Chapter 27: Filling in the Gaps
Eric closed his eyes and fought against the tear that was threatening to fall. Appius had been prepared to kill Sookie, and he wanted to shed no tears for that bastard. But—in the end—he couldn’t help it. One tear fell. But that would be the last he would shed for Appius Northman.
When Eric opened his eyes again, everyone in the room was looking at him with concern.
“Can you tell me what happened?” he asked, his voice raw from pain and emotion.
Bobby was the one who answered. “Once you said the signal words, Agent Batanya led an assault into the room.” He took a deep breath. “You were already down when we got in there, covering Sookie and Johan.”
Eric heard a little sob from Sookie and reached out for her. She was back in the bed next to him in the next instant, her head against his shoulder and their child cuddled close to them both. Dr. Ludwig gave Eric a little smile and then backed away from the family to give them some room.
“Go on,” Eric said, once his wife and child were settled against his body. Truth be told, he’d needed the contact with them as much as they had wanted to be close to him.
Bobby sighed. “The ballistic report indicates that Appius shot you four times.”
Dr. Cooper picked things up from there. “One bullet from your father’s gun lodged into your occipital lobe. Luckily, that bullet went through the baby’s crib first, or the impact would have been greater. After the swelling went down, I was able to remove it, but we had to keep you into a medically induced coma for a while waiting for that to happen. And then we had to keep you in one as you recovered from the surgery.”
Eric nodded, squeezing Sookie a little tighter. He could only imagine how difficult that had been for her.
Thomas went on. “Another bullet hit you in the spleen, and we had to remove that organ when it ruptured. Another bullet barely nicked your femoral artery, but we patched that one up during your second surgery. You also took a bullet to the neck, but, luckily it didn’t hit your spinal cord.”
“You said I was hit five times,” Eric croaked.
Sookie let out another little sob.
Bobby picked up the story. “The fifth bullet hit you in the chest, grazing your aorta. A half an inch lower and you wouldn’t be here,” he said grimly. “Luckily, Compton missed his mark.”
“Compton?” Eric asked incredulously.
“Yeah,” Bobby sighed. “It seems that he tried to take advantage of the situation by getting rid of the competition.”
“Where is he?” Eric bit out.
Sookie tightened her hold on him and trembled a little. Meanwhile, Johan fisted his little hand into Eric’s hospital gown—as if holding onto his father for dear life.
“Appius was firing like a madman, first at you, and then at all of us as we went into the room,” Bobby reported. “He hit two agents, though luckily he aimed at their chests, so their bulletproof vests protected them. However, both of them went down; it was in getting them out of harm’s way that Maxwell Lee and I got hit. Agent Batanya and Blake both put bullets into Appius, and Compton claimed that he had too—though further investigation proved that the bullet from his gun wedged into Appius’s vest.
“No one knew until much later that Compton had shot you. For about a week, he acted like the hero of the situation,” Bobby scoffed, “until it was found that the slug pulled from your chest was from a different gun than the one Appius used. In fact, the ballistics report indicated that that bullet didn’t come from any of the guns that had been reportedly fired. Agent Batanya immediately speculated that Compton had used two weapons that day—one to try to establish himself as a hero to Sookie and the second to try to take you out. That second gun was untraceable, but—clearly—Compton had figured that Agent Batanya would just assume that the shots at Eric had all come from Appius’s gun. God knows he fired more than five shorts in your direction,” Bobby said, his voice becoming gritty with emotion.
Henry carried on for his friend. “Recognizing that Agent Batanya was a helluva lot more thorough than he’d given her credit for being—and probably sensing that she was onto him—Compton took off before Batanya could prove anything. We think he hooked up with Lorena along the way.” He paused. “Agent Batanya is hunting for them both.”
Eric nodded. “What else can you tell me?”
“Nothing right now,” Dr. Cooper said firmly, though he was looking down at Eric compassionately. “I think you’ve had enough for now. There will be plenty of time to know the rest later, but right now, you need to rest.”
Sookie looked up at him Eric. “Please—do what he says. Okay?” she whispered.
Eric nodded. “They stay,” he croaked out as he looked at his wife and child.
Dr. Cooper chuckled. “They haven’t left in a month. I know better than to try to make them go now.”
