Chapter 04: Love Is Immortality
“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”—Emily Dickinson
Sookie was gasping out her last breaths when the beings converging on the small group from three sides arrived.
“What happened?” Tara Thorton yelled out, even as Eric pushed back Compton so that he couldn’t give more blood to Sookie.
Bill’s fangs were down and his purpose was clear. He wanted to turn Sookie, but Eric wasn’t about to let him—not after Sookie’s wishes had been made crystal clear. Truth be known, she was likely already going to turn—given the loss of her own blood and the large amount of vampire blood inside of her. But Eric would not let her be taken to ground. He would not let the process be completed.
He would make sure that the day found her body in the sun, so that she could lose herself in its warmth one last time.
“Oh, God—Debbie!” Alcide Herveaux cried out, skidding to a stop and kneeling down beside the Were-bitch. “You’ve killed her!” he yelled toward Bill and Eric.
“Your bitch attacked Sookie!” Bill yelled out.
Eric heard the cock of the shotgun Lafayette was carrying, a shotgun pointed his way.
“Typical,” Eric muttered, waiting for the force of the buckshot to hit him and hoping it wasn’t silver. The buckshot would hurt, but there was no way that he was going to let Sookie die away from his arms. No matter how difficult it was to feel her slipping away—more painful than any amount of buckshot—he wouldn’t let her meet death alone. As angry as he’d been at her—as much as he’d wanted to despise her for rejecting him not an hour before—he loved her.
And love from a thousand year-old vampire—though stingily given—was not a thing that would end.
He could count the people that he’d loved during his long life on two hands—with Sookie being number seven.
He was thankful when the buckshot didn’t bite into his flesh. Jessica had zoomed to take the weapon from Lafayette’s hands. And she was holding back both of Sookie’s human friends as red rivers found their sources in her eyes.
He was grateful to her—grateful that his focus could return to Sookie.
“Turn her!” came Nan’s icy voice from fifteen feet away.
“No!” Eric yelled, looking up at the bitch and wondering why she was even there.
He shook his head as he realized that Bill had likely called her—with some kind of asinine plan to “take her out” in mind.
“I will do it!” Bill said desperately, crawling back toward Sookie and Eric.
Eric’s growl stopped him in his place.
“Someone do it now!” Nan yelled. “I don’t want to lose her as a potential asset!”
“No!” Eric said again, this time in a tone of cold, hard steel.
Nan nodded to the vampire storm-troopers next to her, and the next thing Eric knew, his chest was alit with little red dots, mostly concentrated over his heart.
“Their bullets are wooden,” Nan smirked. “Now—let Bill turn her, or I’ll have you turned into goo, and then he’ll turn her anyway.”
Eric’s growl was low and menacing, but he also knew it was useless. From his position cradling Sookie’s now almost-lifeless form, he could never kill all of the storm-troopers. And—if he was ended—Bill would have his way and turn Sookie.
He was in what was referred to as a lose-lose situation.
“Or maybe I should turn her,” Nan said with a contemplative grin. “I’ve always wanted a fairy pet.”
“No!” Eric yelled. “I will do it.”
“Oh—I don’t think so,” Nan said.
“She’s already had enough of my blood that I feel the spark of the maker-child bond forming,” Eric said, more calmly, trying to sound reasonable.
“She’s had my blood too,” Bill insisted.
“I am the strongest here,” Eric reminded. “And—even if Bill tried—he might not be able to countermand my bond with her,” he said, speaking to Nan.
Nan sighed. “Fine. But if I let you finish, I will own your ass, Mr. Northman.” she said to Eric. “And—you will bring her with you to the Authority, where I will make sure she rises without your doing anything to jeopardize her completing her turn.”
“No—I will take her to ground myself,” Eric said. “You can, however, post guards to ensure that I won’t harm her.
“I will let you stay with her at the Authority,” Nan said. “But that’s my final offer. Otherwise, I’ll let the ‘king’ turn her. Or I’ll do it myself and kill you for kicks.”
“No! Sookie is mine! She should be my child!” Bill called out.
Eric glared at Nan. “I could kill you before your people even fired a shot.”
“I know,” Nan returned coolly, ignoring Bill. “But they’d kill you soon after,” she said, signaling to her guards. “And then neither of us could stop the king for taking his prize.” She sighed. “But—frankly—I don’t want to die tonight. And I don’t think you do either. Why don’t we work together? She would be your child, and that means that the Authority would need you to properly train her in our ways. You and I could draw up a contract of some kind. She’d be well-paid for any work she did for us.”
