A/N Hey all, POV’s are going to be all over the place during these upcoming chapters and I’m gonna struggle writing this for a bit because of the emotional roller-coaster I’m taking our dear vampires and fairies on. I think I’m gonna start cutting the chapters so there is more suspense…I don’t want the following events to happen within a matter of three chapters. So instead of my usual 17,000-19,000 word chapters the following few will probably be around 10,000 or so. They may be tear stained and you may find used Kleenex with them however….
To my guest reviewer who hollered at me for being part of the Godric fanclub…WELCOME! 😀
As it’s the holiday season, I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas yesterday and got to spend time with your family and friends, eating good food and enjoying each another’s company!
I used to be love drunk, but now I’m hung over, I’ll love you forever, forever is over
We used to kiss all night, now it’s just a bar fight so don’t call me crying, say hello to goodbye
Cause just one sip would make me sick, I used to be love drunk, but now I’m hung over
I’ll love you forever, but now it’s over
All the time I wasted on you, all the bullshit you put me through
Checking into rehab cause everything that we had
Didn’t mean a thing to you
~ Love Drunk, Boys Like Girls
Last night I’d been staked and now I was wrapped in iron handcuffs, which hurt like a motherfucker, being dragged out of Caesar’s Palace to be unceremoniously handed over to Russell fucking Edgington.
I was not a happy camper.
The iron handcuffs hurt my wrists like a bitch; my skin was swelling and turning a horrible shade of red as I had a reaction to the metal. At least that answered one question – I was very much susceptible to iron. Though not best pleased with Ata’s idea to step outside of the elevator I had gone along with it, knowing it would keep Jason, Hunter, Eric and the rest of our nest safe.
Ata and I were hauled up onto our feet after my cousin had quoted the famous line from many movies. With the Were’s surrounding us we were dragged out of the hotel. I was horrified as we entered the main reception. Hundreds of bloody bodies littered the floor, savagely cut from the claws of the Were’s who had transformed in order to capture us. Employees and guests alike were decapitated, ripped open and mauled. I was grateful that I hadn’t eaten anything yet or else it would have been joining the blood on the marble floor. Having not had time to put on some shoes, Ata and I were forced to walk through the pools of blood, the rich crimson liquid staining our feet as we were led out of the building. I’d seen my fair share of gore over the years, walked in on a fair share of blood on the floor of my house too, but nothing compared to this. It was a massacre, and I was surprised that my cousin didn’t feel sick in the slightest. I’d clamped down on my bonds as I’d felt Ata do the same, unsure exactly as to why we were doing it. I trusted Ata though, against my better judgment, and closed my bond with Eric. Jason and Hunter would fill him in when they woke for the night, I hoped.
A black van sat in front of the hotel, under the canopy of the newly repaired drop off zone. “A black van, how inconspicuous.” Ata commented loudly, earning herself a hefty shove from the Were holding her. She stumbled a little but soon regained her footing. Two of the Were’s opened the back doors of the van, shoving the pair of us inside. Quickly I assessed the area. The back of the van was empty apart from two long benches on either side, and blacked out windows meant whoever was inside could see out, but those outside couldn’t see in. Sitting on one of the benches, Ata took the other. One Were left the group to drive and the others piled in the back with us. As the engine roared to life I felt dread start to well up in the pit of my stomach.
A wash of calm overtook me and I glanced to my cousin, her eyes trained on the view outside of the window and yet our connection was pulsing, begging me to trust her and go along with anything and everything she was saying and doing. I was angry with her for forcing us out of the elevator, but she had saved Jason and Hunter, neither of who had the powers or abilities we did to survive for an extended period of time. They would be able to go back and tell the nest about our capture. Help was on its way, but I had no idea how long that would take.
I was expecting us to be blindfolded, or something of a similar nature. I was mildly disappointed when that didn’t happen. I could only assume that the Were’s were well aware of the fact that we both knew where we were being taken.
Sure enough thirty minutes later we turned onto the road that led to Felipe’s mansion. The sun would set in five minutes and Eric would know that I was missing. “Feels like I was only here a week ago…oh wait, I was.” My cousin deadpanned, rolling her eyes. “I was even here against my own will last week too. Some things never change.” My cousin spared a glance at the Were’s, who had all narrowed their eyes at her. I wanted to tell my cousin to shut up, but talking would only draw attention to me. The last thing I wanted was for a Were to beat me up. I’d had enough of that with Debbie Pelt.
The van pulled to a stop and Ata and I were hauled out of the back. Although I had witnessed the mansion through the eye lens Ata had been wearing the night she had attended the ball here, I was still in awe of the building now I could see it with my own two eyes. Four huge columns held the entrance porch up, and the building was perfectly symmetrical. The courtyard out front was huge, a multitude of cars lined up for use by Felipe and his cronies. Looking over the vehicles I spotted a black BMW, a Louisiana number plate on the front. Bill.
“No red carpet? Well I must say I am mighty disappointed!” My cousin shook her head, sighing heavily as if it really were a shame. I didn’t give a fuck about a red carpet. I wanted to wash my feet, get out of the iron handcuffs and smack a bitch. Preferably a Bill shaped bitch.
Together we were dragged through the large double doors into the beautiful entrance hall and deposited onto the floor. As with the front of the building, I had seen this part of the house through Ata’s eye lenses when she had attended the party. Now though I could see just how much marble had been used for it, and just how similar it looked to Caesar’s Palace. “Ah, you managed to procure my guests for me!” Felipe’s slimy tone was recognisable anywhere, and the fact he was awake and moving around gave me hope that Eric was up now too, and that he was coming up with a way to get Ata and I the hell outta Dodge.
