Chapter 35 – Savior
February 22, 2004
Eric had met with Hugo to review the latest information he had on ‘Eric’s’ Fellowship member. His target was Teddy Banner, married for 5 years with 2 children. Per Hugo, Banner would be working late tonight and his car would be parked in a nearly empty lot, giving Eric the opportunity to plant V and then hide until he saw Banner exit so he could call in a tip about Teddy looking like a drunk driver. A set of Were police officers would be patrolling near Banner’s office so he could be first on the scene to substantiate the erratic behavior justifying the car search.
It seemed straightforward: plant the V, hide, call 911 and watch the first Fellowship member go down for V. It was going well. He had just picked the car lock when a silver net was thrown over him and he went down, powerless against the three men that were now dragging him towards a van. His first thoughts were of Hugo. It was planned, he wasn’t found by surprise, but it didn’t matter now, he was at their mercy. The van drove for about 15 minutes and he was yanked out, dragged again into a warehouse type building and then tossed into a cell. There he was introduced to Gabe. Gabe was Godric’s Fellowship member but that’s all Eric knew about him. He learned more as Gabe made his best attempts to hurt Eric and get him to talk about other vampires and their plans. Gabe was failing.
“We have to go Pam! Call Godric.”
“Eric will kill me if I take you to Dallas.”
“Then I’ll go on my own.”
“How are you going to do that with all these guards?”
“They guard me to keep me safe, not imprisoned here. I’m free.”
Pam sighed. Truth be told, SHE wanted to go to Dallas after she felt the panic in the bond. She acquiesced and called her Grandsire. “Pamela, I guess you and Sookie felt the panic?”
“We did. Sookie wants to join you in the search and rescue. She believes she can help.”
“It’s too dangerous.”
“She plans to go without me if I don’t take her.” Godric started to balk and Pam added. “She’s no longer a prisoner, remember? A guard will follow-her, but they aren’t under orders to stop her anymore.”
“Pack, both of you – and Potts. I’ll call you with the plane information.”
Pam turned to Sookie to tell her to pack, but she was already grabbing a suitcase. “Sookie?”
“I’m packing. Come on; get your ass in gear!”
They landed with only three hours before dawn and Godric met the plane. Sookie ran to him and he greeted her in an embrace. “I want to go to the nest and meet the spies. Eric had a bad feeling about one.”
“Yes, he mentioned that to me, but with him being the pet of my second we couldn’t accuse him since she vouched for him.”
“I want to read him. Does he know anything about me?”
“Good, we need the surprise. Do the other vampires in your meetings know that something has happened to Eric?”
“Yes, the plan that was in place last night fell apart, so they would have known even if I didn’t feel what happened through the bond.”
They had started driving to the nest and Sookie asked both Pam and Godric about what she felt. “He shut the bond down, but you guys can both feel the hum, right?”
“You’re asking if he is still with us?” She nodded. “He is, though I don’t feel the hum like you do, more that I never felt him leave.”
“Huh, I guess it’s different based on the type of bond.”
Pam complained. “I wish he would open it so I can locate him.”
“Why would he keep it closed?” Pam and Godric exchanged looks and Sookie realized why he kept it closed. “It’s for us isn’t it? They’re torturing him.”
“Most likely.” He steered the car into a driveway. “Here we are.” Before they all got out, he turned to Sookie and Pam, both in the backseat. “Sookie, Pam will act as your master in the nest. Are you ready for that?”
“Cara, you are with me.” She nodded, aware of the protocol. “Sookie, you have a unique talent, so that will give you credibility, but they won’t know that until I explain, so please act as subservient until we establish your role.”
They entered the nest, Godric and Cara first followed by Pam and Sookie. Pam held Sookie’s hand, Dallas nest be damned. She could feel her trembling and knew she needed that extra support. Isobel immediately attacked the group. “GODRIC! What is the meaning of bringing a new human to this situation? She could be a plant!”
“Isobel, you would do well to remember that you are MY SECOND and answer to me. You don’t make demands of me.”
Bowing her head, she asked for forgiveness, but proceeded to express concern. “I meant no disrespect, but surely you can see the security risk?”
“That would be the case if she was not able to help with the situation.”
“HELP? A human?”
“Your human has been helping us.” She huffed and backed down while Godric continued. “I would like to introduce Pamela Ravenscroft, she is my grandchild, and Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is Eric’s bonded human. Most of you probably recall Cara, my former dayguard.”
“BONDED! Eric?” A cowboy looking vampire shouted from the hallway as he entered the room.
“Yes your highness, bonded. Sookie, this is Stan Davis, recently named the vampire King of Texas.”
She curtsied politely. “Your highness.”
“Miss Stackhouse. Godric believes you can help?”
“Well, before you and Ms. Ravenscroft arrived, we already discussed Godric’s bond with Eric and he informed us that it was shut down. So you won’t be able to locate him even with your bond. I’m not quite sure how you can help.”
She looked to Godric and she looked a little panicked. “Godric, could you show me to a restroom before we begin please?” His eyebrows rose and he realized she probably needed to say something to him privately.
