Chapter 4 – Brave
Remembering Eric’s words about being brave, Sookie stood in her cage with her head high and challenged Gabe. “What are you doing to the guards that came with me to the Fellowship?” As always with Sookie, her first concern was others.
The huge man’s face changed from angry to taunting, complete with a smirk. “You need to worry about yourself Miss Stackhouse. From what Hugo has told us, you’ve been spending a great deal of time with your vampire and now you’re trying to help more of them. We don’t let humans get away for committing those sins at the church here. You’re whorish, fangbanger ways need to stop and I’m here to help you.”
“I am not a WHORE!”
“I am the judge and jury here; I say you are. You’ll spread your legs for the dead; you’ll spread your legs for me now.” He approached the cage and used the key to open the door.
Keeping her steely gaze she informed him, “I’ll do no such thing. Rapist.” After a pause she continued. “If I’m such a whore, why would you want me?”
“You need to be punished.” He made his way into the cage.
“You’re sick. I won’t give in.” His reaction disgusted Sookie as she saw several scenes flash through his head of other women that had tried to fight him off and how much he enjoyed it.
“Oh, gonna fight back? Even better.” He started with a backhand across her cheek but Sookie held firm. She needed to get him closer for her goal. It didn’t take him long to approach her, grab the front of her dress and pull it apart causing the buttons on the top half to fly. With his focus (and hands) on her bra covered breasts, she took her opportunity. Grasping one of the sharpened pencils she’d found in the cell, she raised her arm and plunged it into his eye. The action grossed her out but she suspected his eye was the only part she’d be able to push through. The wound wasn’t intended to kill him, just distract him. As he was screaming over his eye she kneed him in the balls. Sookie had been raised by Jason Stackhouse: she knew how to change a tire, belch like a drunk (even when not drinking) and knee a man in self defense. Her would-be rapist went down hard and Sookie grabbed the rope he’d used on her, tied him up then locked him in the cage.
Ignoring Gabe’s yelling, she went off in search of the void she’d felt earlier. She really hoped it was Godric because she had a bad feeling about Farrell.
Eric woke and after checking his phone, panicked when he realized he had no update from Sookie or Isabel’s human, Hugo. He went to Bill’s room and quickly realized Sookie had not returned to their room; there was no fresh Sookie scent to be found. Needing to wait until the sunset, Eric left updates via email for Pam, reviewed some correspondence for his other business holdings and in general, tried to keep himself occupied while his concern for Sookie’s whereabouts grew. Once the sun set he started by beating on Bill’s door right at sundown. He heard nothing; no answer at all so he phoned the front desk. On that call, he discovered that Bill had actually booked a second room one floor up. Forgoing the slow elevator, Eric sped up the stairwell until he reached Bill’s door, Bill’s new door rather. “Bill! Open the door. The sun set and I know you’re up.” When he got no response from Bill, he paused and listened. Fucking! The sounds of fucking were coming from the room. He concentrated only for another moment to determine if Bill was simply fucking a donor and would be available quickly and he was shocked hearing Bill cry out his waste of a maker’s name: Lorena. He almost vomited (something impossible for a vampire) when he heard her calling back to her Sweet William. With one more pound on the door and a shout that he was heading for Stan’s, he left Lorena and ‘Sweet William’ to their reunion. Once Sookie and Godric were safe, he’d deal with the asshole.
With Thalia, he left for Stan’s. When they arrived, there was already a bit of commotion going on. Eric sped to Stan’s office when he heard a man speaking about an escape and that ‘they had Sookie’. Eric hadn’t even announced his arrival before he ran in front of the man and bellowed out, “WHO HAS SOOKIE?”
“The Fellowship. The Fellowship pulled us both into a van, at a stop light, I ran out. Unfortunately Sookie was tied up in the van and could not escape with me. I figured her best shot was to try and get away for help.”