“Yes Your Majesty. These two lovely ladies willingly came with us, after they saw the number of people we’d killed to get to them.” One of the Were’s grinned with pride over his kills, and the rest of his buddies looked just as gleeful.
“You killed innocent humans? I TOLD YOU TO KILL NO ONE.” Felipe roared at the Were’s, whose sudden demeanour changed entirely. Though startled by Felipe’s outburst I kept my poker face on, thankful that years of hearing other people’s thoughts were proving useful for once.
“My Childe, what has you so angry?” Russell’s Southern drawl made its appearance, my skin crawling from the mere sound of it. “Ah! Miss Stackhouse! How nice of you to join us.” The old King of Mississippi smiled as he trotted down the marble staircase to stand before Ata and I, alongside Felipe. “How lovely it is to see you too Miss Caesar.” Russell finally acknowledged Ata, having stopped leering at me.
“Mrs. Caesar-Nervii.” Ata corrected, jutting her chin out defiantly.
“Of course, I apologise Congratulations are in order yes?” Russell’s fake sincerity was palpable, and Ata saw right through it. Felipe’s growl captured our attention as Russell fell silent, but I refused to look at him. I was far safer looking at Russell. Even though I couldn’t be glamoured I could get inside of their heads now, and Felipe’s mind was a scary place. Eric’s mind felt warm to me, as did the minds of the other vampires in our nest, but Felipe’s mind was cold and calculating, slippery like a snakes and it was apparent just how conniving he truly was. All traits that a vampire king should have really, but not traits I particularly liked in my captors.
“Ata is mine.” Felipe barked at Russell. I heard my cousin sigh heavily, and I tried my hardest to contain my own sigh. The male posturing was getting old now. I was Eric’s and he was mine, he and I had established that so there was no need for him to utter those damn words ever again.
“Sookeh!” Bill’s drawl captured the attention of everyone present.
“You may leave.” Felipe ordered the Were’s away, who were quick to scamper off to whatever hole they had come out of.
“Thank God you’re okay, Sookeh. I was so worried about you. I heard that Eric kidnapped you and forced you away from your home. I told you he was bad news.” Bill tried to place a hand on my cheek in what I assumed he thought would be a comforting gesture, but I couldn’t stop myself from growling at him. Actually growling. I’d never physically growled at anyone before. Spending so much time wrapped up in my own little world with Eric and his testosterone was not going me any good!
“Eric did not kidnap me, and he did not force me away from my home. If I remember rightly it was the threat of you and Russell that forced me to leave Bon Temp.” I corrected him, fed up with his petty games and his desperate attempts at looking like the caring and concerned ex-lover.
“Yet you end up in Las Vegas, right where we are.” Russell shook his head, an indulgent smile on his slightly cracked lips. He’d been turned later in life, that much I had surmised from the first time I’d met him. I would have to thank Godric when we got back home for turning Eric in the prime of his life.
“Trust me, if we could be anywhere else right now we would be.” My cousin shrugged, the iron catching a piece of her unharmed skin, burning it a little and making her flinch. “Why exactly are we here though?”
Felipe looked down at Ata, capturing her eyes and offering her a smile. Although it appeared genuine his mind told me otherwise. “You are here, my darling, so that you will change your mind about your marriage to the slave boy. While here I will make you see that I am by far the better option, and when he comes to rescue you I will slay him so you will no longer have to worry about him nor your tie.” He revealed his plan as if he knew it was a done deal. Ata scoffed.
“Then why is Sookie here?” Ata questioned again, not daring to call me her cousin. Giving away the fact we were related was not something we wanted to do just yet.
“Miss Stackhouse is here because I have a debt to settle with the Viking. He killed my Talbot so he will meet the end of my stake. Afterwards, Miss Stackhouse will become Bill’s. That is, after I have perfected how to walk in the sun using her blood.” Russell answered instead of Felipe this time, and I felt my blood run cold. I had no intention of being drained several times just so Russell could try and get a tan! I certainly had no intention of being Bill’s either!
“Oh come now, we can take the handcuffs off of our guests.” Russell turned to Felipe as Bill stood, looking down on me. I couldn’t stop my laughter. Our current positions were the perfect resemblance of our old relationship. Here I was tied up, against my will, with little to no way out, and here he was towering over me pretending to be all high and mighty. Ata caught onto my train of thought and the corners of her lips quirked upwards while the three vampires stood frowning at us. I didn’t bother to apologise for my laughter, which Gran would have been kicking me for if she were still alive right now, but I figured we were beyond the point of being polite.
“Guests are invited, they can leave of their own accord.” Ata pointed out aptly as Felipe produced a key from his pocket, squatting down behind me to undo the iron handcuffs. The moment they were free from my skin I brought my arms out in front of me, cradling the singed flesh. He moved onto Ata next, and the moment her hands were free she sent him flying across the room with her light. The iron had weakened her so her blow wasn’t enough to kill him, but it knocked him out all right.
Using their vampire speed, Bill and Russell had pieces of iron on Ata and I again, causing us both to cry out at the sensation. “There is that aspect of you which I loathe.” I heard Russell mutter in Ata’s ear as we were hauled up off of the floor. Bill had a tight grip on me with one hand, the other holding iron to my arm, and Russell had done the same with Ata. Forced through a door and down a flight of stairs we were plunged into relative darkness, the only light coming from a few flickering candles and a small window that had bars covering it. The moon was high in the sky and its light fell on what looked like a cage one would keep a giant and dangerous animal in – a lion maybe. It was empty however, and I soon understood why. Russell pulled up the door and threw Ata in. Bill shoved me in seconds later before the door was slammed shut. “Enjoy your stay ladies.” Russell called over his shoulder as he left with Bill, the pair of them heading back up the stairs they had taken us down. I moved to the door, adamant that we would get out. Before I could put my hands on it though Ata had a hold on my wrist.
