“Do you think this is gonna work?” Sookie is attached to my body like a barnacle as we fly towards the remnants of the Light of Day training facility and Fellowship of the Sun church. We have gone over every possibility with Quinn’s team and all the vampires that are willing to help us. Jessica had wanted to come with us to help free Jason and Pam, but all of us decided the risk would be too great. She is being held in a cell made completely of silver with Willa and a few of Quinn’s team as guards. Willa resisted staying behind, saying she wanted to help, that it was her family too. As much as I appreciated my progeny’s desire to help, I couldn’t risk her safety. She might be evenly matched in a fight against the Newlin bitch, but the fact we don’t know where Sarah’s sister Amber is or what state Compton will be made me overly cautious. My attention will already be divided trying to keep Sookie safe and save Pamela. I will never forgive myself if something happens to any of the women in my existence because of my negligence. As it is I am severely berating myself for allowing myself to be so lax in security that Pamela was captured. You can be damn sure it is a mistake I will not allow to happen again.
“We have planned for every possible contingency,” I reassure her. “I am confident we will be successful. We have faced worse odds than this before, and we have always come out victorious. I know we shall persevere,” I say confidently. My arms are around her waist as we fly through the air and I squeeze her in comfort. “What has you so worried this time?”
“I don’t mind risking my safety, but Jason’s the only family I got left. I know I’ve got Niall, but Jason’s my brother. He might be an idiot, but he means well, and he’s always been there for me. When kids were mean to me, Jason defended me even though more often than not he got his ass handed to him. After our parents died, Jason used to sneak into my room at night so I wouldn’t be alone. He’s always known I’m different because of my telepathy but he’s never made me feel different because of it. To Jason, I’ve always been his baby sister, no matter what I could or couldn’t do. He’s the first one that ever made me see my telepathy as a gift and not a curse. I can’t lose him like this Eric,” she says as she cries against my neck.
“Sookie, you are not going to lose him,” I say firmly as I push comfort through our bond. “I am not willing to lose my progeny or your brother to Compton’s machinations. It is time once and for all that we end this. Before the night is over, you will be reunited with your brother and Compton and Sarah Newlin will be nothing more than two bloody stains on the ground,” I vow vehemently.
Neither of us says anything further on the subject as we continue our flight. We had left after everyone else, waiting until Quinn had called to give the all clear. Godric had refused to let us go alone; he was following our flight from the ground, racing along on the ground and then flying through the trees like a demonic version of Burrow’s Tarzan. We agreed that my primary goal will be to keep Sookie safe while Godric frees Pamela. Isabel will be responsible for Sookie’s brother. Quinn’s team as well as the vampires loyal to Isabel are mainly to handle any surprises. I have learned through my experience with both Compton and Newlin that they tend to have an exaggerated view of their own abilities. The only thing Sarah Newlin was good at, in my opinion, was spreading her legs to whoever she thought would advance her in life. Steve Newlin, Truman Burrell, and who knows who else have fallen victim to the faux whore of Babylon. As for Compton, his only strength has been at backstabbing those he uses. I am the only one that I know of that has survived his traitorous ways.
Our destination looms large in front of us, and I squeeze Sookie’s waist to gain her attention. When she lifts her head, I gesture towards the location with my chin. “Are you ready for this?” She nods her head once and I begin our descent.
“I feel like the music for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly should be playing as we do this,” Sookie murmurs and I can’t help but chuckle as we land on the road leading to the training institute.
“That would make you the good, me the bad, and Compton is definitely the ugly,” I say with humor as her legs lower to the pavement. My lips press a kiss of reassurance to her forehead as I push strength, love, and resolve through our bond. Sookie responds by pushing her love and determination back at me. Hand in hand we stride towards the abandoned building. All of my vampire senses are on high alert as I search for our enemies. The night is still and the new moon provides very little light for my bonded to be able to see. From our tactical meeting, I know Quinn and his team are stationed about two hundred yards from the training facility. Snipers are in place as precautionary measures and Godric is not more than fifty yards to my left though he is completely concealed. The only reason I know he is there is because of our re-established blood connection. Somehow my maker is concealing his scent. Even on our travels here, I could not sense him.
Sookie and I stop on the path at the same time, both of us tensing. She taps my hand three times with her finger, which lets me know that three vampires are present. I would recognize Compton’s stench anywhere and his odor clings to his newest progeny. Sarah Newlin’s smell is positively revolting; it’s like a smoldering pill of mulch with fresh rotting fish added to it on a hot summer’s day. The one that I do not recognize has the smell of death clinging to her, the kind of stench I have not smelled since Pam was cursed by the necromancer. It is the same smell that clings to all vampires infected with Hepatitis V. Based on the similarity in appearances; I assume this is Amber Newlin.
