Chapter 64 – It’s About Time
September 21, 2004
“What are the results Finard?”
As planned, he answered, “Positive, she’s pregnant.”
“How many babies?”
“We’ll know more when we do the first ultrasound in two weeks.”
“I don’t like waiting.”
“While we could see SOMETHING on an ultrasound at 4 weeks, and that’s rare, we wouldn’t see anything telling for you.”
“Fine, fine.” He leaned to his left and put his head near the arm of the chair to be at Sookie’s level – her least favorite position for him. “Well incubator, you’ve proven you ARE fertile. Tomorrow you will have a treat and for tonight, you and Finard are dismissed. Olga will have the privilege of walking you back to your room.” The sneer on Olga’s face was prominent as she approached Sookie. Felipe felt the need to remind Olga not to hurt his now pregnant telepath. “Olga. No yanking or pulling. She’s pregnant and we don’t want to do anything to risk that.”
“Of course Felipe.”
“Everyone is dismissed for 30 minutes.”
Felipe left to meet Appius in the room behind court and together they headed to Andy’s room. “Master, shall we celebrate with a bit of the telepath’s blood?”
“Yes Felipe, this is cause for celebration.”
“I will take it easy on the telepath for the next 10 weeks since Yvetta has informed me this is a risky time for pregnancy.”
“Yes, we don’t want another miscarriage.”
Felipe handled the pouring of the telepath’s blood while Appius spoke. “In nine months, my child, we’ll have telepathic babies with blood this sweet. If we get a big enough litter maybe we can drink from one right away. I’ve never had a baby just newborn, a few months old yes, but not newborn.”
“That would be a treat.”
“Once the bond is broken and she agrees to stay, I’ll have the leverage we want with the Viking – soon he will be mine.”
“Master, what are you talking about?”
“Getting back from the Gaul what should have been mine. He was always meant to be my child.” He stopped talking to Felipe and just seemed to look off into the distance as he kept almost muttering to himself. “Yes, the Gaul stole him from me. I will get him I will keep him.”
Felipe actually took a moment to shake off the shock at hearing that this whole plot was to get the Viking? ‘A child he didn’t get to make over 1000 years ago? They were risking their existence on a 1000 year old grudge. We’re fucked!’
Sookie was alone in her room since she’d been dismissed. This left her with her thoughts and as she did every night after Stan’s pledging, she waited and hoped. She only knew it was after the pledging – not when. Logically, she figured it wasn’t this week since she overheard Felipe talking to one of his staff and per the Texas spies; Stan and Liz had been tracked to Paris. Since Sookie knew Stan was certainly going to be part of the fight from her Barry chat – that took this week out of the equation. Rather than driving herself insane, she decided to read the book she’d been given. ‘LORD, I can’t wait to pick my own books again. Yvetta had been charged with selecting books and she picks crap stories, but it’s better than nothing.’
Hunter rose from his nap to see Eric already awake. He to sit on the edge of the bed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and watching Eric as he packed. Eric’s flight was leaving shortly so he’d be in Vegas at first dark for the anniversary party and battle. Hunter’s little legs were kicking up and down and since he normally was calmer after his nap, Eric knew his buddy was nervous. After watching Eric for a few minutes, he finally spoke. “You’ll be coming back with Sookie, right?”
“Yes Hunter, I will. It may be several days before we get home, but you’ll get a call on Thursday night when everything has been settled; probably from Hoyt.”
“You’re being funny about your words again Big Dude. I know this is a fight and some folks are going to die; I know it’s not a meeting or something silly like that.”
He crouched down to Hunter’s level and put his hands on the boy’s shoulders. “I know you know, but I’m trying not to remind Gran and Angie. They’re both very scared. You have to be brave and confident for them. Can you do that for me Little Dude?”
“I can Big Dude. I can. Poor Gran was sick most of today. I know they called Dr. Ludwig.”
“Well Dr. Ludwig will know what to do.”
“She had just gotten here when I came in for my nap; I feel that Gran is asleep now, so I don’t know much more.” His statement ended with a shoulder shrug then he peaked in Eric’s hand. “What’s that stuff?”