“It’s iron.” She informed me, looking at me as if I were an idiot. Of course it would be iron.
“Can’t we pop out though, I mean, our hands aren’t bound? There’s no iron touching us.” I wasn’t going to give up. I would fight my way out of this regardless.
Sighing, Ata took a seat on the cold concrete floor; wincing at the discomfort the cold gave her. “We’re trapped in iron, so no we cannot use our popping ability. Popping takes an awful lot of energy from nature around us. The iron blocks the energy from getting to us.” My cousin explained, crossing her legs as she dropped her head into her hands.
“So, what do we do?” I asked quietly, backing away from the iron bars towards Ata. Slowly I sat beside her, leaning against her for support – both physical and emotional.
Lifting her head I spotted a few stray tears on her cheeks, but she quickly wiped them away with the back of a slightly grubby hand. One of her arms encircled me, holding me close to her. “We wait.”
When your heart is full of doubt as you think that there’s no way out
You find your faith that’s been lost and shaken; you take back what’s been taken
Get on your knees and dig down deep, you can do what you think is impossible
Keep on believing, don’t give in, it’ll come and make you whole again
It always will, it always does
Love is unstoppable
~ Unstoppable, Rascal Flatts
Even in my day rest I felt my bond with Sookie shut down, and it was enough to pull me from my sleep early. I was use to feeling her, even in the depths of my day death, that without the hum of our bond I felt empty – like a part of me was missing. Without our bond I was unsure if my Sookie was dead or alive, and I couldn’t stop myself from roaring at the uncertainty of it. Racing out of bed I dressed quickly, my fangs having snapped down with the anger of not being able to feel Sookie. Unable to leave the room, or the windowless corridor outside, without risking burning myself as the last rays of sunshine disappeared I was forced to prowl around our bedroom for five minutes. The moment my internal body clock informed me that the sun had dipped below the horizon I almost tore the door from its hinges, vamping into the living room. The exact same moment I entered the room so did Godric and my brothers, all of whom had their own fangs down, growling and snarling in anger.
Pam entered seconds later, as did Isabel. “Where the fuck is Sookie and Ata?” I snarled at no one in particular, my eyes scanning the whole room, throwing out my senses to see if they were anywhere else in the penthouse. I heard two heartbeats upstairs in the training room, and before Godric could command me not to I was racing up the stairs, flinging the door open in a desperate hope that Sookie and Ata would be up there. Instead I was greeted with the sight of a quivering Hunter and a worried Jason, both of whom were bloody and dirty.
“Where are Sookie and Ata?” I demanded harshly, looking to the Stackhouse male for answers.
“I don’t know. Some big guys took them away.” He answered me, holding on to Hunter as if I wouldn’t hurt him if he were holding the small boy. His heartbeat was frantic, perspiration coating his body due to his fear. Speaking of Hunter, my gaze moved down to the small boy that Jason was clinging onto. He was dirty and bloody, his clothes torn. Fat tears were rolling down his cheeks and his eyes were red and puffy. He was snivelling too, little patches of snot sat on the skin under his nose that he had missed when he had wiped his nose on the cuff of his tatty jumper. Although frightened for Sookie, and aware that Jason was still babbling on, my heart ached for the little boy. Finally he lifted his gaze, his eyes capturing mine. He looked frightened and lost. Clicking my fangs back into place I crouched down, offering my arms out to the young boy. Within seconds he’d left Jason and thrown himself at me, breaking out into tiny sobs as soon as I encased him in my arms.
“Shhhh.” I murmured softly, rubbing his back in a soothing motion. “Jason, will you please come on down and tell us all what happened today.” I tried my best to remain calm, as I didn’t wish to frighten the little boy clinging onto me any further.
“S-sure, I guess I can do that.” The Stackhouse male answered. Rising to my feet I easily scooped Hunter up, the little boy burying his face in the crook of my neck. I was barely holding onto my anger at the situation and my worry for Sookie, especially with Godric’s emotions, and those of my brothers, battling against me. My new bond with Ata was gone also, shut down, and it felt like she had died too. I had only just gained her, I hadn’t even had the chance to call her mother to her face and she was taken from me. I would get my bonded and my mother back though, and whoever stood in my way would pay for it with their life.
Descending the stairs back to the living room, I found Godric and Ari prowling. Isabel was soothing Khai, who was sat on the edge of one of the sofas. Egor and Agmund were helping one another calm down and Riei and Oeri were trying to keep themselves busy with other tasks. Their method of coping was something I had become very accustomed to in the year Sookie had been in Faery. Pam was trying her hardest not to worry, but her usual stony expression was grim. I could feel her trying to push calm towards Ari through the bond they shared, and yet little seemed to soothe the Egyptian vampire.
“Jason has information about what happened today.” I announced as I entered the room. “I’m going to bathe Hunter and get him some clean clothes.” I added, needing a minute. Hunter would be my distraction while I pulled myself together and came up with a game plan. I already had an idea about what had happened, and who had taken Sookie and Ata. Now I just had to come up with a way to get them back.
Heading towards the room I shared with Sookie, I entered quietly, still holding Hunter in my arms. The young fae boy was still quietly sobbing, clutching onto my shirt as if it were the only thing keeping him alive. It couldn’t have been easy for him to witness what had happened, or to take whatever had been done to him. That was another thing I would avenge – mistreatment of my son.