“Certainly.” He took her down the hall while Isobel rolled her eyes. When they reached a door, she grabbed her phone from her purse and asked him to wait outside the door as she pointed to her phone. Once inside the bathroom, she texted him
S: There’s a listening device in the room, we have a spy with us right now
G: Who and Where
S: You can’t look when I tell you the who or the where – don’t give it away or we’ll lose him.
S: Hugo and under the coffee table in the living room, but there are other bugs in the house. He wasn’t thinking about all the details so I can’t tell you the other locations
G: Stay in there, I need to explain to Stan.
S: Outside or in a car or something, please
Sookie waited for almost 10 minutes in the bathroom for Godric to return. When he did, he knocked on the door and told her to come out. Stan was waiting for her as well as Godric. Stan spoke first. “Miss Stackhouse, can I interest you in a short drive?”
She looked to Godric and he nodded. “Yes your highness.”
They left the building and got into a van, a plain family type van. She was placed in the middle row with Pam; Potts, Hugo and Isobel were in the back. Stan explained the circumstances. “Sorry everyone for the sudden move, we just got word that that nest has been compromised and we must move before dawn. I’m heading to one of our safe houses now.”
Just as Stan backed the car out, Hugo spoke. “Your highness, I don’t need the protection of a safehouse for the day, I will be fine if you let me out.”
Stan got an evil smile. “Nonsense Hugo. I would never have Isobel’s pet compromised. I’ve already ordered food for the new location; you will be fine for the day. Very secure in fact.”
They arrived at a nondescript ranch home in a different suburb of Dallas. There was now only an hour and a half of daylight left. Once they entered the home, Hugo was apprehended by two vampires, much to Isobel’s protest. “Isobel.” Godric started. “Stand down.”
“He is under my protection.”
“He.” Godric sneered, “Is a fellowship spy, responsible for my Eric’s capture and the listening devices in the main nest!”
“He is not!”
Godric ignored his second’s protests and ordered Hugo to be secured. “Sookie, we need to interview him now.”
“Of course Godric, lead the way.”
Sookie watched as Hugo was secured to a chair in the basement or rather dungeon. Luckily it was otherwise empty. When Godric placed a seat in front of him she took her place and started asking questions. “Hugo, are you the only vampire pet that is also a spy for the Fellowship?”
Hugo answered no but thought two other names and Sookie reported them. Stan’s eyes grew wide. One was his lieutenant’s pet and she also knew of their nest.
“Hugo, did you help the Fellowship capture Eric?”
Again he answered no, but Sookie saw and heard him meeting with Steve Newlin and planning the capture. She relayed the information from his head to the others in the room. “WHAT ARE YOU?” Hugo yelled to Sookie.
She ignored him and continued. “Hugo, where are they holding Eric?”
“I’m not answering you BITCH!”
Stan stepped forward and grabbed Hugo by the hair. “You will show some respect to this worthy human or you will suffer torture at my hands in addition to Godric’s and Eric’s.”
“Thank you your highness. With all due respect, you actually need to let him go because all he can think of now is the pain and I can’t read him like that. My apologies if I’m being too forward.”
“Not at all Miss Stackhouse. You can feel free to call me Stan.”
“Thank you Stan, please call me Sookie.” Pam was bursting with pride over Sookie. For all the whining and yelling she did about vampire protocol, she sure could put on a show. The fact that a king just told her to call him by his first name was also quite shocking. She watched Sookie turn to Hugo with her cold eyes, full of anger. “Let’s try that again. Where is Eric?”
“I don’t know.”
Sookie probed and when she didn’t get anything right away, she stood to move her seat forward and place her hand on his arm. She finally got a vision. “He doesn’t actually know the location as he was blindfolded when heading to meetings. It’s a warehouse of sorts; I’m looking for more details.” It took her several minutes but she found all she could. “The warehouse is large, with a doorway that could fit maybe 3 of those large containers, like the ones they use for shipping. He’s only seen the inside, so I don’t know how much help it is.”
“Sookie.” Stan asked. “Is there any equipment? Anything written on boxes that you can see?”
She opened her eyes and shook her head. “He just didn’t get to see that much himself. We have to find a way to get me to some of the leaders directly, someone who would know the location.” Her head whipped back to Hugo. “Gabe, Leon and Steve. Ok – thanks Hugo.” She turned back to Stan. “Those are the three that know the location. Oh and he needs to call a Polly everyday to check in or they will believe he’s been discovered as a spy. You might want to get a Were to stay with him to make that call or glamour him, something like that.”
Isobel had had enough. “How do you know she’s not making this up? SHE could be the spy.”
Godric wrapped his hand around her throat and pinned her to the wall. “She is Eric’s bonded and she has worked for the Queen of Louisiana as her telepath. Stan already contacted Sophie-Anne for verification and she requested that Sookie aide in the search for Eric. Would you like to make your claim that she is a spy again?” With her limited mobility he could barely see her shake her head no in response, but he released her. “Sookie, it’s much too dangerous for you to go into the Fellowship.”
“I agree Sookie.” Pam chimed in.
“We have what, maybe an hour until sunrise?” They nodded. “Then make a plan that you guys can live with, because I AM going in today and I WILL read one of those three to find Eric.”
“Not if I chain you to my side Crumbcake.”