“Where was this? What do you remember?” Hugo spoke and shared as many details as he could with Eric, Isabel and Stan. Appearing helpful, but really providing false information, Hugo used a map to show them where he’d escaped from the van, he described the van colors and drivers and he even altered the time they were picked up to further throw everyone off the trail.
With barely controlled anger, Eric took in the man’s marks and panic set in. “Was Sookie hurt like you?”
“No, they grabbed her from behind and she was pulled into the van quickly. I tried to get away and was hurt more.” Eric’s eyes narrowed. Something felt off to him but he couldn’t place it. “Perhaps we should glamour him to see if there are details he can recall.”
“This is MY human Eric. I won’t allow it. He volunteered to help protect Bill’s pet today and look what that got him! I’m putting my foot down now.”
Seeing Eric was about to blow up, Stan intervened. “Eric, Hugo is Isabel’s. This is her call.” Stan took a moment to look around. “Can’t Bill locate Sookie?”
Eric’s face was grim while he answered. “No. Even if he could, his waste of a maker arrived and they’re ‘busy’.”
Stan was confused. “I thought she was Bill’s – meaning blood.”
Eric explained. “The ratio of Bill’s blood to hers has changed too much since she had a large transfusion of human blood just two days ago after she was wounded in a maenad attack.”
While Eric was Godric’s child, Stan was Godric’s King and he ordered the next actions. “Eric . . .”
That was all he got out before Eric interrupted. “I want to confront Newlin at the church. Hugo confirmed it: they took Sookie. That has to enable us to do something.” The look on Eric’s face stopped Stan short. It was panic, anger and vengeance rolled into one. There was more to this story than it seemed, but now wasn’t the time.
“Isabel, take Hugo to the police to report his injuries and that a woman was abducted. I want those church members investigated by the human police.” He turned to Eric. “We’ll let the law help out based on Hugo’s statements while you, Thalia, and I investigate the other Fellowship locations. I believe if you get close enough, you’ll detect Godric even if he’s been given silver.”
It took Eric a moment to absorb and accept the new plan; he really had no choice, it wasn’t his area or state. “Very well. Let’s go.”
“Godric! Oh my God. Can you hear me?” As part of their preparation, Sookie had seen pictures of Godric and Farrell so she knew the half-dressed and sickly looking vampire in the cell was Godric. Using the keys she’d already stolen from Gabe, she got into the cell and tried to rouse him. When nothing worked, she decided to look for a phone. Though it disgusted her, she did search the now unconscious Gabe and came up empty. At the top of the stairs, she’d made it through the locked door, again using Gabe’s keys, and was searching the separate rooms in the warehouse when she felt new minds approaching. She was trapped again. Several men were waiting outside as guards while others entered the warehouse. The new arrivals noticed the door to the stairs was open and found Gabe quickly when they ran down. Sookie tried to make a run for it, but the timing was off: just as she tried to open one of the doors, three men from the Fellowship pushed her back into the warehouse, down the stairs and locked the door to the basement. The first thud on the stairs was the last one she heard, since she blacked out from the blow to her head.
When Sookie woke, she was sitting next to a still unconscious Godric; Newlin was sitting right outside the locked cage, arms folded across his chest. “I see the whore is awake now.”
“Newlin! Let us go! What do you think you’re doing?” She waved her arms around then quickly crossed them in front of her chest. Between Gabe’s attempts and her fall, she was barely covered by her torn dress any longer. “What kind of a Christian kidnaps others for their cause? What do you hope to accomplish?”
“I’m but a lowly servant of God’s trying to lead my flock. I need them to understand the threat to our very lives and souls from vampires.” He stood, unable to help himself as his chat turned into preaching. “These vampires don’t have an allergy to the sun. They are the devil’s spawn, unable to survive in God’s holy light.”
“What the fuck are you going on about?”
