“Hey,” I said the moment Eric’s eyes popped open.
“Hey yourself,” Eric replied, snaking his arm around me and pulling me on top of him. “You found a lead,” he said as a statement, not a question.
“How’d you know?” I asked, sitting up and straddling his lean hips.
His hands moved to my waist. “Could be the big smile on your face, or that you’re bubbling with excitement. What did you find?”
“So before we went to Godric’s house, we went to lunch at some barbecue place.”
“Charlie went with you,” he stated.
“Yes. How’d you know?” I asked again.
A sweet smile spread across his face as he cupped one side of my own. “I know you, and you would have been happy eating shitty drive-thru so you could try to find out any information as soon as possible.”
“That may have crossed my mind,” I said smiling. Eric knew me well, almost too well sometimes. It was hard to surprise him when it seemed he could almost read my mind.
“But it worked out for the best because as we were sitting and waiting for our food, I noticed a group of men at a table close to us. A couple of them were pretty beaten up, so I decided to read that group next, and I saw Godric in one of their thoughts. These were guys from different shifts that are guarding him, and he’s been putting up quite the fight even though he’s being restrained by silver.”
Fury and pride rushed through me as Eric let out a low growl and gripped my hips a little tighter.
Laying my hands on his chest, I stroked him soothingly while I waited for him to calm down. His fury felt like my own; making me want to rush out of the room and attack the people who had taken this unwilling and ancient vampire from the safety of his resting place. I felt a sense of duty to help him the same way he had helped Eric in getting rid of his Maker.
“I am sorry, dear one. I did not mean for my emotions to overwhelm you. Please forgive me and continue,” he said, caressing my cheek with his thumb.
“You have nothing to be sorry for; you only want to avenge your friend. So, the man only thought of Godric as he winced from taking a bite out of his food. I knew I needed to get him to think about Godric again.”
“How’d you do that, my smart wife?”
“Quinn probably thinks I’m crazy, unloyal to you, or worse,” I stated looking down.
“I doubt that,” he said as his hands moved to my arms, where he started to rub up and down.
“You weren’t there and didn’t hear what I said,” I replied as tears welled up in my eyes and then silently streaked down my face.
Eric sat up as soon as the first tear spilled over and had me cradled in his arms. “Please don’t cry, Lover. I cannot bare to see you cry.”
Laying us down, he kept me tight to his chest as he lightly hummed for a few minutes until I calmed down enough to talk.
“Better now?” He asked, placing a kiss on the top of my head. I nodded and clutched myself to him a little tighter before I could continue.
“What did you say to get the man to think of Godric?” He asked quietly from the top of my head.
“I quickly whispered to Charlie that I was practicing, so he’d play along. It wouldn’t have worked without him,” I said with a sniff.
“He’s a good employee… and friend to you. I’ll have to think of something to reward him with.”
Nodding my head once again, I whispered into his chest. “You know I love you, right?”
“Yes, just as you know I love you,” he proclaimed before he pulled back and brushed his lips against mine. “I know whatever you said was only to get information, and you didn’t mean it. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to,” he said quietly as he rubbed his nose against mine.
“I need to tell you… I want to before you hear it from Quinn.”
“No matter what you said I wouldn’t believe him, but if you need to then I want you to,” he said, hugging me back into his chest.
“I heard that Dallas has a big population of vampires. Didn’t you?” I asked Charlie.
“Big, but not as big as New Orleans,” Charlie replied, not really knowing where I was going with my statement.
“I was scared to go out at night and run into one or a horde of them,” I said with a dramatic shiver.
“I don’t think you need to worry about a horde if it’s even called that.”
“Not worry? Of course, I’m worried. What chance would I possibly have if I encountered one or more? They’d just glamour me and suck all of my blood out, and once they were done they’d rape my lifeless body!”
“Where’d you hear that?” Charlie asked me.
“From my friends at the Fellowship. They said that vampires have no morals and care about nothing and nobody. They don’t care who they kill. They’re Satan’s spawn,” I spat the last part out for good measure.
Quinn sat there with his mouth hanging open. Charlie, too, for a second before he came up with something to say. I didn’t really hear him though because it was at that moment the man thought of the Fellowship church and that they had captured a vampire they were doing experiments on. Someone had been telling them of every vampire weakness and how to easily capture them. He didn’t know much, only that they had given him a special gun to use during his shift.
I could tell he was afraid of Godric now, though. It was his job to give him a little bit of True Blood, and, a couple of nights ago, he got too close. Godric attacked him and beat him up pretty badly before the other guards got in there and subdued him.
