans and kill a vampire god or not?”
I sighed. “One condition,” I said, looking down at my bonded.
“Condition?” she asked angrily.
“Compromise,” I returned.
“What?” she asked, hands on hips.
I couldn’t help myself as I captured her lips. “You are fucking magnificent—you know that?” I asked when I let her loose.
She swayed a little at the fervor of my kiss. “Back at ya,” she sighed. “Now—what’s your compromise.”
I chuckled. “If Billith’s void wakes up, Claude teleports you away—right away,” I said firmly.
“You too,” she said just as firmly.
“Absolutely,” I grinned.
“Here,” Claude said, watching me closely as he handed Sookie his shirt.
She quickly put it on, giving him a grateful smile.
“Thanks,” she smiled.
“Yeah—thanks,” I growled. “Now she smells even better!”
My wife laughed at me and then slapped my shoulder with her hand. Her light transferred into me too.
I staggered backwards a little.
“Oh!” Sookie said, horrified. “Sorry!”
“Don’t be. I feel more,” I paused, “centered than before.”
Claude laughed. “Yep—definitely nesting.”
“You’re gonna have to tell me what that means sooner or later,” she said to him.
“Later,” he chuckled.
In so many ways, it was all too easy to escape the plan Billith had initiated to kill us. The door to the roof had been locked, but a little blast of light from Claude was enough to open it. Alarms still blared in the building, warning that Level 2 lockdown was in effect, but I sensed no vampires in the area.
Of course, it was daytime.
As for me? Claude’s blood was keeping me awake without a struggle. He’d smartly picked up some of the silver chain to keep me from attacking and had given some of it to Sookie as well, and we made our way carefully down the hall—with Sookie “listening” for brains.
“I hear Weres—outside,” she said in a whisper.
“They guard the building during the day,” I returned. “But they are not allowed inside. The Chancellors weren’t really big on trust.”
Sookie nodded in understanding.
“Are there any other vampires left?” Claude asked, looking around pensively.
“I am not sure,” I said. “Billith said something about a competition, and I’m guessing that he or she was referring to a fight among the Chancellors for the honor of being Lilith’s vessel,” I said sarcastically.
“There are quite a few—other than Billith—but they are all asleep,” Sookie informed. “Hey, what will happen to your government now?”
“The same as always happens during a revolution. There will be,” I paused, “new blood.”
Sookie shook her head but then closed her eyes. “We’re comin’ up on a room with some vamps.”
“Awake?” I asked to confirm.
Claude blew open the door with his magic.
“Storm troopers,” I observed.
“Storm troopers?” Sookie asked.
“Authority guards,” I explained.
“Should we kill them?” Claude asked.
“They’re defenseless!” Sookie hissed.
“They will follow whomever is in charge,” I commented. “And that means that they are currently Billith’s minions.”
Sookie glared at me. “And that’s why we’ll get rid of Billith! There’s no need to kill these!”
I sighed and nodded, leaning in to give her a kiss on the forehead.
“Claude is right. You’re going to be trouble, wife.”
She grinned up at me. “I’m already trouble. And right back at you, hubby.”
Claude cleared his throat. “Shall we continue? Or do you two have more banter planned?”
I enjoyed it immensely when Sookie glared at him.
She pointed down the hall. “The humans are that way.”
“We should take care of Billith first,” I cautioned. “The humans won’t be able to get out of here with the Were guards in place.”
“Then how will we get them out?” Sookie asked.
“The storm troopers won’t dare to feed from them, and—with no Chancellors here—the humans are safe for the moment,” I said. “Don’t worry. I have a plan—if we get that far.”
Sookie rolled her eyes but then nodded.
“There’s a vampire this way,” she whispered.
“Billith?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, but we’re getting closer to him.”
As we were walking down the corridor, I looked at Claude. “Can you do what she does?” I asked, gesturing toward my bonded’s head.
“I can read minds that have fairy blood, but I can touch no thoughts from those of this world, and—though I can smell vampires—I cannot hear the void she speaks of.”
“Shhh,” Sookie ordered us as she led us to the main meeting room. “Yuck!” she cringed as she took in the carcasses of the vampires Nora and I had killed the night before.
Meanwhile, I noticed that Nigel had died for the day in one of the corners of the large room. I walked over to him, followed by Sookie and Claude.
“Who is he?” Sookie asked.
“A vampire who has eaten more children than I could likely count,” I said as I looked down at him. “He is unrepentant and unchanging,” I added. “The Authority had detained him; however, with the new regime, he was let loose.”
“And he’s back to his old ways?” Sookie asked.
I nodded. “Yes—now he’s begun draining children in the name of religion. The world would be better without him,” I added honestly.
“What would you do if you were his sheriff?” Sookie asked curiously.
“Feeding from children is forbidden for a variety of reasons,” I stated. “Not only do humans tend to make a much bigger deal out of things if a child dies or disappears, but also kids are easier to drain and turn. If Nigel were my subject, I would have first tried to reform him—as the Authority obviously tried. However, when that didn’t work, I would have put him down.”
Sookie looked up at me—seemingly ready to argue. But then she stopped. “A kid killer?” she asked.
I nodded. “Unredeemable.”
She turned around and began walking toward the closed door of the temple.
“Do it!” she called.
And I did. I snapped Nigel’s head from his shoulders, and then zipped away so I wouldn’t get his muck on my body. I didn’t want “Nigel” on me—after all.
“Good compromise,” she said.
“Huh?” I asked inelegantly.
“The storm troopers—we left alive. The child eater—we killed,” she said.
I smiled. “Yeah. Good compromise.”
We got to the temple doors.
“Billith is in there,” she announced. “And he’s still sleepin’.”
“I’m not surprised he’s in there. That’s where Lilith’s blood had been housed,” I sighed.
Claude approached the door and hit it with his light. It didn’t open.
“Well fuck!” Claude and Sookie said together.
A/N: The “second” Claude grew on me, but it always seemed like the character was holding back some of his “funny.” I thought that I would play with that little sparkle in his eye that I saw.
Many of you guessed that I would save Eric and Sookie using a fairy, but very few of you guessed Claude. Niall will be coming, but not quite yet.
As for Nigel, his character was just “dropped” as his fate wasn’t really known on the show. I felt the need to get rid of him.
I hope that you continue to like this story!
Catch you next week,