Ethereal Redemption Chapter 61

A/N Next chapter for ya my beauties, and it’s a wee bit longer than the last one, and has some lemons. Don’t say that I don’t love ya’ll! 🙂

betad_midnightopheliac


SOOKIE’S POV
I think I’ve finally had enough, I think I maybe think too much
I think this might be it for us, blow me one last kiss
You think I’m just too serious, I think you’re full of shit
My head is spinning so blow me one last kiss
Just when it can’t get worse, I’ve had a shit day
Have you had a shit day? We’ve had a shit day
I think that life’s too short for this, I want back my ignorance and bliss
I think I’ve had enough of this, blow me one last kiss.
~ Blow Me One Last Kiss, P!NK

Being pulled out of the iron cell like a ragdoll was not my idea of fun, nor was it particularly pleasant for me when the iron handcuffs were slapped onto my wrists. I couldn’t stop my scream of pain as the iron came into contact with my skin. I’d never been so sensitive to it before, but then I’d never spent an extended period of time with another faery, nor had I been practicing with my powers so much. I’d known this day was coming, when Bill would finally snap and try and take me from Eric. He’d always been possessive, but I hadn’t pegged him for being deranged until our relationship was nearing its end, when all the lies he’d spouted started to rear their ugly heads. Tears streamed down my cheeks and yet I refused to break completely, I refused to open up my bonds with Eric and the others back at our nest. I could do this. I could do this.

Sookie and Bill on the porch

Together Ata and I were hauled upstairs, the brightness of the light bulbs in the room we had been shoved into took me a moment to adjust to, but when my eyes finally adjusted I was able to properly take in my surroundings. Felipe’s mansion was beautiful, there was no denying it, but it looked too much like Caesar’s Palace. Judging by Felipe’s thoughts, which were currently galloping through my mind like a championship racehorse, it had been his intention all along. Just as I finished contemplating my surroundings I was pulled away from Ata, Bill’s grip on my arm was like steel. Felipe was dragging my cousin the other way and I panicked, not wanting to be separated from her. “Don’t worry Sookeh. Felipe will take care of your friend.” Bill cooed in my ear, having obviously felt my panic through the weak tie we still shared. I was glad I hadn’t formed a bond with him, at least he didn’t have that much of a hold over me. I heard Ata in my mind, seeing as how we felt there was no need to be blocked off from one another, and just as I couldn’t see her anymore she called out to me.

“Don’t worry Sook, everything will be fine!” As per usual I wasn’t worried about myself. I’d dealt with Bill for a while and I knew how he worked. Felipe was the uncertain element here, as was Russell.

“I’m more worried about you!” I shot back to her, hoping she would understand. Bill was too much ‘in love’ with me to really hurt me.

Bill Proposes to Sookie

“Don’t worry about me, focus on yourself. I’ll meet you back in that godforsaken cell soon.” Ata promised me, though I was unsure how long it would be until we would get to see one another again. As we moved out of sight of Ata and Felipe, Bill loosened his hold on me a little. I would have bruises in the morning, and I didn’t have any cream with me to get rid of them. There was not a cat in hells chance I was taking Bill’s blood to heal!

Dropping one of his hands to the curve of my lower back, Bill navigated me through the maze of corridors. I kept my connection with Ata open but didn’t pry. She would let me know what she wanted me to know. Bill’s hand on me was uncomfortable and I could feel my bond with Eric screaming out that this was wrong, that the wrong man had his hands on me. Although I’d closed down the bond it seemed like it wasn’t taking no for an answer. Demanding. Just like the man who had forged it with me.

“Sookeh, I will make sure that you have some clean clothes and a blanket to sleep under this evening.” Bill made some attempt at small talk, but his efforts were lost on me. He blew his chance, not that there was one to start with anyway, the moment I had figured out he was in on this little plan, that he was one of the vampires who had ordered my abduction from Caesar’s Palace and the threatening of what little DNA-related family I had left.

Bill whisked me into what appeared to be a sitting room, and I felt a strange sense of déjà vu overtake me. The room was beautifully decorated, there was no denying it, but I felt uneasy. The walls were painted in powder blue, cream carpet covered the floor and a chandelier hung from the ceiling in the centre of the room. Thick blue drapes covered the windows and a fire was roaring away in the white marble fireplace. There was one sofa, big enough for three people, and opposite it sat two arm chairs. All three were white, with blue and red scatter cushions. A grand piano was tucked away to one side of the room and on the walls there were numerous huge paintings of famous figures throughout history.

Sitting Room

I was all but forced down into one of the armchairs, almost tripping over the small red coffee table that sat between the sofa arrangements. Bill took the other armchair, and I could see the sadness on his features over the fact he had to let me go, he had to take his hands off of me. I wanted nothing more than to snap off a leg off the grand piano and shove it through his undead, cold heart. I was even tempted to let Eric and Pam ‘play’ with him once Ata and I had escaped.

“Ah Miss Stackhouse! How lovely it is to see you again.” Russell’s voice floated into the room as he entered through a door that I had missed – hidden in an alcove. Now I could place my dĂ©jĂ  vu. It was only a year ago that I had been in a similar situation. However I was older now, and much wiser in the ways of vampires. Russell would not be getting any information out of me whatsoever.

Sookie and Russell

“It’s lovely to see you too, Mr. Edgington.” I forced a smile, remembering the manners Gran had instilled in me. She would have been rolling in her grave had I forgotten and not shown some respect to my ‘elder.’

“Now then Miss Stackhouse, I say we get straight on down to business.” Russell tried to give me a smile, but I didn’t find it comforting in any sense of the word. If anything it only made me more nervous. From the corner of my eye I noticed how Bill’s lips quirked upwards slightly, and then it then struck me that he could feel my emotions! Using the same method I had to close my bonds with Eric and the rest of our nest I shut down my connection with Bill. The scowl on his features and the shock in his eyes made me feel somewhat smug.

Russell had moved to the three-person sofa while I had been shutting down the connection, and he had missed the entire exchange. Bill schooled his features as he lent back into the armchair he was sat in, resting his arms on the armrests either side. Deciding that now was as good a time as any to peak into Bill’s head, I dropped my shields.

“This is going to be great. She doesn’t have any idea what’s going to happen. Moment Russell breaks their tie she’ll be mine. All mine.” His thoughts swirled inside my head and, as quickly as I had brought them down, I slammed my shields back up again. I had no intention of ever being Bill’s again, and certainly had no intention on breaking my bond with Eric! Was Bill even aware that Eric and I had a bond and not a tie?

“What business would this be, Mr. Edgington?” I played dumb, knowing it would be the best way to get information out of Russell. Over the past few years I had learnt about the vampire world the hard way, and experienced the way vampire minds worked. They always loved a helpless human.

“The business pertaining to your arrangement with Northman of course!” Russell looked gleeful as he sank back into the sofa, his eyes never leaving mine.

“My arrangement with Mr. Northman? Don’t you mean my relationship with Mr. Northman?” I corrected. I was aware that Russell wasn’t afraid of Eric, he had 2000 years on my Viking, but I felt it appropriate to let him know that Eric was my partner, my mate. At least it would tell Russell that it would be more difficult to part us, that I wouldn’t go down without a fight, and that neither would Eric.

“Ah, yes, your relationship with Mr. Northman.” Russell sneered, his lips contorting up into an ugly smirk. Bill visible stiffened in the chair next to me. Take that, asshole!