“I’ll burn your entire shoe collection when we return to Shreveport if you do that.”
Pam didn’t even flinch. “Sookie, seriously, you could be hurt and none of us would be able to assist you. You can burn all my clothes if you want.”
“I can make a plan to go in later this afternoon, so there would only be a short time until the sunset.” Suddenly, Godric Pam and Sookie gasped. “Eric” they spoke in unison.
Stan observed them and realized. “He opened the bond?”
Godric smiled. “Yes, but we don’t have enough time to. . .”
Sookie interrupted him. “Can you get Potts and me some Were guards? If so I will go after him.” When Stan and Godric said nothing, she persisted. “I only have a short window before he goes to rest, right? Get me some goddamn Weres to help.”
Stan nodded and led Sookie and Potts upstairs. “Felix, you will accompany these ladies today. They are going in search of the captured vampire’s location. Do not attempt to rescue him during the day unless there is no other choice. Just find him if possible and call in backup to secure the location. Give Miss Stackhouse the phone numbers of our two Were spies so she can speak with them today. They were due to attend some event at the church tonight, so they might be able to help from the inside.”
“Understood.” He gestured with his hand. “Ladies.” As they left the house, Sookie was relieved to hear Stan order another Were guard to handle Hugo’s call into Polly. ‘Good, That loop is closed, I don’t want the fellowship panicking about Hugo while they have Eric. They may just decide to kill him if they get scared.’
They had driven for almost an hour using Sookie as a navigator. They were in a pretty bad part of Dallas now as Felix explained and Sookie insisted they continue, she could feel him and it was getting closer. She flooded the bond with love and for the first time since he turned the bond on, he returned it with some caution. They were stopped for a freight train now and it was a long one. Sookie turned to Potts. “Potts, we’ve been still for about 5 minutes now?”
“I think they are moving him. He feels like he’s moving even though we are still. SHIT.”
“Yes that‘s a problem.”
“That’s not the shit though – he just went rest, it’s just too long after sunrise for him to stay awake. I can always feel the hum, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to find him.” Potts braced herself because she knew what was next. “I want to go to the Fellowship.” Yep, that’s exactly what she expected.
“Sookie. . .”
“Don’t even try to talk me out of it.”
“I wasn’t. I know I can’t. Can we call the other Were spies and strategize though?”
“Sure. Let’s agree to meet somewhere. Felix any ideas?”
A while later, they met up with the two Were spies in a local diner, but they chose to meet in the privacy of the SUV. Felix made the introductions. “Sookie this is Aiden and Liz; Potts, I believe you know them?” Potts nodded and Sookie and the Weres exchanged quick greetings. Felix started the conversation. “Aiden, Sookie is looking to get into the Fellowship today so she can discover information about the location of her bonded, Eric Northman.”
“How can you get information?”
Potts ended that line of questioning. “Just get us in, and we’ll handle the rest.”
Liz chimed in. “I don’t know how we can get you both in; one of you will be hard enough. The event tonight is a lock-in, we are going and once you’re in, you’re stuck. I can’t just bring in TWO extra people. Sookie can go in a as a friend who asked me to introduce her. We’ll have to go with that.”
“What do I need?” Sookie asked, not wanting to waste any time.
“Small pack of clothes and overnight stuff, maybe a pillow to sell the story that you’re staying. That should be it. We’ll need to get our story straight too.”
“Where can I get that stuff, should we head out and get our story going while I shop?”
“SOOKIE!” Potts interrupted her planning. “You can’t go in without me.”
“Aiden and Liz are Weres, they’re plenty strong.”
“But they are not assigned to protect you. I can’t allow it.”
“Potts, you can stay in the area, but I’m going in.”
“I want some kind of open line on you.” She turned to Felix. “Can someone get that set-up?”
“I can. I’ll do that while you get the basic shopping done. Let’s meet here in one hour.”
When they reconvened, Sookie had her bag packed and Felix had some additions for her. “Sookie, I have a few weapons for you.” He reached into his bag and showed her a round brush that pulled apart to reveal a dagger concealed within the barrel of the brush. Sookie smiled at the clever idea. “The second is also concealed, but a much smaller blade.” The second item was a lipstick case but the lipstick was a blade. The final item was a pen that pulled apart to become a longer blade than the lipstick, but thinner. “This last one will be easy for you to keep with you. The others could be harder to explain why you have it with you all the time.” He pointed to Sookie’s wrist. “I also have your listening device. Can I have your wrist please?” He placed a bracelet on her wrist and gave Potts the receiver that would work if she parked on the street outside the church.
“Alright Sookie, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. Felix and I will park on the street first; you three will be 5 minutes behind me. You have your story straight?” They all nodded.
“We also planned a sign for them to get out if I hear anything that could indicate they need to leave, you know as a backup to get you information about the situation. Just in case the bracelet doesn’t work.”
“SOOKIE! If you’re in danger, they should stay with you!”
“There is no way I can be sure the listening device will work once I’m in the building, we need the backup plan.”
“I don’t like it but I know you’re too stubborn to talk out of it. Just keep talking to keep me informed. I’ll get in touch with Godric when he rises. I spoke with Felix and our goal is for you to confirm Eric’s location and we’ll go in with the FBI; he’s got the contacts and we’ll make it happen quickly. In other words, no heroics Sookie.”
