**A/N: … **
Without taking his eyes off Sookie’s glowing form, Eric reached unerringly for the intercom and bid the driver to pull over at the first available spot.
He hoped they were far enough away from Compton’s place that their pause wouldn’t be noticed, but there was no way they would miss Fireball Sookie…
Within the next minute he felt the vehicle gently swerve then come to a complete stop, and was mildly relieved.
The glow coming from her body wasn’t static as if a bulb were lit beneath her skin; it expanded and receded as though it was a living thing with multiple facets. He could feel warm whispers of whatever power she was harnessing or tapping into brushing over and against his skin but felt no fear.
Strangely, he got the impression that it knew him, that it knew he wasn’t a threat.
Minutes passed as he watched in fascination until finally curiosity and a small ping of fear got the best of him. She was so bright he cast a shadow and couldn’t look directly at her.
Was she really supposed to be this bright? That was a lot of light…how could she hold that much power in her body?
“Sookie? Are you ok?”
A notion that he took to mean “Shut-it, I’m busy” appeared…as if by magic…in his mind, and he leaned back with a silent chuckle.
His Sookie was full of surprises, it seemed. Time was of the essence, unfortunately, but he would let her be for as long as whatever this was took. Her tone in his head indicated that she was concentrating strongly on whatever she was doing, but hadn’t seemed at all uncomfortable or stressed.
With a mental slap to his forehead, he tapped into their bond. As expected and to his relief, she was fine. Warm, busy, intrigued…and fine.
He couldn’t wait to hear what she was doing, though, and would definitely ask about what seemed to be a form of mental communication when they had time to discuss it.
Eventually the internal light show faded and she seemed none the worse for wear as she turned to face him.
“Feel any magic in the air now?”
He cast his senses out and, sure enough, she had more than earned that hint of smugness in her eye.
“None. What did you do?”
“It took a lot longer than I thought it would take since that was some sort of witch magic, and I’ve never had to deal with it before. But I finally figured out how to follow the trail of that magic. I used it to locate the poor glamoured witch being made to cast all sorts of nasty things in and around Bill’s place. After that I broke Bill’s shitty glamour-hold over that poor old lady and absolved the spells she’d cast. I may have healed her arthritis, too, while I was at it, but I’m not sure. I tried, though, because she deserved a break after having to deal with his ass.”
As Eric absorbed that information, she started giggling. At first the sounds were delicate and ladylike but they quickly grew into outright guffaws.
Finally she managed to ask, “Did you know that burns caused by fairy light don’t heal fast or right on vampires?”
As a wicked gleam entered Eric’s eyes, she nodded quite happily.
“It seems while he held the witch under his glamour he thought it was fine and dandy to prance around her naked. Let’s just say that not only have his, erm, genitals not fully regrown…,” she trailed off as she succumbed to more giggles.
“Eric, apparently his former, um, length…is now a baby carrot!” She laughed so hard that tears streamed down her face.
Unable to hold in a few of his own chuckles, Eric withdrew a couple tissues from a box hidden in the armrest beside him.
After dabbing at her face and calming down some, she continued. “And the trump card? His hand…! From what I saw in her mind, his wrist has sprouted this tiny little hand with stubby little fingers! He’s bald at the top-back of his head, and parts of his butt seem to still be missing. And his skin tone in the places where he has finally healed? In her mind it had this strange yellowish-orangey cast!”
Although he appreciated the deviousness of Compton’s “suffering”, he was far more entranced by the sight of his Sookie having such a great laugh at the idiot’s expense.
“But the best part? Eric…the best part? His, um, carrot? It oozes! Apparently it’s infected? And he has to wear some sort of male adult diaper to catch whatever it is that comes out of it! The last time he saw her, he had her brought to his bedroom so that he could force more glamoured instructions into her mind, and she watched him dress, and the first thing he put on was a diaper! Eric! If it wasn’t for the other things I read in her mind, I’m not sure I would be able to look at him with a straight face tonight!”
“What other things?” Humor was fine and good, and he knew his Sookie needed these moments of levity, but the night’s business was far too serious to take lightly.
“I think…I think she realized, well, if not exactly who I was she at least figured out that I was trying to help because she somehow used her witchy power to show me some things that I guess she thought I should know.”
Eric realized it was serious because she began faintly glowing again, but this time the outer boundaries of light held a fiercely cold edge.