Entering the bathroom I sat Hunter down on the marble countertop, though he was reluctant to let go of me. “It’s okay Hunter, I’m not going anywhere.” I reassured him, forcing myself to smile as I slowly extricated myself from his grip. Grabbing a tissue from the counter I wiped the tears from his face before I cleaned up his nose, instructing him to blow it. Running a lukewarm bath for him, as I didn’t want to burn him, I popped in a few bubbles, knowing Sookie liked them. I guessed that if Sookie liked them then Hunter would too. I helped him out of his clothes before I picked him up, placing him down in the bath. The water reached his waist and he didn’t complain about the temperature. Rolling up my sleeves I crouched beside the bathtub. “Are you okay to wash yourself?” I asked him gently, worried about how quiet he was being.
Tears started to roll down his cheeks again and I quickly wiped them away. “Shh little man, no tears.” I tried to console him.
“But daddy, they took mommy and Auntie Ata.” Hunter’s brown eyes turned to me and I had to stop myself from getting upset. The way he had so innocently called me his father, how he had taken to Sookie and I so quickly. I would be signing those adoption papers as soon as possible. Hunter would be a Northman very soon indeed.
“And your Uncle Godric and I will be going to get them as soon as possible.” I reassured him, trying to reassure myself as well. Taking the bar of soap from the side of the bath I lathered it up in my hands, taking one of his small arms. Carefully I washed him, removing all of the grime and blood. I could see cuts and bruises appearing under the layer of dirt and had to stop myself from growling and snarling at the fact that someone had hurt my boy. No one was allowed to hurt my boy. Every now and then he would wince when I washed a particularly tender bruise or cut. I wouldn’t allow my son to be in pain.
“Hunter,” I started softly, not wanting to frighten the young boy. “I can give you some of my blood if you’d like. You’d be healed instantly and you won’t be in any more pain. It’ll also mean that I can feel your emotions and find out where you are.” I explained, giving him the option to take it if he wanted. I felt no need to hide from him the effects of my blood. I wasn’t Compton, tricking people into taking it, forcing a tie upon them. My son was quiet for a minute, his eyes locked on mine. I could tell he was searching for something, as his inability to hear my thoughts meant that he couldn’t simply dip into my head to find what he was after. After what felt like an eternity but was in fact only a few minutes he nodded, obviously having found what he was looking for. Dropping fang I bit into my wrist, offering it out to him. Slowly he placed his lips over the wound, taking three small pulls. It was all he needed given his small size and I felt my wound heal up instantly. Hunter’s tie flourished inside of me and I could feel how better he felt, not only physically but emotionally too. My tie with him was, oddly enough, similar to the one I had with Pam. I could feel that he was family, that he was my child, even though he wasn’t really my son.
“Thank you, daddy.” Hunter murmured quietly as he used some of the bathwater to wipe away one little drop of my blood that clung to his chin. Leaning forward I kissed his temple before I washed his hair, using one of my large hands to shield his eyes from the shampoo. I didn’t want my boy to hurt his eyes. Once he was suitable cleaned I lifted him from the water, wrapping him up in a fluffy white towel.
Draining the bath of the water I allowed Hunter to dry himself, not wanting to baby him. Vamping to the bedroom I grabbed him a clean set of clothes before I returned, handing them to him. Silently he changed, ruffling his slightly damp hair a little before he turned towards me, looking up at me from under his naturally thick lashes. Offering him my hand we left the room together, padding our way back into the living room where Jason had just finished recounting the nights events. I could feel Godric’s furious anger, along with that of my brothers and even Pam’s. Whatever had happened to my Sookie and to Ata hadn’t been pleasant, nor of their own choosing. Sitting on the sofa, I brought Hunter with me, placing the teacup human onto my lap.
“Start at the beginning. Keep it PG.” I ordered Jason, glancing to Hunter so he would understand that I wanted no foul language or graphic detail around my son.
“It was about an hour until sunrise and Hunter and I were in ‘ere watching some Spongebob, you know, the kids TV about the sponge that lives under the sea and lives in a pineapple?” Jason glanced to me. Raising an eyebrow was the only response I gave, and Jason seemed to sense that I had no idea and nor did I care about whatever TV show they were watching. “Well, Flo came up here and she said that Sookie and Ata had arranged for us to have a late afternoon trip to the pool. I thought going to the pool would be a mighty good idea. See Hunter can’t swim and I was hoping to teach him, so he’d be real good. Momma and daddy died because they couldn’t swim, and I don’t want Hunter to be that vulnerable.” The Stackhouse male prattled on. The fact Hunter couldn’t swim would be remedied soon, as one of my safe houses had a giant pool in the back yard for those nights when I wished to let off some steam.
“She was real adamant, pretty much pushed us into the elevator and when the doors opened downstairs we were jumped on by those damn Were’s.” Jason continued to explain. I was furious. The cook had betrayed Ata, betrayed us all?!
“Flo’s mind was all funny, like that cheese with all the holes in that I used to be fed. I used to be told not to listen to people but I wanted to know what the swimming pool was like so I would know what to wear.” Hunter explained from my lap, having turned so he was curled against my chest, one of my arms wrapped protectively around his back, circling him against me.
“Glamoured.” Ari responded in a growl, shaking his head in anger that someone would stoop so low. Not to mention the fact that Flo was an innocent in all of this. In truth I didn’t really care who was hurt along the way, outside of my immediate family of course, so long as Sookie and Ata were returned safely to us, but there was something about dragging the woman who fed and looked after Sookie and Ata in the day into this mess that frustrated me.
“When was the last time anyone saw Flo?” Khai questioned, clenching his hands as he attempted to get his anger under control. Isabel had placed one of her dainty hands onto his knee in an attempt to soothe him.
“Yesterday mornin’. She made us all breakfast before we went and got ready for the VRA party.” Jason answered straight away. No one had seen her since and that left a huge time window for her to be taken against her will and glamoured into doing the bidding of any vampire. Not to mention that during the VRA party there were hundreds of vampires present, so anyone could have taken her and blended into the crowd.