“If he’s in imminent danger, I make no promises.”
Shaking her head at Sookie, she replied. “Call to me if you need me, I’ll get to you.”
“I know Potts. Let’s go. It’s almost 3 in the afternoon.” Sookie started working her engagement ring off her finger and handed it to Potts. “For safekeeping.” Potts simply nodded.
Aiden and Liz escorted Sookie right into the offices at the Fellowship church. Since they had signed up to be volunteers, they had access to the back offices. Sookie could hear a sudden rise in the chatter. Sarah Newlin had just arrived and was talking about the lock-in. “We’re closing the doors soon ladies, then folks can only come in to join us, but nobody gets out. Steve has a huge surprise ready for the event.” She had crossed the office area to Sookie as she spoke. “You’re new.” She put out her hand. “Welcome to the Fellowship of the Sun. What’s your name?”
Liz cut in to handle the introductions. “This is my friend Susie Ross she’s here to join our group. Susie, this is. . .”
“Sarah Newlin, I know who she is.” She gazed at Sarah. “I’m so thrilled to meet ya. I feel like I should have my autograph book, this is just so excitin’.”
“Well aren’t you just the cutest thing. I’ll have to get Steve to meet ya so you can get the whole experience.” Sookie gasped and put her hands to her mouth. “Oh Sweetie, I didn’t think you’d get that excited to meet him. Come on, I’ll take you all to his office.”
Wanting to capture as many thoughts as possible, Sookie reached out as far as she could trying to hear any words about vampires or Eric’s name specificaly. So far, nothing since everyone just seemed so excited at Reverend Newlin’s surprise for the lock-in. They walked down the hallway in the office area and came to the Reverend’s door. Sarah knocked, but walked right in. “Honey, I want to introduce you to our newest recruit Susie Ross.”
Sookie stepped out from behind Sarah to meet Steve and the other gentleman in the office. As soon as she was visible to Steve, she heard everything he was thinking about her. ‘She’s the whore in the pictures with the vampire we have in the basement. Does she think she can fool us? Does she think she can save her bloodsucker? I’ll get Gabe to lock her in the basement with her fanger; then she can fry with him in the sun tomorrow morning.’ Sookie was never so grateful to have learned control over her facial expression as she was now. The information in his head would be enough for the FBI raid, now she needed to get his thoughts spoken to be heard on her listening device. “Well Miss Ross, we’re so happy to have another join our fold. You will stay for the lock-in?”
“Certainly Reverend.” She turned to Aiden and Liz and gave them the signal, brushing her hand from her shoulder to the wrist, to indicate that they needed to get out.
“Gabe, I think we should take Susie on a tour of the facility.”
“Reverend, that does sound lovely, but I do have a lot of preparation for our surprise tomorrow.”
Steve insisted. “Gabe, I KNOW you have just a few minutes for our newest member. Come along.”
“Susie, shall we?”
She nodded, but added. “My friends have some work in the office to finish up for the lock-in, so they can’t join us.”
Steve spent a moment wondering what to do about the spies with Sookie/Susie. In the end he realized he wanted Sookie more than the other spies so he went along with the ruse. Sookie heard his thoughts and was relieved to get the others to safety. They would also confirm that Eric was there based on Sookie’s signal. “Of course, the lock-in is a priority so they should finish that work. Now let’s. . .”
Sarah interrupted. “Steve, what are you doing? You don’t give tours to the new recruits, especially with the lock-in starting shortly.”
“Sarah, why don’t you join us?” She looked quite perplexed but she knew the sharp tone in his voice meant there was no arguing.
“Fine. Susie, let’s go on a tour.”
They walked through the offices quickly but spent time in the nave where Steve droned on about his beautiful pulpit where he could preach the word of God. When they started down another hallway, Sarah objected again. “Steve, there is nothing but the door to the basement here. What could you possibly want to show her here?”
Sookie cringed to herself when she read Steve’s mind. She was going to be locked in the basement. Steve smiled an almost evil smile when he turned around. “Oh I think she’ll like what she sees in the basement. Won’t you Sookie?”
“Sookie? Honey her name is Susie.”
“No it’s not. That vampire downstairs is hers. Isn’t he Sookie?” She heard Gabe take in a breath at that information.
Time to get the information over to Potts via the listening device. Without hesitation, she switched gears and changed into ‘Sookie.’ “What are your plans for him?”
“Oh my dear, you’ll enjoy the plans. You have just added greatly to our surprise. You see, I had planned to fry your fang lover on a cross in the sun tomorrow morning and share it with the world by posting it on YouTube. Now I can fry a vampire and his whore at the same time. Lucky for me we had your Mr. Northman’s name and when we simply googled him, several pictures of you and your vampire appeared. Seems you like the symphony and the ballet Miss Stackhouse. I guess since your vampire helped you escape from your captors in the fall, you felt the need to return the favor. You’ll be so happy to see all our weapons down there Sookie. You see, this is just the beginning. We’re planning a vampire cleansing. You know, ridding the earth of the foul unclean creatures. The video is pure marketing genius to gain followers for our war.” He turned to Gabe after he opened the door. “Gabe, chain Miss Stackhouse to the wall downstairs, after she’s been thoroughly questioned of course.”
