Keep Me Ch. 20

Chapter Twenty:

Sookie smiled excitedly as Eric pulled his Corvette into the freshly paved driveway of their new home. “A few months” had become nearly a year by the time Godric had his court in order, and any signs of displeasure over his ruling were quelled. Now it was almost February, and Eric’s new property had a beautiful, single story, French colonial resting far from the road on the couple of acres he had purchased.

Pam had been instrumental in overseeing the execution of the house’s construction. She was going back and forth from the property and New Orleans for several months after Eric and Sookie had both agreed on a blueprint. Pictures were taken and e-mailed to Eric who showed his excited Bonded the steps it took for the house to come to life. A few of those pictures included Jason waving to the camera, hardhat on his head and thick leather gloves on his flailing hand. Eric had chosen his, for lack of a better word, brother-in-law’s firm to build the house. It had surprised Eric to know that Jason Stackhouse was a head contractor for Jackson Herveaux’s construction company. He had thought he was more aware of the Were’s subordinates than that.

“It looks beautiful!” Sookie cooed as they came up to the garage, “I can’t wait to see it in the daytime. The color looks just like I hoped it would!” She had chosen a pretty blue for the siding, and the masonry work was a ashy toned granite. Since it was still winter, the landscaping looked a bit underwhelming, but they both knew that in the spring it would be breath taking.

“Do you like it? Better than the pictures?” Eric asked as he came around to open Sookie’s door for her.

The girl took his hand as he helped her from the vehicle, and gave that hand a good squeeze, “It’s the best!” she assured, pulling him up to the front door, “Let’s go in this way. I want to see it from the beginnin’ not startin’ at the kitchen.”

Eric laughed and let himself be lead to the door. Finding the freshly cut key to the front entrance, he opened it, and found the light switch quickly. The foyer immediately flooded with a brilliant, warm glow. Before Sookie could step into the house, Eric reached out for her and hoisted her into his arms over the threshold.

“I love it when you do cheesy stuff like that,” She giggled against his chest before turning her chin up to ask, silently, for a kiss. His lips met hers without delay, holding her in his arms as his mouth moved against hers. “Mmm,” she hummed against his lips, “I should put up that ward, then we can do the tour.”

“Yes. You are not too tired from the trip?” he asked.

“No, I’m fine,” she assured, dropping to her feet as her Bonded slid her small frame down his chest and to the floor. Walking through the archway into the main hall, she continued on into the formal living room to begin casting.

The telepath made quick work, or as quick as could be expected considering the energy and time the spell took, to place the ward upon the new property. Though Octavia had needed time to prepare herself, Sookie had enough strength and energy to begin the casting without preparation. This had astounded the elderly witch during their practices, and she had shook her head in both amusement and utter amazement.

“Do you need to rest now?” Eric asked, brushing his fingers over her hair that was gathered at the nape of her neck once she had finished her task.

The girl was thoughtful a moment before shaking her head, “I want to look around the house first,” She grinned, her eyes big with excitement.

“All right,” He gestured his hands, “You have seen enough of this room, I take it?” He took her small hand in his and took a right out of the formal gathering room. A double door on the left took them to a large dining room, which Sookie had begged him to include. Though her family was small, and most did not eat real food, a part of her yearned for having a place to gather on holidays, and maybe have guests with whom to share festivities.

An archway further down the hall and to the right lead to a good size kitchen with a breakfast nook and connected openly to a TV room. A French door was in the back of the living room that lead to the pool she could not wait to see the next morning. They paused only briefly to look in the utility room with its washer, dryer and cleaning supplies. Next they checked out the two spare bedrooms that were down a separate hallway.

Doubling back, the pair peaked into the study, several large bookcases now housing the ones Pam had transferred from Eric’s old residence. There were two desks sat looking across from one another, both with computers and a plump settee flanked by two wingback chairs. A handcrafted chess table sat near a bay window, tempting another round between the couple. However, they left the study and continued to the final room.