“Some of Sookie’s favorite things that she’s probably been missing. These” He held out his hand,” Pam will wear until I see Sookie, these other items I’m packing. I want her to have some treasures from home right away since we might be there a few days.”
“OH!” He hopped off the bed and ran from the room. Eric could hear him speaking to Potts in the kitchen then he was back again. “Can you give her this?”
Eric took the paper and knew right away what it was. Hunter had drawn a picture of the three of them taking a walk during their short vacation to the Falklands. In the picture, Hunter was holding both Eric’s and Sookie’s hands while the moon was shining brightly above them. He colored this and many other pictures several times a week after Angie encouraged him to remember happy times when he got sad about Sookie. “She’ll love this. Is it OK to fold it? I can carry it in my pocket that way and get it to her right after the fighting is over.”
“Did Cecelia’s mother arrive today?”
“Yes, but she hates traveling in boxes and such to get on the property.”
“Hopefully that’s the last time.” With a final item added to his bag, he zipped it up. “Ok Hunter, the sun has set; time for me to finalize plans with Thalia and get going.”
“Yep. Hoyt and Holly arrived. Hoyt’s ready to go. He’s gonna guard you tomorrow?”
“He’s going to help Alcide and Peter. His flying with me was another way to get one of the helpers from Bon Temps there without suspicion.”
“Jason and Remy are still mad that they aren’t going. So is Tara – she really wanted to go kick some ass.”
“Language Hunter. What have we discussed about reading Tara and Lala’s minds specifically? If THEY think it, it’s probably bad to say it.”
“I know you’re trying, this was just a reminder. As for their desire to fight? They’ve expressed their displeasure at my decision repeatedly, but your Aunt Sookie would be furious if anything happened to them in Vegas. I’d rather they were mad at me than Sookie being mad at me when she gets home.” After zipping his bag, he put his arms out towards Hunter. “Will you go with me to the living room for the final meeting?”
The boy’s answer was an exaggerated nod as he jumped into Eric’s arms. As he usually did, Hunter snuggled in with his tiny arms and legs stretched around Eric’s neck and waist, his head just under Big Dude’s chin. Holly was waiting with Hoyt in the living room and even with all the visits she’d made to the farmhouse, Eric’s devotion to the little boy still surprised her. Eric turned to Hoyt. “You ready?”
“Yeah, my bag’s in the limo already.”
“And your mother?”
“Already moved into Holly’s until I get back. You’ve got a guard over there, right?”
“Yes, Tray during the day and Polly at night. You met them.”
Hoyt nodded. “We’re all comfortable with both of them since they’ve guarded before and Polly already has an invitation to the house.”
Pam walked by and growled at Eric. “What’s wrong Pam?” Hunter innocently asked.
“Eric limited me to ONE bag. I normally have ONE bag just for SHOES! At least he allowed for a separate garment bag for some of my clothes and his tux.”
“Why is Eric bringing your clothes?”
“I only need outfits after the fight and it’s easier if he flies with them. I don’t have baggage check with my fairy transportation.
She continued to the front door with her bag rolling behind her. “I’m just getting this to the driver. I’ll be back to say goodbye.”
He held out the contents of his hand. “Put these on.” She nodded and continued on her way.
Eric looked towards the hallway where the bedrooms were. “Gran’s still asleep?”
Having heard the question about Gran, Ludwig stepped out of the bedroom. “I had to give her a sedative. Angie has several of them to use until this is over; she and Cecelia are in there now. I think it’s best if she just gives her the shot if Gran becomes overwhelmed while waiting.” Pam had returned from putting the bags in the car and was listening to the end of the update from Ludwig.
“She’ll probably be mad at you like Sookie was when she was given the shots.”
Eric just added. “She can be mad all she wants; I think this is for the best. I defer to your expertise doctor, thank you.”
“My pleasure. Have you fed?”