Eric and Sookie

“Well, you won’t have to worry about being tied down to him for much longer. Soon you’ll be free to be back with Mr. Compton.” Russell gestured to the vampire next to me, and I couldn’t stop myself from scoffing.

“Because clearly I miss Bill.” I retorted, rolling my eyes. My cousin’s sassiness was rubbing off on me.

“Oh come now! Mr. Compton has been nothing but pleasant towards you over the years.” Russell wafted a hand through the air, brushing aside my comeback. I wanted to scoff again, but I figured it wasn’t very ladylike. Russell was feeling somewhat gleeful this evening, and I could only guess that it had something to do with the fact he now had me right where he wanted me. He was one step closer to ending Eric. Now if I could navigate the conversation in the right direction I could find out what exactly he was planning, and even attempt to breach his mind. Of course only his current thoughts would run through my mind, but that was a start.

Ata had told me not to open my mind to the others back at the penthouse, but I figured it was important that they were made aware of what was going on, if only to ensure Eric’s safety. Steeling myself, I tugged at my connection with Eric, slowly pulling down the wall I had built between us. Of course as I removed our mental block the one on the bond came with it. I wasn’t strong enough yet to work the two independently.

Eric’s emotions came rushing at me from every angle – relief, worry, hatred, loathing and love. I had a feeling the hatred and loathing were aimed at the vampire sitting opposite me. Before my high-handed bonded could open up a mental conversation I dove right in. “Eric, I’m fine, it’s okay, don’t worry. I’m going to get Russell to talk and you’ll be able to hear everything he’s saying to me. I want you to use it to make a plan to bring him down – and take Bill and Felipe with him.” I was quick with my message, knowing that if Russell didn’t have my full attention throughout our little meeting he would know something wasn’t right.

Russell and Sookie

Eric surprised me with his mental silence, but his gentle push of reassurance and understanding, tinged of course with his immense worry, was enough to spur me on with the conversation. “How exactly do you plan on parting me from Eric then?” I asked the million-dollar question. Maybe it wasn’t so bright of me to go straight for the kill shot and ask him to reveal everything, but it was the best way of knowing what exactly was going on. I’d always had a feeling Russell was one to parade his plans, show off his grandeur, thinking he was untouchable due to this age. I was hoping my bet would pay off.

A sly smirk spread over Russell’s slightly cracked lips. “That’s the best bit. I understand you have a tie with him, which I fully intend to use to my benefit. He probably knows you’re here by now, so I’m just waiting for the Viking to come charging in here to come and get you. He’s always been protective of those he loves.” The sneer wasn’t hard to miss, nor were the mental images of the night Russell and his wolves murdered Eric’s family, when Eric had grabbed his fathers blade in a desperate attempt to take down the creature that had slain his family. I wasn’t fast enough to pull my shields up, to block the memory from Eric, and I felt his regret and sorrow colour the other emotions in our bond. I took note of the fact Russell referred to our tie, obviously unaware that we had formed a blood bond. Clearly Bill and Russell didn’t have the full picture. I could only hope they were wrong about several other things too.

“I then intend to, once Northman is in the vicinity, capture him and make him watch as I give you my blood. As I have 2000 years on top of his little 1000, my blood is far more potent. It will override whatever tie you two have and then you shall be mine. Of course with the age of my blood comes the power, the vision and hearing you will gain, which will be far superior to what you have now, and then of course there are the dreams.” He wafted a hand through the air nonchalantly. I had to stop myself from balking. The last thing I ever wanted was erotic dreams concerning Russell. I felt a wave of smugness from Eric, who had clearly felt my disgust. “Once you are mine I shall turn you, then I shall have my fun with the Viking, break him down slowly. I might remove his hands first, then there’s no way for him to fight back.” Russell mused, rising from his seat on the sofa to prowl around the room. Panic shot through me at the mention of turning, not because I was frightened of being a vampire, but at the fact that I knew I wouldn’t survive the turning, or that I would meet the sun immediately regardless of any Maker’s command. Bill, with an almost unnoticeable nod towards Russell, encouraged the 3000 years old vampire to continue with his explanation.

Sunlight

“Maybe I’ll get rid of his fangs after. Can’t have him biting anyone or replenishing his strength.” Russell walked around the room until he was stood behind me, his hands landing on my shoulders. Slowly he bent over, until his lips were inline with my ear. “Then, when he’s too weak to function, begging on his knees for mercy, praying to his Gods for safety and redemption, I will command you, as my Childe, to ram a stake through his undead heart, and you will watch as, by your own hands, the Viking meets the true death.” I couldn’t help but panic internally, the slight mention of Eric’s untimely demise set me off. My poker face was perfect though, years of hearing peoples vile and ignorant thoughts meant very few things gained a physical response from me. Bill threw his head back to laugh in amusement.

Stake

Russell was back before me in a second, our eyes locked. I could feel him trying to push himself into my mind, trying to influence me. Pulling on all of the nature I could find around me – the potted plants, the fruit in the bowl on the table – I used it to reinforce my mental shields. It wasn’t going to help me with my physical powers, but my mental ones it could. I’d had my telepathy for years, had been playing around with it for just as long. Now it was time to put my gift to good use. Rather than allowing Russell into my mind I crept on into his, keeping a small door open, made of silver rather than iron, that I could escape back into. Deep inside my head I kept my connection with Eric open, hoping that whatever I was seeing and hearing would slowly trickle back to him and the rest of our nest.

“Now tell me.” Russell’s voice took on the eerie and soft tone of a vampire trying to force a human to comply. “Where I can find Northman and his Maker in their day rest?” Russell demanded. Bill had sat forward in his chair. It was common knowledge I couldn’t be glamoured, but that vital piece of information seemed to have escaped Russell at the same time that Talbot died. He’d really gone off the rails then, and he could do it again.

Eric Stakes Talbot

Russell’s mind was nothing like Eric’s, Godric’s, or even Pam’s. All of them had tidy minds, everything was organised and therefore easy for me to find. Russell on the other hand, with his craziness and his ego, had a mind that was like a labyrinth. I was use to navigating people’s minds, I’d been doing it all my life, but Russell was a challenge. He was a challenge I was willing to face if it meant getting vital information to Eric. I knew I had seconds before Russell would pull away, so in order to give myself more time I played along. I’d seen a few people glamoured before, I was aware of the sort of response I was to give. Flattening out my voice, I let my eyes glaze over as I concentrated on getting information from Russell. “I don’t know. I don’t sleep with him in the day.” I played along, keeping my features void of emotion. Russell’s annoyed sigh was just the ticket I needed. Turning a corner in his mind I found out his plans for myself, Ata, Eric and Godric. I had to stifle my horror and shock at my revelation. Knowing my time was limited I hauled all of the information into my own mind, shoving it through the mental tie I had going with Eric. I knew he’d received it when I felt his raw anger pouring through our bond. Russell was going to try and use me to lure Eric here, a plan that would probably work anyway knowing my bonded. What angered me were his plans to weaken Eric, pumping his veins full of silver before he did the same to me, right before he allowed Eric to feed on me to ‘replenish himself.’ With Eric weak, Russell was going to force him to watch as I was turned, and then three nights later, as my first act as a vampire, I was to be commanded to stake my bonded, and thus end our connection, giving Russell free access to me. I would be bonded to him, forever at his side, and as the oldest vampire in the New World no one would be able to take me from him. Not even Bill. My second act, as his Childe would be to stake Bill. Now that part of the plan I could get behind…

The force on my head became stronger as Russell willed his glamour to take hold. Quickly thinking of my options I realised I had no choice but to outright tell him that it wasn’t working. Hadn’t I told him before that glamour wouldn’t work on me? Hadn’t Bill told him? The dark-haired slime seemed to blab everything to everyone. Deciding to bite the proverbial bullet, I took one look at Russell’s face, scrunched up in concentration, and broke into a laugh. “Sorry buster, glamour doesn’t work on me.” I chuckled, shrugging my shoulders. Did Russell not know anything about the fae?