“Oh my God…” Sookie mumbled as Eric opened the door to the master bedroom. “This is absolutely perfect!” she cried, lunging for the familiar bed from Eric’s safe room. The room was almost a perfect replica of their room back at the old house. She noticed a few changes, though. There were windows in this bedroom, and a set of French doors that opened on to a lanai. The dresser was gone, and in its place was a door. “What’s in there?” she asked, pointing from the bed.

“That is the entrance to the bathroom,” he told her, collapsing onto the bed, “There is a door beyond that which is the toilet, and then the door just after that is a rather spacious closet that Pam managed to max out three of my credit cards filling up,” Taking her leg into his large hand, massaging the back of her calf, he continued, “And I believe you now have a department store’s worth of shoes to break in.”

“Is this the same mattress?” Sookie asked.

“No. The furniture is new. It merely looks the same. I wanted everything to be new; a fresh start together. But I was aware of your connection to our bedroom, and wanted to at least give you a bit of familiarity,” He bent over to kiss her leg as he finished rubbing it.

“You treat me so well,” She leaned in to capture his lips, “What do you say we break in our new bed?” Sookie bit her lip suggestively.

With a gentle rumble of his chest, Eric crawled up the length of her body, his mouth seeking out his lover’s along the way while Sookie was leaning back further and further. When Sookie was lying back against the bed, his lips finally pressed to hers, and Eric allowed his weight to envelope the small body beneath him.

“Mmmm,” She sighed at the familiar weight, snaking his arms about Eric’s neck to hold his mouth to hers. Their bodies undulated slowly at first while they kissed, but soon, hands began to wander, and lips began to roam.

“Ahh!” She exalted as Eric’s lips began to travel down her throat, along her chest, and his fingers began undoing the front of her dress. His teeth found a hardening nipple through the thin lace of her bra. Nibbling and sucking through the material, Eric groaned when Sookie’s hips arched against his stomach impatiently. “Oooh!” She groaned as he gave a harder tug than usual, her fingers grasping for the long locks that flowed from Eric’s scalp. He gave a low, impassioned snarl as she pulled at his hair. “Oh my God,” she gasped at the noise he had made, feeling it all the way to her sex. That was now her favorite sound to hear from his mouth.

The vampire did not miss the response his snarl had elicited, and he stowed this development away. He would be sure to make her work for that noise in the future. Her nails were dancing sensuously against his scalp now, and it made his eyes feel lazy. Sometimes he had to wonder if she had turned him into her pet in the last year. That idea made him pause.

“Sookie,” He pulled away, much to the girl’s disappointment.

“Wha’?” she asked dazedly at the sudden change in pace.

“Do you know what tomorrow is?” he asked happily.

“What?” Her brow furrowed as she thought.

“Tomorrow is exactly one year from the day I brought you home with me.”

“Really?” Her eyes brightened at the news, “That makes me sound like a lost kitten or something,” she giggled.

“You seemed like a timid rabbit to me. The way you trembled at first, and how every sudden noise made you jump out of your skin…,” He kissed her shoulder and gave it a brief nip.

“I like that we moved into our new home so close to when I first came to live with you last year,” She pulled him into a long embrace, her legs wrapping around his narrow, muscular torso, “But I’m not a virgin this time, so get that beautiful butt of yours in gear!” Her legs flexed to emphasize her need by pulling his pelvis against her own harshly.

Eric laughed, diving in for another kiss before he began his slow torture of exploring the rest of her body. As his lips came to her needy sex, the vampire took one of her hands in his, placing it gently on her mound. Sookie tensed slightly, but Eric knew that she would. Their year together was unneeded for him to know that touching herself was still a difficult thing for her to do. The first time he had attempted coaxing his Bonded to try had resulted in a complete breakdown and ended any sexual explorations for the evening. Now, nearly six months later, he wanted to try easing her once again into being able to gratify herself.

Despite her sexual prowess, Sookie’s experience with her late guardian’s deviances had left her scarred mentally. Eric had come to recognize her aversion quickly, but still wished to liberate her from the hindrances Hale had instilled.