“Who would have taken her though?” Pam questioned, quirking an eyebrow. “Bill is too incompetent.” My Childe then sniggered before she let us in on the joke. “Get it, Bill Compton – incompetent.” I rolled my eyes at Pam’s little joke. Her humour was much appreciated now and helped to break the tension and some of the stress.
“Felipe would probably try to do it, but I don’t think he would without causing a huge scene. That seems to be his MO.” Ari chipped in, the night when Felipe had tried to arrest him playing through his mind. My new mental connections with my family were all informative, but at the same time they were tiring. I could see why Sookie had longed for the silence of vampire minds, why she had subjected herself to Compton.
“Russell likes to make a show of things too, but after 3000 years I think he’s learnt to be sneaky and conniving. Glamouring an innocent and forcing someone into a situation they wouldn’t like to be in sounds like something he would do.” Godric added his own input into the conversation, earning nods from everyone in the room.
“They are the three we figured out are part of the riddle.” Egor pointed out, sitting himself down on the floor.
“I think the more important question is about how we get them back.” I broke in, fed up with all this talk about how two of the three most important women in my life were abducted. I didn’t care for how it happened; the fact of the matter was that it had happened.
“We have security cameras downstairs, I can see if I can get hold of them so we at least have some leads as to who actually took them.” Khai offered, rising from his spot on the sofa. I could feel that my brother needed a few moments alone, and this was a perfect and yet helpful opportunity. He fled the room quickly, disappearing downstairs; leaving a forlorn Isabel sat on the sofa.
“Go, he’ll need you.” Ari muttered to her softly, forcing himself to give her what only just passed as a reassuring smile. Isabel was gone only seconds later, disappearing after Khai.
It seemed that all of us had someone to carry our emotions – I had Hunter, Jason had Hunter, Ari and Pam had one another, Isabel and Khai had one another, then there was Egor and Agmund, along with Riei and Oeri. I could feel my Maker struggling though. He had no one really. He couldn’t freak around me because it was a given I would mimic him. The only person he wanted to be around, who could offer him some form of comfort, was the woman who had been taken from him. We fell into silence as we waited for Khai to return with the security tapes. Hunter felt like my anchor, and I cradled him closer, the soft thudding of his heart reverberating against my silent chest. He’d stuck a thumb in his mouth and screwed his eyes shut. I could feel his exhaustion through our weak connection and the slight change in his breathing pattern as he slowly started to slide into slumber.
A movement from Godric captured my attention and I was forced to look away from the young boy who was so unafraid of me, who was so comfortable around me that he clung to me like a safety blanket. Godric’s eyes were averted, his gaze locked on the mantelpiece over the fireplace, and yet he was playing with a wooden pendant around his neck, rubbing the smooth surface between his fingers as it were soothing him. I could tell it held some meaning to him but I was only able to capture half of the inscription on it. It was new however, so I was able to surmise it had been a gift from Ata.
Turning my own gaze to the mantelpiece I found my eyes locking onto a photo in a golden frame of both Ata and Sookie in the sunshine. Clad in their bikinis the pair of them were holding onto one another like sisters – the best of friends – with huge smiles on their features, the colours of their hair and eyes matching perfectly in the Egyptian sunshine, the sparkle in their eyes frozen for the rest of eternity in the image. Slowly, with determination lacing his every word, my Maker spoke up. “We will get them back. I will have my Ata, and you will have your Sookie.” His eyes met mine and I could see the 2000-year-old killer in them, the vampire rather than the man. My Maker had something to fight for, a challenge to win. I could tell he wouldn’t go down without a fight, and I would damn well follow him.
You can’t fix your broken promise, our ties have come undone
I will not be used, to be battered and abused
It’s the reason why I choose to cut my losses
Your lies fool no one, your magic white rabbit
Your white room straight jacket
Your magic white rabbit has left it’s writing on the wall
We follow like Alice and just keep diving down the hole
We’re falling and we’re losing control
Your pulling us and dragging us down this dead end road
We follow like Alice and just keep diving down the hole
You can’t offer your poison to me in your kingdom of filth
~ White Rabbit, Egypt Central
I thought that by going with the Were’s, by entering Felipe’s mansion, we would be to negotiate something that would enable our release. Obviously I was wrong.
Now Sookie and I were locked in a small iron cell, meaning that our ability to pop was useless. Although we could still use our other gifts they wouldn’t be nearly as powerful. We were sitting ducks for all intents and purposes, and I had allowed this happen. “I’m sorry, Sook.” I mumbled pathetically as we huddled together. The basement was surprisingly warm, but our lack of clothing meant that the cold floor counteracted any good the heating system did.
“It’s not your fault. I would have done the same thing to save Jason and Hunter. At least we can defend ourselves for longer, and at least Eric and Godric will come for us.” My cousin responded from my side, gently rubbing my arm to create some friction in order to help me keep warm. I returned the gesture.
“That’s what I’m worried about though, Eric and Godric coming for us. You heard what Russell and Felipe said to Bubba and Oscar. They want Eric and Godric dead. I couldn’t live in a world without my husband and my son.” I shook my head, willing myself not to think of that.
“There you go, calling Eric your son.” Sookie tilted her head a little to look sideways at me, a small smile painted on her lips.
“He is my son. I changed him last night.” I filled Sookie in, remembering that she had been unconscious at the time due to the massive stake that had been embedded in her side. Sookie was quite for a moment but I felt her shock through the connection we shared, and I could feel her mind working overtime as she processed that information.
“This is kind of fucked up isn’t it? Eric is your son and I’m your cousin and yet I’m in a relationship with him.” My cousin forced a laugh, shaking her head. I could tell this was hard for her. Her life had gone from quiet and easy to hectic and troublesome pretty much overnight.