The frustration on his face, and the words swirling around in his brain, told me that he aware of that fact, but thought that with his 3000 years he would be able to break through whatever it was protecting my mind from vampires. “Think again, buddy.” I thought to myself.

“That is most frustrating, Miss Stackhouse.” The pressure on my mind finally ceased as Russell sat back in his chair, raising his hand in front of him so that his fingertips met. In that moment he reminded me of all the old Bond villains. Jason and Daddy had once spent an entire weekend watching them all, and had subjected Momma and I to it when the evenings came around. Why Momma let them have such a weekend is still beyond me. Never once did she and I have a girly weekend and get to hog the television.

Bond Villian

“Let’s try a different approach shall we? Tell me where Northman rests for the day or your friend will suffer.” Russell tried once again. It was easy to guess that by ‘friend’ he meant Ata. I loved my cousin so much. Besides from Eric and Gran, she was the only other person to see the worth in me, to understand me and know how difficult my life has been up until now. She hasn’t coddled me or sugarcoated anything. At the same time though I would never give up Eric’s resting place to Russell. Just the thought of him getting anywhere near my bonded was enough to bring out the possessive side in me. Eric was mine. No one would go near him, nor harm him.

“I’m sorry, Ata.” I mentally prayed to my cousin, hoping she would understand.

“I’m not telling you anything, Russell. Try all you want but I would never reveal Eric’s resting spot to you, or your vassals.” I declared in a steady tone, throwing in one of the words from last years word-a-day calendar from Arlene. Country bumpkin my ass. “You really think I would tell you where my bonded rests?” I snorted, shaking my head at the absurdity of it. I wasn’t sure what kind of company Russell had kept over the years, but I liked to think of myself as loyal to those deserving, sometimes a little too loyal perhaps.

Before I even had time to scream, Russell’s fangs were down and the ancient vampire had violently pulled my head to the side, exposing my throat to him. Bill, never one to miss out on the opportunity, took it upon himself to drop his own fangs, clamping a hand over my mouth to muffle my screams for help. If Ata could hear me then maybe she would be able to get away from Felipe long enough to come and help.

Russell went in to strike, went to pierce my flesh with those filthy fangs of his. I wasn’t sure what repulsed me more; the thought of his fangs rather than Eric’s buried inside of me, or the fact that countless other poor victims were harmed with them, including Eric’s family. I braced myself for the pain, scrunching my face up and closing my eyes. I was aware of how painful a bite could be; I’d been fang-raped before. Instead of my howl of pain, Russell let out his own howl of agony. My eyes snapped open and I turned to look at the vampire who had just tried to drain me.

His fangs hadn’t been able to come into contact with my skin at all. There was a soft white pulsing light around me, shielding me from harm. I could feel Gran’s pearls become a little warm against my skin. Amelia’s protection charm was finally working! I had to stop myself from sighing in relief. It was then I noticed Russell’s fangs, or should I say, the lack of them. They were missing from his mouth, a small pile of dust in one of his outstretched hands. His old eyes were focused on the pile of dust, and a bloodcurdling scream left his chapped lips. “MY FANGS!” He howled out into the room. From the corner of my eye I could see Bill, rigid with fear, his grasp on me a little slacker than before. I was tempted to bite his hand, to make him let me go, but the fear of accidentally ingesting more of his blood put me off that idea right away.

The moment Russell’s cold eyes swung to me I knew I was in trouble. Fuck. “You backwards little tramp!” Russell’s hand connected with the side of my face with enough force to send me slamming into the back of the chair I’d been perched on. The smack came so hard that I could feel Eric pulling some of the pain from me, and I could feel how much it hurt him too. I was surprised that he was tapering his side of the bond, not letting me feel the magnitude of the anger that was no doubt consuming him. I was grateful for the relief though, having to feel Eric’s anger towards the vampire who had just tried to fang-rape me wouldn’t be any help.

Sookie Being Fang Raped

“Throw her back in the cell! ” Russell ordered Bill, his words hissed through the gap in his front teeth where his fangs once were. With another shrill scream Russell turned on the spot, towards the door. “SOMEONE GET ME A WITCH, NOW!” he called out as he vamped from the room, no doubt to go and cry over the loss of his main weapon.

Bill hauled me from my seat, having recovered enough to carry out Russell’s command. “How could you be so stupid Sookeh? Russell isn’t going to let you go so easily now, it’s going to be so much harder for me to get you free!” Bill sighed as he hauled me towards the stairs leading the to basement. He really was becoming a broken record, blaming me for everything when it was his fault. I wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for Bill, I wouldn’t have needed my protection charm if it weren’t for Bill.

I could feel Ata in the basement the moment we entered, and I was instantly soothed by her presence. “You better hope Russell leaves you alone for the rest of the night. I can’t promise he’ll be distracted enough, you were foolish not to give him any information.” Bill tutted, using his vamp speed to remove my handcuffs and open the cell before he chucked me back into it, showing no remorse over the fact I landed on the cold, hard floor like a rag doll. It was a matter of seconds before I was in Ata’s arms, huddled under the blanket with her. She was in front of me slightly, taking up a protective stance, and although Bill didn’t frighten me I sank into her, allowing the comfort coming from her to spread over me. I felt Eric relax through our bond; obviously having worked out I was now with my cousin.

Wool Blanket

Rather than offering Bill any sort of answer I simply looked at him, unblinking. Ata stared the Civil War vampire down until he finally took his leave, sweeping up the staircase as if he were some emotionally tortured immortal often portrayed on the big screens. Trust Bill to be dramatic.

“You were hurt.” My cousin stated as she turned to look at me, taking in my appearance. I could see a red mark on her too, and cautiously I reached up to touch it. She flinched at my touch but I carried on anyway, hoping my cool skin would help ease the pain. Ata mimicked my actions, her blue eyes locked on my own. “I’m proud of you.” She started off softly after a while of silence between us. “You didn’t break and tell Russell what he wanted. He’ll keep trying to get information out of you, and Felipe will continue to do so with me, but we must remain vigilant. We cannot let our men down.” My cousin’s tone was soft and warm as she spoke, and I nodded in agreement. Russell wouldn’t lay a finger on my Viking.

“I let Eric in.” I confessed quietly, ashamed that I broke that one part of Ata’s plan, the part about keeping our bonds closed. A small smile crossed her lips and she blinked once, shielding her light eyes from the world for a moment as she felt my emotions.

“I let Godric in too. Our other halves need to know what was going on, so they can create the best strategy there is. You know what they are like. Such ancient beings are meticulous planners.” Her light laugh echoed in the dark space, and I felt a little safer in her presence. We were a team, with our own individual set of strengths and weaknesses, and yet we balanced one another out. What I lacked, Ata didn’t, and what Ata lacked, I had.