Leaving her hand to rest on her pelvis, his own palm covering the back of it, Eric’s tongue lavished her wetness with its own. The woman arched at his ministration, eyes squinting shut at the sensations he provoked.

“Keep your eyes on me, Lover,” Eric murmured gently. He wished for her to see him as he taught her to pleasure herself, not wanting her mind’s eye to wander and recall the man that had forced her to fondle her intimate area. Sookie’s eyes strained to remain opened, and she gazed down at him, reaching with her free hand for a pillow to prop herself up and keep her stare trained on him.

His hand that rested upon hers began to pull her tiny digits closer to her swollen clit. His lips kissed her fingertips as his tongue swiped at them, providing extra moisture as they came in contact with her excited, little bud. Gently, at first, he manipulated her hand to circle her clit, and she groaned as his tongue continued to flicker eagerly against those fingers. “Mmmm,” she hummed as she began to find a pace.

Chancing a glance at her face, Eric saw her lip worrying between her teeth. “Calm, Lover,” he soothed between tentative strokes of his tongue. Sookie nodded jerkily, still with her lip between her teeth. Eric sent as much assurance and calm as he could, lacing it with his desire. Slowly, that burdened lip worked its way from the clenched pearls of her teeth, and Sookie’s hand cautiously began to play between her folds. “Good girl,” Eric kissed her inner thigh reassuringly.

A bit bolder now, Sookie fingered her swollen bud, letting her thoughts be lost in Eric’s silent coaxing. The way he kissed the back of her hand as it tickled her fingers, how he licked her inner thigh hungrily, it all helped her movements become more confident. When she choked on the tiniest of moans, Eric growled approvingly, and nearly began to pant as her movements became more frantic.

“Yes, Sookie,” He bit her thigh with his blunt teeth, “Just like that, Lover,” He growled, making the girl moan again. “My Sookie,” Another nibble and the girl arched against her palm with a soft cry.

The vampire kissed her limp hand as she panted above him, her legs trembling as he licked her fingers clean of her juices.

“I… Still…,” she gasped between breaths, “Like it… Better… When you… Do it.”

Eric nuzzled her thigh as he laughed. Then, crawling up the length of her body, he kissed her lips soundly.

“Thank you,” she sighed against his mouth.

“It was all you, Lover,” he assured her.

Pulling away gently, she narrowed her eyes at him, “No. It was you,” Her back arched quickly as Eric’s hips shifted and pushed his length deep within her, “Ah! Th-that wasn’t fair,” She groaned, her hands gripping his shoulders at the sudden intrusion, but welcoming it all the same as her hips tilted to meet his.

“I like watching you touch yourself,” Eric murmured into her ear as he began rocking gently against her, “Knowing that you wish it were me doing it… It is intoxicating,” He was nibbling on her shoulder now as Sookie held his upper arms tightly.

She groaned as he filled her over and over again. Her body moved in accompaniment to his with the practiced grace of someone who had come to know another’s body better than her own. Sookie arched as he collided with her sex, and he curled into her to meld their forms together as she did.

Eric could not recall a time that he had enjoyed the continued company of a human for this long. True, Sookie was not entirely human, but then again, he could not think of a time he had ever enjoyed the company of a fairy for this long, either. For as much as she complicated his existence; she made it that much easier. Sookie relieved the tedium of a thousand years, but made all strifes worth overcoming.

As he made love to her, for whatever time he had lost track of long ago, it always felt familiar and new at the same instance. He knew how her body would respond to his touches, but the noises that her lips formed were like listening to a favorite song. A song that made you want to sing along. And he did, with his own responding growls and groans.

As they peaked, Eric snarled into her ear, making a pleasurable shutter ache down her spine, “Mmm,” She sighed happily, her arms encircling his neck and holding him close, “Tell me we’ll always be this way,” she murmured.

“You know that we will,” he answered, kissing her temple lovingly.