Eric smiled wearily and kissed the blond head of his wife. He let himself relax as he felt her body curling against him. He raised his hand to his child’s back and rested it there, enjoying the feeling of having his family safe and whole.
He vowed to keep them that way, even if he had to hunt down and kill Bill Compton himself.
Bill cried out as his orgasm washed over him. He pumped into Lorena again and again until he was spent, trying—as always—to picture Sookie as he did so. Lorena was none the wiser, but she was needed—at least for the moment.
“Fuck that was good,” came Lorena’s voice, ruining the moment for him.
Bill pulled out of her. “I’ll be in the shower,” he said, getting up from the bed, even though he was still panting from exertion.
Lorena spoke sarcastically. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you were anxious to get away from me,” she smirked.
He looked down at the sprawled-out brunette. He was.
“Of course not,” he lied. “It’s hot as hell here, and you know how I am.”
“Yes,” she practically purred. “I do know.” She winked. “Just don’t use up all the cold water.”
He managed to smile back at her as he turned and went into the bathroom.
“I’ll go for food while you’re in there,” Lorena yelled after him. “Any requests?”
Bill turned back. “No—just not that thing with the fish again.”
Lorena nodded and grabbed her dress from the floor.
Bill went into the bathroom and turned the water on. He didn’t even bother to turn the hot water on at all. Not only would it—at best—produce only lukewarm water, but also he hadn’t been lying when he’d said that it was fucking hot!
He stepped under the water and sighed.
“Fucking Alice Springs,” he muttered.
He and Lorena had been on the run for more than two weeks, ever since it had become clear that Agent Batanya suspected that he’d been the one to fire the bullet into Eric’s chest. He and Lorena had found themselves in Alice Springs, Australia—literally in the middle of fucking nowhere. And it was as hot as hell; however, Lorena had a contact in Alice Springs, and they needed to lay low for a while. They also needed new identities—again. And that took time.
At first, things had gone very well after the incident at the hospital—except for the fact that Eric Northman had been proclaimed the fucking hero! Bill sighed. He had to give it to the man. He had—by all accounts—saved Sookie’s life and the child’s life, though Bill was a little regretful about the latter.
Still, Bill would have been willing to take on the kid for Sookie’s sake. However, Northman just wouldn’t die—not even with five bullet wounds!
Bill shook his head. For about a minute, Sookie and the brat’s hospital room had been chaotic—a war zone. Agent Batanya had been the first one to go in; by the time she began engaging Appius, there had already been quite a few gun shots—the ones Appius had fired at Eric.
Appius Northman had proven himself to be almost as resilient as his son, however—not surprising given the fact that it was later found out that he was wearing a bulletproof vest supplied by Franklin Mott.
At first, Agent Batanya had fired a round at Appius’s chest and another into his lower gut, but the deranged man had kept firing. And Blake Walsh had added another bullet to his throat. Others had shot at Appius too. By the time he went down, however, Appius had put four bullets into Eric, one into Bobby Burnham, one into Maxwell Lee, and one into Blake Walsh. And he’d shot two agents in their vests. One of the bullets that Appius had sent into Eric had gone through his neck and nicked Sookie’s head. Thankfully, she hadn’t been hurt too bad.
Appius had also shot a bullet that had gone through Bill’s upper arm. Though the wound had been little more than superficial, it had sent him reeling backwards and then down, but had also given Bill the perfect opportunity to trade out his weapons unnoticed. He’d already shot Eric by then, but with his FBI-provided service weapon, he was able to get to his feet and shoot at Appius.
Bill glanced down at his quickly-healing wound. He’d apply a new bandage after his shower, but it was now little more than a scar. He smiled. Regardless of its not being serious, his wound had provided him with the ideal opportunity to appear as a hero to Sookie. It had been like a little Purple Heart for him. And—best of all—it had appeared as if he’d continued fighting even after he’d received the wound! Indeed, Sookie had been grateful to everyone who had helped to take down Appius; however, Bill was certain that the hug he’d gotten from her was longer than those she’d given to others.
In the end, Appius’s autopsy showed that he had four bullets in him. Bill had been able to claim one of them, though—sadly—it hadn’t been a kill shot.
Even sadder, however, was that he’d not killed Eric Northman. The bullet Bill had sent into Eric’s chest edged through his aorta. But it hadn’t been enough.
