Waking in the late afternoon, I made my way upstairs to make something to eat. Since it was still summer, it would be hours until Eric was up for the night. As I walked into the kitchen, I found Quinn sitting at the bar, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.
“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty,” he said with a chuckle.
“Good morning,” I said while pouring myself a cup of coffee. “It’s quiet. I guess Charlie and Hauk already left.”
“Yep. Bright and early this morning. They wanted to get to Shreveport and get as much work done as possible before sunset.”
“That makes sense. I hope they’re not gone long. Where’s Mason?” I asked. Normally he was here by now and working in Godric’s office.
“He went with Charlie and Hauk. How’d you know he wasn’t here?”
I pointed to my forehead before explaining. “You’re the only person I can hear right now since all the vampires are asleep.”
“Right. I keep forgetting that you can read my thoughts.”
“It’s not as easy to read Weres, so it’s not so much as reading your thoughts; it’s more like reading your overall mood, I guess. It depends on the level of shielding I’m doing.”
“Can you explain it to me?” Quinn asked. “It’s fascinating.”
“I can try. Most of the time I shield my mind completely. When I’m doing that, I read nothing, not even brain signatures. When we were searching for Godric, they were only slightly down. I can find brain signatures, figure out if it’s human, vampire, Were, etc. The next level would be for humans since they are easiest to read. It takes more concentration for me to hear Weres and vampires unless I touch you, then you come in loud and clear unless you know how to block me. Even then if I try hard enough I can get through your shields.”
“How many people know how to shield their mind from you?” He asked curiously.
“I really don’t know. That’s a better question for Hauk. From the time I can remember I’ve only come across Eric and Hauk, but like I said, if I want, I can get through them.”
“Doesn’t that bother the Sheriff?”
“No,” I replied shaking my head. “I said I can, not that I do. Even if I did, it wouldn’t bother him. Our house is warded so that I can’t hear anyone unless I touch them. I block him out if I don’t want to hear what he’s thinking which is my default. He only started doing it after I got my telepathy back. I had no idea how to shield anyone’s thoughts, and it was too much.”
“Wow! I can’t imagine hearing everyone’s thoughts.”
“You don’t want to. People rarely think nice things and the things they think about when Eric’s around…,” I stopped and shook my head. “I’m kind of happy to get rid of Fangtasia and never have to read those thoughts again.”
“I’m sorry, babe. Sounds like you’ve had a rough go of it.”
“It’s not as bad as I make it sound. We haven’t been there very often after my telepathy came back. I’m just happy that Hauk decided to stay to help me get control, or I would have either gone crazy or been stuck at home forever.”
We were quiet while I ate my breakfast and Quinn read his paper. While I was standing at the sink washing my dishes, I caught sight of someone walking at the edge of the property.
“Quinn?” I whispered.
“Yeah? What’s up?” He asked, noticing that something was wrong with my tone.
“Are there supposed to be Weres out guarding the property?” I asked shakily.
“No. It’s only me. Is someone out there?” He got up and moved to the window looking out with me.
“I saw someone walking along the edge in the back, but I can’t see him anymore. Hang on.”
I closed my eyes, dropped my shields, and scanned outward. The farther I scanned, the more minds I discovered, and they were all headed our way.
“Anything?” He asked, placing a hand on my shoulder bringing me out of their thoughts.
“Nothing good,” I breathed out. “I counted fifteen Weres coming our way.”
“Shit,” he growled out. “Do you know their plans?”
“They’re surrounding the house and plan to attack while all the vampires are asleep for the day.” I slid to the floor. “What are we going to do? There’s no way you can take on all of them. Oh God! They know Eric and me are here.”
“What else?” Quinn asked kneeling in front of me.
“I don’t want to read them anymore,” I sobbed out. I couldn’t stand to be in their heads another minute while they thought about kidnapping and torturing all of us before killing each of us, and making us watch until it was our turn.
The door to downstairs flew open leaving a large dent in the wall, with a very naked and furious Eric hiding just inside the shadows.
