Sookie closed her fist over the ball of fairy light.
“I just-I can’t Bill.” A sob ripped it’s way out of her throat as her arms wrapped around her torso, as a feeling of utter devastation jolted through her.
Bill glared up at her from his grave, though he tried to appear sympathetic. “I understand, Sookeh. It’s alright darling. There are other-”
“Tut, tut Bill. Up to something again, are we?”
The duo’s heads shot upwards as a newcomer strolled casually out of the shadows of the cemetery.
“Eric! What are you doing here?! This is a private arrangement. One you helped negotiate, if I may add.” Bill’s voice suddenly had force behind it, something he’d been sorely lacking in the previous days.
With a surprising burst of energy and an agile leap, Bill was out of the grave and stomping petulantly across the packed dirt of the graveyard. Sookie’s eyes widened slightly as she saw her first love push his face in tightly towards Eric’s, rapid whispering exchanged between the two. Eric’s eyebrows lowered sharply, obscuring his oceanic eyes into deep shadows that somehow still blazed with anger.
A twitch of his left pinky finger was all the warning Sookie had before Eric shoved Bill hard enough to throw him back into an old oak tree-ten graves down the line. She gasped, her head ping ponging between the men, trying to decide whether to run to Bill’s aid or not. Although judging from the speed with which he pried himself out of the bark, he didn’t exactly need her help.
Eric stepped closer to her, his hand lightly touching her elbow. “Come on Sookie. It’s still not safe for you out here. Let’s get you home.”
Her blonde hair whipped around, her carefully arranged bun falling into disarray as she studied the Viking vampire. “Why? What’s going on?” She looked back towards Bill, who was seething a few feet away, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. “Bill? What-”
Her eyes lit on his exposed chest, his shirt having been ripped in the slight altercation. Her breath whistled through the gap in her teeth as she saw a slight smudge on the side of one of those deadly black veins. Her lips pursed as she slowly walked toward him, Eric keeping pace with her easily. Her shaking hands touched the lapel of Bill’s shirt-that god awful shirt he’d worn the night they’d first met-before he yanked away quickly. Of course that lasted mere seconds because Eric grabbed a fistful of cotton, yanking him back as he let Sookie peruse Bill’s body at her leisure.
With a swift tug, the Henley split down the middle, exposing a bare torso marked like a roadway map of black veins…except those deadly veins truncated abruptly just inside the hemlines of his clothes.
“What…the fuck…is this?” Her voice was low, so quiet in the still night air that even the vampires crowding around her had trouble hearing.
Bill swallowed, an uncharacteristically human action and took a huge step back, yanking his shirt out of Eric’s grip.
“It’s…well, your blood…I-”
“Let me see if THIS-” Eric vamped off into the woods, returning in a blink with a bound human woman. “-can clear up this little…charade.”
Sookie gulped back a giggle as he pronounced the word ‘cha-rad’, her eyes bouncing from one vampire to the other then to the woman, then back to the vampires. She felt slightly hysterical, her guilt evaporating instantly in the face of this newest revelation.
“Who-who is…oh good lord-who is this then?” She wiped a tear as she tried to stop laughing. Eric smirked as he tossed the bound woman to the ground, retreating to stand beside Sookie once again. Bill huffed in annoyance as he waited for the ‘hysterics’ to subside, all the while glancing worriedly at the stranger.
“This is Amelia. She’s a witch, apparently one who Bill is quite familiar with.”
Eric’s words sobered her immediately. Her chocolate eyes shot to Bill, searching his face for any sign of the truth. “Bill-would you care to explain what Eric is talking about?” Her arms crossed over her chest and she leaned slightly into Eric’s side.
A sneer made it’s way to Bill’s face, screwing up his elegant features with disgust. “You’re going to take Eric’s word on something as important as this?!?” The contemptuous expression melted as he forced his features into a desperate look of contrition. “Oh, Sookeh-I do apologize. I am merely overcome by this dreadful dise-”
“Whoah whoah whoah. Just stop right there Bill. These veins-” She stalked forward, her finger jabbing roughly into his chest. “-are obviously fake. Do you even have Hep V?!?”