With that, Gabe pulled Sookie to him at the top of the stairs and pushed her. She hit a few stairs on the way to the bottom. ‘Damn it hurts to get thrown down the stairs. I really hoped that Potts got what she needed because I want to get out of here with Eric NOW.’ After she gathered her wits at the bottom of the stairs she tried to stand. That hurt, first her wrist when she tried to push herself up, then her knee when she stood. Gabe had ventured down the stairs and was now pushing her towards the back.
“Your vampire has been very resistant to answering questions. He has quite a high tolerance for pain. Perhaps I can get more information from him if I torture you in front of him. I think that’s what I’ll try when he wakes. Now, what can we do while we wait for the sun to set?” He reached out and grabbed a breast.
“You can go to hell you pervert. Take your hands off of me.” Sookie was backhanded and fell to the floor on her stomach.
“I don’t think so whore. You will spread your legs for me just like you spread them when you fuck the dead.”
Her purse was now resting under her and she remembered her brush. Frantic to get to her weapon, she struggled with the zipper but eventually grabbed and separated the brush. When he bent down to flip her, she struck. The blade of the dagger was shoved into his knee bringing him down and when he landed on his stomach, she plunged the knife into his back. Feeling Sookie’s panic and anger had roused Eric from his rest but the blood loss from Gabe’s interview techniques and the silver chains around his body made him too weak to help. Turns out, Sookie didn’t need the assistance. The blade from her ‘brush’ dagger wasn’t big, but she stabbed him enough that he lost consciousness. Having seen too many movies where the victim left an untied attacker only to have him ‘wake up’ and attack again, she knew she needed to restrain him. She hobbled around the basement and found some rope and chain to secure him to a large shelving unit. That should give her time.
Now she could focus on Eric. She knew he was there, had even felt him wake but she needed to focus on securing the pervert first. Sookie found Eric in an open cell. ‘Gabe was cocky, thinking he didn’t even need to lock the cell door, but all the better for me.’ When she looked at him, her heart ached. Blood covered his exposed torso, arms and feet. She could see the blood was from many still opened wounds and she realized he’d been drained of a great deal of blood. That plus the silver wound around him had prevented him from healing. Her tears started before he looked up to see her face.
“Sookie.” It was weak and all he said when she appeared in front of him, but his heart soared at seeing her again. A bruise was forming on her face from the slap he’d heard her receive; she was cradling one arm and limping. Upon further inspection, he noticed her clothes were torn and she had dirt smudged on her face. At that moment, he’d never seen anything more beautiful in his life. Bloody tears joined hers on his chest as she fell to the floor in front of him and wrapped her arms around his neck. He could do nothing since he was still bound in silver. “Sookie, the silver. Hurry before someone comes looking for Gabe.”
Her head jerked up at his words and she got to work on the chains after finding the keys hanging on the wall just outside the cell. Just like the last time she removed silver, some chunks of flesh were ripped off Eric’s body causing her to cringe. She just closed her eyes and yanked. After all the silver was removed, she kneeled between his legs and offered him her neck. “You need to feed.” He didn’t hesitate and bit. The force of his bite shocked her at first, but she knew he needed the blood to heal to protect them until the FBI arrived. Eric was starved but he still managed to pull back after only a few draws. Sookie protested. “You need more.”
“I can’t weaken you. I’ll manage. I’ll take some just before the sun sets so we can try to escape then. I’ll need my strength.”
“We may not have to escape. I’m wearing a listening device so Potts should have enough to get the FBI in here.” He pulled on her to his lap and using her good arm, she immediately grabbed one of his hands to play with them; luckily he had no marks there from Gabe. Scars and some still healing wounds were all over his torso even after feeding from her, and she was concerned about sitting on him. “Are you comfortable, am I hurting you, should I move?”
“You are exactly where you should be.” He kissed her forehead to emphasize his point and moved his free hand to her hair, a soothing feeling for him.
“What did you get out of Newlin that Potts heard?”
“I got Newlin to admit that he had you captive and was planning to fry both of us at sunrise tomorrow.” Eric stiffened, not for himself but because they also wanted to fry his Sookie. “He also offered up information about his weapon’s stash for vampire genocide. If the recorder was working, Potts should have enough for the FBI to get in here.” She closed her eyes as she concentrated on the minds upstairs. “We just need to fend off the Fellowship until they get here as the folks upstairs are busy getting ready for their lock-in.”
“Yes, I’ve heard that word a few times. What the hell is that?”
“All the members are coming in and spending the night. No phones, no electronics, all Steve spewing his garbage until dawn when they had planned to put you in the sun with me tied to you.” He growled at her words. “I’ll keep listening to see if we are going to be joined down here, but they think Gabe is playing with me until the sun sets at least.”
He wrapped his arms around her to soothe both of them since she had shuddered at the words. “I can’t believe that the Fellowship being in the parking lot with silver nets was a coincidence. There must have been a leak.”
“It was Hugo.”
He pursed his lips together while he cursed to himself. “I knew there was something off about him but I couldn’t say anything as a visitor in the area and with Hugo being owned by Isobel.”
