Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
For a moment, Bill looked at me as if I were crazy.
I almost rolled my eyes as my mind clicked into high gear again. Where was fucking male solidarity when you needed it? I was having a hard enough time not rushing to Sookie. If Bill went, then I knew I’d be unable to hold onto my resolve and resist the urge to follow.
Sure—Sookie was scared and likely in a perilous situation, but that happened almost every fucking night! Or at least every one since she’d had my blood. If it wasn’t a Maenad, it was a serial killer. If it wasn’t a V-crazed Were, it was a 3,000-year-old vampire. If it wasn’t a necromancer, it was a fairy. I knew that I’d played a part in Sookie’s involvement with the witch and Russell, but I also knew that she would have found her way into trouble without my help.
She always did.
Hell! She’d been the one to walk into a vampire bar in a dress that screamed out, “I’m dinner! Come eat me!”
And it hadn’t been Bill Compton who had kept the other vampires from trying to glamour and staking their claim on Sookie that night. Hell—there had been four vampires older than Bill in Fangtasia when Sookie had first entered its doors—excluding myself—and all of them had been sniffing at the little ray of sunshine which had invaded the dark. No—it had been my own interest in her and a well-timed growl or two that had kept the hordes away from the sweet-smelling Southern Belle. Yes—if that night wasn’t an illustration of how Sookie Stackhouse unknowingly courted danger, I didn’t know what was.
And now? Now that she’d made her feelings known to me? I would just have to get used to Sookie finding danger. Fuck! A hangnail on her would likely be the catalyst to a supernatural situation.
Of course, that didn’t alleviate my apprehension at Sookie’s fear, which I could still feel as clear as a fucking bell—and a loud one at that! In fact, the thought of Sookie being in danger made my blood boil and my heart ache, but I couldn’t run to her every time she was in peril!
If I did, I’d have to stay by her side always because she was always in some kind of trouble or another. And though her side was exactly where I wanted to be, I had to remind myself—again—that she had made her position on the matter painfully clear. Plus, when it all came down to it, I trusted Sookie—not with my heart, but in saving her own skin.
Yes—I trusted her self-preservation skills. She’d managed to survive every peril she’d ever faced—and most of them without my help. The two Sookie Stackhouses—the clever human and the fiery fairy—had always made a formidable duo and had somehow defeated everything that had come at them.
The serial killer? Sookie had killed him in self-defense. Bill had rushed into the sun to “rescue” her—only causing more problems rather than helping—in my opinion. I almost scoffed out loud as I tried to imagine what Bill had been thinking. Crispy vampire did not a savior make!
In the same situation, I would have been practical; I would have made some calls on my fucking cell phone in order to get Sookie some help that really could help! Of course, I would have lived in torment until the sun dropped enough for me to safely go to her, but I wouldn’t have added my burning body to the shit-storm she was already dealing with.
Burning vampire—besides being uttering useless—smelled fucking atrocious!
But—oh well—Bill was still young and impulsive where Sookie was concerned. I was also somewhat impulsive about her, but I was also smart enough never to run into the fucking sun in some misguided heroic attempt. Perhaps Bill had been trying to become a martyr that day; whatever the case, his actions had been idiocy. More to the point, Bill should have trusted that Sookie would scrape her way out of the situation. Sure—she’d gotten banged up and had needed the shifter’s help, but it had been my fiery fairy-human who had done the deed and killed the killer.
Well—she wasn’t mine. But the salient point remained. Both Sookie’s were survivors.
At the Fellowship Church? Well—it wasn’t Sookie who had gotten herself strapped down on an altar about to be sacrificed to the fucking sun. Nope—that would be me, and she was the one who had pulled the chains off of me! That night had shown me both her vulnerability and her strength. She was almost raped; she would have been if Godric hadn’t intervened. But she didn’t fall apart. She kept right on fighting and defying me—not even letting me kill a couple of redneck dumbasses with stakes.
She’d been fucking magnificent!
The bombing? Sure—I’d had to save her life by putting myself between her and the blast. She was too close to the bomb to survive its impact, after all. But, on the other hand, she’d bounced right back and had been willing to save my life in the next minute.
She’d sucked silver out of my body! Twice!
The Maenad? Well—because Bill had again acted without thought and had fed her his blood after she’d been scratched, Sookie had needed supernatural healing, and I had arranged for Ludwig to come. But, not a week later, Sookie had been partially responsible for the Maenad’s demise. Bill and Sam had played their parts too, but Sookie was no shrinking violet in the situation.
Russell? Well—Sookie managed herself beautifully in that situation too. She’d saved my life—twice—within the space of a couple of minutes: first by dragging my ass inside so that I wouldn’t keep crisping up and second by giving me her blood.
The fairies? Sure—she’d gone with them when she should have thought better of it, but she’d also found her way back, and she’d refused Claudine’s manipulative “invitation” to return to the fairy realm. During the day that she’d stayed with me in the cubby―as I’d been chained in silver—she’d told me a great many things to keep my mind off of my pain. One of those things had been about her experiences in the fairy world. She’d told me about sending their queen, Mab, flying onto her ass. It seemed to me from the way that Sookie had described things that this Mab was probably a powerful fairy, but Sookie had still managed to escape from her clutches. She’d lost her grandfather that day too, but by that night, she had stood her ground with me—as she always did. She was strong. And I was pretty fucking proud of her for all of it—though she’d seemed a bit embarrassed by her capabilities.