“Of course I do! You gave it to me, sweetheart.” A fleeting thought shot through her brain. She hadn’t listened to the clinic staff. Was it possible they’d been glamoured to give her false results? Judging by the way things looked to be going, that answer was probably a big fat yes.
“So then why do those veins suddenly disappear underneath your clothes?” She caught a fleeting glare pointed at the witch still bound between them. “Wait, she did something to you?”
Eric shuffled slightly behind her and she glanced back at him. His neutral mask was in place and she scrutinized his face and body, looking for some kind of hint.
Her eyes narrowed as they swung back towards Bill. “No. She did something for you, didn’t she?”
“Sookeh, please, just-”
“FUCK!” Bill recoiled as she screamed, arms pinwheeling at his sides as he stumbled backward. Sookie took a deliberate step forward, her finger wagging in his face. She absently noted a slight chuckle from behind her, but she was too angry to stop her forward progression. “You got her to fake Hep V for you? That’s what this is, isn’t it? Holy mother fucking-”
Her words overpowered the still night air as she ranted in Bill’s face, his expression growing more and more uncomfortable as Sookie moved to step OVER the witch at their feet as she drove him backwards. His back finally collided with the same tree he’d been shoved into before, the splinters of the broken wood digging through the thin material of his shirt.
Eric kept pace with the duo, smirking at the fear plastered on Bill’s face. His grin grew as Sookie’s hand began shimmering, his face positively about to crack in half as that shimmer blossomed into a glow that crept up her arms.
A sharp blast of light erupted from her chest, engulfing all four of them and nearly burning their retinas. The vampires let out a shout as the witch moaned around the gag in her mouth. Sookie, however, kept her eyes focused entirely on Bill. As the glare from the blast receded, Eric was gratified to discover he was entirely unharmed.
Bill on the other hand was smoking-literally. Parts of him were crispy and charred, like a good Southern BBQ should be while other parts were bright red and blistered.
“You wanna die Bill?!? Huh??” Sookie’s focus fastened on the witch as she struggled to wiggle away from the confrontation. “Oh no, darlin’. You’re not going anywhere. Eric?”
His eyebrow rose at the sugary sweet tone of her voice. “Yes, Lover?”
“Would you please pick up the trash? I need to read her.”
Before she could blink, the witch was dangling a foot away from her and two feet off the ground-courtesy of her Viking vampire. “Thank you Sweet Cheeks!”
Eric scoffed at the exaggerated wink Sookie threw his way along with a beaming grin. “If you insist on calling me by a pet name, we really need to work on it. I will NOT be known as ‘Sweet Cheeks’.”
“But those cheeks of yours are just the sweetest. I remember….I left teeth marks.” Sookie batted her eyelashes at him with a saucy smirk before rounding a glare on Bill. Her head cocked to the side as she listened to Amelia. Her lips pursed and she laid a hand gingerly on the exposed skin of the witch’s arm, flinching at the contact.
“Wow, she’s loud. Eric, she’s trying to force a spell on me…can you maybe remind her that manners are important?” A sharp squeal escaped his victim’s throat as his hand latched onto the back of her neck like a bad kitten, squeezing slightly. “Aww thank you. That’s much better. Are you going to cooperate now?”
The brunette nodded her head frantically, trying unsuccessfully to wiggle out of Eric’s grip. Her thoughts raced madly, jumping around wildly as she fought the urge to kick out at the one holding her captive. Sookie’s eyes narrowed, then widened, before narrowing again as she listened to whatever was running through the Wiccan’s mind. She pulled her hand away quickly with a scoff of disgust before turning to her former love.
“See Bill, we have a problem here.” His eyes widened as he struggled to stay on his feet, his skin burning like it was on fire and smoldering in some areas, the charred wood behind him crunching as he shifted his weight.
“Sookeh, this is entirely uncalled for. I-”
“Psh, no no no. You don’t talk now.” She pinched his lips shut, her light surging forward and melting the skin together. Bill emitted a high, nasal shriek of pain as Eric guffawed behind her. She cast a fleeting smirk over her shoulder before turning back to her former lover. “See, Amelia had some pretty interesting things running through her head. And DAYUM, she’s a loud broadcaster…which means I got every single detail. Would you like to know her version of events?”
