*A/N: Yay! The rescue is near!*
It was a good thing Tony had chosen the most highly reinforced SUV in the palace fleet because while they were still more than a GPS-affirmed ten minutes away from their destination Andre and Eric received mutual slams of strong fear and seething anger from their respective mates.
It was also a good thing Tony, per Tracy’s suggestion, had added an additional layer of protection from the sun in the form of a thick tarp cut into pieces and duct taped over the windows inside the back of the SUV because the enclosed vampires were, in Tony’s opinion, flipping the fuck out.
Except for the front seats, all seating in the elongated vehicle had either been removed or folded down so that the entire back of the elongated vehicle was now a flat cargo area, but even so there simply wasn’t room for two tensed-up, snarling vampires, much less five.
He felt for the guys, he really did. He knew how he’d feel if his mate had been kidnapped, well, if he had one, and from what he knew blood-suckers felt things even more fiercely than Weres did. He didn’t understand the Queen herself coming along, though, even if he knew that she was friends with the Emma girl.
In all honesty he couldn’t blame them for coming out even while the damn sun was still shining, either. He’d taken all the precautions he could think of to make the trip as safe for his charges as he could, too. He’d have to make sure the Boss knew the tarp idea had been Tracy’s genius at work – credit went where due in his mind.
He glanced down at the GPS screen again and cursed. According to the device, they were still six minutes out and the vehicle was already vibrating from the growing and snarling in the back.
All the pretty electronic gadgets they’d brought had long been forgotten.
Emma stared in fear at the dark voids on Sookie’s glowing face that she assumed were her eyes. They could hear movement, more screeching of metal against metal, and the muffled voices were growing louder all too quickly.
“…said to leave’em the fuck alone till they got here,” one gruff voice ordered impatiently. He had an unusual accent that Emma couldn’t quite place.
“I know, I know,” replied an obviously long-suffering other voice. “I jus’ wanna see what they look like what with the trouble we had to go through to get them and what all they’re worth.”
“They’re fangbanger whores, what do you think they look like?” This new speaker had that same odd accent. Emma thought he sounded as though he were sneering as he spoke. “And we didn’t ‘go through’ any trouble at all; we lucked up on their asses at that cafe they tend to visit.”
“A two-fer,” snickered a different voice. “That was pure dumb luck!”
Emma didn’t appreciate the man’s vocal glee or the ensuing smug sniggers of agreement from some of the other males. She startled when Sookie’s hand touched hers, then held still as the blonde leaned over to whisper.
“Stand up, then when they come in, you close your eyes as tight as you can, but be ready to run.”
She nodded then suited action to agreement.
“Come on,” whined the long-suffering voice, now slightly closer. “I jus’ wanna see’em. I didn’t get no time to really look at’em when we snagged’em and they must be real pretty to be worth the money even we’re gettin’ paid. Hell, that telepath alone should bring a pretty price!”
Emma felt Sookie grab her hand, and she returned the hold hoping to provide what comfort she could.
“I know Blondie’s the telepath, but what’s that other’n? Besides, we gotta do it now before the rest of’em get here. It don’t take that long to dump off a bunch of dead’uns.”
Accent One replied tersely, “The other one is the future King of Arkansas’ human whore. She’ll fetch a good price just for the novelty value alone. And no.”
Accent Two chuckled nastily before joining the conversation. “I’ve been told that some fanger will probably pay damn good money for her vamp-fucking ass. Bitch won’t last a week not with how bad they hate the idea of a human being their queen. Like he said, ‘they’ll make her pay for thinking she could rule her betters‘ and they’re not going to want to smell your Were stench on her when they tear her up that first night, either, so keep your damn paws off her.”
Emma felt distinctly ill and funneled all her fear and revulsion to Andre through their bond. She held Sookie’s hand even tighter for her own comfort now – this was not sounding so great.
Andre felt Emma’s heightened fear and without his Maker’s and Brother’s hands holding him down he would have lost it. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sigebert’s huge paw on the Northman’s shoulder and knew the other male was likely just as enraged.