“Good evenin’ Sookeh,” Bill says as if this is a social visit between neighbors. Even in the faint light Bill looks like shit. His body is being ravaged by the disease. By my calculations he is in Stage Two, which means he has precious little time left. Though according to Dr. Ludwig, Bill should have perished weeks ago given the effects of the disease on his body.
“Bill,” my bonded says in a clipped tone.
Sarah Newlin rolls her eyes. “This isn’t a social visit. Let’s get down to business shall we. Hand over the fairy and you can have your progeny back,” she says curling her fingers in an impatient gesture.
“What guarantee do I have that you’ll give me Pam? How do I even know she’s here? I demand to see her before I give you Sookie,” I say playing along with her request. It would take mere seconds for me to eviscerate the three vampires in front of me. I long to feel their blood covering my hands as I end their pitiful existences. If I were to give in to my baser instincts, I would fuck in their remains with my bonded to prove that I have triumphed over them and that Sookie is still mine. Somehow I don’t think Sookie has embraced that much of her Supernatural side. Even as a human, my people liked to celebrate their victories over their enemies by having a feast, which usually ended up as either drunken brawls or orgies.
“Amber,” Sarah Newlin says impatiently. “Go get his progeny.” The sick vampire staggers back to the training facility to retrieve Pam. My eyes narrow as I calculate how easily it would be for me to take out the two remaining vampires now that I know Pam is here and relatively safe.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you Eric,” Bill says with a knowing smirk. He pulls something out of his pocket and holds it up for us to see. “If you make one move against us, I will detonate the bomb that is strapped to Jason Stackhouse’s chest. We needed a little insurance tonight to make sure that our transactions go smoothly.”
Sookie cries out in distress hearing that there is a bomb attached to her brother’s body and she sags against me. I too am flummoxed to hear that Compton has taken such extreme measures to guarantee that he will receive Sookie this evening. I suppose I shouldn’t be though. Compton did allow Sookie’s Gran to be murdered. Even if he had nothing to do with it, he should have been able to prevent Sookie from finding her Gran that way. Any vampire, newly risen or thousands of years old should have been able to smell the amount of blood that had stained her kitchen. Compton should have been at the farmhouse to prevent Sookie from entering, and he damn well should have had the bloody mess cleaned up for her. Sookie shouldn’t have had to deal with that horror.
My eyes shift to the sight of Sarah’s sister dragging something behind her. It’s a wonder the sick vampire has the strength to walk much less drag something. I look for some sign that it is my progeny being mistreated in such a fashion but I can see nothing; whatever it is Amber is dragging is wrapped up tightly in a tarp with heavy silver chains around it. Amber drags the item as far as she can before she drops to the ground wheezing for air.
“Can’t . . . Go . . . Further,” she pants from her prone position. She begins coughing and spits blood on the ground.
“Dammit Amber! Stop being a drama queen,” Sarah says with a roll of her eyes. She vamps over to her sister, picking up the piece of rope Amber had used to drag the wrapped item. She is careful to avoid touching her sister or getting anywhere near the blood that has landed on the ground. Sarah uses her newfound strength and speed to drag the tarp in front of her maker.
“There now. Here’s your progeny. Give us the fairy and you can have your child,” Sarah demands.
“We want to see Pam. You could have anyone wrapped up in there. Show us Pam, and then I’ll come to you,” Sookie offers. “That’s what you want isn’t it Bill? Me to come willingly to you,” Sookie challenges. “Show us Pam, and I’ll make sure Eric leaves us alone for good.”
What the hell is she doing? This is definitely not part of the plan!
With Bill’s words, I knew there was going to be no way Eric could keep me from Bill. I am not willing to risk my brother’s safety. As I had sagged against Eric in grief, I’d heard Quinn’s thoughts. He had commanded his people to spread out, search the compound for Jason and diffuse the bomb. I wish I could tell them that my brother was inside the training facility; that he was resigned to his fate and was screaming in his head for me to run as fast as I could. No way was I letting someone else die for me. Gran . . . Tara . . . There were already too many people I’d loved that had lost their lives because of me. I damn sure wasn’t gonna let my brother be the next to do so!
I know Eric is stalling. My beautiful Viking is trying to come up with a plan to save us all. It’s what he does, and I love him for it. But I don’t think there is a way to save all of us this time. I have no doubt that Bill and Sarah are gonna die but I have a feeling that someone on our side is also gonna have to give up their life.