“What I’m talking about, you foul-mouthed whore, is my plan to show the world what I know.” Sookie’s usual poker face, the mask she wore to hide her reaction to other’s thoughts struggled as she heard Newlin’s plans in his head: she, Godric, and Farrell were going to be put on posts in the church courtyard just before sunrise so they would burn. Newlin planned to tie Sookie to Godric. Instead of shock or anger, tears emerged. “Why are you crying? Do you think you can gain my sympathy you filthy fangbanger?” Unable to say anything about the plan, she simply told him she was scared. In response, Newlin continued to preach. “You should be scared. I’m going to kill you in the morning while I fry two vampires proving to the world what they really are. You’ll be facing the ultimate judgment harlot and the Lord will surely turn you away so you can burn a second time in hell.”
“I think I’ll have more followers than you can imagine by the time I’m done with the three of you.”
Again, acting as though she hadn’t heard his thoughts she asked. “So who’s the third? Farrell? Did he renounce?”
“Clever girl. He saw the light and has asked to repent at the last moment. Before he dies, well finally dies, I’ll pray for his soul and beg the Lord to accept him while he turns you and the one next to you away.”
“There are others out looking for us. You’ll be found.”
“Not likely.” He stood and started to leave but turned back. “Treasure your last hours on Earth tramp. You’ll be transported to my church in preparation for the ceremony, but not before you’re moved throughout the night to several Fellowship locations. I understand vampires are able to smell humans and each other. I want to get your scents at multiple locations.” Sookie heard from Newlin’s thoughts that Farrell had warned him about a vampire’s ability to pick up even the faintest trace of a scent and had recommended moving them around. She wanted to stake Farrell personally. “Enjoy your travels and I’ll see you at the church.” The men followed Newlin out and securely locked the door behind them. Believing that Godric was her only hope – because Bill obviously hadn’t found her yet – she cut her wrist on a sharp metal edge and moved it to Godric’s lips. She had to maneuver him to lie flat on the ground so the blood would actually trickle in. A few drops made it down his throat – or at least that’s what she figured when his eyes opened suddenly. Her reaction was to get him to quickly take more blood since it seemed to work but he was slumped back down again almost immediately. She tried three more times but began to fear how much blood it could take to get him awake fully and she stopped. Almost right after she gave up, Fellowship men arrived, tied them up and moved them into the back of a van.
By the time they stopped at the next location, Sookie was exhausted and after they were positioned into their new ‘cell’ she fell asleep on Godric’s chest. It didn’t last long; Sookie was woken a short while later and moved to another location with Godric. It was a process that continued for a few hours until they finally ended up at the church.
Eric, meanwhile, had felt a burst coming from Godric and took to the sky from one of the locations he was checking out with Stan and Thalia. They’d been to six of the fourteen on the list with no success and he was growing more frustrated each time they came up empty. With the map of Fellowship locations in hand, he tried to pinpoint an address while flying and just as quickly as the feeling came from Godric it stopped, but not before he was sure it was one of just three locations so he flew to each. At the last one, a warehouse, he smelled both Godric and Sookie but they were gone. At his near miss or rather near find, the wall of the warehouse felt his wrath; he punched it and a whole section collapsed.
Since he’d flown off without an explanation, he called Stan and Thalia to provide details then simply returned to Stan’s to make new plans. There, after discussing their options Eric left with Thalia to fly to each location. Since Bill was occupied, they continued to hope that Eric could feel Godric if he was close enough.
It only took four locations for Eric to call Stan. “They’ve been moving them. I can smell Sookie and Godric at each of the sites I investigated.”
“Why would they do that?”
On his flight between locations, Eric spent time considering that very question. The answer angered him greatly since if he was correct, the Fellowship had good intelligence on vampires. “To throw us off. They must know about our keen sense of smell. I believe they know that I am here specifically and can smell my maker.”
“I don’t know. A leak in your donor group? This information is not common knowledge to humans.”
“But Sookie read all . . .”
“Almost all your humans. How did Hugo’s trip to the police turn out?”
“They filed the complaint, the Fellowship was just searched but they found nothing.”
That seemed wrong to Eric. A kidnapping/abduction and they just searched? Hugo had marks on his face – pretty hard evidence. “Did you say this just happened? They went to the police hours ago.”