Their snarls drowned all other sounds in the vehicle.
A glance at the GPS screen cued up on the one open tablet showed they were now within four minutes of their destination… surely in their protective gear he and the Northman… could blur that far without sustaining…
“No,” Sophie-Anne commanded, both to Andre and Eric and to herself. Emma’s fear had easily seeped through the familial bond Andre shared with his Maker and Siblings, and she was hard-pressed to keep from erupting through the protective confines of the SUV herself.
The risk to her beloved progeny was too great, however. Instinctive loathing of the sun’s killing rays kept her aware enough of the danger to prevent such foolish if understandable actions.
Cloth, no matter how supposedly protective, did not overrule centuries of ingrained caution. She was risking her Children and herself more than enough by riding in a vehicle out in the damn afternoon sun as it was!
And, if worse did indeed come to worse, Andre could always Turn the girl. She would be a very welcome addition to her little family. Fuck, she would even Turn her herself if it came to that, and she knew of course that Sigebert would do the same. It was time for him and for Wybert to become Makers at any rate.
As if Andre would allow anyone but himself to Turn the girl unless the situation truly warranted it.
Her grip on Andre and Eric’s shoulders tightened. That privilege should by rights fall to Andre, anyway, if it came to that. She was his, and he was hers. But nothing could happen if her beloved Children burned in the late afternoon sun, damn it!
She checked the GPS screen. Three minutes…
Emma and Sookie listened with heightened senses as the voices kept drawing ever nearer. Each grew more and more pissed off as they could now clearly overhear their captors joking about the kind of ‘treatment’ they were likely to receive from whoever bought them for the highest price.
The misogynistic suggestions were lewd, cruel, and disgustingly horrifying, and while many things were mentioned to an accompaniment of crude laughter, no one gave any names of either the parties interested in buying them or the parties responsible for the kidnapping.
By now Emma could feel that Andre was closer, and was almost dizzy with the force of the love and strength he kept flooding her with through their bond, and for that she was very thankful, but the longer she listened to the assholes somewhere on the other side of the door, the more frustrated she became.
Not one name had been spoken and they really needed that information. She hoped Sookie was having better mental luck.
The shrill ringing of someone’s phone pierced the low guffaws and snickers, and everyone quietened abruptly. Emma squeezed her eyes shut and listened as closely as she could in hopes she’d hear a name.
“Yes,” Accent Two answered. A long minute later, he spoke again, “Of course, sir. We’ll wait here.”
They heard the sound of a phone’s button being pushed and were shocked by how near their captors actually were.
“Come on. No sense standing around,” Accent Two ordered.
Both Emma and Sookie held their breath when it sounded as though the footsteps were now heading away from them.
Knowing that the vampires in the back wouldn’t be able to see out of the vehicle’s front, Tony announced his intentions just before he finally turned sharply onto the small backstreet behind the antique brewery building.
The change in the vampires’ attitudes was instant and although he knew he was safe, the hairs on the back of his neck still rose.
No longer snarling or weaving side to side, no longer growling and shifting with barely-held tension, all five fell eerily still and quiet.
“Two vehicles, one car, one SUV, parked directly in front of the metal door,” he reported.
Knowing the large SUV’s strongly reinforced capabilities, Andre ordered tersely, “Ram them the fuck out of the way.”
“Brace,” Tony cautioned and, just before impact, all five vampires grabbed their weapons of choice and braced themselves.
With a thunderous crash their vehicle rammed the side of the parked SUV which in turn shoved the smaller car out of the way.
Almost immediately after impact Tony quickly reversed several feet, threw the vehicle back into drive, then with the angle corrected he rammed directly into the old metal door.
The door, weakened with age and imperfect construction, gave way immediately. As it flew quite a few feet into the darkened room and landed with a deafening clang, five battle-ready vampires clad in black spilled from the back of the SUV.
As no one was in the first large space, each vampire followed their senses and within seconds found the two Weres and the two Dae just then standing up in the next room.