Over the course of their months as a Bonded pair, they had discovered although Eric and his vampire bloodline could stay aware indefinitely, Sookie’s mortal body needed reprieves. She slept very little, and could remain awake for days at a time without signs of fatigue. However, sleep was required for at least one day out of the week. Sometimes, when stressed, Sookie’s body demanded more than a single night’s sleep, and a few hours of napping were necessary.

Eric let his lover gather those needed hours now, and went to his study to familiarize himself with the goings on of Area 5 in his absence. Luis had been able to handle both his area and Eric’s during the time he had been needed elsewhere, and had left a full report waiting in Eric’s e-mail inbox.

Reading through the information quickly, Eric was delighted to find that there were no situations needing his attention. Luis had been a good choice for his delegations, and this pleased the Viking. The last thing he wanted while settling Sookie into their new home was drama of the vampire political nature.

It was almost ten in the morning when Sookie came stumbling into his study, bleary eyed and a little dazed. “Mornin’,” she mumbled curling in a wing backed chair.

“Good morning,” Eric replied, rising from his desk chair to come over and kiss her crown, “Are you feeling all right?” he asked, noticing her puffy eyes and a peculiar dissatisfaction in the Bond.

“Period’s comin’ up,” she grumbled, drawing her knees closer to her chest.

“Ah,” He knelt in front of her chair, kissing her knee, “Would you like some of my blood?” They had discovered that his blood dulled the ache of her womb, though vampiric magic could not help the hormonal implications of her menstrual cycle.

No words were needed when her doe eyes gazed at him beseechingly, and he pricked his finger on an elongated fang before offering it to her. She suckled it greedily before sighing in relief, “Thank you,” she murmured when the wound had closed. Her legs uncoiled from around her chest and her body relaxed, “I was wonderin’ if we were busy tonight?”

“Not as of yet.”

“I wanted to call Angie and see if she would be interested in meetin’ up,” she began tentatively, “We’ve really only ever talked on the phone, and…”

“After being surrounded by vampires for so long, you wanted to rejoin the human race?” Eric guessed with a knowing smile, “I am surprised that you do not wish to see your brother?”

The girl shrugged a little defensively, “I’m a bit nervous about seein’ him right now,” she admitted.

“Why is that?” Eric already knew.

“I haven’t been around people in a while. Octavia was the only one, but she always hid her thoughts from me. She knew how to do that and I’m nervous that I won’t be able to block after bein’ away from humans for so long,” she explained.

“And you would rather not accidentally pry into your brother’s head,” Eric finished for her.

“I don’t want to risk losin’ the illusion that he’s only got good thoughts about me,” she agreed.

“All right. Call your Witch, and we will see if she is amicable to meeting us this evening,” Eric nodded before standing up straight once more and going to his desk. “Try and get her to join us earlier in the evening. Though it is not set in stone, I would like to spend some of the later evening addressing my neglected duties as Sheriff.”

Sookie nodded before leaving the study to retrieve the phone in the den. Flopping onto the chaise that rested just beyond a coffee table in front of the cold, stone fireplace, Sookie dialed one of two phone numbers she used; the other’s being Jason’s cell.

Hello?”

“Hi, Angie, it’s Sookie,” Sookie smiled as she spoke to the witch for the first time in weeks.

Hey, Sugar! How are you?” Angie sounded happy to hear from her.

“Good. Back in Shreveport,” the girl replied.

Really?! Do you want to hang out?” Sookie laughed at the suggestion since that was exactly what she wanted.

“Yes, actually, that’s why I was callin’,” she beamed, “We haven’t talked face to face since before I went to live in New Orleans.”

I know!” The other woman sounded as though she were pouting, “I was afraid you would never come back, but at least you called me regularly.”

“That’s true. So, where would you like to meet, and is it okay that Eric will be with me?” Sookie asked tentatively.

Of course it’s okay!” Angie laughed as though it would be completely unthinkable to have Sookie go anywhere without her vampire half, “Why don’t we meet at Ranchester Café? I know how much you like your coffee.”

“Sounds great. Can we meet early tonight? Eric might have some business to attend to later this evenin’,” she explained.