“Yeah, I read it as soon as I met him, but telling Godric while there were listening devices in the nest was tricky. I went to the bathroom and texted him. He came back with Stan and we departed for a safe house that Hugo had never been to. From there, we pulled more information. He set you up; your mission to plant V was always intended to be your capture.” She continued to fill him in on the events since he’d been captured up until she arrived in the basement and he started to rouse himself from her fear.
“Sookie, is the Were that’s capturing our discussion planning to edit it?”
“Yes, anything that mentions my listening skills will become static.”
“Very good.” He sighed an unnecessary sigh. “I was terrified for you when I could hear Gabe starting to go for you. I see your training with Potts has paid off.”
“Well, the training and the handy weapons from Felix.”
“Yes, I owe this Felix a favor.”
They sat quietly for a few minutes until she blurted out, “I’m still mad at you, you know. Though I’m just as mad at myself for dancing with Mr. Handsy.”
“I know I’m sorry about overreacting to the dancing.”
“If I had received that video and it was you with someone I would have been mad too. It was the part where you didn’t let us explain that hurt.”
“We still have a bunch of other stuff to discuss but I’ll shelve that for now so we can, you know, concentrate on surviving.” She ended with a smirk so he knew the serious stuff was over, for now at least.
“I agree and now we have one more item to discuss.”
“Oh yes. YOU, you’re in trouble little girl.”
“Me? What did I do?”
“I told you not to come to Dallas.”
“Like I would ignore that I could use my ‘talent’ to help you.” He looked to say something and she stopped him. “I’ve thought about this. You know if you had brought me to read the humans in the nest we could have prevented this. Hell, we could’ve used the fact that Hugo was spy to our advantage. Now? Now we are in reactive mode.”
“You know . . . What, I’m right?” He nodded. “Well in any case that’s all I’m saying about this because I refuse to spend the first moments we are finally back together arguing. Instead, you should use this time while we wait for the FBI to show me how much you missed me.” She whispered the rest. “But be good cause Potts is recording us and be quick cause I want to see if we can rouse Gabe and get their plans from his head.” He chuckled and complied with her request simply by holding her and whispering sweet nothings into her ear.
Across the street from the Fellowship, Potts chuckled as well. She could hear everything they were saying, and luckily he heeded Sookie’s words because she didn’t want to record something too private. Felix’s phone rang, so she turned the volume down on the receiver. Felix took the call and when he ended it, he smiled at Potts. “They have the warrant based on what we replayed for them; they’re on their way. 20 minutes.”
“I’m calling Godric, he’ll be up even if he can’t get out right now.” She dialed and as expected he answered. “Godric.”
“Potts, what is the status? Why did you not call before now? Is Sookie safe?”
This was the part she was worried about. “She’s with Eric.” She started with that thinking it would soothe over the next bit. “They are in the basement at the Fellowship of the Sun church. They are safe and the FBI is on the way.”
Godric didn’t yell, and that was almost scarier to Potts. Instead he spoke calmly but full of anger. “Explain to me how she wound up in the basement of the Fellowship building when you left with her to simply follow Eric though the bond this morning?” He was seething in anger and nothing would appease him now.
“Godric, I know you’re angry but now we must focus on having the FBI go in and getting them out safely. When can you travel to this location?”
He huffed at her for brushing his anger aside. “Sunset will be in about 40 minutes and my flight time will be another 5.”
She described the car they were in and its location on the street making quick plans on how to handle the situation if there were any problems. Potts explained that Felix had additional Weres at the ready in the surrounding neighborhoods. Before he ended the call he informed Potts. “We WILL discuss how the day went when this is all over.”
She blew out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding before addressing Felix. “Ok, what do we need to do?”
“Nothing, we are to stay here and let them do this by the book.”
Pott’s phone rang, she smiled at the caller ID. “Hey there.”
“Potts, I’m in Dallas.”
“Alcide, what are you doing in Dallas?”
“Once Jason knew what was going on, he wouldn’t stay put. Peter and I figured giving him an escort was the best option. Can you tell me where you are?”
“Outside the Fellowship. Sookie and Eric are inside.” She heard him curse; then she continued. “The FBI is on the way, it’s as under control as possible. Maybe you can convince him to stay clear?”
“He’s not going to be happy until he sees her.”
“Understood. I’ll update you as soon as possible. Until then, you can fill him in.”
“Oh, Jason heard everything, I’ll see you soon.”
After ending the call, she and Felix both watched the street in anticipation while listening to Sookie try and rouse Gabe for answers.
“Eric, throwing water on him isn’t working. Maybe he’s lost too much blood.”
“Do you really want answers?”
“I want to know their plans, how much Hugo told them, and determine if we can still do any of the sabotage you all were planning.”
“I can give him enough blood to wake him.”
She thought about it for a moment. “No, we can’t do that. Our bond is too important to have him soil it.”
“I understand. I can heal the wounds externally so he won’t really have my blood then try to slap him awake.”
“That’s a good compromise. Get on with it.”
Eric worked to rub some blood on his back wounds to heal them minimally then he slapped Gabe’s face a few times. While he worked, he asked Sookie about the activity upstairs. “Anything going on?”