In very short order and with surprisingly little noise considering the combined fury in the second room, Were and Dae body parts were severed and landing wetly against dingy walls and rusted pipes.
Arterial spray painted odd patterns on those dingy walls and moistened the filthy floor, but no one noticed.
As Eric licked a splatter of mid-shifted dog from his mouth, he realized that the blood of his enemies was, as always, delicious.
Andre refused to be rushed in the dismantling of his chosen foe. The Dae, according to the slightly acidic stench of the fucker’s blood, fought well, he would have to give him that, but after losing finger after finger after thumb, the male’s hold on his dagger was inept at best.
Well that just wouldn’t do.
Andre grew tired of the swordplay – he wanted his Emma in his arms, and he wanted her there now.
Several thrusts and hacks later…
Poor thing. It was even harder to fight without arms.
Just as Andre allowed his thirsty sword to relieve the man’s shoulders of his head, from the corner of his eye he saw a very bright flash of light.
Emma and Sookie both jumped when they heard what sounded like a loud car wreck somewhere close by, and when what sounded like a metal door flew from its hinges and landed, the painful ringing in their ears took a moment to settle.
All that noise combined with what each could feel through their bond with their vampire told them that the cavalry had indeed arrived.
Emma could have wept for joy and in fact chose to politely ignore the sudden wetness in her eyes. She knew they weren’t saved yet, knew they wouldn’t be safe until they were in the unharmed arms of their mates, but damn things were finally looking better.
Still clasping each other’s hand, neither dared utter a word in fear of missing clues as to the action unfolding beyond the door of their prison. Both could hear quite clearly the Queen’s shrieks of rage and Sigebert and Wybert’s beloved battle cries. Unseen by Emma, Sookie smiled privately when she heard something Eric yelled that the brunette couldn’t make out, but other than that, both were mildly surprised by how little noise there actually was.
Granted it was three Dae and two Weres against five pissed off battle-ready vampires, so it was actually a bit of an unfair fight for the upcoming losers, so maybe that accounted for the lack of prolonged battle sounds.
Suddenly the door to their prison was wrenched open and faint light entered the room. One figure stood in the open doorway for a moment before he began running toward them.
It wasn’t anyone either woman knew.
Instinctively Sookie raised her right hand, her left still clutching Emma’s, and shot a blast of hot white light at the intruder.
Emma remembered the previous caution so upon seeing Sookie raise her arm she squeezed her eyes shut. Almost instantly thereafter she smelled what she would have sworn was burnt putrid smokehouse barbecue.
For a brief moment everything was eerily silent.
“Can I open my eyes now?” Emma figured it would pay to ask.
“Yeah, he’s gone.” The almost smug satisfaction in Sookie’s voice was well deserved.
Immediately thereafter the ladies were swarmed by five bloody vampires and far more slowly by three clean Weres who were, thankfully, on their side.
Her breathing slightly hindered by the strength of the arms now holding her to a rock-hard chest, Emma gladly ‘suffered’ and returned Andre’s relieved, joyful hug.
The long, hot kiss that followed was politely ignored by the others, as was the equally passionate embrace between Eric and Sookie.
Sophie-Anne looked on proudly as Andre then loosened his hold on Emma so that he could perform a vampire ritual as old as the first vampire ever created. Emma, for her part, stood patiently still as Andre ran slightly trembling hands down her body from the top of her head to the tops of her feet, and back up again.
She refused to look over at Sookie who was receiving the same vampire version of a check-up from a similarly relieved Eric for fear of succumbing to a case of stress-relief giggles.
Eventually satisfied that his mate truly was fine, Andre once again took his woman in his bloody victorious arms. and viciously fought the desire to weep tears of relief.
Knowing that his bloodlust was only minutes away from overcoming his common sense, he instructed everyone to return to the vehicle.
Once everyone was safely inside the SUV and they were on the road, Andre, with his Emma firmly ensconced on his lap, was overheard whispering, “I really don’t like waking up without you, Em.”
**A/N: So…what did you think? It was great being able to get Emma and Sookie back into the arms longing to hold them again!**