So this is a little bit later than I meant to get out today, but I’m still not feeling all that well. The good news? It’s a bit longer than the last few chaps! Yay!
Readers, you are all just fantastic. I can’t believe how many people have added me to their favorites now. I did a victory dance when I hit 100. Woot Woot!
 Okay, so here’s what you need to know. There was a question about whether I made up Russell’s motives last chapter or if it was something revealed during a “behind the scenes” clip. As far as I know? I made it up. I just took what we knew about the Sanguinistas in season 5 and paired it with what we knew about Russell from season 3. It seemed like a logical way to go and I wanted to go into detail about what Sookie read in his thoughts. TB never explained why Russell wanted to take over Louisiana or why he was so chill about pissing off the Authority, so I just took that a step further and worked it into my plot.
 What do you need to know about this chapter? Sookie discovers another gift, but it’s a minor one. Claudine used it in SVM for silly things. I won’t say more than that though so that you can be a little surprised when it pops up in here.
 Vampire Sookie returns next chapter! This one’s more Faepire Sookie. She’s working to protect Tara so she doesn’t become completely predatory.
Disclaimer:I do not own TB or SVM. Charlaine Harris, HBO, and Alan Ball do. I just like borrowing their players and starting a new game. You’d be surprised to see how often the Viking scores.
“Do you still have your blade on you?” Godric asked.
I slid a hand into my jacket sleeve and dexterously pulled my silver dagger from its leather sheath, which was currently strapped to my left forearm so it would be easier to reach, and expertly flipped it a couple times before fluidly slipping it back in.
Godric nodded with a small smile, impressed with how quickly I had picked up working with blades. He shut the empty equipment containers as he asked, “Hard drive cloner?” I pointed to the zipped up pocket on the right side of my dark green cargo pants. “USB drives?” I tapped the pocket on my left side. “Stakes?” I unzipped my larger lower right pocket, pulled one out, tucked it back in, and zipped it again. “I want you to take the signal jammer and use it in the room with Tara after…”
After I kill Franklin. I nodded.
“Maybe we should get the button camera after all. Eric and I can stay up and watch you-” he began.
“Master,” I interrupted, “there’s no point. I’ll be fine. Franklin will be in day-rest and I will glamour Lorena. You will be needlessly giving yourself the bleeds if you stay awake.” I smiled warmly and pushed reassurance and confidence into the bond to soothe away his worry.
He eyed me doubtfully for a moment before his shoulders slumped and he nodded, “Do you have your cell phone?” I flashed him the inside of my synthetic leather jacket to show him where I secured it. “Okay, call Fangtasia when you’re done and leave Eric a message. He’ll be worried when he rises.” He sighed, looked me over one more time, and reluctantly stated, “I guess you’re ready now.”
I had to shield my intense amusement and mirth from him since he was so worried and nervous. I almost felt like a preschooler talking to her father on the first day of school. He cupped my face with his hands, pressed his lips to my forehead, and brushed a lock of hair behind my ear before pulling back.
“I’ll be all right, Godric. If you want, I’ll give you a little love zap when I’m done to wake you and let you know everything’s okay?” I suggested. Godric gave me a sheepish grin and shot me gratitude while he nodded.
“You’re a warrior, Sookie. I realized that the moment I met you. Even when you faced insurmountable odds, you didn’t lose your fight. Even when you laid there dying and realized you lost your own battle, you fought for me. Now you fight for Tara in order to free her, you fight for Eric to help him put his family to rest, and you fight for yourself to ensure your own safety and get justice from someone who has wronged you. I am proud of you, min dotter,” he said quietly, pushing me conviction while showering me with pride and love. I sent him my own gratitude and languidly caressed the bond for giving me such a meaningful and heartwarming compliment.
He took a step back and twirled a finger to indicate I should turn around. I did as he asked, confused, and pushed him mirth a second later when I realized he had braided my hair at vamp speed like Eric had a couple nights ago. I turned back around and he smiled brilliantly while he shrugged a shoulder and admitted, “I paid attention when you glamoured him.”