“Yeah, but would you have it any other way?” I asked, hoping that our conversation would distract her for a little while until I could come up with a way to get us out of this mess. I hadn’t opened any of my bonds with the vampires back at Caesar’s Palace. The moment I did so they would be able to feel my emotions, and my location, and the last thing I wanted was for them to come rushing to us. Maybe a mental message would be able to get through to Godric, even over the long distance. It had worked during the night of the party the last time I had been in this god-forsaken mansion.
“No. No I wouldn’t.” Sookie murmured beside me, her resolve pouring through our bond. It was during the silence that followed our conversation that I heard the unmistakable sound of the basement door opening, followed by footsteps as whomever had entered descended down towards us. From the frantic thoughts I was picking up and the Southern drawl that accompanied them it was easy to quickly surmise that the dear Mr. Compton was paying us a visit.
“Sookeh!” He hissed through the darkness, approaching our iron cell. Resisting the urge to roll my eyes I pushed strength, courage, and support through the bond I shared with my cousin, allowing her to take charge of the situation.
“What do you want, Bill?” Sookie’s voice was flat, and she didn’t bother to hide her annoyance or disdain for the vampire stood in front of us.
“I want to help you. Let me help you.” He begged her. I snorted quietly at the waves of pathetic-ness rolling off of him. He was somewhat of a joke.
“You want to help me after being the one to put me in this damn iron cell in the first place? That’s rich.” Sookie retorted, having obviously felt my own disbelief at the lies he was spouting. We’d heard everything of course, thanks to Bubba. There was no way he was helping Sookie out of the cell unless it meant the end of Eric.
“But I’m going to indulge you Bill, as you seemed to do to me for the entirety of our relationship.” She threw in a dig, which had the corners of my lips quirking upwards, and the corners of Bill’s falling. “Pray tell, how do you intend for me to get out?”
Realising he had a chance for her to hear his brilliant plan, as he referred to it in his head, he launched into his speech. “I will speak to Russell and Felipe personal and ask them for your freedom in exchange for the pleasure of killing Eric without me. They are selfish and wish nothing more than to end him themselves.” He started, his confession causing Sookie to prod at our mental tie.
“Then I guess I’m selfish for wanting to stake Bill all by myself then too eh?” Her comment caught me off guard, but I was able to cover up my laugh with a cough, blaming the cold floor as the cause of it. Maybe the asshole would bring us a fucking blanket if he were smart enough to get the hint.
“You will take my blood, which will weaken your tie with Eric so that he can no longer find you. I will take you across state lines where we will swear fealty to another king or queen and be placed under their royal protection. That way, even if for some reason Eric escapes from Russell and Felipe he can never have you back. You will be mine.” Bill carried on with his delusional speech, and I found myself only hearing snippets of it. This boy had serious issues if he thought Eric was holding Sookie against her will.
“Oh what a wonderful plan Bill, I would have never guessed any of that.” Sookie shook her head, clearly done talking to the moron before us.
“Leave us. Sookie doesn’t want your ‘help’ or your blood.” I wafted my hand in Bill’s direction, dismissing him from our presence. It was a shame we simply couldn’t just get up and leave him in the basement instead. However it seemed the vampires who had kidnapped us had other ideas. Felipe was soon in the basement with us, stood beside Bill, a condescending smirk painted onto his features. “Now, now, ladies that is no way to talk to your hosts.” He tutted while he shook his head, as if we were children who needed to be told off.
“Well I do believe locking up ones guests doesn’t make you a very good host.” I shot back, my brain to mouth filtering faltering for a second. Felipe’s jaw tensed a little but he soon relaxed again.
“We’re going to try this again ladies. Miss Stackhouse, you are going to be spending time with our dear Mr. Compton this evening, and Miss Caesar, you and I are going to be spending this evening together.” Felipe outlined the plan for the night, seemingly pleased. I wasn’t.
“Oh how lovely of you to consult us on the evenings entertainment. Unfortunately we’re going to have to give it a miss, we have other things to be spending our time doing.” I sassed. Sookie’s hand, which had landed on my arm moments before, tightened a little in warning. I was beyond a warning though. It was one thing to throw us in a cell and leave us there, away from them, but another entirely to drag us out and subject us to their presence. “Oh, and it’s Mrs. Caesar-Nervii.” I corrected, holding up my left hand to flash my bands at the vampire before me. Although the pledging didn’t physically mark me, Godric’s blood in me had shifted scent a little. It still smelt like him, but it was stronger, daring anyone to sink his or her fangs into me. The smell was meant to repulse other vampires, to stop them from carnally wanting me, but I had a feeling my fae blood had stopped that little part of the change from working.
Bill sighed, shaking his head at my comment before he moved to one of the basement walls. “I hate that it has come to this, my dear Sookie, but Miss Caesar brought this on.” He shoved the blame onto me and I heard Sookie scoff. Clearly she had come to the same conclusion I had. Bill never took responsibility for his actions. He always felt the need to blame someone else so that he looked like the good guy. His true colours were bleeding through though, and I could see that it somewhat frightened my little cousin.
Bill returned to our cell, clutching two pairs of iron handcuffs. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes at the predictability of it. Those things hurt like a motherfucker though. Without warning Felipe used his vampire speed to yank the cell open and grab Sookie, hauling her out and thrusting her towards Bill. Before she could even muster the strength to pop away he had his handcuffs on her, rendering her powers useless. Sookie’s scream of pain as the handcuffs were placed on her made me want to kill Bill, and Felipe, and everyone else in this stupid mansion. It was one thing to hurt me, I had experienced 2000 years of torture and agony, but my little cousin was relatively new to the Supe world and her powers weren’t as advanced. She was a little more delicate. Of course Sookie’s removal from the cell meant that I was next, and it was only seconds later before Felipe hauled me out of the cell, wrapping another pair of iron handcuffs onto me in order to stop me from using my powers against him. I had to admire him for knowing the weakness of his enemy; it was just a shame that I was the enemy.