“You need to go back to Eric and the others. He will be beside himself with worry. Godric can survive longer without me, we have been parted for 2000 years.” Ata’s voice filled my head, and I knew she was speaking to me this way incase we are being listed in on. For a second I was confused. Ata gestured to a space on the floor and together we lay down, pulling the blanket around us. We were face to face, nose to nose, our hands intertwined. To outsiders it looked like we’re preparing ourselves for sleep, but I knew Ata intended to continue talking to me mentally, that it was all a show for everyone else

“I can’t go back to Eric, we’re in an iron cell, and there’s no way to escape.” I reminded my cousin gently, wondering if the smack she’d received knocked out any of her brain cells.

Ata’s lips quirk upwards a little and for a second I saw a sparkle in her eyes before it disappeared. “Our gifts are given to us for a reason. See the window behind me? There’s no glass, just bars. I tested them while you were out. They’re made of silver, not iron. You can pass through them.” My cousin’s mental voice was excited, but I was not nearly as thrilled with the plan. “Our gifts are designed so we don’t have to use too much energy to use them, they’re given to us for our times of need, when it’s assumed we won’t have much strength. It won’t take much for you to change into a fly or something and escape back to the penthouse!” Ata’s plan sounded like it could work, except…

“That’s all well and good, but I refuse to leave you here, and if we’re being watched then they’ll see me leave!” I mentioned the flaw in her plan to her. For a moment my cousin was silent, but I could hear her mind working over the problem.

“If you go just before sunrise then Russell and the others will be down for the day, the only people who could be watching would either be Were or human, and I can deal with either of those. As for them noticing you being gone, you seem to forget our ability to cast illusions. Usually I cast ones of myself, but I could cast one of you while you’re gone, and keep you under the blanket and asleep. We can pretend to sleep the whole day away.” Ata explained.

Vegas Sunrise

I was uneasy with leaving her, but the prospect of getting back to Eric, even if it were only for a few hours, was very tempting. “You’d have to tell Eric to stay up past dawn though, to fight the pull of the sun and potentially suffer the bleeds. Ari and Khai can lightproof the penthouse, so you can all have free movement. You need to tell them everything that’s going on, help them come up with some way to get us out of here.” Ata rambled on, seemingly set on this plan of action.

“You said yourself that our powers are less in this iron cell, how are you going to keep the illusion of me here for the whole day?” The thought of Ata’s powers dropping substantially, leading her to be unprotected should she be removed from the cell, had me worried. I’d never come across a faery without their powers before, one so drained down.

Ata fell silent and for a moment I believed I had her convinced that the plan was ridiculous and wouldn’t work. I didn’t want to leave her here to fend for herself. “Ask Godric for some of his blood, bring it back with you. It will replenish the power I’ll have lost over the day.” She finally answered.

Blood Bags

Sighing, I let go of one of her hands, bringing my free hand up to pinch the bridge of my nose. “Sookie, you were given the gift of transformation for a reason! Niall wouldn’t have given you it if he didn’t think you would need it. Please, you have to go back and tell them everything, you have to go back and replenish your strength. Many mad men have locked me inside many cells over the years, I can hold my own for a few hours. If you don’t go, so help me mother Isis I will make your life hell when we eventually get out of this shit heap.” I could practically hear Ata growling at me. I could feel the warning vibrations from her chest travelling through the blanket. There would be no winning with this woman, no arguing.

Realising that there was no way I was going to talk Ata out of it, I sighed in defeat. Opening up my mental connection to Eric, and with everyone else back at the penthouse, I relayed the information to them all. “As you all know, Niall gave me the ability to change into any creature in the world. There’s a small window in our cell so I’m going to change into a fly and come back to Caesar’s Palace just as the sun is rising. Please can you all lightproof the penthouse and fight the pull of the sun if you can. I have information about what’s going on here and my telepathy means I can give you the information regarding Russell’s security.” I pushed the information at the vampires I shared mental connections with. While I had been talking to Russell I’d been silently filtering in information about his security team, their strategies and their positions around the mansion. Information like that could be extremely useful to my strategic bonded.

Eric’s relief flooded my bond, and his joy at the situation was almost palpable even though there was a large distance between us. I was feeling a little nauseous from the bond being stretched so far for the whole day. It would do us both some good to reconnect, even though Eric would be fighting the sun and suffering the bleeds. Underneath Eric’s relief though I could feel Godric’s worry, his concern for his wife. Searching deep down I found the strand inside me that was our connection. I’d come to think of all the bonds as cables, cables connecting me to them and them to me. If we were close together the cables were short and had some give to them. If we were far away the cables were long and taut. Each cable though had it’s own colour, so it looked like a little rainbow inside of me, but I could associate each colour with each vampire.

Rainbow colours

Eric’s cable was red, the colour of passion, confidence, power and rebellion. The colour suited our relationship well. Godric’s cable was indigo, the colour of integrity, responsibility, faith and wisdom. It was a colour that suited my sort-of father-in-law. I pushed as much reassurance down Godric’s cable, our bond, as I could muster. I was coming back to make sure that Ata and I would be as safe as possible inside Felipe’s mansion, that there would be a plan to get us both out alive and to render Felipe and Russell truly dead. If Bill joined them for their death sentence, well, c’est la vie.

“I will ensure that the penthouse is lightproof for your return, min älskling.” Eric’s mental voice was the first to break through into my mind. Godric didn’t say a word, but the gratitude I received from him through our bond meant more than his words. I got the feeling he was thankful for both my reassurance and my return to Eric. I could only imagine how stressed my bonded was without me.

“Wait until just before sunrise to shift, and then go quickly. I’ll keep up the illusion you are here and pretend to rest for the day. I’ll have my back to the rest of the basement, and make it look like we’re curled up together and that I’m shielding you, just in case someone comes down to check on us.” Ata ran through the plan with me, and I nodded.

I was thankful to her for letting me go. She could have demanded I stay with her, insisting that the mental information we managed to get to our bonded’s was enough, but she was willing to face Russell, Felipe, and Bill if I didn’t make it back in time, and I had no doubt that the punishment she would receive would be horrific.

Ata and I fell into silence, and the mental hums from the vampires back at Caesar’s Palace informed us that they were busy preparing the penthouse for my return. I kept my eyes glued on the horizon, only just visible through the tiny window in our cell. I was counting down the seconds until the sun would start to peak over the horizon, which was the moment that I would be free to return to Eric. My eyelids felt heavy from lack of sleep and the stress of the day, and before I was aware that I had even dropped off for a short nap I felt Ata gently shaking me, trying to rouse me.

“Time to get up, baby cousin. Eric awaits you” I felt her smile as she pressed a motherly kind of kiss to my forehead. Groggily I lifted my head, rubbing at my eyes to remove the sleep that had gathered in the corners. Glancing to the window I could see the first rays of daybreak glistening over the land, offering sanctuary to all those who feared the creatures of the night. “I would recommend washing your clothes, and doing the same with mine too, but I fear that Russell and Felipe will become suspicious if we are suddenly wearing immaculate clothing.” My cousin sighed audibly, a grim expression crossing her pretty features. “Remember, if you spend time with Eric then shower before you leave. His scent on you is still prominent now but it’s faded a little as you’ve gone 24 hours without him. We don’t want to cause them to become suspicious.” Ata forewarned me as we swapped places on the blanket, Ata’s back facing the rest of the basement while mine faced the small cell window.