“I’m going to see to that now. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yes, I’ll pop to Vegas at first dark and wait to be called after the palace is secure.” She patted his arm. “Good luck Giant, go kick some Vegas ass.” He gave her a nod and she returned to Gran’s bedroom.
Hunter chimed in. “She said ass and you didn’t say anything to her.”
“She’s hundreds of years older than you Hunter; she can say that word.” He looked Holly’s way and got her attention; then nodded towards the kitchen. When she acknowledged, he handed Hunter to Pam for a moment so he could feed from Holly. “I’ll be right back Hunter.”
“I know. You need to feed to be strong. I’ll stay here with Pam a while.”
Holly and Eric emerged shortly after and everyone was saying their goodbyes. For a final hug goodbye, Eric took Hunter from Pam as he watched Potts kiss Alcide goodbye while Hoyt kissed Holly. He felt honored at having such loyal friends helping him now. Remy moved close to gather his son who had started crying. To soothe the boy, Eric whispered into his ear. “Remember, you promised to be brave.”
“I . . .I’ll try. Please call as soon as . . .” He sobbed and couldn’t finish his sentence.
“We’ll call as soon as we can Hunter. I love you.” He said as he kissed him on the forehead.
“I love you too.” Hunter responded as Eric handed him to Remy. He nodded at the man and left the farmhouse with Pam at his side to get any final last instructions.
Just before he got in the car, Thalia approached him so he reminded her about the donors. “Holly told me there are two other donors up at Tara for you and Arthmael.”
“We both fed already Master.”
“Very good. Thalia . . . I thank you for staying behind. I know you wanted to fight, but I can’t risk the family and I need Arthmael elsewhere.”
“I understand. Just save me something.”
“Gladly.” He turned to Potts. “The day shift on Friday is just as risky since there could be fallout. You and Toni must be vigilant. Secure everyone in the tunnel if needed.”
“Pam, I will see you tomorrow.”
“Yes Master, I’ll be in black with a sword in my hand. I’d like Freyda if that’s OK.”
“It’s more than OK.”
Peter, Alcide, Hoyt and Eric got in the limo and left Bon Temps; the final leg of this long journey just starting.
The next night in his hotel room at New York New York, Eric finished dressing in his tuxedo, excited for the upcoming battle and the end of his separation from Sookie. He’d received a text from Quinn simply stating AS 2. This was code confirming that Andy had been secured and Sookie had been moved to meeting room 2 to await her entrance into court. They had 2 Weres in the Donor room ready to intervene on Sookie’s behalf as needed. Both were connected into a listening device Quinn had planted in the meeting room since the room itself was soundproofed. Donors wouldn’t be called into the reception until after Sookie entered so they were safe, well as safe as they could possibly be at the moment. Godric knocked on the door, jarring him out of his thoughts. “Min son, are you ready to go to the reception?”
He opened the door and grinned. “I am. I most certainly am.”
“You have fed?”
“I already fed from Hoyt so he could meet up with the other ‘powder monkeys’ from Bon Temps.” In the end four men from Bon Temps: Hoyt, Lafayette, Detective Andy Bellefleur, and Jason’s boss, Catfish were gathering in Vegas after travelling separately over the past week to assist. Jason was very upset that Eric forbade him from going. Eric’s logic was sound though: He smelled like Sookie and would be too easily noticed. Hoyt was already a risk since he had been in Vegas already, but hair dye and fake glasses disguised him adequately.
Since part of the plan was to actually use Felipe’s own weapons, the ‘powder monkeys’ would all be stationed inside the weapons room at the palace before first dark. There, they would be guarded from the outside and while they loaded silver ammo into weapons and prep colloidal silver grenades. They would also launch the grenades into key rooms or hallways then head in first to finish off the vampires or Weres while they were in a weakened condition. The vampire and Were fighters following them could safely enter the rooms only after the humans confirmed via their encrypted communication devices that no silver was dripping from the ceilings. This would be critical for the fighters arriving in the outbuilding. The tunnels had to be cleared for speedy entrance to the throne room: The location of the main battle. Preparing and selecting from the volunteers had been a difficult task. Eric appreciated the twelve men with military experience who had volunteered, but he took only the four he knew could stomach the need to kill Weres and Vampires simply because they were not on Eric’s side. Even Sheriff Bud and Reverend Collins from Sookie’s church had volunteered, believing their time in the military would prepare them, but after a long talk with Eric, they understood and backed out. Not having military experience, Lafayette was the exception but he trained with the men and proved his worth. Eric had no doubt he would kill anyone who was in the way of getting Sookie back.