I laughed and pressed a kiss to his cheek. He then walked over to the jammer on the dresser and shut it off before handing it to me. I stuffed in in the back pocket of my cargo pants before zipping it closed. We were now being recorded, but not filmed.
When Godric and I entered the guest suite, I had gone into the bathroom, climbed into the shower, and pulled the curtain closed. Figuring there would be no cameras in the shower stall of the bathroom, I stayed inside it while I focused internally on my light, engaged my light shield, and popped to Alcide’s for the equipment we needed. I left our cameras at Alcide’s in my normal travel coffin, worried someone may check our room while we were sleeping and not wanting them to come across any gadgets, before scooping up what I needed during the day.
After I popped back, I left the bag containing the equipment’s travel cases in the shower with the exception of my nifty little bug scanner, the same one I used at Eric’s club, which I then turned on and used to search our room at vamp speed. There were four bugs in the suite and one in the bathroom inside a flower arrangement, but no cameras anywhere. I then retrieved the bag from the shower and we set up the jammer next before turning on the rest of the equipment, which really just meant the cloner, and now we were getting ready for dawn.
I yawned needlessly, since I never felt the pull of the sun, and stretched my arms above my head dramatically, making Godric’s lips twitch, and tiredly said, “Master, I gotta get to bed, I’m feelin’ the pull now. I’ll see ya tomorrow night.”
He told me to have a good rest while I walked over to my travel coffin and opened it, made some ridiculous noises, and shut it again, making it sound like I had just climbed in. Godric climbed into his own travel coffin, winked at me, and pulled it shut. I heard the lock engage inside and felt him slowly shift into down time. He wouldn’t be awake much longer and I’d be off starring in my own version of Sookie Impossible.
When the sun rose, Godric cheekily sent me the “green light” just before he died and everything quickly fell silent on the emotional front as the last members of my bloodline tucked themselves in for the day and fell into death.
Well, almost everything.
Surprisingly, one of my ties was still active. I focused on it and realized instantly that Eric was still awake. I pushed him curiosity, wondering why he was forcing himself to ignore the pull of the sun, and he made my lips twitch when he sent me back a push that said, Seriously?
Okay, not my smartest moment.
What could I say? I had a lot on my mind.
My stomach flip-flopped though when I realized Eric was purposefully going to stay awake until I called him after this was over. He was so concerned for me that he was fighting his day death to make sure everything went well and I’d be all right.
If he thought he could do anything from Louisiana though, it wasn’t his smartest moment either.
Still, I loved that damn Viking.
I laced our tie with affection, gratitude, tenderness, and sent him an emotional caress while I reined in my light and faded from view. I was extremely glad nobody could hear me when he pushed me back his own affection and a shit ton of lust, making me growl and my fangs drop. I smacked the back of his head again, sent him an admonishment, and flooded him with exasperation. He realized I needed to focus when he felt my scolding and sent me a reluctant apology. The tie then fell silent with the exception of an incredible and continuous amount of support and strength that he was streaming to me.
Did I mention I loved him?
I closed my eyes to really focus on the minds of those around me on Russell’s property. Only two vampires were currently awake, Lorena and Bill, and I could feel them off to the back of Russell’s grounds in the slave quarters. There were several Were guards moving around, but they were very sluggish today, having spent the night before high on V and running around Jackson in their wolf forms. Many of them were regretting that fact and, for the first time, giving serious consideration to stopping V and trying to give up their addictions.
Gee, wonder what inspired them to do that?
Still, good doggies.
Maybe I’d give them all a treat later.
I quickly searched the rest of the minds in the house and narrowed in on the room where I could feel Tara. She was terrified. Not only was she terrified, she thought she was going crazy and was convinced she hadn’t really heard me transmit thoughts. Unfortunately, I had to head to the slave quarters and snag Bill first instead of Tara because Lorena was planning on killing him very, very soon, though I desperately wanted to rescue Tara before him. She was family and should’ve been my priority, but Franklin was dead for the day and Lorena wasn’t. In no world should Bill ever come before Tara.