Sookie and I were hauled back up the staircase and into the main body of the mansion, the bright light from the light bulbs caught me off guard and it took a moment for my vision to adjust. The basement was dark and dingy, but I had noticed a rather conveniently placed window at the back of our cell, open to the elements apart from a few bars across it. I didn’t think they would be iron; they looked like they had been there for a while.
Of course the moment we were out in the mansion we were separated. Bill hauled Sookie off in one direction while Felipe took me in another. “Don’t worry Sook, everything will be fine.” I mentally called out to her as she disappeared from sight.
“I’m more worried about you!” My cousin responded in her typical fashion, putting the feelings and emotions of others before herself. I sighed internally but didn’t bother to correct her about it. My cousin would always put others before herself. She was never going to change.
“Don’t worry about me, focus on yourself. I’ll meet you back in that godforsaken cell soon.” I promised her just as I was dragged into a long, marble hallway.
“Well my dear, what do you think?” Felipe gestured around him to the room. I was frozen to the spot. It looked exactly like the corridors leading to the rooms in Caesar’s Palace. The marble was the same shade, the walls paints the same colour. Similar paintings were hung up on the walls and even the same types of plants were in little pots, dotted along the corridor.
“It looks just like home.” I pointed out the obvious, knowing that was the response he wanted. Now I was worried. It was one thing to be enamoured with something but to change your whole house around to look exactly like theirs? It was a little creepy and made my skin crawl.
“Which was the point, my dear. I built all of this with you in mind. This will be your new home and it’ll be like you never left the old one.” He turned to me with a smile, obviously not seeing the fatal flaw in his plan.
“Minus my Children and my husband.” I added. While it was lovely that Felipe’s mansion looked like my home, it wasn’t home. It never would be without my Children and husband with me. The place was just a house otherwise; the people made it a home.
“Oh don’t you worry about them. Soon you shall be my wife and we will have our own children.” His gaze dropped to my lower belly, and instinctively I wrapped my handcuffed arms around the area. No one’s child would be growing there, unless they were Godric’s, and that was never going to happen anyway. Dang vampirism. I realized the situation I was in was getting more and more dire as the seconds went by. I couldn’t understand why I had allowed him to be king for so long, why I hadn’t simply taken his crown from him. I’d blithely followed him for years, backing him up whenever he needed it, offering my telepathy to help him gain popularity on the west coast of America. My boys and I would have never had to worry about him if we’d have just taken his crown, we would have never had to pretend to like him in front of others or deal with his constant lies and his attempts at separating us all up.
The other Sheriff’s of Nevada weren’t his biggest fans either, but the state was lucrative and Felipe was a fair king. It was a shame he was an unfair man when business was no longer involved. Although I would no doubt kick myself for it in the morning I opened up my mental connection with all of the vampires back at the penthouse. Immediately I was bombarded with hundreds of mental questions, but Godric’s were the loudest.
“Ata! Ata!” He was practically screaming in my head and it took all my concentration to keep my face neutral. Felipe had resumed his tour, grabbing me by the arm to lead me through the house. It scared me how similar it was to home. I was feeding the layout through the mental connection to Ari, who was begging me to open up our bonds as he worked away to scribble down a rough layout on paper that Pam had bought to him.
“I’m fine baby, I’m fine.” I tried to reassure my husband, though I knew my mental reassurances would do nothing to make him feel any better, especially considering the fact he could currently see everything I could through our tie. I made the fatal mistake of looking down, and the iron handcuffs fell into his line of sight. Without warning my bond with him tore open, his anger and resentment flooding into my system, crippling me. Unable to stand under the weight of his emotions I crumbled to the floor.
“You should watch where you’re going.” Felipe’s voice broke me out of my pain induced whimpering. In a fluid motion he hauled me back up onto my feet and I was quick to shut down my bond with Godric. It was too late though; he knew I was in Felipe’s mansion and exactly what I felt about being there.
“I’m coming to get you. Do. Not. Move.” His order was strict and authoritative. I would have laughed about not being able to move, given that I was currently handcuffed, but I felt it best not to anger my beloved further. I was mentally feeding Ari every little detail I could think of so that he and the others would be able to come up with a far more detailed, and therefore more likely to be successful, rescue plan.
“Godric Caesar-Nervii. Don’t you dare come in here and get me. If you so much as set foot on this property without a foolproof plan of action, and multiple back up plans, I will personally see to it that you will have to sleep alone, in your own bed, for one-hundred years.” I threw him an ultimatum, vowing to take away from him the one thing he loved the most if he didn’t obey me. My husband was a snuggler, and I was well aware of how much he enjoyed the fact that we slept beside one another.
There was silence from our mental tie as my husband dealt with my ultimatum. Felipe had moved us into somewhere he liked to call the ‘dayroom.’ I hadn’t been listening to him talking, too busy dealing with my petulant husband, so I nodded my head along with whatever he was saying. He was showing me the far side of the room when Godric agreed with my order, and the sight of busts of my mother and father fell into my line of vision at that exact moment. Mother and father were dead because of Russell and his greed, and here I was with one of his progenies. “I’ve even had my people purchase you a brand new car and a whole new wardrobe. Only the finest of life’s luxuries for my wife.” Felipe’s eyes trailed up and down my figure, his tongue darting out to lick his lips as his gaze met mine. If Felipe thought I was marrying him then he was just as delusional as Bill. I would never go through with it. I would pretend to end myself again and flee to the Old World with my large family. The vampire king of Egypt would readily accept us and protect us. I was a national treasure after all. The vampire queen of Sweden adored Egor and Agmund, so she was a potential ally should the need arise too.