Godric and Eric took a limo to the palace, both anticipating the fight ahead of them and the reward. “Toni was alright with not attending the party?”
“She most certainly was not, but I put my foot down. I am confident I will pay for my decision for a while. I will be put on laundry duty – she has did that one time when she and Celie were both visiting me. Do you have any idea how many clothes a little girl can generate? Then she tells me this is better because I do the laundry at night when the electric rates are cheaper.” Eric chuckled at his hen pecked maker but inwardly knew that he was happier than he’d been in centuries. When Godric turned serious, Eric knew there was something he needed to discuss. “So, I received information that Stan and Barry needed me to discuss with you.”
“And judging from your face and apprehension, I’m not going to like it.”
“In the scheme of things it is nothing, but I want you to be warned. First, let me ask you. Do you have the bond closed?”
“I’ve got the bond locked down tightly so she won’t feel any of my anger; she won’t even feel me near which was my intention. If she detects that I’m in Vegas, she might realize it’s THE night and try to do something.”
“Very well, then let me tell you. Felipe picks Sookie’s outfits for each night, you are aware of that already, yes?”
“He ensured her outfit for tonight carries his scent as a dig at you when she enters the room.” The growling started before Godric finished his sentence. “Your Sookie has been through much, and your beast will want to rectify the scent immediately. When you first see her after, well after we are through with our work is NOT the time. She cannot smell anything and she needs you, not your beast. Am I clear?” Eric was still growling, though more softly than before. “I will send you calm to help you, but please tell me you understand.”
He stared for another moment before he finally responded. “I do. We will speak no more of this; I will refrain with difficulty to not remove his scent until we are in private.”
“And even then, please Eric, dig deep for calm.”
“I’m not a monster Father. She’s carrying my child.”
“Of course you are not. It will be hard for you though to tone down the passion.”
“I’m prepared to be and do whatever Sookie needs, not what I need.”
“That is all I wanted to know. Now, we have arrived. Let us get this started.”
The palace waiting area had been decorated in the same gold and purple fabrics, Felipe and Freyda’s colors, that were used at the Summit. Godric commented, “I remember that Sookie thought it all looked like Easter eggs, and now they have done it again.” Eric almost chuckled at the memory, but now was the time to play the part of the dutiful servant to Felipe. They were checked for their invitations and passed through another check for weapons then lead to the throne room. They spied Dario, Desmond and Antonia already in position with her maker. He simply made eye contact with his allies and started working the room making small talk. He was surprised that Lorena was not in attendance, she and Rasul were the only Sheriffs missing. Rasul had been left behind by Felipe to run Louisiana in Victor’s absence with several of Victor’s loyal vampires serving as guards.
Speaking of the slime, Victor entered the court with a knowing smirk. Eric couldn’t wait to get his hands on him, for the moment though he entertained a fake pleasantness in his greeting. “My Lord.”
“Northman. I guess you’re excited to see your pet again.”
“Yes, my BONDED is lovely and I will enjoy seeing her while I am here.”
“I’m certain at some point tonight you will be permitted near her. Don’t make me punish you. There are protocols to follow when she enters, so keep away until you are given permission.”
“Of course my Lord.” He put on a good face, but was thinking otherwise. ‘PRICK. You can’t keep bondeds apart but no point in fighting; she’ll be in my arms soon.’
With that, Victor sauntered off to speak with Olga, another vampire Eric couldn’t wait to kill. The time certainly was moving slowly; once Felipe and Freyda were on their way per Quinn he could give the signal to start. They wanted Appius too but knew he didn’t always attend court so Godric was committed to finding him later as needed. Until he heard from Quinn, he would make his rounds through the room and wait.