“There was a Leon mentioned by Hugo, well thought by Hugo this morning. He’s asking Steve for an update on us so we could have company soon.”
“We have surprise on our side, they won’t think I am awake since the sun hasn’t set, and they will be expecting a functional Gabe when. . . ”
Having heard more from upstairs, she cut him off. “Leon is on his way. I believe he’s alone.”
“Grab your blade and stand behind the wall at the stairs. If needed, you can charge out when he turns this direction at the bottom of the steps.”
“What about Gabe, he’ll see him when he turns.”
“I can move like a blur and be in front of him before he realizes, you can have the blade at his back.”
Sookie moved into position just as Leon opened the door to the basement and called out to Gabe. He was alone and almost half way down the stairs when he called out again, but he continued down. After he reached the bottom and turned he noticed Gabe but before he even registered that Gabe was hurt, Eric was in front of him. Leon gasped in surprise seeing the Vampire up and around before the sun set and HEALED after what Gabe had done the night before. Just as he moved to take a step backward, Sookie moved her blade into position in his back. “Don’t move” she ordered, and he stopped. “Good, now I don’t have to try and wake Gabe to get the information I want.”
Leon was in a panic. The vampire was up and moving around, the woman was free and Gabe had obviously bled all over the place. He found that curious and as a result, asked that as his first question. “Why did you let him bleed? Don’t you want to drink that blood?”
“Make no mistake about it; due to your friend’s entertainment last night, I’m quite hungry. For the moment though, I’m more concerned about strategy then behaving like an animal to drink his blood in a frenzy.” He pushed Leon into a chair and grabbed some of the ropes Sookie had found earlier to tie him in. “Now my fiancée would like to ask you a few questions, and you will be polite and answer them.”
“Fiancée? She’s a whore, and I’m not answering anything.”
Eric punched him in the face. “That’s the opposite of polite. Let’s try again.” He stood tall and moved towards Sookie placing his hands on her shoulders. “This is my fiancée, Sookie. You will answer her questions.”
Sookie started with the first question right away so he didn’t have time to come out with another remark like she heard brewing in his head. “What did Hugo tell you of the vampire’s plans?”
“Who is Hugo?” He answered, but he thought, ‘Shit, Hugo got outed? I have to tell Newlin. I wonder if the other vampire spies have been around. We need to contain this situation if Hugo went down.’
She turned to Eric. “He’s worried that his buddy’s been outed and whether the other spies you guys sent in are around. We need to get them protected if they are. I know two of them were supposed to leave the building already. I don’t know the location of the third spy.” Leon’s eyes went wide with fear. “Back to you Leon, what did Hugo share about the plans for the Fellowship?”
“What are you?” His voice shook as he asked. ‘It’s like she can read my mind. Nobody will ever believe me, that . . . that’s just not possible. What kind of a freak is she? No wonder she’s with a vamp, freaks, both of them.’
“I don’t appreciate being called a freak, and neither does my fiancé.” Eric growled at hearing what he called her. Sookie ignored him to get her answers. “Can we get back to my question? What did Hugo tell you?”
His eyes shifted back and forth and he squirmed in his chair. ‘FUCK! She can read my mind. Hugo didn’t tell us much more than our leaders were ‘assigned’ to vampires and they were going to try and discredit us. He would confirm the details as each plan was made. The only one we knew so far was the Northman vampire.’
“They know you guys were going to discredit them and that you each had a Fellowship leader assigned to you, but he only new about the plans you had to discredit Teddy. Your other plans are safe in general, but since they know the others are spies, we likely won’t get the details we need to set them up.”
“You’re probably right min kära.” He drew a breath as if debating his next move. He wanted to feed from Leon to restore his strength, but he didn’t want to upset Sookie. Realizing his need for strength was too important he decided to move Leon to another area of the basement – he was just too hungry from the blood loss to skip this chance.
“Eric, what are you thinking about over there, I can feel your indecision about something?”
“Sookie, I’m going to take Leon for a few minutes, I simply must feed. I lost too much blood last night and we don’t know what will happen when the FBI arrives. This will also allow me to heal you.”
“I understand that you need to feed so you don’t have to go anywhere. You can’t heal me though; I need to keep these injuries for the FBI.” Eric didn’t like that at all, but he understood it. “Don’t grimace; you can heal me after my injuries are documented. It won’t be long now, the FBI are on the property.”
“He kissed her forehead. I’ll only be a moment.” He nodded and moved toward a wide-eyed Leon still tied in the chair. The smell of fear was enticing Eric and he needed to wrestle with his control. He only wanted to feed then glamour Leon; this was about sustenance, not revenge. He and his fellow vampires would plan their revenge at a later time. He had bitten into Leon’s neck and looked up to see Sookie watching. This was new, he’d fed from her, but she’d never seen him feed on anyone before. Out of concern for her reaction, he checked the bond: curiosity, relief and a bit of lust. His eyebrow quirked up at the lust and she blushed knowing he felt it. When he finished feeding, he moved to stare into Leon’s eyes for the glamour and again he felt her curiosity, no doubt she was also feeling his mind while he worked to imbed the glamour.