That just told me how fucked up my world currently was.
I flipped through my mental files and pulled up a memory of the slave quarters and the area just outside it that I had dug out of the mind of a guard last night while simultaneously pushing a thought to Tara, You’re not crazy. I’m comin’ for you. I can’t get to you this moment, but I am comin’ and I’ll be there within an hour.
Shit, Sook! I thought I imagined it all! she frantically thought back, Please come for me now, Sook. What if he wakes up? What then? HE WANTS TO TURN ME!
Tara, honey, I soothed while I popped myself outside the shack housing Bill, Franklin’s dead. Only extreme danger will wake him up. I am coming, but if I rush, I’ll give us away and I gotta be smart so Franklin doesn’t get a chance to turn you. I really need to focus now, but I wanted to make sure you knew you weren’t crazy. You gonna be okay for a little bit?
She paused for a moment, thinking everything through before realizing I was right. I couldn’t afford to make a mistake with her life on the line and she knew it.
Yeah, all right, yeah, she said with a mental sigh and I turned my attention to the building in front of me.
Lorena had stepped out of the room and into another part of the quarters, so now was the best chance I had. Earlier, I had slipped on a pair of leather gloves to both avoid burning myself with any silver restraints and leaving fingerprints anywhere, so I was ready. Hearing the vicious thoughts of Lorena, who was furiously blaming me for all of this, and the pathetic thoughts of Bill, who was thinking he would die honorably for the one he loved, had all of my emotions tightening and nearly disappearing. I stretched myself languidly, rolled my shoulders back, and used a leather covered hand to turn the doorknob and open the door.
My fangs immediately dropped when I scented fresh blood as I slipped into the room and shut the door quietly behind me. The room was extremely dark, the walls were covered in old and decrepit garden tools, rusted chains hung randomly from the ceiling, and the floor was covered in blood. Bill’s blood.
And it smelled nasty.
I’d never enjoyed the taste of Bill’s blood when I was alive, but it never left such a foul taste lingering on my tongue from just the scent before either. Whenever I was forced to drink it, his blood had tasted strongly metallic, like I was sucking on a mouthful of pennies. Godric, on the other hand, had blood that tasted like fruit punch and Eric’s tasted like rock salt and white chocolate, like one of those yummy truffles that melts in your mouth. The drop of Pam’s I had tasted like one of those Red Hots candies, which fit her since she was full of so much fire and snark. Hell, even Jessica’s blood had tasted good. She tasted like gingerbread cookies and brought me back to Christmas morning when I drank from her. Was that because they were part of my bloodline? And Jessica’s tasted yummy because she was meant to be my progeny? Was it because the taste of their blood reflected their personalities somehow? Was it because I liked their inner selves so my mind tricked my taste buds into thinking they were delicious?
I didn’t know. All I did know was Bill’s was revolting and the scent alone had me feeling like there was fur growing on my tongue. I shuddered at the thought of swallowing it.
Bill was currently sprawled out on the ground with his wrists and ankles manacled in silver. Lorena had really gone to town on him and he lost so much blood that he wasn’t healing anymore. Vampires were built to last though and Bill would be fine as long as we eventually fed him some blood. When Bill killed Longshadow, he had the choice of turning Jessica as punishment or being buried in silver for five years, so I didn’t need to worry about him withering away. If a vampire could last five years chained in silver without blood, then Bill could last one day. If anything, the only real danger was him becoming feral and grabbing the closest source of blood to drain. Even if that happened, he would come back to himself in time to stop. Human blood heals us extremely quickly and with injuries like his, where the biggest injury was just being drained, it would only take a couple mouthfuls to get control of himself.
Though part of me doubted Bill could ever control himself.
It was part of the reason he came across as so idiotic.
As I thought through all this, I scoured the room for the keys to his manacles. After my third pass around the room without results, I reluctantly lowered my shield and walked over to Bill, coming to a stop by his head, and whispered, “Bill?”