Sure. I think sunset is around 6. You two should be able to get anywhere in Shreveport within a half hour, so 6:30 at Ranchester?” Angie suggested.

“Perfect! See you tonight!” Sookie was grinning from ear to ear as she hung up the phone and went dancing back to the study. Eric was sitting at his desk once again, a telltale smirk on his face. He had been listening.

“I am glad to see you so happy,” He pushed away from his desk as Sookie came loping over to perch in his awaiting lap, “6:30 at the Ranchester Café?”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded as she nuzzled into his chest.

“That leaves us some time, then,” He tilted her chin back for a kiss, “What would you like to do?”

Again, words were not needed as she took his lips with a heated want. They spent the remainder of the morning, and most of the afternoon making love all throughout their new home before it was time for them to prepare for their evening out.

“You look radiant, Sookie,” Eric smiled encouragingly at his woman while she fidgeted in front of the mirror self-consciously. She was wearing a navy blue dress with white trim at the sweetheart neckline and short sleeved cuffs. The full skirt accentuated her hips that had finally begun to fill in.

Together they went to the garage, and Eric handed her the keys to the little sedan that was parked next to his Corvette, “Would you like to drive?”

Sookie gave him an astonished, though excited look. He had begun teaching her to drive while they were living in New Orleans, but it was very rare that he handed over the keys.

“Yes!” She grinned, snatching away the keys with delight. Eric chuckled and got in the passenger’s side of the BMW while his Bonded slid into the driver’s seat, buckling in quickly. Cautiously, she pulled out of the garage, blushing when she overran the driveway by a little bit.

Soon, they were on the road, Eric giving her directions to the café where they were going to be meeting Angie. He could feel through their Bond how anxious she was, despite her initial enthusiasm. Luckily they made it to the establishment without hindrance, and Sookie pulled expertly into an empty parking spot. When she was out of the car, she dove into Eric’s arms and hugged him thankfully before pushing the keys into her little, white purse.

“Check your shields,” Eric reminded her as he gave her a small kiss.

Sookie did as he told her, and secured her mental barriers before they walked to the buildings entrance. They got a table by a window, Eric with his back to the wall, gazing out the glass wearily. She knew that he was still anticipating an attack from Niall, but she had to wonder why Eric would believe the Fairy Prince would bother walking through the front door. Still, she supposed that he was being diligent in his caution, and could not fault him for that.

The young woman ordered a dark roast coffee, and delighted when it came to her and she drank it greedily after adding some cream and sugar.

“Deja vu…,” Sookie mumbled as she sipped her coffee a bit slower.

“What is that, Lover?” Eric asked, playing with her tiny fingers.

Sookie shrugged, “Sittin’ in a coffee shop, waitin’ on a witch. I hope this night ends better than the last time,” She laughed towards the end of her reverie, “I don’t expect Pam will be in the mood to hand out another hug if it doesn’t.”

Eric smirked. He would have paid to have seen his Pam consoling a weeping Sookie. However, since he did not like the idea of seeing Sookie cry, it was, hopefully, not a circumstance he would be privy to witnessing.

“Here comes your witch,” Eric told her, and Sookie looked up in time to see a familiar girl walking past the window. Angie had changed quite a bit. Not in fashion, but her hair was no longer black and green, now it was platinum blonde with a purple peek-a-boo framing either side of her face. Sookie had to giggle at herself. If nothing else, Angie at least kept her look fresh.

“Hey, Sooks!” Angie beamed as she caught sight of the giant Viking in the corner, and then saw the tiny woman seated beside him, “Evening, Viking.” Eric raised his eyebrows at her nickname for him. “Jeeez, you’re even bigger than I remembered,” She huffed, flopping into a comfy chair near Sookie. “It’s a miracle that Sooks can even walk the next morning with a big ol’ stud like you rolling around with her every night!”

Eric shook his head at the witch’s antics. Though he had not forgotten Angie’s absence of a filter, he was out of practice at being spoken to in such a manner. “You have been well, Angie?” he asked disinterestedly.