“They started with medical treatment for Hugo.”
“They didn’t look for Sookie, the abducted human, while Hugo was treated?”
“Eric what are you getting at? Nobody ever said the human authorities were efficient.”
“Do you trust this Hugo?”
“Eric. He’s not my human so this is tricky. I’ll discuss this situation with Isabel.” He paused then asked. “You seemed to have issues with his story last night – what are you thinking?”
“Sookie was tied up, and he was loose? He had no rope marks; he had been punched straight on but not enough to knock him out? If he was fighting his captors, why was he not bound?”
“You think he’s Fellowship?”
“I can’t say that but given we are trying to find one of your Sheriffs and a very talented human, isn’t it worth some glamour?”
Eric stayed quiet while he gave Stan a moment to consider his words. This was tricky business. Isabel clearly owned Hugo and vampire law was clear. Would Eric appreciate his Queen getting involved if he owned a human? He knew the answer was no, but at the same time a Sheriff was involved. The fucking Fellowship was involved – these were extenuating circumstances. “Ok Eric. I will discuss the need and reasons why she should glamour him. Why don’t you and Thalia join us since there aren’t other leads at the moment?”
“We’ll be at your office in ten minutes.”
“Eric! I understand you are to blame for this!” If possible, the stern looking female vampire appeared even more angry than normal and it was all directed at Eric.
Stan answered for Eric though. Offering Hugo as the potential spy for the Fellowship had been Eric’s idea but the more the King of Texas thought about it, the more it actually had merit. “Isabel. I am your King and I have believe this glamour is needed. We are dealing with the Fellowship Isabel. While it is your final decision, I ask you to see reason.”
Isabel knew the request was reasonable given the circumstances so she captured her human lover’s focus and commanded him to speak the truth. From there, Eric and Stan interrogated him thoroughly. It only took about three questions to determine he was in fact the spy. In short, he was pissed at Isabel for ignoring his desire to be turned. He wanted more from her; she wanted him to remain as a pet only. Hugo had given up the identity of Godric’s dayman so he could be followed directly to Godric’s house. Hugo confirmed that Farrell was working with the Fellowship including instructing the church on how to take Godric down quickly. Stan was furious at Isabel for having a spy so close, but at least she’d kept Sookie’s telepathy a secret. Eric asked questions himself to confirm it. It was simply coincidence that Hugo really did have his weekly night with his children when Sookie first arrived at Stan’s. It was another fluke that Hugo didn’t meet Sookie at the hotel with the Were guards since he was at the church that morning planning the capture of Sookie and her guards with Newlin and his men.
Stan wanted to drain Hugo right then but Eric held him back. “We might need him.”
“What do you mean?”
“We don’t know where Sookie and Godric are – Hugo doesn’t know much now but maybe he can be glamoured to find out more during the day tomorrow and tell us when we rise.”
Stan considered that idea and had just started to respond when Isabel’s phone rang. While Isabel spoke on the phone, Eric and Stan heard both sides of the conversation. Per the local Packmaster on the phone, the Weres serving as Sookie’s guards had been dropped outside an Emergency Room and were all fine. They’d been drugged but that’s all. Before she hung up, Stan was on with one of his lieutenants arranging for them to question the recovering guards. Perhaps the night wouldn’t be a waste after all; surely one of the guards saw something that could serve as a lead. At the least, Eric believed they had more information to take to the police about the Fellowship. At Eric’s idea, Hugo, still under glamour, laughed. “The Police Chief is Fellowship. Nothing was ever going to come of my trip to the police station.”
This was alarming information so they proceeded to question Hugo for even more information about the Fellowship. Stan and Isabel had started grilling him in earnest and Eric backed off. Finding out about Hugo had clearly happened too late. Godric and now Sookie were in danger and the night was quickly slipping away without any concrete leads.