“And I would be her liaison with the Authority?” Eric asked.
“Of course,” Nan said.
“Then we have a deal,” Eric said.
“You fucking bastard!” Tara yelled. “Sookie wouldn’t want this!”
“Cold mother fucker,” Lafayette muttered at the same time.
Alcide was still crying over his bitch.
But Eric saw no better way for Sookie than for him to become her sire—for him to try to protect her. And—significantly—he would have the power to free her. So—if she truly didn’t want to remain a vampire after she rose—he wouldn’t stop her from meeting the sun, even though losing her that way would flay him.
But he wouldn’t allow Bill to become her maker. He was too obsessed—too obsessive.
And there was no way in hell that he’d let Sookie become a plaything of Nan’s.
So he would cooperate and play nice with the Authority until he could free himself and his new child—even if Sookie hated him for what he was about to do.
He would take her hate—for love.
He nodded at Nan to seal their agreement.
Then Eric drained Sookie of most of her sparse remaining blood before biting his wrist and forcing his own blood into her once more. He felt the spark of connection between them flourish.
He nodded again at Nan. “It is done.”
“Then come,” Nan said, signaling for her men to make sure a now hysterical Bill kept away as Eric rose to his feet with his new child in his arms.
“Wait!” Bill called out. “I feel her—feel her as if she were my child!”
Nan looked at the vampire she’d helped to become king. “That’s not possible.”
“But it is true!” Bill said urgently.
Nan rolled her eyes. “I own you, Compton. You’d better not be lying to me.”
“I’m not,” he vowed.
Nan motioned toward one of her guards. “Put Compton in silver and bring him along. We’ll soon see if he’s being truthful, but if he is somehow Miss Stackhouse’s maker too, Roman will be intrigued by the double-maker phenomenon, given the rareness of it.” She looked sharply at Bill, “But if you are lying, your majesty, I’ll stake you myself—just for being an annoying asshole.”
“No!” Jessica yelled, letting go of Lafayette and Tara and surging forward to embrace Bill.
“It is okay,” Bill soothed. “I am telling the truth. Sookie is my child,” he said, glaring at Eric. “I don’t know how and I don’t know if Eric is also her maker, but I feel her almost as strongly as I once felt you. I will be fine, but you must let me go—for your own safety. I command you.”
Jessica nodded and moved back from him, even as two of Nan’s guards placed Bill in silver.
“Will I need silver to keep you in line?” Nan asked Eric.
“No,” the Viking said.
“If you make trouble, I won’t hesitate to have you killed, and—then—where would that leave her?” Nan said, gesturing toward Sookie.
Eric nodded. “You have my cooperation.”
Nan smirked. “I do like cooperation.” She walked over to Debbie Pelt, who was wheezing for air. “But I don’t like bitches!” Nan took a pistol from her black leather coat and shot Debbie in the head.
Alcide growled, and Nan’s answer was to let her fangs drop menacingly.
“Alcide,” Eric cautioned, “Debbie Pelt attacked Sookie and is responsible for the events of this night. Mourn her if you must, but don’t act in some kind of misguided quest for revenge.”
“Why do you care, bloodsucker?” Alcide yelled out, his eyes yellowing.
“I don’t give a fuck if you live or die, Wolf!” Eric snarled. “But Sookie would.”
Alcide looked up at Eric, as well as the corpse in his arms, for the first time.
“Sookie,” Alcide sighed. “I’m so sorry.”
“If you truly are sorry, then don’t be stupid,” Nan intoned.
Alcide glared at the vampiress, but nodded.
Eric glanced at Sookie’s sobbing human friends and then looked at Jessica. “Make sure they don’t do anything else stupid, and make sure that Sookie’s brother knows what has happened here,” he said authoritatively.
“Jessica is my child,” Bill seethed, even as the silver chains scorched his skin. “You cannot command her.”
Eric rolled his eyes. “I am only saying what Sookie would want, you fuckwit,” he said under his breath, though almost every set of ears in the graveyard could hear him—including a set that no one was aware of.
A set belonging to a fairy.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who is responding to and enjoying this story! So many of you are very opinionated about whom you want to be Sookie’s maker. I hope that-even if things don’t go exactly as you might want—that you don’t give up on this work. I have a plan.
It might be a week or so before another chapter comes to you. Work—you know. And I wanna get another chapter of Burn out the Pain ready.
Until the next,