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.
THE NEXT NIGHT
[Context Reminder: Learning that Russell isn’t dead and might be coming for Sookie, the elder fairy in the Fae club decides that they should face Russell—trap him. Jason is going to be used as bait. He goes to Sookie’s house, where they figure Russell will go looking for Sookie. The fairies and Sookie anticipate that Russell will glamour Jason to lead him to the fairy club. There, the elder fairy is going to deal with him.]
Nora and I had been forty-two miles from Sookie when the sun had made its inevitable presence known the morning before. We’d dug graves for ourselves. In the dirt, it was always harder for us vampires to stay awake after the dawn or awaken in the dust of the day—probably because the sun was right above us. There were no walls protecting us. However, I awoke at dust—pushing myself to feel for my bonded’s emotions.
I couldn’t help but to wonder what she was planning; my instincts told me that it involved Russell.
Even though I knew that the sun was still out, I itched to push myself from the ground, but I didn’t let myself. Burned up Eric would not be helpful to the situation.
I hated being fucking powerless!
“Fuck!” I said into the dirt, getting some of it in my mouth. “Fuck!” I yelled even louder—though this time in my head.
I hated getting dirt in my mouth.
I centered myself—focusing on words that my maker had said to me many times. “A vampire should be the master of his emotions.”
Indeed, I knew that I had to master mine right fucking now if I was to serve my bonded!
As I’d gone to ground the night before, I’d taken a small—but firm—tree branch with me. It was still in my left hand. I reached out into the dirt with my right hand until my fingers grasped a rock.
Limestone. I gripped the rock; I would spend the rest of the sun’s trip into the horizon whittling the tip of the branch into a stake with which I intended to kill Russell Edgington.
As I carved the wood into a sharp point, I thought of words I’d first heard uttered on the stage in 1592—in London as I’d been watching one of Shakespeare’s plays about Henry VI: “I’ll never pause again, never stand still, / Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine / Or fortune given me measure of revenge.”
I’d loved Shakespeare’s plays, though Shakespeare himself hadn’t been overly impressive to me. Ink-stained fingers. And sorely in need of more baths.
Still—the man could write a good line. And when people in his plays decided to seek revenge, there was nothing that could stop them. I’d envied them.
I pricked my finger with the stake, testing its readiness. It drew blood. It drew pain.
There would be no hesitation. There would be no mercy. There would be no apparitions of Godric. There would be no words.
There would be only this stake in an ancient dead heart.
Russell’s or mine.
As soon as I felt the sun go down, I took off; Nora could follow—if she could keep up. Regardless, she could track my scent. I wasn’t going to waste any time getting her up to speed about my intentions. I’d done right by my sister. I’d done right by my maker.
Now it was time to do right by my bonded.
And myself, too.
Thirty-five minutes later, I felt Sookie’s fear heighten, and I flew faster than my body wanted to let me fly until I was within range of her. I arrived at a seemingly empty field just in time to see Steve Newlin being shot by fairy light. He flew through the air for quite some time before landing awkwardly. I didn’t see Sookie—though I knew that she was nearby. Thus, I stayed in the trees, taking in the scene playing out before me.
Planning my next move.
Hoping for a little luck.
The fairy whom Russell had aptly pointed out as “turbocharged” turned her attention to him. Her eyes seemed crazed—and a little crazy—as she whipped up a huge ball of energy. She hurled it at Russell, but he used Jason Stackhouse as a shield.
Jason flew even farther than Newlin had. However, he wasn’t banished to another realm as the fairy had promised Russell that he would be. She tried to shoot the vampire again, but Russell zipped behind her before she could muster her light. I watched as he drained her, knowing what was coming.
Waiting for him to get drunk. Waiting for him to be vulnerable. Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Again, I looked around for my bonded, still wondering where she was. I could feel her fear so prominently now, but I couldn’t see her.
“Fairy magic,” I said to myself.
Then he turned toward the spot where my instincts told me my bonded was located. The fairy blood in Russell must have enabled him to see her.
“Why, thank you so much,” Russell said as if to thin air. “I’d love to come to dinner.”
He moaned greedily and then moved toward his prize. I watched as fairy light came from what looked to be at least a dozen sources. Taking to the air, I circled until I was behind my prey, and—as I did—I could finally make out my bonded standing in the light. She looked to be at the entrance to some kind of building that I couldn’t fully see.
She looked beautiful. And scared.
I paused, hoping that the fairies would incapacitate my foe. However, even though it looked like the fairies were hitting Russell with their full force, the motherfucker just laughed at them.
“Seriously, is that the best you can do?” Russell taunted maniacally. “I can’t even feel it, except for a very slight tingling sensation, which, unfortunately for you gorgeous little pixies, only whets my appetite!”
I felt my own fear ratchet up as Sookie’s did. My head and my heart and my gut and the bond all screamed out that there was no way that Russell would be getting his fangs into my beloved.
Russell’s heart or my heart.
Mine was Sookie.
Before I even knew that I was moving again, I was flying at top speed, and I didn’t stop until I felt wood move through a heart.