Bill sighed. Any other agent in charge would have just assumed that all of Eric’s wounds had been made by Appius. But Kate Batanya had proven to be anything but an average agent. No—she’d had to become a nuisance by insisting that the mangled bullet from Eric’s chest get tested, despite that fact that it was the same fucking caliber as the bullets from Appius’s weapon! And then she had to start analyzing every fucking inch of that hospital room, even though the obvious culprit—Appius Northman—was already dead.
As soon as Bill overheard the phrase “the angle of entry doesn’t make sense,” from one of the investigators Batanya had working on the case, he knew that his days as a free man were likely over, so he’d prepared to run.
“Bitch,” Bill uttered under his breath. Because of Batanya, all of his fucking plans had been ruined! But he was determined to make her pay—even if it took him a while to find the fucking opportunity.
He shook his head.
Luckily, Lorena had still had some reliable contacts at the Bureau, mostly men she’d fucked or had blackmail material on, and it had been one of them who had tipped her off that Bill was about to be arrested for the attempted murder of Eric Northman. When she’d contacted him, he was already packing. But she was able to offer him something he didn’t have—a fake identity that would help him get out of the United States.
But she’d had a condition: she insisted that she leave with him. She told Bill that she was done at the Bureau and probably about to be arrested herself—given her shady involvement with Appius Northman. Moreover, she’d been worried that it would be discovered that she’d been accepting bribes for years.
For self-preservation, Bill had hooked up with his old flame, pretending to be contrite and grateful to her. But he was only biding his time—waiting for the opportunity to right wrongs, to remake things as they should have been all along.
He grabbed the soap and began to wash his body, wishing that it was Sookie who was washing him. He closed his eyes and took his cock into his hand. Fucking Lorena had been pleasant, but it hadn’t been what he’d wanted. He imagined Sookie under him, noiselessly taking him in as she’d done when they were together.
She’d been so pure and innocent, holding back in seeking her own enjoyment in order to make sure that Bill had his. Lorena had never done that—would never do that.
No—Sookie was the only woman he’d ever had who welcomed his attentions without degrading herself with loud moans and wanton behavior. And she had been easily guided too. The few times she’d shown an interest in oral sex, it had been for Bill’s enjoyment only. And he had been able to school her to reform her behavior—to help her to understand that giving blow jobs just wasn’t something befitting a lady. Yes—she’d been so compliant to his wishes.
So easily pliable.
So grateful for all that he would give her.
Just like his father had taught him a woman should be.
Lorena had fucked everything up.
Bill moved his hand faster up and down his cock as he remembered Sookie’s very tight warmth and her meek, gentle eyes.
She’d been perfect.
Bill grunted as his release sputtered onto the wall of the shower. He opened his eyes and smiled.
“You’ll have her again,” he whispered to himself with confidence.
Oh—he knew that he’d likely have to break Sookie of the more annoying habits that she’d obviously developed because of Northman. However, he was certain that she could be guided.
All Bill had to do was wait for the right opportunity.
He’d simply finish the job with Northman—making sure that his involvement couldn’t be proven.
Then, he’d remove Agent Batanya from the equation.
Truth be told, the bullet to Eric’s chest was from an untraceable weapon that Bill had already disposed of in the Hudson River. It wouldn’t be found. And—without Batanya leading the witch-hunt against him—it would be easy for Bill to convince Sookie that he was innocent.
Indeed—after Eric was dead—Sookie would be distraught and extremely pliable.
Yes. Bill would just have to be patient and plan carefully. He smiled smugly as he finished his shower. Unbeknownst to Lorena, he already had an ally who was chomping at the bit to help him secure Sookie again.
A/N: This chapter was difficult to write. I feel like I need a shower after writing about Bill’s shower—yuck! Thanks so much for all the comments about the last chapter. Most of you thought that Appius got off easy. Sigh. I know, but that’s how he went in my head—in a blaze of gunfire. I just knew that if he was alive—even if he was in jail—he’d continue trying to hurt Eric/Sookie/Johan. A few of you wanted him left incapacitated in a way—a la Michael Corleone at the end of Godfather III, but—in the end—I wanted him gone. The question is: what kind of damage could he do from the grave?
Until the next chapter,