I jumped up and ran crying into Eric’s arms.
“They’re coming,” I said against his neck.
“I’ve got you, and I won’t let anything happen to you,” he said while he held me tightly. “Try to calm down and tell me what’s happening. Who’s coming?”
“Fifteen Weres have surrounded the house and plan to kidnap everyone.”
“Do you know when?”
“They’re waiting for someone to call, and then they’ll break in. They have silver nets, some type of UV light to use on you, guns with UV bullets, and silver. They have horrible things planned for us, Eric, even me.” I answered, barely choking out the words.
“Quinn!” Eric barked out. “Grab food and drinks for you and Sookie, and get downstairs. We’re going on lockdown.”
He quickly turned and took us back downstairs into our bedroom. Once inside he placed me on the bed before quickly getting dressed and kneeling down in front of me.
“Where are they, älskling?” Eric asked, holding my hands in one of his while he dried my tears with the other.
I closed my eyes and concentrated for a few moments until I had located each one of them.
“Ten of them are stationed around the house, and five of them are hanging back by the road in case someone tries to escape or arrives during their ambush,” I replied, and then opened my eyes.
“You’re doing great,” Eric cupped my face and rubbed his thumbs over my cheeks. “Take a deep breath and try to relax. I know this is very stressful, but we are not going to get hurt. I promised, and I always keep my promises, don’t I?” He gave me a slight smile before heading to the door to type in the code to lock down the house. His moves were slow and lethargic, and I didn’t know how much longer he would be able to fight the pull of the sun.
“Where’s Quinn?” I had asked before he started.
“Out there,” he gestured out the door.
“Our door will be sealed, right?”
“Yes, all the doors will be individually sealed. If they somehow made their way into the house and past the door leading downstairs, which is almost impossible, they’d then have to get past each door to get into the bedrooms,” he explained.
“Can Quinn come in here with us?” I asked. “I can already feel you starting to slowly fade away, and I hate the idea of him being stuck out there alone.”
“Why not? He’s already stunk up our bedroom once,” he grumbled. “Quinn,” Eric called.
Quinn came up to our door trying to hide the grin from his face, but wasn’t very successful. “You don’t need to worry about me, Sookie. I’ll be fine. This place has the best security system you can get,” he said flashing a smile.
“Just come in,” Eric replied exasperated. “I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to stay awake, and I’d feel better if someone was in here to talk with her. I’ll stay awake for as long as possible.”
“You’re sure?” Quinn asked uncertainly.
“Yes, and bring the supplies too.”
Once Quinn was in the room with our food and water, sitting in the chair across the room, Eric quickly typed in an extremely long code putting the house on lockdown. We sat quietly while we listened to the shutters slam down and the doors seal shut.
“What if they set the house on fire?” I asked, starting to panic again.
“They could set the upstairs on fire if they tried hard enough. Although it’s flame resistant and there are sprinklers, it’s a possibility.”
“Christ! Don’t tell her that!” Quinn growled out.
“I will not lie to her. I never have, and I’m not about to start now. She needs to know what could happen. Sookie,” Eric turned to me and sat beside me on the bed. “The whole downstairs is equipped never to catch on fire, and it has its own ventilation system, so even if the entire upstairs is destroyed, we will be safe down here. If I thought there was any chance at all that you were in danger, I would have had you out of here by now. There are only three hours until sunset and, if they know anything about vampires older than half a century, then they know that we can rise before the sun sets. They’ll attempt their attack before then.”
I felt Eric start to fade a little more. It was too early for him to be awake, and it had me slightly concerned that he might not wake up at his normal time, or even at sunset if he stayed up any longer.
“Eric, why don’t you lay down and go back to sleep. I’ll be fine. I’ve got Quinn to talk to if I need him,” I said trying to push him to lay down.
He nodded his head and pulled me up with him to rest at the top of the bed. I snuggled against his side with his arms wrapped around me.
“Eric?” I asked as I felt him fading fast.