The witch? Well—Sookie had managed to get herself out of that situation too. It certainly hadn’t been me who had saved her. I was stuck outside of the fucking store! In fact, the very next night, it had been Sookie who had saved me ass from the necromancer. Burning at the stake―instead of getting staked—would have been an ironic death. Even I could appreciate the “joke” that my demise would have generated. But it hadn’t been shaping up to be a pleasant death. Indeed, it had hurt like hell to feel the flames licking at my feet! However, Sookie had kicked some necromancer ass—in the form of her friend, Lafayette—that night. Gods—I’d loved watching her work. Again—magnificent!
In truth, I both hated and loved her, even as I continued to feel her fear and apprehension. I wanted to run to her—to return the favor by saving her life this time. But I kept still; I had to trust her, or I would never be able to disentangle myself from her. And she didn’t want me—not now, at least.
And I had to respect that—or I didn’t respect her.
Yes. Especially with “fairy Sookie” coming more and more into prominence lately—ever since we’d bonded, in fact—I needed to trust that she could find her way out of the trouble that would always find her. I would help as I could—but from the sidelines—by trying to keep her existence a secret. That was why I was cleaning up Nan chunks even then, after all.
But if I were not going to glue myself to her side—which was, I had to keep reminding myself again and again, not something she wanted—then I needed to keep my knees on the floor and keep scrubbing. So that is exactly what I did.
In the moments that I was processing all this information in my thousand-year-old vampire mind, Bill was giving me a look that indicated that he was not going to be staying put, but I needed Bill to stay the fuck put!
I also reminded Bill—and myself—that we needed to keep busy. After all, it was the Authority that we were up against now! And I didn’t know of any vampire who had ever survived a face-off with them. But I fucking intended to be the first. And Bill really ought to tag along.
For a moment, it looked like my “monarch” was listening to me, but then, we heard a gunshot. Almost immediately thereafter, I felt another spike in Sookie’s emotions; this time it was intense sorrow.
Even as the gunshot echoed through the night, Bill was out of the door like a jet, but I paused, immobilized by the pain of Sookie’s emotions for a moment. I’d never had a bond with a human before—not in a thousand years—and now I knew why. It fucking hurt!
To make things even “better,” I heard the tell-tale thump of a silver net being shot and the sizzle of flesh I could only assume was Bill’s.
“They’re already here,” I said, knowing that the Authority’s goons had already amassed outside.
I thought for a moment.
A silver net was actually pretty good fucking news and gave me a couple of options, which I analyzed in the blink of an eye.
One: I could try to escape. But my nose picked up vampires and humans closing in on all sides of the house now. And where would I go if I did make it out of there? Not to Fangtasia. Pam had pissed me off, but I wouldn’t endanger her by leading the storm troopers there. To my home? No. The location of that was too publically known. To Sookie’s? Hell no! That was not happening!
The bond had moved from fear to cold resolve to grief, but I knew she was at least physically safe—at least for the moment. That would all change if I went to her; I’d lead the Authority goons to her door. And I wouldn’t do that.
Two: I could fight. And, in truth, I was itching for one of those. The Marnie/Antonia situation had already made me want to take out some aggression. And Sookie’s rejection had made me want to kill anything in sight, and the gay storm troopers from earlier had not sated my desire for blood.
I wanted more! A lot more.
However, as I inhaled, I discerned at least twenty vampires— obviously more storm troopers―and they would all be carrying guns with wooden bullets. Outrunning twenty firing guns would be damned near impossible, even for me. And then there were the Authority’s special agents to worry about. And they were bound to be much more lethal than the “grunts.” Hell! There might even be a chancellor or two in the mix! I wouldn’t be able to win in a fight. I knew it.
And I also knew my Sun Tzu—well. “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.”
Three: I could run out of the door like a fucking idiot and get myself captured—just as Bill had. That would get me a silver net, but at least I knew that was what they were firing first.
Nets. Not guns.
If I fought, I would die. If I was captured, I’d be taken to the Authority, where I’d likely be tortured and then die. But I would have more time to think of a plan along the way.
At least with that option, I might live to fight another night, and I’d draw my enemies away from Bon Temps, which also meant that I’d be drawing them away from the woman whom my heart was telling me to go to, so that I could alleviate her now almost unbearable grief. Gods—I wanted to hold her, to comfort her! My body was screaming to be with her, even as my mind was telling me that I had to stay away from her.
For my sanity. And for her sake.
No—I couldn’t go to Sookie. She didn’t want a partnership with me. And—most importantly—I wouldn’t risk her being found by the Authority. Despite any outward devotion to mainstreaming the Guardian professed, I knew that he would see Sookie as simply a tool for blood, sex, and telepathy. I could honestly admit that I, too, loved all of those aspects about Sookie—coveted those aspects.
But the Authority would simply take them. And its members would not be shy about passing her around. I had no illusions. They would not concern themselves with how she ended up after they had tired of her. They would leave Sookie broken—if not dead—and they would snuff out the light in her that I loved so fucking much.
So—in the end—there was really no choice. I could fight and almost certainly die. If I did get away, the Authority would go after everyone and everything I cared for, including Pam and Sookie. Or I could let myself be captured and hope that the Authority only shot a silver net at me, rather than wooden bullets.
My decision clear, I got to my feet, shed my blue gloves (I had some dignity, after all), and ran out of the door like an idiot. Hopefully, I would make a good show of this; after all, what kind of a dumbass would immediately follow when he’d just heard his king be entrapped by a silver net?
Me? Not usually.
And then—just lovely—I was thrown into a car trunk with Bill. Well, at least we had been placed so that I was the “spooner” rather than the “spoon-ee” in the situation. That was something.