Sookie was so fascinated in Eric’s glamour and the way Leon’s mind felt that she didn’t hear someone move behind her and place a blade at her neck. Eric’s head whipped around a second too late. Both of them had been absorbed in Eric’s actions and missed the approach of Steve Newlin. “Get away from him vampire or your whore dies.”
“You would be killing yourself if you harm her Newlin.”
“We’re all going upstairs so I can get out of here safely. You’ve got the FBI with arrest warrants for me, which just won’t do. You first blood sucker.” Eric complied. He knew they just needed to get upstairs with more help, trying to take out Newlin here could be risky to Sookie. At the very least, he needed to ensure someone else could take down Newlin if he hurt Sookie so he could heal her right away. As Eric approached the stairs nearest him, Newlin directed him further. “We’ll be using the other stairs, nearest to my sanctuary. I feel closest to God there and believe he will help me negotiate for my freedom so I can continue to spread his holy light.”
“More like holy bullshit.” Sookie gritted out and in response Newlin pulled the blade closer to her skin. She looked to Eric and he gave her their sign for obey. He needed her to obey Newlin until they could get to others.
“Do not tempt me to do a holy cleansing of you, right now whore.” Sookie stilled at his words and complied when he pushed her towards the other side of the basement.
Once at the top of the stairs, Newlin guided them though another door and they were near the main church entrance and the FBI. Eric put his arms up to prevent any misunderstanding and spoke loudly. “Newlin has a hostage, please don’t shoot.” Then he stepped aside. With their superior eyesight, Godric and Pam, who had since joined Potts on the street, could both clearly see that Sookie was in fact a hostage and Newlin was now pushing her out the door. To prevent anyone from surprising him, he kept a wall to his back the whole time.
“Why didn’t Eric take him out?” Pam wondered.
“I’m sure he had a reason. We need to get closer, I want to be able to support him if need be.” He nudged Pam on the shoulder. “Let’s go. Potts, you stay here.” He nodded Stan’s direction. “I’m getting closer to help Eric, please stay back. I don’t want to risk her.”
“Agreed, we don’t want a bloodbath since now several news outlets are filming. We will control ourselves and show the world the monster here.” Stan considered the implications of Newlin’s actions. Newlin would be showing that his beliefs had actually broken him – risking a woman to get past the FBI. The least he could do was follow Godric’s lead so that Sookie could be removed from Newlin unharmed, well at least not harmed any more. He could see she was limping and had bruising on her face already.
The FBI agent in charge, a Were, approached Newlin cautiously. “Reverend, I am agent Chambers. Please release your hostage; we don’t want anyone to get hurt. We have a warrant to search your church to look for weapons and possible kidnap victims: Mr. Northman and Miss Stackhouse. Since we found both the victims and a stash of weapons on your property, we have a subsequent warrant that is now in effect: the arrest of you and your board. I have the 12 names listed here.” He held up the paper and read the Reverend his rights.
The Reverend responded. “You are working with the devil himself. This woman is a whore of Satan and must be punished. You will have my car brought around and allow Leon safe passage from the basement so he can drive me and Miss Stackhouse away. The Lord will not allow me to be captured; I have not broken any laws.” He smiled at his congregation, gathered on the lawn and too his right.
“You kidnapped and tortured a man.” The reverend scoffed at his words. “You locked his fiancée away with him, wounding her in the process, and your plans were to kill them both when the sun rose in the morning. You’ve broken several laws.”
Newlin heard his congregation gasp at the words of the agent. “You see, my flock does not agree with you. These two are not worthy of holding me to our laws. I am within my rights using the word of God to punish them as I see fit.” He added with a smug smile. He continued to hear murmurings from his congregation, and after a moment, one moved forward. He smiled at the man, he didn’t know his name, didn’t really care but he was standing up for his Reverend and he basked in it for a second. Until the words started.
“Reverend, you shame us. You’ve taken an innocent woman as a hostage to save your own skin? Several of the board have already been arrested and removed from the site and you leave us, your loyal worshippers, here to be questioned while you try to protect only yourself? That is not what a Christian man of honor would do, that’s not the model for the church I joined.” He took a deep breath and looked directly at the Reverend. “I renounce you. “ The Reverend’s face grew angry, but the brave man continued. He waved his hands to the crowd. “Is anyone with me?” About 3/4ths of the crowd raised their hands.
Stan smiled. ‘This is working out better than all the discredit plans we had. Much better.’
Agent Chambers tried again. “Release Miss Stackhouse.”
“Never, she will die now!” As he spoke the words, he moved the blade into position, but before he could begin cutting her a shot rang out hitting Newlin and at the same time, Eric ran to grab Sookie. With her now safely in his arms, he looked in the direction of the shooter and saw Alcide and Jason emerge from the cover of some large bushes. Jason was carrying a gun.
“Peter called me earlier today. He couldn’t get Jason to stay in Bon Temps once he heard what was happening. I called my ‘friends’ here to get any information they had and we flew in about 2 hours ago then came looking for you both. I figured it was better to allow him to get to Dallas with a proper escort than have him run off.” Eric nodded.
Jason stood tall and announced to the crowd. “That’s my baby sister and her Fi- ancy. Nobody fucks with my family.”