Sookie stared at the table in meeting room 2, a common occurrence for her. Wondering why she was here instead of being led into court, she sat quietly waiting to be called. She knew there was an anniversary party tonight so Felipe would want to show her off to his attendees but she’d already been sitting here for an HOUR. Her glorious company, Bill, sat playing on his phone. Not that she wanted to make conversation, but they could have given her a book. She tried the bond, hoping for something to break up the monotony of waiting, but Eric had it closed. This didn’t concern her as he often closed it to hide his anger at their separation – an anger that was so extreme it could impact Sookie’s ability to keep herself under control at court.
To occupy her time, she started working on one of their guest bedrooms in her mind. In the weeks she’d been in Vegas, she completed decorating the nursery, master bedroom, living, dining and family rooms and several bathrooms – all in her mind. Last week, she started on the guest rooms. Tonight, she would work on guest room three. Her color theme was blue so she was off in her mind to pick wall colors, curtains, furniture and bath linens to match a sea theme she knew Eric would appreciate. She retreated into her mind and waited.
Frannie was in her room, as was the norm at night, when she received a text from Quinn. She was confused since she’d only just seen him an hour ago and he spoke to her about the importance of saving Sookie, and that he was planning to do whatever it took. Frannie suddenly realized what he was saying: He would give his life for Sookie. The envelope he’d given her was on her bed and she fingered it – scared of the contents. ‘Give this to Cataliades if something happens to me.’ was all he said about it when handing it to her.
Q: Fran, it’s tonight, there is a friendly in the closet. He will protect you.
The text was confusing, but it was from her brother so she trusted it and replied.
Q: Just simply say WELCOME. You can’t make a noise other than welcome.
Trusting her brother, she said “Welcome.” A moment later, she heard the same sounds her brother made when he shifted, but the door remained closed. She picked up the envelope from her brother and tucked it into her pants, fearful of what the night would bring. Nothing else in the room held any importance to her. Staring at the closet door and listening as hard as she could for anything going on in the palace, she sat on the bed and texted her brother back.
Q: He’ll be in the closet waiting until things start. I’ll text you again when you can tell him to come out
Alcide was pacing with one of the fairies outside the weapons room. They had been teleported to the outbuilding just at first dark and met up with the ‘powder monkeys’. They encountered NO problems moving through the secret tunnel directly to the weapons room. Now they were just waiting for the men inside to finish weapons prep so they could get in position to hand out guns to vampires who wanted them. Many of the older vampires were planning to use the swords and knives placed in the throne room already being more comfortable with hand to hand combat. The newer vamps wanted guns with silver bullets. When he stilled his movements, he could hear the men talking inside.
“Are the grenades ready, how about the shotguns?” Hoyt, their designated leader, had stopped listening to the chatter over their communication devices to get an update from his men.
Andy was in charge of Grenades. “All ready.”
Catfish and Lala were loading the guns and still had more to do when Catfish responded. “Another shelf left then we wait for the signal.”
“Are the vampires in the outbuilding yet?” Catfish asked Hoyt. Catfish had refused the communication device that the rest of them all wore explaining that he was too old for that shit.
“Stan and his group are there and the fairy went back for Russell’s team. Kat and Odair have arrived with their folks. Only a few more pops and everyone will be in place.”
Lala cut in. “Guns all loaded.”
“Now, we wait.”
“Welcome Russell and Bart. You and your team are the last to pop in.”
“Any updates or concerns?”
“Here, get your communication devices on.” Stan handed them out to Russell’s team. “You’ll be connected that way. So far, everything is in place. The grenades are ready so as soon as we get the signal, they start clearing the tunnels as needed ahead of us and we plow through to the throne room.”
“How long now?” Benito asked.
“Should only be moments.”