“I hope that I never encounter a vampire since they are all evil, but if I ever do then I’m prepared since I keep a stake in my purse at all times. Also, it looks as if we don’t have anything to worry about because it seems as if they don’t hunt people in highly populated areas. As long as we keep doing what we were doing, we’re unlikely to run into where they live or hunt.” It was that moment when he pictured where they were keeping Godric. It was some old warehouse.
End of Flashback
“I showed Hauk everything when we got back from Godric’s house.”
“You still went?” He asked, but I could tell his mind was more on the thought of the warehouse.
“What was I to do? Say I read someone’s mind at the restaurant and I sort of know where Godric is? Plus I thought there could have been a small possibility that I might find out more there, but I didn’t.”
“You did brilliantly. I’m so proud of you,” he said as he moved on top of me and kissed me until I was breathless.
I lay panting for a few moments, both of us on our sides. I watched as my breath hit Eric’s hair and made it flutter around for a brief second. He was deep in thought about the warehouses in the area.
When I finally caught my breath, I leaned over, kissed his chest, and made my way back up to his mouth. Eric smiled against my mouth before giving me a deep but short kiss.
“I’m sorry we don’t have time for something more pleasurable,” he purred out, “but we need to meet with Hauk before the sun goes down and create a plan. We have a very limited amount of hours that we can look for Godric, and there are many warehouses in the area we need to check. Do you want to call him or should I?”
“I will,” I replied as I got dressed in what I thought would be appropriate clothes for the night. Black jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes.
“Have him bring Quinn with him,” he said as he pulled on his pants.
“Are you sure?” I asked. I didn’t want to face Quinn ever, let alone so soon.
“Don’t fret over the tiger, Lover. Are you going to want to help in the search?”
“Of course,” I responded immediately.
“Then he’ll need to come with us.”
“Can you come to our room and bring Quinn with you?” I asked Hauk.
“We’ll be there in a minute,” he responded with amusement in his tone.
“I want you to know now that when we find Godric, you will stay where I tell you with Quinn. I need you to promise me this. It is likely we are going into a dangerous situation and if I’m worried about you and keeping you safe…”
“I know,” I interrupted. “I promise to do whatever you say.”
He pulled me into a tight hug. “Thank you. It eases my mind somewhat. I wish I didn’t need your help and could keep you somewhere far away and safe.”
“I know you do,” I said, hugging him back.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Moving quickly to the door, Eric let Hauk and Quinn inside. We all sat down in the same places as last night, except this time I wasn’t on Eric’s lap but beside him.
I curled up against him at the hate-filled look and thoughts Quinn was sending my way.
“If you do not quit sending those looks to my Bonded I will gouge out your eyeballs,” Eric snarled.
“You have no idea who the person is you’ve married,” Quinn rebuked.
“Don’t I? You think I don’t know what she did or said today?”
Eric turned toward me, taking my hands into both of his. “Do you trust me?” He asked his eyes and our bond full of trust and love.
“You know I do.”
“I know. Thank you,” he replied, bringing my hand up and kissing it before he brought our hands down to his lap.
He turned once again, this time toward Hauk. They had a silent conversation, or more like a one-sided silent conversation, staring at one another before Hauk gave him a nod.
“What I’m about to tell you doesn’t go beyond this room. If I ever have the slightest inclination that you’ve told or are going to tell anyone, I’ll kill you. No questions asked. Can I trust you with this secret?”
Quinn looked around the room at each of us for a long minute. I hadn’t been reading him, and I wasn’t going to start now. I didn’t want to hear his thoughts and be worrying all night about what he thought of me. Right before he responded, Hauk gave a slight nod.
“You can trust me,” he told Eric.
“Good. Don’t fail to heed my warning. No one will be able to save you if you betray me or mine. Sookie is a telepath, and what she did today was to get information out of a Fellowship member who thought about Godric during your lunch and discovered his location.”
Quinn’s purple eyes landed on me.
You can really read my mind?
I smiled, “Yes, I can really read your mind.”
My last girlfriend’s name was Bonnie, and she was a were lynx.
“Your last girlfriend was a were lynx named Bonnie. Do you believe me or do you want to keep testing me?”
“Sophie-Ann was right then,” he stated.
“You are aware that my wife has amnesia,” Eric reminded as Quinn nodded. “At the time, Sookie could not read anyone’s mind. You do understand what could happen if Sophie-Ann or any vampire found out what she could do?”