Giving Ata a nod, I briefly brushed my thumb over her cheekbone, pushing all my reassurance and strength to her through our connection. I’d come back for her and have a plan in place for our escape. As my finger moved over her cheek I felt warmth spread through my entire being, and my finger glowed a gentle golden colour for a split second. I could feel Ata’s energy, the power she had given me to use. I was grateful for it; I didn’t have 2000 years of experience and strength to call upon when using my powers. “Stick to the floor and walls when you climb to get out, you know how keen vampire vision is if we’re being filmed.” Ata’s final warning sounded in my ears as she lifted the blanket up. Taking my cue I thought of a common housefly, and I felt myself shift into the small creature. The nightie I’d been wearing ended up in a pile under the sheets. Dropping to the floor I crawled along it, blending in with the grey of the concrete. Turning back to look at Ata, I spotted that she had already cast an illusion of me, an exact replica. I was asleep by the looks of it, every detail perfect right down to the little freckle on my left shoulder blade. Not wasting any time I scurried across the floor and up the wall, disappearing through the bars of the window and out into the Nevada sunshine.

Common Fly

Flying back to Caesar’s Palace was an odd sensation. Out of all of the animals I had transformed into over the past few days being a fly was the worst. My vision was distorted and although I was small and zippy there were plenty of things to contend against – cars, trucks, and even the wind. I could remember the way to and from Felipe’s mansion, so it took no time at all before I was flying into the lobby of Caesar’s Palace. The lobby was still a mess, taped off while policemen took statements from the crying witnesses – the few that remained – and a cleanup crew was busy scrubbing every inch of the marbles surfaces to ensure they were blood free. Ata’s boys were nowhere to be found amongst the cleanup and the interviewing, but the sun had already risen so that was a given. Instead I spotted a brunette woman who seemed to be taking charge. She was bone thin and her face was drawn, bags under her eyes from lack of sleep and scruffy hair that made it look like she’d simply rolled out of bed. She probably had.

Of course the private elevator up to the penthouse had been taped off to, and forensic experts were currently working away there. As it had been the area that Ata and I had been taken from I could understand why the police were focusing on it so much. They wouldn’t find anything about Ata and I though. I certainly wasn’t in any sort of criminal database, and I could only assume my cousin wasn’t either.

Private Elevator

Heading towards the ceiling I flew in through an air duct. Although unable to hear the mental thoughts of all those in the nest I could still feel them, and I used the feelings to help me navigate through the maze of aluminium  For a moment I silently thanked my cousin that she had installed aluminium ducts and not steel ones. Steel contained iron, and in my current state any iron would probably do me some serious damage.

Soon I was out of the air ducts and in the vast space of the penthouse living room. Huge shutters were hiding the sunlight from the vampires present and numerous lamps were on to illuminate the dark space. Eric was sat on one of the sofa’s, Hunter balancing on his lap, flanked either side by Godric and Jason. Ari, Khai, and Isabel were sat on the other sofa. As the oldest vampires in the nest they could all fight the pull of the sun and stay up longer. Eric’s hold on Hunter was firm yet not controlling, I could see him drawing strength from having the little boy in his arms. I could tell Jason wasn’t really worried about the situation, and I couldn’t blame him considering the fact that he had no idea what Russell Edgington and Felipe de Castro could do, but he seemed to be intimidated by Eric’s presence. I prayed my bonded hadn’t roughed him up in any way for what had happened earlier. Ari was silent, drawing strength from Khai who he’d locked one hand with. It was interesting to see such ancient beings, ones who usually stamped out their emotions, drawing strength from another, being so touchy feely as to hold hands. Khai’s other hand was holding Isabel; the Spanish vampiress was leant against him for support, and I could see that she too was troubled by the recent turn of events.

It took all of three seconds before Eric’s head whipped in my direction. I watched as his eyes focused on my current form, all the other vampires present doing the exact same thing. Even Hunter and Jason tried to look for me, but I was so small it was difficult for them to spot me, especially while I was hovering. Taking off in the direction of the bedroom I shared with Eric, I entered swiftly, automatically shifting myself back to my human form. I was tired from the travel, but had no time to dwell upon it as only second later my Viking swept me off my feet, quite literally.

His lips were all over me, smothering me in kisses. His large hands came into contact with as much of my bare skin as he could grope. I felt like thousands of fireworks were going off inside of me. His touch felt like electric against my skin. I’d never been one for pain, but I could deal with this kind of torture. Finally his lips found mine, as my back found purchase against a wall. His huge frame covered me and I felt secure in his hold. Being with Eric felt nothing like being with Bill. Eric was safe and strong, wise and caring. He was home. My anchor.

Sookie and Eric

His frenzied kisses slowed as his lips found mine once again, and this time he kissed me softly, with such reverence that I felt like crying. His tongue pried my lips apart but this time there was no battle for dominance, we were free to explore one another equally. Eric’s hips flexed forward sharply as I pushed my tongue against that little spot behind his front teeth, forcing his fangs to snap into place. His skin came into contact with mine and our lips parted so I could gasp, both due to surprise and lack of oxygen. When the heck had he removed his jeans and underwear?!

Instantly he was on my neck, fangs scraping the surface but never breaking the skin. My hands found the buttons of his crisp designer shirt and it took me no time at all to remove the offending garment, flinging it aside to land somewhere in the room. Sliding my hands from his glorious ass all the way up to his mop of blonde hair, I grabbed a handful, tugging it sharply to remove him from my neck before I smashed my somewhat swollen lips to his. I had no idea how much time I would get with him today, nor did I know how long I would be gone for the moment I re-entered Felipe’s mansion.

I could have just stayed put, remained in Caesar’s Palace and fought from there, safe in Eric’s arms, but I would never leave Ata. I would never make her suffer alone. She’d walked the earth for 2000 years, erasing herself from people’s lives if she spent more than 5 minutes with them. I would not leave her alone. She deserved better.

My bond with Eric was wide open, his emotions pulsing so strongly within me that I was unsure where I ended and he started. His relief and his love for me were the most important of his emotions, and I focused solely on those as I shuffled against the wall, aligning our hips. Lips still locked and no words spoken between us, Eric took his cue and pushed forward, entering me fully in one swift thrust. Our lips parted as we took a moment to groan at the feeling of being reconnected. I would gladly go and fight any and every vampire in Felipe’s mansion if it meant I would be able to come home to this beautiful man, if it meant that we were free to just be, and to just live. I wanted nothing more than forever with my Eric, and no power-hungry ex-lover/monarch of mine, or a crazed 3000 year-old killer, or even an arrogant shitty woman beater of a king would get between us. Eric was mine.

Our coupling was frenzied. My Eric had been so worried about me that finally having me back with him had set off all of his primal, protective urges. He wanted to possess, consume, own. I was more than happy to let him take what he needed from me to reassure himself that I was with him now, that I was safe and well. His lips and hands were all over me, smothering any part of my body he could find. His hips were relentless, his pace so quick that I was only ever without skin-to-skin contact for a few seconds at a time, if not shorter. Eric’s left hand removed itself from my hip, which he had been kneading for the past minute, and ended up on my thigh. In one swift motion he had raised my leg, hooking it over the crook in his arm, his well-formed, firm muscles falling into my line of sight. I’d certainly hit the man-candy jackpot!

The new angle meant that on every down-stroke he would brush against that sensitive spot inside of me, his hips grinding on my clit. I could feel the coil building up quickly in the pit of my stomach and I was powerless to stop myself from throwing my head back against the wall, crying out at the feelings he was invoking deep within me. Eric had always been a generous lover when it came to me. So lost in the sensations he was stirring within me, and the feel of his love and adoration pouring through our bond, that I felt rather than saw him raise his head from my breasts, which he had been lavishing with kisses, licks, nips and sucks. His cool breath swept over my clammy shoulder, caressing my skin. “Let go, min älskling.” He cooed softly, nipping at my earlobe.

