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.
[Context Reminder: Sookie and Jason have learned that a vampire killed their parents and are trying to find out which one. Discovering that retired sheriff Bud Dearborn was the one to investigate her parents’ deaths, Sookie decides to go and visit him. However, Bud and the “dragon,” Sweetie Des Arts, take Sookie captive and throw her into a pig pen where she sees Hoyt. BTW—I didn’t like this storyline at all. In the books, the handling of the Sweetie Des Arts arc was better in my opinion. But I gotta work with what I was given.]
I was beginning to think that Sookie’s main aim in life was to wake me up from my day-death. About two hours before nightfall, I sat up in my bed as my bonded’s fear and shock gripped me.
“Goddammit!” I cursed as I lamented the fact that I couldn’t go to her—not just because it was daytime but also because I was basically imprisoned inside of the house of fucking horrors!
“Fuck!” I added.
Not having anything else to do, I started pacing.
After a while, Sookie settled down a little, though I still felt her concern flooding our bond. She was also apparently in planning mode. “Great,” I said to myself. “She’s probably been kidnapped—again.”
I closed my eyes, trying to expel thoughts of the other times Sookie had been kidnapped.
In the Fellowship of the Sun, one of her kidnappers would have raped her if Godric hadn’t saved her.
Bill almost drained her after she saved his ass when she’d been kidnapped by Russell.
I growled a little louder.
And, of course, the fairies had wanted to keep Sookie from me forever! And they’d succeeded in stealing a year of her presence from me.
At this thought, I smashed a hole in the fucking wall.
The pain of slamming fist against concrete brought me out of my thoughts about the past, and I tried to calm myself. Sookie was clearly not in imminent danger. She was probably trying to plan an escape, and I had to trust that she could protect herself with her light. Since it was daytime, she obviously hadn’t been taken by vampires. And—since I still felt her—she likely hadn’t been taken by fairies. She was experiencing no physical pain—just discomfort—so that was good.
I sighed and went into the bathroom for a towel. The bleeds had started, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to rest.
As I resumed my pacing, I tried to keep my thoughts positive. If all went well later that night, Nora, Molly, Bill, and I would be escaping. I had a safe house in Bossier City where we could stay for the short-term—at least until Nora was “better.” I was already steeling myself to the probability that I might have to silver her in order to keep her from trying to escape and rejoin her fanatical friends. But I was convinced that I could help her to see that Lilith’s blood had corrupted her judgment.
Regardless, I had to try.
As I continued pacing, I went over the plan in my mind. Molly was covering surveillance. She would be looping the video footage in the places we’d be moving through. I’d be collecting Nora. Bill would be collecting Salome’s blood. Molly had explained that Level One protocols required that the Guardian be alerted to any exits from the compound—unless the Guardian himself or herself was the one doing the leaving. And we didn’t want Salome alerted; it would make our escape that much more difficult—though not impossible—if she marshaled the storm troopers to pursue us.
Or worse—if she marshaled Russell.
Thus, Salome’s blood was essential to ensure the secrecy of our escape so that we’d have time to get clear of the area. I just hoped that Bill would come through with that blood.
I sighed as I thought of my . . . .
What was Bill to me?
I realized that I might not have included him in my escape plans—given his wishy-washy ways—if we’d not needed Salome’s blood.
And if it were not for Sookie.
I sighed as I let my mind drift to the moment my bonded had told both Bill and me that she couldn’t be with either of us. That moment and the Nan situation that had followed had linked Bill and me. But there was more to it than that. I knew that Sookie wouldn’t forgive me if I didn’t try to help Bill.
I could stand a lot of things, but I couldn’t bear my bonded’s disappointment over my actions.
Of course, how disappointed would she be if she learned of my actions during the previous two nights? I’d killed several innocents when I’d been under the influence of Lilith’s blood, and I’d done nothing to stop the slaughter that had occurred in the Authority before dawn. Newlin had procured more humans. And, in the feeding frenzy that had ensued, I’d had to eat in order to keep up appearances—though I’d not been the one to complete any kills.
But would that make Sookie any less disappointed in me? For that matter, was I any less disappointed in myself? I wasn’t about to apologize for doing what I needed to do in order to survive and/or escape, but I was frustrated that I still wasn’t in the position to make my own choices.
I stopped pacing and tensed as I felt Sookie’s fear ratchet up again. I stayed perfectly still when—a few minutes later—that fear changed to a feeling I liked even less.