“Yup. Work, bills, and spells. No real changes, other than the hair. I think I’m on color 5 since I last saw you,” She grinned at Sookie, “So, what’s been happening with you, Sugar?”

“Well, Eric and I just moved into our new house last night,” Sookie told her, “It’s really big, and there’s a pool out back, but I haven’t gotten to swim in it yet, ’cause it’s still too cold.”

“You have a pool? You’re so lucky,” Angie pouted, “Tell me about this Octavia woman. What’d she teach you? Can you teach me anything new? Was she nice to you?”

Sookie giggled at the grilling her friend was giving her, but responded to the questions in kind, “She taught me about wards and mostly protection spells. I could probably teach you a few of them, but I don’t think you’d have much use for the ones I focused on learnin’. She was very nice to me; she was even nice to Eric and his bloodline.”

“That’s cool. I’m glad that I’m not the only witch that is mellow with vamps. Well besides you, but you don’t count because you were over the moon for one before you knew you were a witch,” Angie chuckled, “And you said Octavia could block her thoughts from you?”

Sookie frowned, “Yeah that was something she was teachin’ me to do too. I don’t know why exactly, but she made it seem like there could be others like me? I don’t know. But you know how I said that different creature’s minds have a different color and tone?” Angie nodded, “Well, Octavia’s mind was golden. It was like a fine layer of metal surrounded it like a shield, and only let the sounds resonate within it. I guess I say “gold” because even though I couldn’t hear her thoughts, she still felt warm and inviting. A part of me knew I didn’t need to be afraid just because I couldn’t hear her.”

Angie smirked, “Your intuition was speaking to you.”

The other girl shrugged, “I suppose it could be that. I’ve only trusted my instincts a few times without the additional aid of my gift,” She squeezed Eric’s hand lovingly, “I think it’s done me good so far.” Eric smiled down at his Bonded, sending her a fresh wave of love at her declaration.

They chatted like that for a while, and Sookie was halfway through her second cup of coffee when she began to feel warm. She took off her white, knit throw and fanned herself with her hand.

“You okay, Sugar?” Angie reached forward to touch Sookie’s forehead, but stopped at the glare from Eric, “Oh, right. Bonded. No touching,” She grimaced apologetically, “Sorry.”

Sookie gave her head a little shake, as if trying to clear it, “I feel weird,” she said breathlessly.

“Weird how?” Angie asked.

There was a long pause, Sookie’s mouth slightly gaping as she watched Angie’s lips moving, “Like… Your lips are movin’, but the sounds comin’ from it slower than they move…,” Sookie tried to explain, but her words were sluggish, almost drunken, “I think… I’m gonna be sick…”

Despite not being allowed to touch her, Angie helped Sookie stand up, and took her off to the ladies’ room. She managed to get Sookie’s head over a toilet in time for the girl to vomit, as well as pull the blonde hair from her face as her body shook with the force of her retching.

Although Angie had no intention of watching the girl vomit, she could not help but notice that the liquid spewing from the girl’s lips was red. Not blood red, like she had ingested vampire blood, or like she had ruptured an ulcer. It was bright red, tingeing towards pink, a color that a stomach full of coffee would not regurgitate.

“Sookie-,” Angie began, but was unable to finish as a loud *POP* sounded in the tiny room, and a blast of light sent her flying forward. Her head cracked against the tiled wall above the toilet tank. Sookie managed to recoil back from the bowl and avoid having Angie fall on top of her.

Still delirious, Sookie turned slowly to see a tall man standing in the door of the stall. Though she had never met him, he was familiar to her. She had seen his face many times in the minds of different people. Eric and Godric both had shown her this face with their telepathic connection. Though he was old, and his hair and beard were silver with the apparent age, his eyes were more alert than any his age should be. They were cold, calculating, and maybe more than a little smug.

“You have many immunities to things that would kill or debilitate most fairies. However, even you succumb to the crippling effects of haspberries,” he laughed.

“Niall…,” Sookie tried to focus, to push him away, but she was too weakened by whatever it was Niall had slipped her. She tried to think of how he had managed it, and began cursing her coffee order.