“Hmmm?” he hummed out. I looked up, and his eyes were already closed.
“Will you wake up if anything else happens?”
“You should be able to wake me. I’m sorry I can’t stay awake with you, Sookie.” His arms squeezed me tighter as his voiced faded.
“Will you wake at your normal time or at sunset?” I asked, but the response I received was a humming noise as he tried to answer.
I hugged him tightly with my eyes screwed shut and wished he could stay awake with me too, but I knew it was impossible, and he had done everything he could to make me safe and comfortable. After a few minutes, I squirmed out of his hold and sat up against the headboard looking over at Quinn.
He gave me a sad smile as if he knew I was upset. I only wished I knew when Eric would wake up. I’d be beside myself until he was awake again.
“Do you want to watch TV or something to pass the time?” Quinn asked hopefully.
“Sure. Why don’t you move your chair where you can see the TV better and choose something. I don’t watch it enough to know what I like or what’s good.”
“You’re sure you want me to choose?”
“Yep,” I said, popping the ‘p.’
Quinn moved so that he could see the TV and flipped through the channels until he came up with some movie where a guy and girl were being chased by some madman. I didn’t really pay much attention. I sat running my fingers through Eric’s hair as I kept track of where all the Weres were, but stayed out of their thoughts. They came up to the house, and I don’t know what they tried, but they never made their way inside. I stared at the TV until I felt a cool, strong arm circle my waist and pull me down.
“Hey,” I whispered against his lips.
“Hey yourself,” he replied with a smile before his tongue licked along my bottom lip.
Quinn’s throat clearing reminded me we were not alone. I kissed him deeply for only a moment more before pulling back.
“I’m guessing all is well upstairs,” Eric stated, sitting up and pulling me into his lap.
“Once the house was locked down, they came up to it, but that’s all I know. They never made their way in and I stayed out of their heads. I knew that if I listened to them, it would only upset and worry me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“You didn’t need to do that for me. I would have stayed awake if I could have.”
“I know. It was for me too. I didn’t want any more of their vile thoughts in my head. They really hate vampires. I don’t understand why they are involved with the Fellowship, though. Don’t they know that if the Fellowship ever found out about them, they will believe they are just as evil as vampires?”
“You make a very good point, my beautiful Bonded. I only know that we need to stop them before they hurt anyone else. Do we still need to be on lockdown or can we meet up with everyone and fill them in on what’s happening?” Eric asked while he rubbed his hand up and down my arm.
“They’re still outside, but they’ve moved back into the tree line again.”
“Very well. I’m going to unlock the downstairs so that I can let everyone know what’s going on. Once we decide on a plan, we will… get rid of them,” he said with a smirk. “When I leave the room, I want you to put in your code so that this room will be locked down again. I’ll come back for you once it’s safe. Do not leave this room until I’m right outside of it, do you understand?”
Eric pulled back and gave me a pointed look.
“I understand, just as you understand what will happen if anything happens to you.”
“That’s what I thought,” he smiled as he planted a soul-scorching kiss on my lips, leaving me panting.
He got up, went to the closet, and pulled on his leather jacket. I heard a few noises and when he came out he had a knife tucked into the front of his pants as well as a sword that looked nearly as tall as me in his hand. Eric was excited. I could feel it as it stemmed my worry.
I rose from the bed and pulled him to me, relishing the feel of his love and happiness. Eric hugged me back with his free arm just as tightly.
“Be safe. I love you,” I said against his chest with a kiss.
“As I love you,” he said while he nuzzled the side of my neck.
“Lock this door and remain here,” Eric looked over at Quinn and gave him a nod.
“She’ll be safe. Go kick some ass for me.”
“Will do,” Eric grabbed his phone from the nightstand before he left, letting me know that if anything changed he was only a phone call away.
I watched while Eric put in his code to unlock all the bottom floor doors and once he was out of the door, he was joined by Godric and Pam. They were already talking rapidly and heading upstairs with weapons in their hands as I sealed the bedroom door.