Eric and Sookie Sex on the Floor

His words and the feel of his fangs against my skin were my undoing. Screaming out his name I was swept away with my release, unable to comprehend anything or anyone around me apart from the man still buried inside of me. My release set off Eric’s, and though I knew his stamina was incredible I was aware that he had missed me, that he was stressed and worried and angry all at the same time. He needed the release as much as I did, the reassurance, so he let himself succumb quickly. I felt a deep-seated satisfaction hearing him roar my name out as he was swept away to. To know I could elicit such a response from such an ancient, powerful and beautiful creature was extremely gratifying, especially for a small girl from the south.

The sound of my panting, something I hadn’t noticed I’d been doing, pulled Eric out of his post-coital bliss and his lips landed gently on mine for the briefest of moments before he untangled us, slipping out of me. I whimpered at the loss, pouting over the unfairness of the situation. Eric’s laughter came as a rumble from his chest, and my pout was instantly replaced with a soft smile.

“You’re back.” He whispered, resting his forehead against mine. My legs felt like jelly and I was grateful for the wall behind me, and Eric’s arms around my waist as he helped hold me up. He knew I always had jelly-legs after sex with him. He was that good.

“I am, mitt hjärta.” I stole a phrase from Eric’s head. The grin that broke out on his face from my use of his language was beautiful, and well worth the risk of snooping in his head.

“Jag älskar dig” Eric’s gentle confession was accompanied by so much love through our bond that I felt a stray tear roll down my cheek. Pitching forward, my bonded licked the little drop away, savouring the sweet taste of it.

“Jag älskar dig ocksĂĄ” I murmured softly, raising a hand to stroke it against his cheek. His eyes fluttered shut for a moment as he lent into my touch, a purr emitting from his broad chest. We stayed as we were for a minute before Eric reluctantly pulled back and moved over to our clothes, hanging up in the wardrobe. He returned seconds later with a set of pretty underwear, a pair of sweatpants and one of his t-shirts. He’d dressed himself in similar attire.

I was perfectly capable of dressing myself but I could tell my bonded wanted to take care of me, and right now I was beyond the point of arguing with him. I would have in the past, if I hadn’t just spent some time locked in a cell in Felipe’s mansion, having Eric’s life threatened. He dressed me quickly before he tucked me into his side, placing a protective arm around my shoulders. Together we left the bedroom, entering the living room to see the group of older vampires gathered together. Oscar and Bubba had been unable to fight the sun due to their young ages, and Pam had succumbed to it also judging by the void I now felt in place of her usual mental musings. Throwing out my mental net I felt Egor and Agmund upstairs in the training room while Riei and Oeri were in the library.

The moment I was through the door Jason was rushing towards me, pulling me into his embrace. I was forced to let go of Eric’s hand, much to our mutual disappointment. “I’m so sorry Sook, I’m real sorry! I had no idea what was goin’ on. Flo told me I had to go downstairs, with Hunter, and we didn’t think ’bout it. She was so adamant, damn near pushed us in the elevator!” Jason was apologising at a mile a minute. At least now I knew why Jason and Hunter had left the safety of the penthouse, but I couldn’t help but feel betrayed by Flo. I thought she liked me, liked Ata too!

Sensing my confusion, conflict and anger, Eric manoeuvred me away from Jason. “She was glamoured, most likely during the VRA party.” He explained softly, and all anger I felt towards the housekeeper disappeared. That poor woman!

“Where is she?” I asked, looking wildly around the room, concerned for her safety. Hunter was up off the couch by now, running at me like I was the last candy bar in the sweetie shop. In one fluid motion I swept him up into my arms, holding him close to my chest. “I have you sweetie.” I cooed softly, noting that all of the damage done to him earlier had vanished. The only explanation was vampire blood.

“Mine. I asked him if he was okay with it, after I informed him of the side-effects such as my ability to feel his emotions, and he was fine with it.” Eric answered my mental question as Ari opened his mouth to respond to my verbal one.

“We haven’t seen her since.” He stated solemnly.

Jason had taken his seat once again, and Eric took his, bringing both Hunter and I down onto his lap. The young boy had nuzzled himself against my chest, playing with the loose strands of my blonde hair that fell over my shoulders. “While I’d love to find her, I don’t think she’s a priority right now, as cruel as that sounds.” I admitted out loud, sighing at how horrible it sounded. One missing housekeeper was nothing compared to the torture and no doubt abuse of two fae princesses.

Flo

“Tell me you got a plan, Sook?” Jason piped up, obviously feeling comfortable now with the vampires in the room. I could remember back when we had been in Dallas, how quite and reserved he had been in Godric’s nest. Sighing, I absentmindedly stroked Hunter’s back with one hand, the other finding ground on Eric’s thigh.

“I don’t have a plan, but I have information about everything going on in that godforsaken mansion. I don’t have much time here either. Ata is keeping an illusion of me in the cell so that no one will suspect anything if we’re being watched.” I explained, glancing around the room, my eyes settling on Godric, whose head had snapped up at the mention of my cousin.

“Is she well?” He asked softly, the concern on his features endearing.

“We were both roughed up a little, but she’s doing well. I didn’t like the idea of leaving her, but she insisted.” I let out a humourless chuckle, which Godric mimicked. It was no surprise my cousin got what she wanted, when she wanted it.

“You can’t go back, mommy.” Hunter’s little squeak had my eyes moving down to him, curled up against my chest. It was the first time he called me his mother, and it took every ounce of strength from Eric to compose myself. Now was not the time to be bursting into tears.

“I have to sweetheart. Auntie Ata needs me.” I dropped a kiss to the top of his head. “Besides, Eric will take care of you.” I reassured him, giving him a gentle rock.

“I know. Daddy can find me now.” Hunter yawned, obviously having stayed up well past his bedtime.

Hunter

“Daddy?” I mouthed over my shoulder to my bonded. He was simply sat there looking both proud and smug at the same time. “Think you can stay awake a little longer? I promise to tuck you in before I have to go back.” I vowed to Hunter, knowing that he had to be around to hear the plan also. I would insist on him staying back at the penthouse, in the panic room where he was protected, while the fighting was going on however. Hunter bobbed his head twice and our deal was sealed.

“What exactly is going on in Felipe’s mansion?” Isabel broke through the silence, her hand still holding Khai’s. She was drawing light circles on his wrist, right where his pulse point would have been if he had been human.

“I didn’t get to grasp a lot from Ata, but I assume she filled you in,” I glanced to Godric, who nodded. “However I ended up having a chat with Russell, and Bill.” Eric’s grip on me tightened ever so slight, and I felt a tinge of protectiveness trickle into our bond. Pushing a small amount of reassurance through our connection I felt him relax. “Russell enquired as to Eric and Godric’s resting places. He tried to glamour me but of course that doesn’t work. I was able to get inside his mind too. It was nothing like any of yours. His was cold and twisty, almost slimy.” I shuddered from the memory. Russell’s mind was not somewhere I wanted to return to. I’d felt Eric and Godric’s anger peeking a little at the mention of their resting places. “I didn’t tell him anything though, received a hefty smack for it.” I muttered, gently rubbing my still sore cheek. I was proud of myself for not giving in and for not telling Russell anyway. I’d given in so quickly when Ata and I had been rummaging through Eric’s memories and I had witnessed the murder of his family. Maybe I just couldn’t bring myself to lie to Eric? He was my bonded after all.