Bill shook his head frantically as he fell to his knees, still scratching at the melted patch on his face where his mouth used to be. He tried to scramble backwards only to hit the tree where he flattened himself, apparently trying to be as small and innocuous as possible.
“She was remembering when you approached her. Remember that Bill?” He frantically shook his head, although it wasn’t clear whether he was answering her or trying to stop the conversation. “When I was in Fairy, that’s right.”
A low menacing growl ripped it’s way out of Eric’s throat and his eyes narrowed on the Civil War veteran. “When you were in Fairy, you say? That’s interesting, Bill. What could you have possibly contacted Amelia for during THAT time?”
Sookie took a step back, moving herself closer to the Viking, laying a hand on his arm. With a flourish of fake surprise, she gasped and covered her mouth. “Oh, my. I mean-you didn’t know?!? Seems as if Beehl here wanted Amelia to find a spell to pull me out of the Fairy realm.”
“You mean the place he denied existed? And after he commanded me to stop looking and stop hoping since he’d felt you die? You mean then?” Eric spoke conversationally, but his anger bubbled hotly under the surface. This was Sookie’s moment and he had to let her deal with this bastard the way she saw fit. Though he was quite positive that if she didn’t kill him, Bill would be making a “relocation” in the very near future.
“Yes, that’s right. Seems when Amelia told him it couldn’t be done he got rather…testy with her.” She flinched as the memories flashed through the witch’s mind again. “But then I came back. And he had her spell him.”
“Yes. She cast a spell on his favorite donor. Once he ingested her blood, he became…ultra super irresistible. Her words, not mine. Basically the effects would only work on someone with fairy blood in them. And they wouldn’t even have to ingest any, though that would make the effects stronger.” Sookie’s attention turned back to Bill. “Apparently he got pretty damn frustrated when the whole witch war happened and we ended up…well…”
Her eyes filled with pain and she cast a glance up at her Viking. She’d really hurt him and in this moment-it was her biggest regret. Well-after not staking Beehl’s pathetic pasty ass.
“Eric-” Her voice broke as her eyes filled with tears and Eric immediately dropped the witch, his body turning to hers as his hand came up to sweep away the lone tear that fell down her cheek.
“Shhh. It’s alright, Lover. Finish this. Then we have all the time in the world.” His head dropped, nuzzling her hair as he pressed soft kisses to her forehead.
Sookie inhaled sharply, her back straightening resolutely before she turned her head to press a quick kiss to the hand still at her cheek. She turned a small, grateful smile up towards Eric before flattening her features as she faced Bill once again.
“Needless to say, Beehl was NOT a happy camper. At least until he ordered his fucking commandos to shoot me and to herd you into Marnie’s range so she could…ensnare you again.” She gulped in a deep breath, remembering the white hot agony of that bullet. “Oh and then he heard about Governor Burrell’s vamp camp BEFORE all the shit at the Authority happened. Before he became Billith and told me I was an abomination. And when he knew y’all were in Burrell’s vamp camp, he said I was dead to him…oh, but not before telling me that if I didn’t give him my blood I’d be killing everyone I love.”
A shattering snarl broke the still air of the night and Sookie’s head whipped around to see Eric, crouched slightly with clawed hands, his enchantingly gorgeous face twisted into an ugly snarl. “He said WHAT?!?”
Bill recoiled from his position on his knees, his back once again scraping against the bark of the tree. He’d seen countless expressions on Eric Northman’s face, but never a show of pure emotion-except when he’d had amnesia. This was not the same thing. This was pure, unadulterated rage-the kind Viking’s were famous for and the kind anyone with a brain would run far away from as quickly as possible.
That plan was foiled however when Sookie caught sight of him trying to rise. Her hand shot out, a blinding flash of light engulfing his lower legs, leaving only smoldering, useless stumps where his calves and feet had once been.
“Oh I’m sorry Bill. Did that hurt?” She cocked her hip to the side, nudging against Eric gently as he straightened, grabbing her and holding her close as he panted with suppressed anger. “Well, if that little ball of light hurt…I think the rest of your night may suck…and NOT in the good way.”