“Fine. You win. First sign of trouble though and I am coming to get you. I will not let that insolent man hurt you in any way. You. Are. Mine.” He mentally growled, and that growl was what set me off. Godric’s possessive streak, coupled with the growl that I already missed, had the heat flaring to my core. Squeezing my thighs together, I prayed to Isis that Felipe wouldn’t inhale. Of course he then chose that moment to do so.
“You approve of the home and the gifts I have given you?” He closed the distance between us, towering over me ever so slightly. It was wrong. His height was wrong. My Godric and I were roughly the same height, which was how it was supposed to be. Ignoring my husband for the time being I moved my eyes back to the busts of my parents, the anger I felt in that moment for their deaths was stronger than it ever had been before. With no tie to Felipe he was unable to sense what I was doing.
Pulling in as much magic as I could from my surroundings, even with the iron handcuffs on me, I used what dwindling strength I had to sharply raise a leg, slamming my foot high into Felipe’s chest. Having not seen the attack coming, the look of surprise on Felipe’s face was comical. That was, until he hit the far wall. He was down for seconds before he hauled himself up and charged at me, raising a hand.
I felt the sharp sting as his hand connected with my face, heard the sound of bones grinding and seconds later I felt the cold marble floor beneath me. Kicking him across the room had been gratifying for all of three seconds, and would have no doubt earned me a silent cheer from my husband, but the long-term consequences were just starting to come into fruition. I had no time to think before I was hauled up off of the floor, placed down on the nearest surface, Felipe’s hands capturing my face. “See what you made me do, you silly girl. I never wanted to harm you.” He cooed, as if it would make his mistreatment of me any better. I was fighting back the tears, not because of the pain, nor because of the situation I had found myself in, but because I could feel my husbands hurt through our bond. He had taken most of the pain of that hit for me, pulling it through our bond so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I was fighting back tears because I had a husband who was willing to take every hit, every strike, every bullet, if it meant I would be safe and unharmed. I wasn’t sure if he was losing it in his old age, or even if I was worth all of the pain, but I loved him nonetheless.
Felipe moved my head in his hands, examining the huge handprint that had blossomed on my cheek. “You’re not bleeding, that’s good.” He sighed, his shoulders slumping a little as he used one of his hands to stroke my hair. It was different to the way Godric would do it. With him it was all about affection and love, with Felipe it felt controlling and condescending. “Never lash out at me again and I wouldn’t be forced to hurt you.” He warned me, catching my eyes. He didn’t bother trying to glamour me, knowing it wouldn’t work, but his hand in my hair moved to the nape of my neck and before I could shout out in protest his lips were on mine, muffling my scream.
Godric’s anger caused tears to streak down my cheeks, and I could feel my boys having to hold him down, even though their own anger was becoming difficult for them to control. I could even feel Eric struggling to remain at Caesar’s Palace. Felipe’s kiss was controlling and demanding, forceful and aggressive. Shaking my head to try and break free, his grip on the nape of my neck tightened, his other hand clenching onto my arm with such force that I was sure I could feel the bruise starting to form there. I wanted to kick, lash out and scream, curse him to the high heavens, and blast him into dust with my light, but the iron around my wrists was weakening me with every passing second. I had to get out of this. It was wrong. His lips weren’t plump and soft, slightly moist and delicious, like my husbands were. Felipe’s were cold and cruel. Shuffling on the surface that I had been deposited on it took little effort for me to bring my knee clean up into Felipe’s crotch, causing him to double over.
It was a common misconception that vampires didn’t feel any real pain, apart from silver, and that you could punch them and they wouldn’t really feel it. While their bodies were solid the males’ crotches were most certainly not as unbreakable. I’d learnt that the hard way during the 10th century. Raising my cuffed hands I swept my tears away, not wanting to give Felipe the satisfaction of tasting them. There was no point in me running from him, he was faster than me and while covered in iron I had no way of getting out of the mansion alone. Besides, I wouldn’t leave Sookie. Ever.
In a blur of motion one of Felipe’s hands was wrapped around my neck, hauling me off of the surface. Before I could protest and squirm we were back in the basement, the handcuffs removed as I was violently thrown back into the iron cell Sookie and I would no doubt be spending the next few days in. Pain blossomed in my lower back as it connected with the cold floor, but I was grateful for the lack of direct iron contact, and for the silence the basement offered me. It also meant playtime with Felipe was over for now. “You insolent woman!” he yelled at me through the bars, grabbing them with both hands, as they had no effect on him. “You’re lucky I don’t fucking kill you now.” He hissed, as if I was worried about his temper tantrum and his feelings.
I didn’t give Felipe the satisfaction of a response, and the king of Nevada stalked from the room, slamming the door behind him seconds later. Instead I lay there, spreading out my arms and legs so I looked like a starfish. I could feel the cold seeping in through my flimsy clothing and it helped to numb the pain of his smacks and ease the anger pouring through my bonds with Godric and my Children.
Finally though, without Sookie by my side, it became too much. “Please stop.” I whispered into the darkness, knowing that everyone I shared a mental connection with at that very moment would hear me. It was as if a lid had been put on a bubbling pan – one moment the emotions of my family were pouring into me and almost overpowering me, and the next they were non-existent. The bonds were all closed and only our mental ties remained. “Thank you.” I muttered, sighing quietly.
Turning my head to the side, my red cheek came into contact with the cool ground, and in the darkness I caught sight of a thick blanket. At least Felipe or one of his cronies had the decency to not let us freeze to death. Grabbing the woollen fabric I spread it over myself, pleased it was big enough for both Sookie and I to snuggle under. Although tired, I refused to give in to sleep until Sookie was back with me, when she was safe.