“He hurt you.” Eric gritted out, barely containing his growl. Hunter was still in my arms. Carefully I shifted him onto Jason’s lap, turning to sit myself facing Eric, my knees either side of his, straddling him. Bringing my hands up I captured his face with them, running my thumbs across his sharp cheekbones.

“He did, yes. I won’t make excuses for him, but I would take every slap, every hit, if it meant that he was still unaware of your resting place, and Godric’s for the matter.” I reassured him, knowing that although I was not bonded to Godric his wellbeing was detrimental to my Eric’s, and to Ata’s.

“I will heal you before you return.” Eric’s voice was like steel, and I knew there was going to be no debate about this. My high-handed bonded did enjoy throwing his weight around whenever he could. Sighing a little, somewhat in resignation and somewhat in understand, I pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, aware of present company. Letting go of his face I turned back around, Hunter crawling back onto my lap seconds later, shuffling to get himself comfortable. I took to stroking his hair with one hand, playing with Eric’s fingers with the other, as I filled in all the vampires present on everything I had seen and heard.

Three hours later we were done. Ari had composed a list of everything I had told him, and had even been able to sketch plans of Felipe’s mansion. A few things had needed tweaking but he had the layout of the basement and the ground floor perfect. He was aware of the second floor, as that had been the location where Ata had been injected with silver and iron, but at the time he had been paying little attention to his surroundings so the sketch was basic at best. It would do though. Hunter had fallen asleep curled up in my arms as we had been approaching the second hour.

Floorplan

“I need to put him to bed.” I murmured to the vampires gathered around. I could tell some of them were starting to feel the pull of the sun as it came ever closer to reaching its highest point. Isabel and Khai looked exhausted, a rare feat for vampires, and Ari looked like he was ready to retreat back to his room, and to Pam. Jason had been dozing in and out during the last three hours, but when alert he had given us plenty of useful hints and tips about how to remove Felipe’s guards. The Fellowship of the Sun stint he had endured was finally paying off. Eric’s hold on me hadn’t slacked once during our groups conversation, and I could tell he was trying to hold onto me as much as possible, not to come across as needy and clingy, but to reassure himself that I was okay, that I would be okay. Godric had remained calm and levelheaded throughout the whole conversation, diffusing a few tense situations involving Jason and the gathered vampires. After having spent so long as immortals they couldn’t fathom Jason’s way of thinking. I could feel Godric’s inner panic, his turmoil. His mind was a mass of confusion and worry for Ata once I had dug down beneath his calmer emotions. He was remaining calm because it was bringing him one step closer to my cousin.

Nodding my goodnights and farewells to all the vampires, and Jason, gathered together, I lingered on Godric a little longer, pushing reassurance through our fledgling bond. A small smile graced his features seconds later and I felt his gratitude in return. Our exchange was silent, but held more meaning than we could express in words.

Together Eric and I left the living room, moving to the room that had been set-aside for Jason and Hunter. Though I wanted Hunter to sleep in the same room as Eric and I, I wanted some alone time with my bonded before I was forced to return to that iron cage on the other side of the city. Placing Hunter down on what was clearly his bed, judging by the amount of toys that had suddenly appeared, no doubt thanks to Pam, I went about gathering his night clothes. Turning back I was surprised to see Eric removing Hunter’s day clothes, placing them in the small laundry hamper. Passing him Hunter’s nightwear I stood aside while he dressed the little boy before us, his touch so gentle that not once did Hunter stir.

Hunter's PJ's

“This feels oddly domesticated.” I commented quietly, knowing that with his hearing Eric would have heard me. He was silent for a second, straightening out Hunter’s top.

“I like it.” He confessed in the same quiet tone, gently lifting Hunter up. I took my cue and pulled the blanket down, creating a space under the covers for Hunter. Eric popped him back down, pulling the blanket up to cover him before he secured it in each side, trapping it under the mattress so Hunter wouldn’t roll out and hurt himself.

“Is the great Eric Northman becoming tame?” I teased lightheartedly as I flicked the night-light on, not wanting Hunter to have nightmares and wake alone in the darkness. Goodness knows the darkness can be a frightening thing.

Eric’s eyes found mine in the dim light, his bright blue eyes still as beautiful in the yellow glow from the light bulb. “For you, I would.” He confessed softly, taking one of my hands. Bringing it to his mouth he kissed the back of it once, lacing our fingers together.

“I would never ask you to change. I love you just as you are.” The pad of my thumb skimmed over the back of his hand. “Hunter needs a father who is strong and mighty, someone to show him how to navigate himself through this topsy-turvy world we find ourselves in. He needs a father with a strong sense of honour  and utter devotion to his family. It’s a good thing he’s found one.” My free hand caressed Eric’s cheek, and that low purr of his vibrated through the room.

“As I love you. Hunter needs a mother who is graceful in everything she does, a mother who shows compassion to everyone, even those who are undeserving. He needs a mother who will be patient with him, who will be able to read the minds of all the girls he brings home to ensure they aren’t going to hurt her little boy,” a smile tugged at my lips, Eric knew me so well. “He needs a mother who is selfless and beautiful, a woman who can hold her own, someone who, even after having been beaten down repeatedly, still has the strength to stand up on her own two feet. I’m glad he’s found one.” Eric’s free hand came up to caress my cheek in an action similar to my own. Leaning against it, I turned my head and pressed a tender kiss to his palm.

“Come, my beloved. I want to worship you once more before you have to leave me.” He sighed sadly, though kept a warm smile on his handsome features. Our hands still interlaced, we left Hunter’s room, shutting the door behind us.

Together we moved to our bedroom, not once letting go of one another’s hands. Rather than pouncing the moment the door was closed, Eric approached me slowly, reverently. His large hands came up to hold my face, his thumbs brushing over my cheekbones as his forehead came to rest upon my own. “I love you, my Sookie.” His whisper graced my eardrums and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. Closing the distance between our lips, my bonded gave me a chaste kiss, which soon turned far more heated.

Two hours, and a plethora of orgasms later, Eric and I fell back onto the bed. Panting, I grasped at his hands, and sighed in contentment as he hauled me across his chest, resting my head over his silent heart. Grans pearls were the only things I was wearing, so naturally Eric started to play with them. It was odd that they had survived my transformation into a fly, but I had a feeling that unless they were physically removed they would stay with me regardless of whatever state I was in.

Pearl Bracelet

“I am very much doubting how well the witch’s charms work.” He commented under his breath, his other hand running up and down my spine, the coolness of his skin contrasting the warmness of mine, soothing me after our love making.

“They work. When I was speaking with Russell he flew into a fit of rage and tried to bite me.” I explained calmly, knowing Eric would be enraged to learn of Russell’s actions. I had purposefully kept that detail from him earlier, knowing that his anger would cloud his judgment when coming up with a strategy to get Ata and I out, and to extract revenge.

Eric’s anger was immediate, and beneath my head I could feel his chest vibrating with his low growls. “However,” I started, pushing calm through our bond as I placed one of my hands on his broad chest, caressing the marble skin I found there, playing with the short blonde hairs scattered across his pectorals. Though I could still feel him fuming he was starting to calm, the combination of my words, emotions, actions and lack of fang marks reassuring him. “The moment his fangs came too close to my skin they turned to dust and disintegrated into his hands.” I explained. “He was so mad I thought he was going to spit tacks. He threw me back into the cell with Ata and now I’m here.” I finished, dropping a kiss to Eric’s chest.