“Enjoy your final meal whore. We’ll be preparing you for the ceremony shortly.” One of the Fellowship men snickered to Sookie as he slid in what looked like a sandwich and some water into the cell. Even though she wasn’t hungry she knew she needed to eat and drink so she could try to give Godric more blood. At this point, she was sure Eric’s maker was her only hope. For good measure she asked for more to drink believing that staying hydrated was going to be key in helping her give more blood successfully. To her surprise, the man agreed and even asked what she wanted. Playing on his sympathies, she asked for a big sweet tea saying it was her favorite and she wanted it one last time. It worked, she could hear the man thinking just for a moment that he felt bad for her and he went to get the tea. Using her time alone, she searched what she could in the improvised cell they’d placed her in but unlike her other cell, except for the religious statues and CDs this one was mostly empty. Ironically, they tossed in her purse, but had removed everything except for some tissues, lipstick and Tic Tacs.
Sitting in silence while she ate, she studied the vampire in front of her. With thick, dark, curly hair and intriguing tattoos over his arms, chest and neck Godric was handsome, but young. With a sigh she took in this 2000 year old man. This was Eric’s maker; the vampire whose abduction brought the fierce vampire sheriff to his knees. It was a relationship she couldn’t begin to understand. Eric had known this person for a thousand years – it was beyond her comprehension. Given the pain she knew it would cause Eric to lose Godric, she would try to do whatever she could to save both of them, starting with her blood.
A short while later, Sookie had eaten her meal and finished both the water and the tea. Because she was afraid she’d pass out from giving too much blood, she found a bit of cardboard and used her lipstick to write out a summary for Godric in case he came around and she was unconscious. Per the clock on the wall it was 3:00 AM – she didn’t have much time if they were frying her at sunrise.
As she did before, she cut her own wrist and worked to direct the drops into Godric’s mouth holding his throat at an angle that would have the blood dripping down. It seemed she couldn’t get him to swallow. Luck or God or the fates were finally on her side when he came back to his undead life and even actively took her wrist to drink more. Feeding Bill was only something they’d only done during sex and this was a different experience but it didn’t hurt – of course she’d cut herself before he had hold of her wrist. While Godric took more than Bill did, he stopped before she even felt light headed. “Godric, how are you?”
Her question caused a concerned look to cross the vampire’s face. “How do you know me?”
“Are you Sookie?”
This question took her by surprise and she even moved back a little from Godric. “How do you know that?”
“My son and I are very close, we speak at least every week. I know he cares very much for you.” Godric knew the whole story of course, even more than Eric was willing to admit to himself. The woman in front of him, while she was currently involved with another, was the woman his son loved. Eric would only admit to caring and needing to help protect her but Godric could feel it: the passion, the desire, the physical ache and mostly the love – all the things Eric felt for this tiny blonde who was now locked away with him at the Fellowship. His son had chosen well; Godric knew some about her from Eric but drinking her blood provided him with the answers he knew Eric had been wanting about Sookie. Why she was so alluring and how she could read minds. Yes, Godric could taste the difference in Sookie’s blood: she was part Fairy.
“Eric and I are friends. I came to try and help find you and got caught in a trap that was set-up by a spy – Hugo is working with the Fellowship. I hadn’t met him when I was reading the humans at Stan’s so I didn’t know about his duplicity.”
“Yes, Eric told me of your gift.” She scoffed and frowned and he misread it. “Do not worry; I won’t share the information about your talent with anyone.”
In actuality, Sookie scoffed at the word gift, but given their situation she let it go. They had more serious issues ahead of them. “Godric, are you strong enough to get us out of here? They plan to fry us with Farrell in the morning at sunrise.”
“Did you just say US?”
“Yes, Newlin wants to make an example of me.”
After hearing that, Godric was quiet while he considered his options. He knew from his blood loss and silver poisoning he could not help Sookie alone. He also knew he would not permit Sookie to die when she was simply caught up in the Fellowship situation with him – because of him. “I cannot allow that.” Godric exclaimed while he smoothed her hair. “Sookie, they pumped me with silver. I am not strong enough to save us or even just you.”