I kept my voice vampire soft and got close to him so I wouldn’t be loud enough to catch Lorena’s attention. His eyelids popped open and he looked at me with round, wide eyes before incredulously asking, “Sookeh? Sookeh, sweetheart, I kn-“
I kicked him in the side to shut him up and he grunted but kept his trap closed. I brought my fingers to my lips and then pantomimed out handcuffs to show him I needed to find the keys to his chains. He glared at me when I kicked him but slowly began to understand he was being an idiot by talking so loud and transitioned that glare into sluggish blinks. He looked around for a second and finally trained his eyes higher up on the wall by the door I entered through.
Okay, how the hell was I supposed to see that? Who hung them up there? The Jolly Green Giant?
I started walking over to the wall, thinking about how to get the keys down when I heard the other door swing open behind me and Lorena say, “William-“
I spun around at vamp speed, hoping it wasn’t too late to catch her eyes and glamour her when she hissed out, “YOU!” and launched herself at me with the speed of a vampire half a millennium old.
Not having much of a choice but to meet her attack, I threw myself towards her at my favorite Viking vampire’s speed and grabbed the rusted chain hanging from the ceiling between us. I used my grip on the chain to simultaneously hoist myself higher and propel my body across the room, swinging myself at her while furiously kicking my leg up as high as I could, and slammed the heel of my boot into her chest. The wooden heel sunk into her like a warm knife through butter and she immediately burst into blood and goo, showering the room in her remains.
I was feeling pretty damn triumphant and badass when the chain suddenly groaned. I frantically looked up just as a worn link snapped and dropped me hard on my ass in the puddle that was Lorena.
The bitch was dead and she still got the last word.
The room fell into complete silence as both Bill and I absorbed everything that just happened.
“I don’t know whether to clap or laugh-” Bill started.
“Shut the fuck up. Beehl!” I snarled and got to my feet, thankfully only my ass was covered in Lorena. “Did she have a towel she used to clean, well, you off her hands with?”
He somehow managed to chuckle and moan at the same time while pointing towards the door Lorena used when she came back. I slipped through it, found an old-fashioned washroom with a dozen clean towels, and cleaned myself up.
By some miracle, the cargo pants Godric bought me were of such excellent quality that they appeared to be either stain proof or weather resistant, and none of the blood soaked through to the jammer in my back pocket. I was just praying it still worked after I landed on it but decided I would continue only talking to Tara telepathically just in case.
When the chain snapped, Eric felt my fleeting pain and sent me worry. While I washed up, I responded to his concern with reassurance and sent him a push that jokingly asked him, Wanna kiss my booboo?
I then panicked when I felt him start to scour my blood for the booboo in question because I belatedly realized if he sent me a kiss, that would make him an ass-kisser.
Unfortunately, he realized this at the same time I did and his mirth, amusement, and glee shot up. Instead of kissing it to make it all better, though, the dickhead spanked it.
I yelped, it was still sore after all, and smacked the back of his head while I sent him a push that told him he’d look amazing with a sun tan.
After pulling Lorena’s stringy remains off my ass and taking a wet cloth to it to wipe off the blood, I released a burst of sunlight to vaporize the evidence. I walked back out to the main area of the slave quarters, stared back up at the keys on the wall, and was considering my options when the door burst open again.
Oh come on.
Bill flinched when direct sunlight hit him and two Weres walked in, Debbie and Cooter. Obviously, luck was just not on my side today. Debbie walked in backwards, wearing a bikini top and short shorts, teasing and flirting with Coot as she entered. They both turned around and practically started drooling when they realized Lorena wasn’t in the room, apparently not having seen me yet.
“Well, look at that, Deb, looks like they set out a buffet for us,” Coot chuckled.
While Bill pitifully groaned and started begging for his life, I casually slipped my dagger out, raised it in front of me, bent my elbow, and flicked my wrist, throwing it with perfect aim so it sank into the wall behind them, perfectly spaced between their heads.