“I had been around the palace for about a month before she came to visit you. I didn’t know exactly what she had planned, but during the day, she had workers preparing a room for a new guest who was coming to live at the palace. She always had all the workers clear out about an hour before sunset so that the vampires who were there wouldn’t know what she had happening. I knew it was something big, though. I’m glad that she didn’t get her hands on you,” Quinn said to me. “I should have realized that you really are a telepath when certain things started not adding up. You have my word that I will never utter a word about your talent.”
“Thank you,” I gave him a grateful smile.
“Is that why you’ve stayed in Shreveport?” He asked Hauk.
A smirk spread across Hauk’s face before he gave a deep nod.
“Now that that’s out of the way, we need to discuss our plan to find Godric. Sookie said you saw the warehouse from her…”
“Hold up! How’d you see it from her?” Quinn exclaimed before he jumped up and started pacing. “Can you… ”
“Yes,” Hauk said with the smirk still on his face before he turned to Eric and got serious. “I believe he’s in one of the warehouses that are located on the Northwest side of town, but I have no idea which one since they all look so much alike.”
“I think when we get there we’ll need to split up. You should both be able to find his brain signature.” Hauk and I both nodded. “I’ll need to inform the King once we are on our way. I don’t want to waste any time. Sookie is to remain outside any building that I go into, no matter what. Are we clear?”
“Yes,” Quinn and I said in unison.
“Good, then if you need to get anything to prepare for tonight, go now. We’ll meet downstairs in five minutes.”
We had been driving for almost forty minutes before we reached the area where warehouse after warehouse continued on for miles. It was decided that we would start in the middle with Eric, Quinn, and I going to the right and Hauk going to the left. Hauk was confident that I would be able to reach him telepathically if we found Godric. Both Eric and Hauk carried backpacks filled with blood for him.
I kept my shields completely down in order to not miss a thing. After the first hour, I was becoming tired from all the quick walking we did and casting out for any feelers. After asking how long it might take us to walk through all the warehouses because I was getting tired, I was promptly put on Eric’s back, and for the next hour and a half, we kept looking before I finally caught a brainwave that wasn’t Quinn’s.
“I found something,” I said against Eric’s ear. “They’re about another mile up ahead I think.”
“Can you tell how many yet?” Eric asked as he sped up.
“Six,” I replied, clutching tighter in the hopes that we had found Godric.
As we approached, I searched for Godric and tried to place where each brain signature was located. I easily found the ancient vampire who was my husband’s friend.
“He’s in the back far right-hand corner of the building. There are two guards outside his door, two at the front entrance, and one at the back entrance on the other side of the building opposite him.”
Eric silently sat me down on my feet when we were on the other side of the road from where Godric was located.
“Let Hauk know we have found him. I may need help subduing him depending on how injured he is. Hopefully, I have enough blood with me so that he’ll be in control from his hunger and injuries.”
Grasping my face between his large hands, he caressed both my cheeks with his thumbs. “Stay here, no matter what.”
“I know,” I said, nodding. I knew it was dangerous and I didn’t want him to worry. “I promise.”
Eric smiled and brushed his lips against mine. “I love you,” he said, closing his eyes as he rested his forehead on mine.
“I love you, too. Be careful.”
“Always,” he replied, grabbing up the backpack and zipping off.
I sat down on the curb, staring off into the night. I couldn’t see anything, and since this whole area was abandoned there weren’t even streetlights on.
Not wanting to see Eric more than likely kill all of the humans in the building, I stayed out of his head, but I followed his void so that I knew where he was as Quinn stood beside me keeping watch.
“Can you see the building?” I asked as my legs bounced in nervousness.
“Yeah, I can see it. Are they on their way back?”
I shook my head.
“Are you worried about him?” He asked, looking down at me with furrowed brows.
“Why wouldn’t I be worried about him?”
Quinn looked at me as if my head was missing. “He’s a very old vampire. He can take care of himself. Hell, they say he was a Viking.”
“Someone was able to abduct a vampire who is over two-thousand-years old. If they can get him, it’s possible to apprehend Eric. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him! I’ll stop worrying when he’s standing in front of me.”
“He at least has a heads up that they have some way of taking vampires down.”
“Shh, he’s reached Godric!”
Quinn tried to quietly chuckle next to me. “They can’t hear us.”
“I know that, but I’m keeping track of where he’s at, and I want to concentrate.”
We sat quietly for a couple more minutes before I felt Eric and Godric start to move. I stood up in anticipation of seeing them walking side by side out of the darkness. Instead, I felt a deep burning pain bore into my shoulder, right before another hit me just below my heart.