Benito was obviously itching for the fight and let out, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
When Quinn knew Felipe and Freyda were on their way, he sent the critical text to Eric:
With that text received, Eric sent the signal out to Russell. From there, Russell used the encrypted communication devices to tell the ‘powder monkeys’ to start. Two minutes later, the group waiting in the outbuilding heard a muffled blast followed by the sound of two vampires being turned to goo, and finally a knock that said all clear. The vampires needed to wait for this knock to indicate that no silver was dripping from the ceiling. With the privacy spell Octavia was able to put on the throne room, the grenades could not be heard. This far away from the throne room, the actual blast would not be felt either; it was the hallways closest then they knew it would alert the invasion. For now, they could work quickly and keep moving.
Hoyt led his team forward. He and Lala had killed two vampires they found in the first hallway after the grenade went off. The four made eye contact at the act and quickly moved on: They had a job to do. What disturbed Hoyt the most was the lack of feeling he had at killing them. He just staked them and moved on. The team made quick work advancing through the tunnels. They slowed as they made it to the east side of the tower, knowing the blasts could likely now be felt. The humans in their group were each armed with a silver bullets and nets that would help protect them – for a while, but if Felipe launched too many into the tunnels, they would have a problem. Eric most certainly wanted to keep these volunteers out of the fight. The final hall the monkeys cleared was just behind the donor room to the west of the throne room. They went in without the grenade since it was too close to court and the vibration would cause panic. Instead, the four used silver nets and guns with silencers; luckily they only needed to shoot one vampire in that section of tunnel. By the time they moved into the donor waiting area, they had killed two Weres and 15 vampires in total. The vampire and Were army following them was quite impressed.
They did surprise the donors at their arrival but quickly quieted them down by aiming the guns at them and making a signal for quiet. Not that they would actually shoot, but it had the required impact. To get them away from the fighting, they quickly moved them out of the donor room and into the tunnel back towards to the tower. Many of the donors noticed the vampire and Were army ready to storm the throne room but they moved forward. Once secure in the tower, all electronics were removed from the donors, Hoyt explained the situation and they were locked in the tower for the fight. They did chain and drag one donor back with them, at Eric’s request.
Once secure just outside the donor waiting area to be close to Sookie, Hoyt and team listened in for the start of the fight. After that, they would wait in the donor room for word of victory.
Standing on the east side of the room, further from Eric, Godric had discretely placed in his ear piece; from listening to the chatter he knew the fighters were close. He talked with Antonia about Florida’s travel business to cover his anticipation while watching his son. Eric was like a tightly wound coil and when the donor room doors opened, he would snap and it would be glorious to watch. Just as he admired Eric’s fighting skill as a human on his last days alive; he would enjoy watching him level the enemy vampires in the room.
Also continuing the ruse of calm, Eric stood talking with one of the new vampire sheriffs appointed by Felipe in Arkansas. Though he appeared to be engaged in the conversation, his focus was on trying to hear anything. He wanted to know what Felipe could possibly be hearing and he was curious about how close Russell and his team were. Octavia’s privacy spell in the donor and throne rooms had worked: Even listening for Hoyt and team, Eric hadn’t heard a thing in the donor room even though he was standing 10 feet from the door. He truly didn’t know Russell was there until Godric gave him the signal. What he did see was increasing panic on Felipe’s face and two times he noted actual pain; he guessed from Hoyt and crew killing Felipe’s vampire children. From his position near the donor waiting room door, Eric watched as Felipe called for a guard and gave some kind of orders but he did not stop the party. The whole process, from texting ‘GO’ to Russell until the donor waiting room door opened, was only thirty minutes. But watching Felipe squirm made it very moment enjoyable for Eric. When he glanced at Godric, he caught the end of a smile and he knew: Godric had seen the monarch’s concerns too.