His hand was still working up and down my spine, the other still playing with the pearls around my wrist. “He has no fangs anymore.” It was not a question, but a statement, and yet I nodded anyway. Eric had obviously come to the same conclusion as I had. Without his fangs Russell wouldn’t be able to drink from me. It was one less villain to worry about draining me dry.

We fell into silence for a moment, and I couldn’t help but think about how my bracelet had protected me. It hadn’t protected me before; then again, the previous attacks had all been different. That was it. They’d been different, because they’d been planned. “I think the magic protects me from unplanned attacks. Planned attacks, such as the taking of Ata and I, would have given us time to come up with a counterattack should we have known about it. I think the bracelet stops sudden attacks that would seriously harm me, giving me time to come up with a way to escape.” I gave Eric my suggestion. It was all I could come up with, but it felt like a decent explanation.

Eric was silent for a while too, his hands continuing with their previous actions. Eventually though I felt his confidence through our bond. “I believe you’re right, my lover. Maybe I should ask Amelia about it this evening. I’ll ask Ari to call her here.” Eric murmured, keeping his voice purposefully low.

We lay in silence for a little while longer, sharing light kisses and caresses, but I was very aware of the time. There were only a few more hours to go until sunset and I could feel Eric’s body tiring. It wouldn’t be long until the bleeds would set in. He’d consumed a vast quantity of blood while I’d been sharing information with the nest, coming up with strategies and plans, but it was starting to wear off. “I wish for you to drink from me, min älskade. I do not like the bruises on your beautiful face, and it will bolster your powers until we can be together again.” Eric moved to a sitting position, his back against the headboard, as he brought me up with him. Seated on his lap, my legs either side of him, still resting against his chest, I felt torn in two. I wanted to stay with him, but I needed to return to Ata.

Nodding solemnly, I heard Eric drop fang, preparing to bite into his wrist for me. “Stop.” My hand shot out to grab his wrist, inches away from his lips. A look of confusion crossed his features for a second before he tipped his head sideways in curiosity, feeling my resolve through our bond. “I want to take from you in the way you take from me.” I admitted somewhat shyly, letting go of his wrist to trace the curvature of his throat. Tipping his head the other way, and backwards slightly, he offered his throat to me in the manner that I usually offered mine to him. One of his large hands found the back of my head and he drew me close, until my lips were millimetres away from his skin.

Eric and Sookie

“Bite, min älskade. I will heal.” He reassured me, threading his fingers through my hair, his other hand finding mine to thread our fingers together. My years with the vampires had removed most of my squeamish tendencies. Flicking my tongue out, I gave the area I intended to bite a light lick, dropping a few kisses to it in a similar fashion to the way Eric prepared me for his bite. Without hesitation, and with the love and reassurance flowing through our bond from Eric, I bit. Eric’s blood hit my palate and I groaned at the taste. I felt Eric stiffen, a groan fleeing the confines of his lips. With a fluid motion he had picked me up, impaling myself on him. Rocking my hips in encouragement, I continued to take deep pulls on the wound on his throat, rising and falling in time with Eric. I could feel him restraining, stopping himself from sinking his fangs into my neck and completing the third bond.

Eric’s wound sealed over, and I didn’t bother to reopen in. Lost in the feeling of him inside of me, his blood running through my veins and his lips on mine, it took no time before I was falling over the edge, howling out Eric’s name. He followed me seconds later, grunting out with his own release. Sated and happy, I scattered kisses across Eric’s face and neck. “Thank you, min bundna.” I offered, nuzzling him for a second. “I have to shower, I can’t go back with your scent all over me.” I sighed, trying to muster the strength to leave Eric and our bed.

“I’ll be here when you get back. Go.” He offered, gently removing me from his lap. I whimpered at the loss of him, no longer feeling full. Eric’s chuckle, and playful smack to my butt, removed the sadness I’d been feeling about leaving him. I showered in record time, removing as much of Eric’s scent from me as possible so as not to arouse suspicion back at Felipe’s. Of course they would still be able to smell Eric in me, after all his blood was in my veins and his release was inside my womb.

Wandering back into the bedroom I grabbed a robe from the back of the door, knowing that wearing clothes was pointless as I would only have to shed them to transform into whatever creature I would be using to leave the penthouse. Eric was up on his feet, having donned a clean pair of boxers for modesty’s sake. “Godric wishes to speak with you before you leave.” He informed me, holding his hand out.

Taking it, we moved to the living room together. Godric was alone, sat on the sofa, his eyes fixed firmly on the image of Ata and I together in the Egyptian sunshine. Hearing us enter, he rose up onto his feet and crossed over to us. From his pocket he pulled out a vial of blood. “Will you take this to her, please. I want her to be at her full strength, I want to feel her emotions a little more.” He asked me, his voice steady and yet his eyes betrayed him. He was a little lost without her, worried about her, ready to go into battle in order to bring her back to his side. Nodding, I took the vile from him before I pulled him into an embrace. Instead of his usual awkward hugs, he returned it with ease. He was smaller than Eric, shorter and a little thinner. Eric was hard, corded muscle from his days raiding and fighting off attacks, where as Godric was slender from years of malnutrition and hard work in the sweltering Egyptian sunshine. His time with Ata was healing him though as he held me to him, dropping a fatherly kiss to my forehead as he parted.

Vile of Blood

Untangling myself from Godric, he gave Eric and I a nod before he vamped from the room, giving us the opportunity to say goodbye in peace. “I don’t like that you’re returning min älskade.” Eric wrapped me up in his arms, pulling me into his chest.

“I know, but I have no choice. Promise me you’ll go ahead with the plan, with the strategy we all came up with. I don’t want you charging in and getting yourself hurt.” I risked a glance up to him, finding his bright blue eyes with my own. Bringing up a hand I caressed his cheek, his eyelids fluttering shut.

“I promise you, min bundna. Now go, before I change my mind.” Eric reluctantly let me go, tugging on the tie of my robe. It fell open to reveal my bare form and I gave my Viking a moment to look me over. Placing the vial of Godric’s blood on the floor, I pulled in all the strength I could muster, envisioning myself as a bald eagle.

A smile tugged at the corner of Eric’s lips as I changed form. Using the claws on my feet, I scooped up the vial of blood, clutching it firmly.

Bald Eagle

Eric crouched before me, holding out his hand. Using my wings to lift myself up, I landed on his hand, and he scooped me up off of the ground. Approaching the blacked out windows he used his vampire speed to tug one of the window covers away, throwing it over himself to stop the sun from burning him. Swiftly he opened the window and, not wanting to risk him burning, I flapped my wings and moved off of his arm, out of the window and into the Nevada sunshine. I heard the window shut behind me and turned in time to see my vampire steal a quick glance at me from under the cover, before he vamped back to our bedroom.

Locating our bond deep inside of me, I pushed my love and reassurance towards him before I took off back towards Felipe’s, enjoying the sunshine as it beat down upon my feathered form.

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2 thoughts on “Ethereal Redemption Chapter 61

  1. This was a sweet chapter allowing Sookie and Eric and Hunter a chance to reconnect and spend a little family time together!!!! I’m so curious about this plan and hope that everything goes accordingly!!!!

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