Like Roman had done, Russell mustered his magic—made even more potent by the fairy blood he’d just drunk—to fight against his death. I saw rivers of blood beginning to form on his skin as we looked at each other.
His eyes showed his surprise—his respect. “Well . . . .” he slurred.
But then the light faded. And so did the magic.
“Oh, fuck,” Russell said as realization entered his eyes.
Not quite profound final words for a three-thousand-year-old being. But they were music to my ears.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Newlin jet away, but I didn’t care in that moment. I looked toward my bonded. I sighed with relief. She was safe. Russell was gone.
Without hesitation or fear, Sookie ran out to see to Jason, just as Nora caught up with me. My sister saw and processed Russell’s remains before sniffing the air deeply.
“What is that amazing smell?” she asked wistfully right before zipping after Sookie. I caught my sister by the hair before she could touch my bonded. It was true that Sookie smelled even better than usual—probably because she’d been around full-blooded fairies. However, I wasn’t about to lose control—or let my sister lose control.
“You will not feed on Sookie,” I said sternly.
“What is she?” Nora asked desperately like a child begging for candy.
“She’s a waitress,” I intoned, looking at my bonded with a warm smile in my eyes that I knew would only ever be given to her—elicited by her. “A waitress who’s saved my life more than once and whose fear vibe very graciously brought me here tonight, allowing me to settle an ancient debt. Thank you for that, by the way,” I added with a grin.
Of course, the bond would have led me to Sookie either way, but since she didn’t know about the bond yet, it was best to let her think it was her strong emotional reaction that had led me there.
It had—certainly—encouraged me to fly past my limits.
“But I want her,” Nora pleaded almost madly.
“Are you really this undisciplined?” I scolded her.
“Now, Father would be very disappointed,” I told Nora, who was still trying to fight my hold in order to get to Sookie.
“Jason, come on,” Sookie said more desperately even as Nora agreed not to “eat” her.
“Swear on Godric,” I told Nora while Sookie continued to try to rouse her brother. I wasn’t that concerned about Jason Stackhouse. His heartbeat was strong.
“I swear on Godric,” Nora relented stiltedly before I let her go.
“Wake up, Jason!” Sookie ordered as she slapped her unconscious brother.
I chuckled. My bonded was a spitfire, and I loved her for it.
Jason groaned and woke up drooling. He seemed to think that Sookie was their mother for a minute or two.
“You okay?” she asked softly. Her eyes told me that she understood something that no other being—except, perhaps, Godric—would have understood about me: killing the killer of my parents might have felt good, but it didn’t bring them back to me.
They were dust. And dust they would stay.
I nodded. “Yeah.”
“I’m sure your dad knows,” she said in a whisper, even as Nora and Jason looked on in confusion.
“I mean—he’s in Valhalla. Your heaven? Right? So—um—I bet there’s a messenger or something,” she said somewhat uncertainly. “I’m sure he’s proud. I’m sure that he—and your mom and sister—are at peace.”
Her words were unexpected, and I found myself reaching out—wanting to take her hand.
She let me.
“Thank you, Miss Stackhouse,” I said, looking down at our shared grasp.
I grinned at her turn of phrase. “You do smell especially delicious tonight,” I said, gesturing toward an almost-panting Nora, who still wasn’t quite in control, though she was working hard to hold perfectly still.
Sookie shrugged. “Yet you’re in control of yourself.”
“It doesn’t matter what you smell like,” I said honestly. “You are always enticing to me.”
“Sook,” Jason said gruffly, “we should let these vampers get on their way, and we should get you home.”
“Vampires,” I corrected, disliking his slur immensely. “It’s not a difficult word to say.”
Jason glared at me.
Sookie ignored him. “Where’s Bill?” she asked, looking around.
“Still at the Authority,” I responded.
She pulled her hand from mine. Immediately, I missed her warmth.
“You left him there?” she asked.
“He had every chance to come with me. He is,” I paused, “no longer a prisoner there.”
Sookie took in my words as Jason stood up.
“Come on, Sook,” he said giving me a sideways glance as he looked at Nora suspiciously.
Seeing that Nora had begun sniffing the air again, I smiled at my bonded. “We’ll go. We should check on Pam anyway.”
“Check on Tara too? Will you?” she requested.
“Sure,” I agreed.
Sookie smiled, her eyes grateful. “Bye, Eric and—uh—Nora?” she asked.
I nodded. “Yes. This is Nora, Godric’s other progeny.”
Sookie looked at my sister tentatively, offering her only a little nod.
Nora greeted her by licking a fang.
“Until we meet again, Miss Stackhouse,” I said with a wink before grabbing my sister and taking off toward Fangtasia.
A/N: The quote from Shakespeare is from 3 Henry VI (2.3.31-3). So–I added some parts at the beginning and the end. I could imagine Eric revving up for the fight, and I couldn’t imagine him leaving the field without talking to Sookie more, so I wanted to include those parts. I had mixed feelings when Russell died. On the one hand, I was glad that it was finally done, and Russell’s character seemed to have run its course (read: been ruined). On the other hand, had the writers done a better job with Russell (making him more sinister and less crazy), he could have been a better villain in my opinion.
Oh well. Hope you enjoyed the chapter!