Working in a bar meant I mastered the art of throwing darts early on in life.
Their heads whipped towards me with glowing eyes and I pushed my influence towards them, quickly sorting their two natures from each other and glamouring them simultaneously. In the voice of a flirty cheerleader, I said, “You both came here before the sun rose hopin’ you could convince Lorena to let you drink Bill Compton’s blood, didn’t you?”
Bill gasped while they nodded. I ignored Bill completely as I added, “When you walked in, Lorena was feedin’ Bill blood and had unchained him. You realized she was goin’ to let him escape, so you did your jobs and tried to stop her. You both worked together and managed to stake Lorena, but Bill slipped past you while you were distracted. The scent of her blood was too much for you and you couldn’t stop yourselves from feastin’ on her remains, gettin’ high on more V. You won’t come down from your V trips until just before sunset, and by then, Bill’s trail will be too cold to follow. You’ll reluctantly tell Russell what happened and beg for forgiveness. I was never here and Bill was already free.”
They nodded and I pulled back from Coot, who immediately dropped to his knees and began drinking Lorena’s blood off the floor. I kept Debbie under my influence and purred, “Debbie, after you and Coot tell Russell what happened, you’re gonna be so disgusted with yourself for drinkin’ the blood of a dead vampire off the floor, disgusted that you touched her remains to get your fix, and you’ll seriously consider changing your lifestyle. You’ll think ’bout where your life’s headed, okay?” She nodded, so I continued, “You’ll also realize Alcide is a good man and doesn’t deserve to be treated the way you’re treatin’ him. Either you’ll come off the V and work on becomin’ a better person, or you won’t. If you don’t, you’ll leave Alcide alone. You won’t keep fuckin’ with his life and leading him on if you stay on V because you don’t wanna hurt him and you know you’re causing him pain, okay?”
I refused to glamour Debbie into giving up her addiction and going back to Alcide. It had to be her choice, her decision, to turn her life around. When it came to things like addiction, the problem was too deeply rooted in their psyches to just glamour it away. True addicts would just find away around it, find a loophole, and end up right back where they started. However, I could hold up a mirror for her and force her to take a long, hard look at herself in it and, hopefully, give her the incentive to decide for herself on whether or not she wanted to continue going down this path. If she truly loved Alcide, she’d give up the V. If she still didn’t want to give up her addiction, then I was fine with glamouring her to stay away from Alcide. I considered him a friend now and Debbie would bring him nothing but pain as long as she was involved with vampire blood.
Debbie teared up and nodded again as she whispered, “I don’t wanna hurt Alcide. I love him. I should come off the V or leave him alone. He doesn’t deserve this and I won’t do it to him no more.”
“Good, Debbie, now bring me my dagger,” I said and she turned and pulled it from the wall. When she handed it to me, I placed the stake Lorena was going to use to kill Bill in her hand and ordered, “You’re gonna soak this in Lorena’s remains. It’s the stake you and Coot used to kill Lorena.”
She took the stake and headed over to Lorena’s blood puddle while I pulled my influence back from her. Bill looked at me incredulously, apparently suffered just a little too much shock, and promptly passed out. I eyed the keys again, frustrated, and wished I could just call them to me like I could call to my blood. I then suffered my own little shock when the keys lit up, disappeared, and popped into my hands.
Well, ain’t that nifty.
Was that how Cinderella’s fairy godmother poofed a dress and slippers out of nowhere?
I chuckled to myself, thinking about all the ways I could use that little ability to fuck with Godric and Eric, walked over to Bill, and unlocked the chain keeping him bound to the floor. I reached over to start unlocking his manacles when I thought better of it. Bill really didn’t need to walk around completely free. He was now my prisoner after all. He was stronger than me and I just killed his maker. Sure, he felt relief right now, but he had to be suffering from the breaking of their bond and I really didn’t need to be attacked and drained for it later.
I’d rather spend a week cursed by a witch than let Bill Compton drink my blood again.