With a subtle nod, Godric indicated the fight was seconds away so Eric moved to remove his jacket and grab a sword from the hidden panel under the table. Nobody had time to register the movement. As soon as the door to the donor room opened, Eric raised the sword, leapt into the air and let out a battle cry, shocking the room. He landed about 20 feet from Felipe since the guards had circled him immediately. His first kill was Olga, who happened to be standing right where he landed. He only enjoyed the look of shock for a second since he had work to do, but he DID enjoy it. From there, the clanking of swords began as he made his way to his prize: Felipe. Pam, his steady second, was first through the donor room door and joined the fight with her sights on Freyda. Meanwhile, Russell and his team stormed the throne room and joined those already present in the attack. Felipe was shocked to say the least. He knew the Viking would plan something, but to have an army flooding into the room; to see them pull swords and knives from the tables right in front of him; he never dreamed anything like this. He looked for his maker, even giving a call to him, but nothing. His loyal fighters were in front of him, but with Eric, Godric and Pam leading the way, they were falling fast. ‘How is Pam here? She was reported to be in Shreveport only 30 minutes ago’ Felipe wondered. Eric and Godric especially were like blurs as they moved closer and closer to him. He was hopeful for a second as one of his older vampire children appeared to be sneak attacking Eric, but the Viking spun with his sword out at the last second taking care of the threat. Felipe’s hope was dying almost as quickly as his vampires were. Turning his head to take in the room, he was further shocked to see fairies in the mix. ‘Why the fuck do I see fairies fighting – and on Eric’s side?’ Then he saw something that even concerned him more. ‘Is that Niall? The Fairy PRINCE in my throne room wielding a sword and fighting with ERIC?’ Where the hell is my maker?’ His face could no longer contain the shock he felt as he saw more fighters continuing to enter the room from the donor waiting area. ‘Where did he get all these resources?’
Half the fighters moved into the waiting area and through the south end of the palace to ensure a clean sweep. The other half remained to guarantee the demise of Felipe, but one look at Eric and they felt they weren’t necessary. He sliced through the vampires faster than even their eyes could track. As the vampires fought each other, the Weres and shifters changed and attacked. While Quinn’s size, strength and claws made him the most dangerous, Alcide’s desire for vengeance caused his fighting to instill the most fear in Felipe’s wolves. He leapt through the air to take out several wolves at a time leaving their remains in a pool of blood. Once Felipe’s Weres in the throne room were all killed, the tiger and the wolf left to run perimeter once to confirm they had taken down all of Felipe’s two natured.
Hoyt and his team listened at the door for a moment but after they heard some of the battle, they couldn’t resist the desire to peek into the room. They’d been told about shifting and the battle was described to them but nothing compared to seeing the action in person, hearing the flesh ripping, and feeling the energy in the room. They knew they were witnessing something most humans would never see and they continued to watch, unable to tear their gazes away. The fighting was just ending as Hoyt saw the wolf from before return to the throne room alone.
Giving another ear piercing battle cry, Eric stood victorious at the throne, Felipe secure in chains next to him. Freyda and Victor were off to the side, secured by Russell and Godric. Other vampires in Felipe’s army were secured from further fighting. All he needed now was Sookie. “Pam, use the call button for meeting room 2.”
“Yes Master.” She depressed the button Quinn had told them about and they waited, Eric’s army standing to both sides of the main aisle up the room. Hoyt was notified to come into the room by Stan and they stood in silence with everyone excited for the chance to see Sookie. Eric was waiting to anxiously surprise Sookie with his presence; instead it was her arrival and actions that shocked him.
In meeting room 2, the green buzzer lit up and Bill rose first; then yanked Sookie’s chain as was their standard procedure. Gazing at the floor, Sookie was lead into the room as happened every night. Bill stopped very much short of her usual submissive position location but she figured since he stopped, it was time to go to the floor. She hadn’t even looked up. From the throne, Eric’s facial expression changed instantly from joy at seeing her to horror as he watched her go to her knees. He opened the bond and moved in a flash to stop her. Sookie felt the bond open and the sudden proximity of her husband so she stopped kneeling to look up. There in front of her was Eric. Her husband had finally come! He moved to embrace his wife and just before he reached her, a blur ran in to the room and snatched her. Appius had finally made his appearance and now he had Sookie on her knees at his feet while he positioned himself behind the dais, near the entrance to the room behind them.
Niall spoke for the first time. “Unhand her now.”
“Why are you here?”