I crumpled into the street, grasping my nonexistent wounds as I cried. Almost as soon as it began, it was gone. I took a deep breath as I scrambled to get up and make my way toward Eric. Hot, thick, strong arms grabbed me by the waist and held me against a body that was all wrong. I kicked, clawed, and screamed to be let go.
“Sookie, you promised to stay here. You…”
“He’s hurt badly. He’s shut down the bond. We need to save him!”
“No,” he said roughly in my ear. “How would he feel if you went in there and got hurt?”
“We need to help!” I pleaded. I could faintly make out some type of shrill noise that kept going off, over and over. I continued to scream and fight as I felt my body being shifted around.
“I don’t know what happened. Sookie fell to the ground as if she was in pain, but now she’s fighting me to let her go. She wants to go in and save him! Sookie,” I heard the last part being repeated in my ear. “It’s Pam, and she wants to know what happened.”
“I don’t know. He’s blocking me completely. Pam, you have to come! I don’t know what to do,” I sobbed out. “He’s hurt. Please help.” I said as I broke down sobbing.
“Shit, I gotta go,” Quinn let out as a sigh. “There’s someone carrying Northman out. This can’t be good,” he said in utter disbelief. “I’ll let them know you’re on your way.”
“No!” I screamed while fighting even harder against Quinn. “Let me go! Let me go! Let me go!”
“Give her to me,” I heard from my left. I tried to push away as Quinn tried to hand me off to Hauk without hurting me until I heard his calming voice in my head.
“Stop. I can’t have you running over to him quite yet. We don’t know if Godric’s had enough blood to withstand wanting to feed from you. We don’t know how hurt he was. Let me assess the situation and then you can see your husband. Can you do that for me?” Hauk asked as he placed me down on the ground.
“What the hell are you thinking? I’ve been restraining her for the last five minutes,” Quinn growled.
“She’s fine now. She knows she has to wait. Quickly, get the car and meet us back here.”
“Fine. If anything happens to her, it’s your fault.”
“Look right there, Sookie,” he said as he pointed off to the right. “You’ll see him in just a minute. Godric’s got him.”
“I don’t want anyone to have him,” I cried. “I want him to be walking to me on his own.”
“I know you do. Don’t be alarmed when you see him. He’s going to be fine. I promise you.”
Out of the darkness walked a man who looked too short to be carrying anyone of Eric’s height. If he hadn’t been a vampire, he would have crumbled with the amount of weight that was atop his shoulders.
I started to take a step until I felt Hauk’s hand on my shoulder. “Just a moment longer,” he assured me.
I nodded as I wiped the tears from my eyes so that I could get a better look, but before they got close enough for me to see, Quinn pulled up with the car. He quickly jumped out and opened the back door.
Godric swooped into my car and laid Eric against the door on the other side before gracefully exiting.
“Get in,” he commanded.
I stumbled into the car and made my way over to Eric. Gasping at my husband before me, I lightly trailed my hands across his face and started to sob once more.
“Eric, please wake up,” I pleaded with him as I took in the damage that had been done to him.
He had multiple bullet wounds to his chest, and his face had been slightly burned.
“Don’t do this to me,” I pleaded as sobs tore through my chest. “Wake up.”
“It’s best if he stays as he is for right now until we get some blood into him. You don’t want him to be feeling the pain he’d be in, do you?” A gentle voice said to me.
Until that moment, I hadn’t noticed that there was anyone else in the car with us. Godric was driving while Hauk sat in the passenger seat, and Quinn sat beside me looking worried.
Sitting forward, I thrust my arm in front of Hauk’s face. “Bite,” I commanded, not quite as forcefully as I would have liked with a sniff, followed by a hiccup.
Hauk pushed my arm and me back into the backseat. “You know I can’t do that. It’s a blood offense. We’re headed to Godric’s, and we’ll get a donor for him. It’s too dangerous for him to feed from you with a number of injuries he’s sustained.”
“Unfortunately Eric won’t feed from anyone unless it’s his wife,” Godric stated.
“No one has to tell him,” Hauk said exasperatedly. “Surely to save his life you’d let him, wouldn’t you, Sookie?”
“Of course I would. I tried before when he got hurt.” I tightened my hold on him as I lightly laid my head against his uninjured shoulder.
“We cannot trick him. He would feel as if he’s betrayed his vow to his wife, his Bonded. He lives by his word,” Godric said, glancing back at us.
We were all quiet the rest of the way to Godric’s house. The only sounds were my sniffs and whispered words to Eric telling him how much I loved him.