I stuck the keys in the pocket with my stakes before placing a leather-covered hand on Bill. I focused on reining in the light that made me visible, this time including the light also surrounding Bill, and pulled it inwards, towards my core, and absorbed it all into my spark. Once we disappeared from view, I popped us back to the guest suite. I took a look around to make sure the coast was clear and released my light again. Quickly, I removed the jammer from my pocket, turned it on, and pulled out my cell phone. When I saw that my phone immediately lost its signal, I let out a sigh of relief. The jammer was still working if my cell couldn’t connect. I slipped my cell back into my pocket, walked over to my coffin, and entered the code necessary to unlock it. I then vamped back to Bill, picked him up, and carelessly dumped him into it.
It’s not like he could feel it. He was dead for the day.
Not that I cared if he felt it. Actually, I kind of wish he had.
I then shut my travel coffin and entered in the code once again, effectively locking Bill in since he didn’t know the code and wouldn’t be able to open it from the inside without it.
Part one of my mission was now complete. When Alcide retrieved the coffins, Russell’s guards would literally load their own prisoner up in Alcide’s company van for us, thinking it was me inside, and I’d hop into the back still under my light shield.
They’d technically be the ones who released Bill.
Clever, ain’t it?
I turned off the jammer and stuck it back in my pocket before closing my eyes and reining in my light once more. I then reached out with my telepathy again and pushed my influence into Tara’s mind while pulling with my gift and sent, Okay, Tara, girl, I’m comin’ for you now. There’s somethin’ I didn’t tell you before. I told you ’bout how I was a fairy and how we could manipulate sunlight, but I didn’t tell you that I could literally manipulate the light on my skin and pull it into my body. I can pull that light inwards and disappear from view, which is what I’m doing right now, so you won’t see me coming. You won’t see me at all, okay?
I heard nothing but silence from Tara in response as she digested my words. Finally, she hesitantly asked, What? You mean like the Invisible Girl?
I laughed and sent back, Yes, exactly like the Invisible Girl.
Godric and I discussed how to get Tara free and realized there was just no possible way to do it without revealing most of my abilities to her. She already knew about my telepathy because I could send her thoughts and she needed to know about my other ones in order for me to help her escape, so he gave me permission to reveal them to her. If she didn’t react well, I would glamour the memories from her later, but at this point it was likely she’d be thankful for them since they would save her life.
Well, shit, Sook. Please tell me you the only vampire that can do that. I dunno if I could sleep at night if I knew invisible vamps were walking ’round.
Yes, Tara. It’s just me. There aren’t any other fairy-vampire hybrids that I know of and it’s a Fae ability, I assured her.
Well, a’ight then. I can handle one invisible vampire, but that’s my limit.
I kept her distracted with talking about my ability as I focused on her mind and dug out an image of the room she was in. Using that image as my template, a map, I popped myself into her room. While she likened me to the Invisible Girl, I turned on the jammer once again and pulled out my bug scanner to sweep the room for cameras and listening devices. There were two bugs, but no cameras, thankfully. I kept the jammer on but tucked away my scanner and pulled out a stake.
The room Tara was in was white with fancy curtains that covered the wall and created the illusion of having a window. In reality, there was nothing behind the curtains. The opposite wall was covered in weapons Talbot and Russell must’ve collected over the years because some of them looked like they belonged in the Middle Ages. My stomach dropped and a feeling of dread and nausea washed over me as I realized the bed had ropes attached to the headboard. Tara must’ve been tied up all night, though she was free now.
What a sick mother trucker.
Eric flooded me with concern when he felt my disgust and horror. I pushed him reassurance and a feeling of companionship, hoping he would realize I was trying to tell him I found Tara. He pushed me understanding and sent me another wave of concern, making me smile when I realized this concern was directed at my friend. I sent him reassurance once again and stroked him in reward for worrying about her.