“That is Sookie Brigant Northman, my Great Granddaughter. Stop this madness before you start a war for laying your hands on a member of Fae Royalty.” The room could hear Felipe groan at this revelation.
“If she was so important, why not rescue her when she first arrived?” Without giving Niall the opportunity to answer, Appius continued. “It matters not though; I do not answer to the fae.”
While Appius had been focused on Niall, Godric watch Sookie fiddle with the heel of her shoe. He almost smiled and gave the secret away.
Eric glanced at Benito who had placed himself in Eric’s line of sight. He nodded his head and Eric knew they found the blood in Appius’ chambers – he was planning to kill him anyway, now there would be no dispute. “No, you answer to vampire law and you will die your final death for touching my bonded and spilling her blood.”
“That’s not going to happen. If you want her to live, you will come with me willingly.” Four vampires came out of the room behind the dais and stood protectively around Sookie and Appius. At these actions, Hoyt moved out of the throne room taking Lala with him.
The ancient vampire started to pull Sookie up by her leash with the intention of biting her throat. Eric and Godric moved closer but he had her in front of his fangs before they reached him. “Stand back.”
Stalling for time, Eric asked. “What do you want with us? You had the opportunity to escape from the palace.”
He looked to Godric. “Ask your maker. He stole you from me and it’s time that was rectified.”
“You’re insane. We aren’t leaving here with you.”
“I think you will. I think your attachment to this human will ensure your loyalty to me forever. Here is what’s going to happen. I’m taking her and you will follow me when I call you. You will stay with me as you always should have. If you don’t comply,” He grabbed Sookie’s arm and squeezed until she yelped out. “She will pay the price.”
As Appius continued to speak his words of insanity, Eric analyzed his position: He had his fighters with swords or guns with silver bullets, he had his own sword, and he had his maker; what he needed was a quick plan. In her current position, Sookie was being held to Appius, her chest to his with her head facing over his neck and Eric couldn’t see her eyes – something he desperately wanted. When he spared a glance at her foot he noticed her heel was broken off. In that split second he remembered that she was wearing stakes in her spike heels and a small feeling of relief came over him.
Sookie had lowered her shields when she was grabbed by Appius and now she heard Hoyt talking to her. ‘Go willingly into the room behind you and I’ll toss in a grenade. The explosion will be loud and you might get some cuts, but it’s the liquid inside that just needs to coat the vampires. I’ll be in to help you when the explosion happens.’ Sookie trusted her friend so she didn’t fight when Appius pulled her into the room.
To confirm she should go with Appius, she heard Barry tell her they all knew Hoyt’s plan from him. ‘Hi Sookie, Stan kept me out of your range until now; I just arrived at the palace. Listen to Hoyt and be strong.’ The next few actions happened within seconds. Sookie, Appius and his four children were in the room when she heard the explosion. It wasn’t too loud but it was a bit disorienting. As Hoyt said, she had a few cuts on her back, but Eric could deal with those. Hitting the floor so suddenly when Appius fell backwards taking her with him was the part that hurt more than anything. Before she got her bearings, Hoyt was in the room and had staked two vampires while Lala was holding Eric and Godric at the open door; silver was still dripping from the ceiling and it would take another moment or two before it was safe for them to enter. They let Lala hold them back only due to the very real silver threat in the room. Appius was still holding onto her legs, but weakly so she was able to maneuver herselfto position the stake in her hand over his heart. She could see Godric’s face in the doorway and while he wanted to end Appius himself, he didn’t want the risk of him escaping so he nodded. He didn’t hide his pleasure at seeing Appius’ reaction; his eyes wide open in disbelief as a human female plunged a stake into his heart.
Godric allowed himself just another few seconds of pleasure as he spoke, “In the end, it was five inches of pointy wood from min dotter’s shoe that ended your 2000 year reign of depravity and terror. Go to hell motherfucker.”
Wiping off the Appius remains from her arms; Sookie stood and turned to the doorway where Eric stood frozen. She offered, “It’s about time you got here”; then fainted.