When we reached the house, everything happened almost too fast for me to comprehend.
Godric once again lifted Eric up as if he weighed little more than a feather before he quickly rushed him into the house. I tried to follow, but he was too fast for my eyes to make out where he’d taken Eric. I was almost on the verge of a breakdown when Hauk guided me through the house and into a bedroom where Eric was laying.
I crawled onto the bed and sat next to Eric brushing his hair out of his face. I was becoming highly anxious for some way to help Eric when Godric walked into the room with four bottles of True Blood in his hands.
Opening Eric’s mouth, I poured bottle after bottle into his mouth with no success of him waking up.
“Why isn’t he healing or waking up?” I asked as I looked at Godric and Hauk who were stationed on the other side of the room talking quietly.
“It will take a little longer for the True Blood to start working. It doesn’t work as well as human blood,” Godric replied as he walked over to the foot of the bed.
“Where’s the kitchen?” I asked as I stood and walked to the door.
Everyone in the room had an odd look on their faces when I turned around waiting for an answer.
“When you get to the top of the stairs take a left and follow along the hallway, it will be on your right,” Godric finally replied. “Is there something I can get you?” he asked perplexed.
“No, thank you. I’ll be right back,” I said as I quickly left the room and made my way up the stairs.
For a brief moment when I walked into the kitchen, I was in awe of how beautiful it was before I quickly snapped myself out of that type of thinking. I could admire Godric’s house when Eric was awake and better, not when he was laying downstairs unconscious. I hurriedly looked through the drawers until I found what I was looking for and made my way back downstairs.
I knew that if I told them what I was about to do they’d stop me but Eric was my husband and I was going to take care of him, no matter what.
Moving quickly, I made my way over to the bed and climbed up until I was beside Eric once more. I swiftly took the knife I had found upstairs and cut into my wrist until blood started to flow out of my wound. Growls erupted from behind me, but I wouldn’t let that stop me from helping my Bonded.
I placed my wrist to his lips and let my blood flow into his mouth. It only took a minute before he started to suck on my wound. After another few moments, his hands reached up and held my arm in place. Hauk and Godric rushed to the side of the bed in case they needed to pry my arm from Eric’s grip, but I wasn’t worried. I knew that he would never hurt me and would stop before he took too much.
My free hand caressed his face and ran through his hair as I tried to soothe him as best as I could. I couldn’t tell how much pain he was in since he had cut off our bond after the first initial hits at the warehouse, and he was still blocking me from his mind. All I knew was that he was still in control somewhat if he could continue to block himself.
Eric’s grip on my arm loosened and I felt his tongue glide along my cut. It started to tingle, and I knew that Eric had cut his tongue to heal my wound. I was expecting his eyes to open, but instead, his arms fell to the bed.
Tears filled my eyes as my hope sunk. Why wasn’t he waking up?
“Sookie,” Hauk said quietly from beside me. “The sun rose just a few moments ago. He won’t be waking up until sunset tomorrow night, but he’s healing now.” He nodded his head toward Eric and his eyes examined him. “I can’t believe you cut yourself. What if he tried to drain you?”
“I knew he wouldn’t. He’d never hurt me.” I looked around the room and noticed Quinn sitting in a chair, but Godric was gone. “Where’s Godric?”
“He left when he heard Pamela pull up and they have both gone to rest for the day. Pamela is still too young to resist the pull of the sun and Godric was still in need of rest to recover from his injuries. You, yourself, need to try and get some rest. You’ve had an exhausting night. I’ll take Quinn and show him to where he’ll be staying. Will you be okay?” he asked worriedly.
“He’s going to be okay, right?” I asked as I continued to run my fingers through Eric’s hair. Almost all of the burns had disappeared from his face, but I knew that they were least of his injuries.
Hauk had nodded before he rose from the bed. “I promise he’ll be fine, but you need to get some rest. He won’t be happy to know that you made yourself sick from crying and no sleep.”
“How can I rest until I know he’s going to be okay?”
“Can you at least try for him?” he asked with another nod.
“That’s all I ask. If you need anything, call for me, and I’ll hear you,” he said with a small smile.
“Me too,” Quinn said as he stood from the chair he’d been sitting in. “You’ve got my number.”
“Thanks, guys,” I said as I watched them walk out the door and close it.
I laid down beside Eric holding his hand, still crying, and hoping he’d be okay. I wouldn’t truly know until he rose tomorrow night. After laying there for what felt like the entire day, I finally fell into a light, distressful sleep.