“Iron. Whole areas somewhere in the lower part of the house, maybe the basement, have a ton of iron in them. I couldn’t get a sense of how anything was arranged or exactly where or whatever, but her witchy power had sensed a massive amount of iron, and the tinge I got from her is that it’s new. There was something else, too. She definitely thought hard about how he has three teams of men ready to do his bidding tonight. Now I don’t know if they’re humans or vampires, but from what she thought to me, he has these three teams going to three different houses, and she thought the addresses at me. Guess which houses they’re at right now, just waiting for his signal,” she ended with ax extremely pissed-off expression.
Eric hissed, his fangs extending to their fullest length.
“Exactly. Yours, mine, and mine. I guess he figured that if you were here, I’d be free for the takin’, and I can only guess for what.”
For a long moment, he stared into her eyes and thought…and thought fast. His face hard, his neck and shoulders tense, and his hands subconsciously clawing, he seemed to come to a resolution.
“Sookie, I want you to return to Fairy tonight. Now. No,” he firmly cut off her attempted interruption. “No, this is no badly organized, spur of the moment plan we’re walking into. Whatever he has arranged, this has taken time to organize and implement. He has put a lot of energy and resources into not only acquiring you but in keeping you contained, and I think you can only begin to imagine his purpose.”
Sookie started to argue with him but quelled that instinctive reaction. The anger and outrage in his eyes were only natural given the situation, but there was also real fear, too.
Eric did not scare easily, and that fear was for her.
Iron…teams of men…at both houses and at his house…while he was conveniently at a forced-attendance event…
“But what about you? You’d be walking into a trap, Eric, and I don’t like that one little bit.”
Seeing that she wasn’t going to automatically fight him on this, he relaxed back into his seat a little.
“I’m expected, and now that the witch’s spells have been uncast, their purpose has been voided.”
He thought for a second.
“Can you use your power to cut the power to the house, and interfere with any back-up generators?”
“Sure, that’s no problem. But Eric, I can strike Bill dead from right here. Now that my power recognizes him from when I zapped him before, I can actually locate him anywhere, so that honestly wouldn’t be a problem.”
The look in her eyes caused his own gaze to soften.
“I know, my Sookie, I know, but you need to be able to see with your own eyes when he meets his end. You need to know beyond the shadow of any doubt that he no longer exists. But we need to find out what plans he has made and who his partners are.”
“So we steal his computers and stuff. He’d have all that on his precious computers,” she offered.
“Maybe he would and maybe he wouldn’t. He is not the vampire you thought you knew once upon a time, Sookie.”
She shivered, and her light pulsed brightly a few times.
“Ugh, he was never anyone I knew.”
She looked away for a moment before focusing on her fingernail.
“I don’t want to leave you, and I don’t want you going in there alone. This situation feels worse by the second. And besides, if they’re at our houses, where will we go? If I go back to Fairy tonight, how will I know that you’re ok or what’s going on? And where will you go come dawn?”
Eric parted his lips as if to speak then whipped his head around to look out his window.
“Sookie! Go! Go now!”
Before she could say a word, the doors on each side of the limo were suddenly wrenched off their hinges and thrown aside.
She immediately gathered a ball of light in each palm, leaned past Eric, and aimed them with deadly accuracy.
More men – vampires – appeared, their fangs and snarls promising death for at least one of them.
Eric dove for a hidden compartment beneath the front passenger seat and withdrew a short-sword and a dagger.
Concentrating on her objective, she missed the transformation of his “suave, debonair” expression into that of the ancient warrior as he blurred from the back seat directly into the mêlée.
To the sound of the driver meeting a painful end she hurriedly brought forth and hurled more balls of light out her side of the vehicle. Unfortunately, however, her power resources were failing quickly because of her earlier activities and she knew she couldn’t maintain this level of magic for long.
Not entirely sure of how she had done so before, she tried to speak into Eric’s mind again but couldn’t know if he had received her “run toward Shreveport while I disappear in a blaze of blind-their-ass glory” message…until with a double parry and a thrust he snarled, “Yes! Now!”
She centered what power she had left and…nothing.
She gathered and threw another volley of fire before trying again, this time desperate to simply gather Eric and leave the scene, maybe even to pop herself and Eric into her nearby former home, maybe to hide in the underground cubby even if Bill’s guys were at her house…something…anything would be better than this…
She had the same results.
With an internal scream when she heard several gun shots on Eric’s side of the deconstructed limo, she focused once again, this time harder and more desperately than ever.
Kicking and screaming she was pulled from the seat, and just as she saw an iron net being flung at her from above, the air around her went dark.
Her last impression was of an enraged Viking’s war cry..
**A/N: See why I ducked? So………………….what’d ja think?? (resumes hiding)**