“Can you call Eric?”
“I don’t know where he is and I didn’t want him hurt trying to save me. But I see now there is more than just my life at stake. I’ll open the bond.”
“WAIT! If you think he might be hurt by coming here, then don’t call him.” She softened her tone and lowered her head to beg. “Please.” It was then when Godric realized that perhaps Sookie’s feelings were the same as Eric’s. “I don’t want him to get hurt on my account.”
“If I know Eric, he is moving Valhalla and Helheim to find you.” He took one of her hands. “Sookie, he would risk everything to help you.”
“He’s spoken about me that much?”
“Yes my dear. He is very fond of you. I know he would not want you to be hurt.” He saw a flash of something in her eyes – hope perhaps even recognition – he wasn’t sure.
Sookie added in, “And he wouldn’t want you hurt either. He’s beside himself with grief that you’ve been taken.”
“Eric was always my greatest creation.” When she nodded and smiled in agreement, he decided to push. “Tell me Sookie, is it only friendship you and Eric share?”
Her whole demeanor changed at her answer. “I currently belong to another vampire though I recently learned some things about that relationship that have caused me to rethink it.” Godric didn’t miss that she gently rubbed her elbow as she spoke. With his superior eyesight, he saw the finger shaped bruises partially covered by her hand. “Eric . . .” She went quiet.
Godric nudged her. “Eric what?”
“Eric is going to help me out of my relationship when this is over. I’ve had Bill’s blood; I belong to him and I don’t want that.”
Godric had already opened the bond to Eric and he wanted to keep Sookie talking while they waited. “Will you tell me about it?” Seeing he was a willing listener, Sookie told Godric about the blood she’d taken from Bill, why she’d had it, Bill’s manipulation, and the abuse. “The bruise on your face seems new.”
“I got that from one of the Christians here at the Fellowship.” She spat the word Christian out as she spoke.
Godric was seething for this tiny woman in front of him and he informed her, “Sookie, if you have the blood of an older vampire, it will wipe out your tie to Bill.”
“I can’t ask Eric to give . . .”
His head shook as he answered. “I do not want you to ask Eric.” If the friendship his son and this woman had blossomed after they exchanged blood, she would doubt how real it was. No, he believed there was a potential for a real relationship to build and blood would only cause problems. After gently taking her hand in his he proposed, “I am offering mine with the promise that I will never use it to manipulate you.”
“Thank you Godric.” She sighed. “First we need to live. What are we going to do?” “Sookie, I have already called Eric. I will not let you die.”
“I have a plan my dear. Trust me.”
The look he gave Sookie was intense, caring and full of expectation. “Ok Godric, I trust you, I do.” Her obvious concern for Eric tugged at his own heart. He knew exactly what he needed to do for Eric and for Sookie. It would work; it had to.
“Now, while we wait, I will tell you about the time Eric and I had to escape a town quickly and we wound up working in a circus for a few months.”
“YES! It was 1799 England and we fled with a circus owner when he travelled to a new location.”
“How did you keep your secret?”
“Eric and I each had a Were dayman; they protected us.”
“Why did you have to flee?” Godric’s youth showed in the mischievous look he gave Sookie. She giggled and asked. “Let me guess, it had to do with a woman and her angry husband?”
He laughed with her, happy to be distracting her for a short while. “I will not divulge the shameful details, but you were close. It was sisters, a very angry father, and a really big sickle.”
A/N: Hi all. Work is still crazy so I’m keeping to one chapter a week for now. Hope you enjoyed this one.
Couple of things:
Godric didn’t save Sookie? Nope, not from Gabe, not this fanfic. Don’t worry, they’ll be times she needs help.
Circus – something akin to our ‘modern’ circus can date back to 1768 in England. 1800 England puts Eric there for the making of Pam so I felt safe using it.
Why did the Fellowship make them travel? It threw off scents – and I was trying to convey that the Fellowship was learning even the nuances of Vamps – making them a true threat.