Tara was still in bed with Franklin, wearing a white gown that looked like it was taken from the set of Dracula and used for one of his brides to wear. I rolled my eyes at this and I edged closer. Franklin had an arm wrapped around her and a leg slung over her knees, trapping her with his dead weight. Vampires were literally dead to the world once the sun rose, so he wouldn’t feel Tara moving if she slid out from under him. He wouldn’t feel anything at all unless someone forcefully tried to wake him up or he sensed immediate danger, which was very hard to do anything about because vampires were so sluggish when woken early. It was for exactly that reason so many vampires kept their resting places secret.
All right, I’m going to roll Franklin over and you’ll slip free. Don’t go anywhere, there are guards outside in the halls, I warned. She nodded and I walked over to the bed as she did so. My fangs dropped again when I smelled vampire blood. Tara positively reeked of it. He nearly drowned her in it. I’d have to glamour her to forget her blood dreams if she wanted to have any peace at all when she slept.
There was no way now that I could let Franklin live. Even if I had wanted to, had decided to wake him up and glamour him into letting Tara go, I couldn’t with his blood inside her. Franklin was psychotic and he would be way too tempted to manipulate that blood. He would know where she was for at least a year with that amount of blood and he’d be able to torment her with it. Glamour didn’t work so well on the truly crazy, and I could tell from his mind that he was crazy, so I didn’t have a choice.
Not that it mattered, he was going to meet the true death today anyway.
He was getting off easy, in all honesty. My fairy side wanted to light his ass up like the Fourth of July.
I’d always enjoyed sparklers.
I had to end him though. I had to give Tara that small peace of mind and justice for what she’d been through. Plus, he pissed me off last night. Because of him, I had to turn my back on a friend while she was begging for her life and both of my natures agreed with me on this, Franklin could not live.
I came to a stop next to Franklin’s side of the bed, lazily cracked my neck, and lifted my arms in the air, limberly stretching my muscles. Right now, protectiveness, fury, and caution were beating like a drum inside me, giving me my marching orders. Carefully, I rolled Franklin onto his back while raising the stake above my head. Tara immediately shot out of bed like a bullet, making it very obvious she’d had a lot of blood, and I brought the stake down. He opened his eyes and his fangs dropped just as I plunged the stake into his heart. I popped away to get myself out of the splash zone as he burst apart.
Tara shoved her fist against her mouth and bit her knuckles to keep from screaming. I dropped my light shield, bringing myself back into focus for her so I didn’t frighten her more and she launched herself at me with incredible speed as soon as my form began to brighten. My features were still shifting when she laced her arms around me and started to cry. I brought my own arms around her and hushed and soothed her while we rocked from side to side. I tunneled through her mind and reviewed the last two days and the horrors that she went through while I hugged her.
Tears spilled down my own cheeks when I realized she had to sleep with Franklin to get access to his blood. My scent was still masked, so nobody would smell my blood when they investigated later and I wasn’t worried about it. I was more worried about my friend.
Tara had been afraid she was hallucinating when she heard my voice in her mind the night before and thought she’d have to get herself out of this. She also thought there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to come for her and that she might even have to come for me if things had gone wrong, so she drank as much as she could to make herself strong enough to injure Franklin during the day and hopefully fast enough to escape. It was a form of rape, plain and simple. She had been kidnapped and raped.
Eric, that beautiful man, felt my emotional upheaval and cranked up the level of support and strength he was sending me while simultaneously stroking me from head to toe with tenderness. He reinforced our tie with security and confidence and I nearly purred from the amount of affection he then pushed me.
Feeling bolstered by the emotions Eric was sending my way, I reached deep inside of myself for the peaceful green light I used twice before. I pushed that light into her while we hugged each other and reached across her mind to steal the terror from her. I pulled back from her, looked her in the eyes so I could push my glamour at her, and started doctoring up her wounded psyche. There was no way in hell I would make Tara live with this. It was already difficult for her to accept I was vampire and this would scar her for the rest of her life. I wasn’t willing to let one bastard hurt her so badly.