The bond basically went numb, indicating that Sookie had been drugged. I closed my eyes tight and balled my fists.
“Fuck!” I yelled, powerlessly.
I tried to console myself with the fact that if she were being drugged, she was less likely to be killed. But that was a sad consolation—indeed.
“I will come for you tonight,” I said to myself, hoping that I’d be able to escape and do just that.
Thirty minutes before my planned escape time, I went to find my sister.
However, Salome was waiting for me outside of my room. She was dressed in only a robe, and she smelled of sex and blood. I said a silent prayer to any listening gods that she hadn’t come to me hoping to add my cum to her scent.
“Mr. Northman,” she purred.
“Eric,” I returned warmly, leering down as her.
She smiled. “Tell me—what were you and Molly discussing yesterday in her little workroom? And why would she feel the need to interrupt the surveillance there during your conversation?”
“She is,” I paused, “paranoid.”
“And why is that?” she asked.
“She is young, and her world has been rearranged.”
“She was very loyal to Roman, unfortunately,” Salome remarked.
“Yes. I have picked up on that from her,” I said, my tone measured. “I think, however, that she is coming around. After her less than enthusiastic reaction to our plans to blow up the TruBlood factories, I wanted to,” I paused, “test her.”
“One could call your reaction underwhelming as well,” Salome said through narrowed eyes.
“I was initially skeptical that such a plan could be pulled off,” I lied. “And I will admit that I was,” I hesitated for a long moment, “jealous.”
“Jealous?” Salome asked somewhat incredulously.
“Yes. I was envious that I’d not come up with the plan. It is rather,” I paused again, “brilliant. I cannot think of a better way to hurry along our agenda.”
Salome chuckled. “You have a rivalry with Bill?”
“Something like that,” I confirmed.
“Over a woman?”
“We have competed for humans before,” I answered. “But mostly our competitive impulse with one another stems from my not liking the fact that a relative newborn was placed as king over me. Being obedient to one so young was sometimes—difficult.”
She laughed. “Yet you two seemed to find a way to coexist. And even to work together.”
I shrugged. “He grew on me, and I grew to respect him. Despite his youth, he has proven himself to be an able ally.”
“Yes,” Salome agreed. “He is promising.”
She tilted her head a little.
“And what is your opinion of Molly? Did she pass your little test?”
I shrugged. “I am still unsure about her. She could be useful, for she knows how to navigate the technological world around us. In fact, I told her to work to ensure that any video evidence of our,” I smirked, “excursions in New Orleans were covered up. She indicated that she’d have no trouble ensuring that any footage of us in or around the karaoke bar—or on the street after we left it—would be destroyed.”
Salome looked as if something were dawning on her. “Why would you do that?”
“Well,” I said humbly, “Lilith teaches us to feed without apology; however, until our plans are firmly in place, I thought it better to make sure that we were not targets of the human authorities. What? Did I think wrongly?”
“No—your instincts were correct,” she said. “And Molly agreed to do this?”
“That is good,” Salome sighed, stroking my cheek.
I held still—stifling the urge to cringe.
“Do you know where Nora is?” I asked, trying to deflect from the seductive look in Salome’s eyes.
“She is likely in the temple. Her practice is to pray to Lilith at the beginning of each night,” Salome responded.
I nodded. “Yes. That is where I intended to look for her first.”
The ancient vampiress looked at me closely. “You two should reconnect. Your initial reaction to learning that she was a Sangunista was,” she paused, “upsetting to your sister.”
I lowered my eyes apologetically. “You are right. After our experience with Lilith, I owe her an apology.”
Salome leaned upward as if she were intending to kiss me. I schooled my features, but was very happy when she did not touch her lips to mine. “You do not like giving apologies—I’d imagine,” she whispered.
I smirked. “No. I have given few, but,” I paused, “Nora was right that Lilith is a living god. And I am trying to be more of a,” again I paused, “team player.”
Salome laughed loudly and lightly caressed my cheek before patting it almost patronizingly. “Go find Nora. She will welcome your presence. I should get to Bill.”
I nodded and moved down the hall, feeling Salome’s gaze on my ass as I did so. I knew that she wanted me again. I was just glad that I planned to be well away from the Authority by the time she acted on her desire. I was also very glad that Bill was keeping her occupied until then.
Hopefully, he would get her blood during the exercise.