I’m ready to make the sacrifice. I’ve been cheatin’ death for years; it’s time I finally let it catch up with me.
Through our bond I can feel Eric’s disbelief and anger that I am talking of surrendering myself to Bill. I know he is ready to grab hold of me and fly me away from here, consequences be damned. But I can’t let him do that. Instead, I push all the love I feel for him to him in our bond, trying to reassure him that everything will be alright.
We watch in silence as Bill hands Sarah a pair of gloves to loosen the silver chains on the tarp. When the tarp is free of restraints, Sarah pulls back the edge so we can see what’s inside. It takes all of my willpower not to vomit on my shoes from the smell alone. The scent is equally horrifying. Whatever is on that tarp is not the Pam I know. Lying there, writhing in agony is a charred, putrid corpse. All of Pam’s hair is gone as is most of her skin. I can see straight to the bone in some spots and it looks as if she is missing some of her fingers and toes.
“What have they done to her?” I stare horrified at the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. They’ve had her less than twenty-four hours. How is it possible to inflict this much damage? And if Pam is in this condition, what the hell have they done to my brother?
“Don’t you like it,” Sarah says with a pout. “My maker was teaching me the finer points of torture. Do you know that acid will eat away at the skin? In its concentrated form it’s quite potent, especially when you dunk the entire body in it.” At my horrified gasp, Sarah smiles and tries to console me. “Oh don’t worry; we didn’t leave her submerged for long. We had to make sure there was something left for Eric to take back with him. Of course, she was a bad girl. She spit up blood on my outfit, so she had to be punished. Most of the damage to her body is from exposure to the UV lights. She was exposed to them off and on during the day. They’re set on a timer,” Sarah says with a little giggle.
I am not a violent creature, but I hope that when Sarah Newlin meets the True Death she has to suffer the most inhumane of tortures, that she is deliriously begging for death because all she knows is an endless cycle of pain and torment.
Eric’s rage is palpable as he stares at his progeny. He’s raised his foot to walk towards Pam, but Bill brandishing the detonator for the bomb strapped to Jason makes him pause.
“Stay where you are Northman,” Bill warns. “You can claim your progeny after I’ve left with Sookeh.”
Bill turns his attention towards me and his expression softens slightly. “Sookeh darling, walk towards me. It’s time that we be together as we were meant to be. I know your blood can heal me darling. Once I am fully healed, I will make you immortal so that we can always be together darling. We’ll be together for eternity,” Bill says in the tone of voice I used to find romantic and charming. Now I find it nauseating. How can he be this delusional? Is it the disease? I highly doubt that since throughout our history he has straddled the line between thinking I am his miracle and that I am an abomination. With Bill, it’s all about what you’ve done for him lately. Since I’m useful again, I’m his salvation. Tomorrow I might be the antichrist. You never know which way the wind is gonna blow with Bill.
If I could do it without having him bite me, I’d let him have a drink to see that nothing about me will be saving his fucked up ass ever again!
Eric grabs my hand and tugs me back to him. “Sookie you are not going to him,” he commands.
I smile up at him, letting him see and feel all the love I have for him. “I love you Eric,” I whisper so quietly that only he can hear it. “You need to take care of Pam; she needs her maker now more than ever.”
“Lover,” he begins hoarsely as a red tear trickles down the side of his face. I rest my finger against his lips to stop his words. When he remains silent, I slide my hand behind his neck, pulling his head down to mine. Our kiss is full of raw emotion, both of us pushing our love to the other. Regret and sorrow also sneak their way in through my part of the bond and I feel him trying to deny it, trying to find some way to keep me tethered to his side.
With a sob, I break our kiss and turn from Eric’s arms. Tears pour down my face as I begin my death march towards Bill and Sarah. Bill looks equal parts agitated and excited, while Sarah looks bored with everything. I stop midway between Bill and Eric, dropping to my knees as my tears continue to fall in earnest, but for an entirely different reason.
Quinn’s thoughts project loud and clear in my head. We got your brother Sookie. He’s safe and unharmed save for a few bite marks. The bomb has been diffused.
With Jason safe that means only one thing . . .
Game on mother fucker!
Rising unsteadily to my feet, I walk with renewed purpose towards Bill and Sarah. I remember the teachings of Grandpa Niall about a fairy’s greatest weapon being their light, how we can create one giant blast, a supernova, to kill a vampire foe. The price of such an endeavor is great; a full-blooded Fae is greatly weakened by the use of so much power. In my case, Niall didn’t know what would happen if I were to create such a blast.
There’s only one way to find out.