I mended the fractures in her psyche and stroked a cool, soothing touch over the parts of her mind swollen with terror, placing my cooling influence on it like an ice pack and held it there until it receded. I worked and worked until she relaxed and her mind began to radiate tranquility. With the combination of my glamour and my fairy light, Tara would look back on this moment without fear. It wouldn’t cripple her and that was just fine with me. I’d help her close up this part of her life just like I did with Lafayette.
“Tara,” I said softly and seductively before giving her instructions very similar to the ones I gave Lafayette, “You will never dream of Franklin, you’ll never have nightmares about vampires, being turned, or being kidnapped. Yes, you’ll remember everythin’ that happened, but it’s just a memory. You got justice for what he did and you can close the book on this chapter in your life.”
She nodded and her lip trembled. A relieved tear slipped out and I caught it and popped it into my mouth with my free hand, still pushing the light into her with the other. I quietly added, “You won’t be afraid of Franklin anymore or afraid of vampires in general. You’ll feel the same way you did before Franklin walked into your life. You decided when you saw I was vampire that you’d judge us each individually. I was proud of you when you thought that, Tara, and that’s what you’ll go back to thinking.’
“Everythin’ you saw and will see me do today you’ll add to the protective block. All the abilities I show you will be tucked away and you’ll never mention it to anyone besides me and Godric, okay?”
“Okay, Sook. You kept me safe, I’ll keep you safe. I promise,” she whispered and another tear slipped out. My heart squeezed with love and Eric promptly scooped it up and absorbed it into himself, radiating pleasure and ecstasy back to me and making my lips twitch.
“If anyone ever asks you, the vampire blood helped you to be strong enough and fast enough to grab that mace on the wall, snap the wooden handle off, and stake him. Then you simply ran off the property,” I finished and pulled back my influence. “Okay, girl?”
She nodded slowly and hugged me again. I focused on a spare pair of shorts and a shirt I had back in Bon Temps and called it to me while we embraced each other, delighted when they popped into my hands. When we broke apart, I said, “Put these on and we’ll destroy that awful dress, then I’ll get you outta here.”
While Tara changed, I pulled the mace down and snapped the handle off. I handed it to Tara to get her prints on it before dumping it on top of Franklin’s remains, coating it in blood. I explained to Tara when she touched it that everyone in Russell’s mansion knew Franklin was psychotic. They wouldn’t come looking for her because of this. In fact, many would be grateful to her for his death. There had to be a print on it though in case they checked it out and she understood.
It’d be considered self-defense if Tara had done it and even vampires understand the will to survive. Me? I’d get in trouble like Bill did for Longshadow and I couldn’t risk that.
I quickly shot a concentrated blast of sunlight at the dress and the stake I had used to kill Franklin, completely destroying them both and obliterating the evidence. Tara stared at my hand wide-eyed when I did it, but didn’t hesitate to quickly place her hand in mine when I explained I was going to pop her back to her apartment in Bon Temps. I asked her to invite me in so we could pop directly into her place while searching her mind for a recent memory of her living room to use as a map. I closed my eyes to bring it into focus and when I opened them again, we were in her apartment.
She turned to me with a sad smile, hugged me once more with every bit of suped up strength she had left, and whispered, “Thank you, Sookie. Thanks for savin’ me, thanks for killing that fuckin’ bastard, thanks for bringin’ me home, and thanks for healin’ me. I know that’s what you did because my heart doesn’t hurt anymore. I love you. I love you so much, Sook.”
My heart squeezed again and I hugged her tighter to me while I whispered, “You’re family, Tara. My kin. I will do anything to protect my kin. I love you.”
I kissed her on the cheek and we broke apart slowly. She wished me good luck back in Jackson and I smiled at her while I pulled my light back into my core and disappeared from view. I watched her sigh with relief and head over to her phone to call Lafayette before I popped myself back to Russell’s, having got a final glimpse of her thoughts and relieved to know she’d be just fine. Back in the mansion, I started the final part of my mission, downloading evidence from their computers and cloning any cell phones I found and hard drives I couldn’t access by myself. Thankfully, the last leg of my mission went smoothly and I was able to gather all the evidence we needed without interruptions or being caught.