Not surprisingly, I found Nora exactly where Salome said she would be—in the inner temple. My sister had her hand pressed lovingly against the rock upon which Lilith’s blood stood—as if that rock were her lover. She was praying silently.
I knew I would have to approach her very differently than I had the night before. In other words, I’d have to act my ass off and pretend that I was actually considering becoming a devoted follower of Lilith.
“Faith isn’t magic,” Nora returned, smiling at Lilith’s altar. “Anyone can do it.”
“Mm, but it requires surrendering,” I responded. “I’ve never been a big fan of that.”
Nora chuckled, her eyes filling with hope that I was coming around to her way of thinking.
I smiled back. “Always. But you—you’ve changed. You’re not the power-hungry bitch I used to love.” Nora had once been as ambitious as they came. Of course, then again, she’d also been good at balancing that ambition with compassion for humanity. Indeed, she had changed.
“How—how did you find God?” I asked curiously—almost longingly—though I already knew what she’d say. Salome.
“Salome,” Nora responded, echoing my own thought. “She snuck me in here during the day whilst Roman was in ground. She let me taste the blood. And it blew my fucking mind, Eric!” she said excitedly.
Yeah—it had also made her a fucking junky.
“My ambitions seemed trivial,” she continued, “and everything I had once cared about seemed insignificant in the face of such divinity. And I felt this overwhelming sense of purpose and belonging.”
Yeah—belonging to a fucking cult.
“Well, I wish it were that simple for me,” I said sincerely.
“No,” I denied.
“It can be,” she repeated. “Believing in something other than yourself doesn’t make you weak, Eric. Even the tallest tree knows its existence depends on the soil beneath its roots and the sun and the rain upon its branches. That’s what Lilith is to us.”
Yes—and that’s what Sookie was to me. The belief that life could be better.
I swallowed and closed my eyes. I let Nora pull my forehead to hers as if I were giving in—letting go of the Viking. She placed her hands at the back of my neck.
I did want to believe. I wanted to believe that my sister—the real Nora—would come back to me. And to herself. I wanted to believe that I could save Sookie from whatever situation she’d gotten herself into. I wanted to believe badly.
Nora nodded, joy filling her eyes.
“Will you help me?” I asked Nora.
“Let’s go someplace more private,” I said suggestively once our kiss had ended.
“Yes. We need to reconnect,” she agreed. “And—after that—we can have a human brought in for us to share.”
“Sounds good,” I smiled before giving her another little kiss.
I took her hand and walked hurriedly out of the temple.
“Anxious?” she asked.
“Home,” I responded, gripping Nora tighter.
Molly turned off the cameras as realization dawned upon my sister.
“Eric, no!” Nora cried out.
I had her against the wall in a moment, and Molly threw a syringe to me so that I could inject Nora with enough silver to subdue her. In my native tongue, I tried to assure my sister that it was all for the best before she lost consciousness.
“We gotta move fast,” Molly said insistently. “She won’t be out long.”
“Where’s Bill?” I asked.
“We can’t wait for him,” the techy said nervously.
I smiled at him, genuinely happy that he’d come through. “You had me worried there for a minute. Ready to get the hell outta here?”
Even as I went to use Nora’s blood to open the elevator, the conveyance door opened. Salome was inside the elevator, along with several storm troopers; they quickly aimed their guns at my heart. In moments, others had sped into the room.
My fangs clicked down, though I knew that I was once again in a helpless situation. I growled at Salome as she waltzed out of the elevator. Molly backed away from her.
I looked at Bill. “You fuckin’ traitor,” I seethed.
I looked at Salome and then back at Bill. One was just as obsessed and crazed as the other. I sighed. Powerless to do anything else, I put my fangs away as a storm trooper took Nora from my arms and others took me into custody.
The cuckoo for Coco Puffs side.
The only consolation I had in that moment was that Sookie had woken up and was feeling relief, which meant that she’d somehow gotten herself out of danger. She was still feeling a little groggy, but at least it didn’t seem that she was in peril anymore.
At least, not for the moment.
I couldn’t help but wonder how long that would last.
A/N: So I added the scene with Salome because I felt like questions would have been asked if Molly shut off the surveillance. I hope you liked the added bits before we got to the part where Bill demonstrates that he’s truly lost (and truly a giant, walking, talking douche). Why he was redeemed in S6 & S7 was beyond me! But I thought that this aspect of Season 5 was really interesting as Bill was made the villain. I’m going to “go” with that and keep it that way.