“Now, it’s time to take you home at last,” Niall reached for her.

Sookie tried to scramble away, but Angie’s unconscious body was lying between her and the space between the stall wall and the floor.

With all of her remaining strength, Sookie shouted telepathically to her bloodline, ‘Niall HAS ME!’

Niall’s hand reaching for her was the last thing she saw before the world became narrow and dark, and then there was nothing.

Eric burst through the bathroom door in time to hear the distinct *POP* of a supernatural. Though he knew he was too late, he still searched the bathroom for his Bonded. In a momentary instance, he felt her reappear several miles away, and then there was nothing.

He could no longer feel Sookie. Not just her location was a mystery, but also her emotional state. Eric could not tell if she was injured, or how scared she was, and it was killing him. Pacing the tiled floor like a caged tiger, Eric snarled to himself as he searched the Bond for any emotion that was not his own. Instead, all he found was emptiness where her heart used to beat alongside his still one.

It was as if Niall had reached inside his own chest and extracted his heart, or syphoned his very soul from his body. Could pain like this exist? He had lost limbs on the battlefield before and regrown them painfully over time. He had been burned by daylight and chained in silver. He had been staked through the eye and continued to battle and not been in as much agony as he shouldered now.

“Uhng…,” A distressed murmur came from the floor, and Eric glanced down and saw Angie rising slowly, holding her throbbing head. She let out a pitiful cry as she was dragged from the ground and slammed against the stall wall, sending it flying from its brackets to crash against the floor. “Ah!” She let out a strangled scream, grasping Eric’s forearm, recoiling at the blazing eyes of the demon before her. “Please…,” she whimpered, her feet flailing fruitlessly for solid ground, her arms flexing as she tried to brace some of her weight on his arm rather than let him hold the bulk of it by her throat.

“You took her from my sight,” Eric snarled, his eyes flickering tongues of ice, “You put her in danger, and now she has been taken because of you!” He flung her like a rag doll across the bathroom where she crashed into the opposite wall.

Angie let out another cry, gripping her side that had smashed into the hard tiles. “Eric, please!” the witch moaned, “I didn’t know! I’m sorry, I didn’t know!” She sobbed on the floor, her body aching all over from being thrown around by first Niall, and now Eric. “Please…,” she begged, breathless from her worried tears.

The vampire straightened up, “If I do not get her back,” he turned toward the door, “I will kill you.”

With that, Eric left the room and the café, leaving the broken woman to lie on the bathroom floor until another human came and found her ten minutes later. Distantly, he recognized the use of a silencing charm. Niall had enchanted the ladies’ washroom so that what took place within the walls of the room, could not be heard by anyone else. It was why the vampire had not been alerted to Sookie’s endangerment sooner, and why no one came to Angie’s immediate aid when he had tossed her about like a crumpled paper.

Eric flew into the sky, moving at full speed to the place he had last felt Sookie’s presence. He was surprised to land himself in a graveyard. To his right, a decrepit old farmhouse sat, and to his left, another crappy old house perched upon the hill of which the tombs rested in the valley. There was no mistaking the scent in the air; the stench of Niall, and the sweet aroma of his beautiful Bonded.

But why had Niall brought them here? He looked around again, but there was nothing new to be seen. Letting out a snarl, he decided that the last remaining portal to Elfyria must lay somewhere in the graveyard, but without fairy blood, he could not find it, and without Empyrodite, he could not open the gate.

Whipping out his cell phone, Eric called the only one he knew he could, “Master,” Eric whispered.

I know. I heard her cry as well,” Godric’s voice was just as quiet as his, “You need to bring yourself to me. You and Pam must come back to New Orleans as quickly as you can.”

“Godric,” his voice was pleading.

We will fix this, Young One,” his tone was trying to be soothing yet firm, “But you will begin losing your control soon, and I cannot risk you rampaging. As your Maker, I order you to bring your Child here to New Orleans.”

“Yes, Master.”

On to Chapter Twenty-One

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