“You recovered from the berries faster than I thought you would, my child.”
Sookie was blinking in quick succession, trying to clear the fog of her fainting spell. Who the hell was calling her their child? She squinted at the blurry silhouette, but she did not need the image to come in focus to recognize that long silver beard and hair.
A flare of rage much more potent than she had ever experienced before was coursing through her. Murderous intent was swirling tumultuously in her veins as she looked at the lines of the face that was slowly resolving into a less blurred image.
“What did you do to me?” she grumbled, holding her chest painfully. An ache was building so quickly there that it nearly took her breath away, but it also fueled her previous anger. “Where am I?” Sookie demanded.
“A cell in Elfyria. I know that iron will not hold you, so I have spent the last few weeks having this special chamber made up,” Niall was grinning at her through the thick slits of the bars. The spaces between the bars were so narrow that the woman did not think she could get more than her fingertips through them.
Sookie crossed her arms over her chest in agitation, “Godric will never help you just because you kidnapped me,” she spat.
Niall let out a sharp exhale from his nose as if to snort in amusement, “Help me? Dear girl, for what reason would I need his help?”
“Don’t call me those pathetic pet names. I’m not your child, or a girl. I am Eric Northman’s woman, and of no relation other than biological to you,” she shot back at him. “Call me “you” or call me “woman”, but don’t pretend to be familiar with me, you diabolical asshole!”
“What language,” Niall tsk’d, “Not very becoming of Northman’s woman.”
“I owe you nothin’, especially any type of good manners. You took away my entire life, and for what? To become a baby factory?” Sookie’s lip was curling ever higher with distaste.
Niall actually laughed at that, “A what? You think your offspring, even if their sire was 100% fae, would be worth a pittance to me? As far as breeding stock goes, you are absolutely worthless.”
Sookie frowned with confusion, “But… Fuck,” She sighed, realizing the truth. Just like Eric rarely gave away true information, neither did Niall. An entirely fabricated backstory had been made while Niall pursued Sookie. The question now, was why did he pursue her at all? “Well, you needed me for somethin’. Apparently you don’t need an army, because takin’ me from Eric would just piss Godric off, and he wouldn’t give you what you want. So I’m not a bargainin’ chip. I’m what you wanted, but not for breedin’.”
“Apparently you were not the slow minded girl I was lead to believe you were. That fool Compton misinformed me about your whit,” Niall sighed in mild irritation.
Keeping her face poised, and an ever present check on her emotions, Sookie listened in on Niall’s thoughts. His were difficult to read, but her training over the last year let her navigate the conversation just right to pick up the pieces she needed. The real answers to the questions she asked flitted through the ancient Fairy’s mind as his lips spoke flippant brush offs to her spoken inquiries.
“How was it that you even came to know of me? Fintan didn’t tell you. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have tried to take me away like he did,” Sookie pressed.
“How did my son meet his death? You were there were you not?” Niall had his first real spark of interest in what she had to say.
“You will learn in a moment,” Sookie held her ribs tightly as she felt like they were about to shatter at any moment. She felt like crumbling from the weight of Eric’s end of the Bond, “First, tell me what you did to Eric. He’s in so much pain. It feels like I might die.”
“Ah, yes, I almost forgot that you were Bonded to a vampire,” The look on his face spoke volumes of how he felt about one of his kin, as far removed as she was, being linked to a vampire. “All I did was take you to Elfyria. I never laid a hand upon him. However, there is quite a time difference between here and your former realm. One hour here, is one day in your realm. You have been out for nearly three hours since we came through the portal, so it has been three days for your vampire,” A tell tale smile was curling Niall’s lips. “I suppose you are currently feeling three days of the Viking’s emotions all lumped together, where he can probably not feel much from you, if at all. In fact, he probably thinks that you are dead. I am curious if he let your silly little friend live after I took you.”
Sookie blanched. If Eric suspected Angie being involved in the abduction, he would have killed her without hesitation, “How did you know I was goin’ to be where I was if she didn’t help you?”
Niall snorted, “I gained access to Northman’s phone records. There were a few calls during the day time. Some to your brother, the others to your Wicce friend. I found her residence and tapped her phone, waiting for you to call her; waiting for you to go somewhere public where I could hide in plain sight and finally strike. Your vampire did a very good job keeping you secure, but lying in wait has its advantages. Time can make anyone drop their guard in opportune situations. Thankfully, I had someone monitoring the calls so I could spend my time here while your life zipped by in the blink of an eye. Time can drive one mad, after all,” He was grinning with delight now, “I wonder how long your vampire can last before giving in and meeting the sun?” She could see how much pleasure he took in the thought of her Bonded being in such agony, and it twisted her gut with rage.
“You know that I am a telepath, right?” Sookie ground out, wanting to change the subject and wipe that sadistic grin off of his face.
“Yes, but you have met fairies before and were unable to read them,” Niall smirked, calling her supposed bluff. “I saw that you came in contact with a few so that I would be aware before I left you to rot for a while.”
“Too bad for me,” She sighed, “Did you ever find out what else I can do?”
“You will not be able to teleport out of your cell. I saw that wards were placed to prevent it,” Niall crossed his arms over his chest proudly, as though he believed that he had thought of everything.
“I can’t teleport yet,” The woman rolled her eyes, “Eric bluffed about that.”
“I thought so. It seemed improbable that you would have come in to that power already,” He seemed slightly relieved at the news.
“So, what is it that you think I can do that you want to use?” Sookie tugged firmly at her hair, unable to control her fidgeting. Her body felt coiled and ready for a fight. She had already been unconscious for three hours before this little pussyfooting tournament began, and it had almost been an hour of dialogue now. The internal odometer that she had discovered the only other time she had been separated from Eric, could apparently also count the seconds she spent away from him, too.
“Admittedly, I am uncertain what it is you can do. Normally, I do not take these sorts of gambles, but when I was informed that you alone could take down the all of my enemies, well, that is an opportunity you do not pass up on.”
Sookie sneered at him, “You should have passed,” Niall laughed at her. “If you tell me the truth, about how you knew about me; about why you had those things done to me- I will destroy the Water Clan.”
“That is all you want?” Niall asked, eyebrow raised with distrust. “But how will you know if I am telling the truth?”
“I have seen the truth and lies of faces all my life. I will know,” Sookie assured.
Niall shrugged, “My granddaughter Claudia was a Seer. She foresaw one of our kin growing into a powerful force, one that would vanquish all of my enemies, including the Water Clan. That is how I came to know about you. I knew about you before my son Fintan did.
“When I discovered that you were telepathic,” he continued, “I did not think that would be very useful in overthrowing my enemies, but Claudia assured me that you would be able,” Niall looked at her a moment. “As for why I had those things done to you… Well, when you use a person as a weapon, you need to have their complete loyalty. Since, it is well known that fairy hybrids cannot survive long in Elfyria, I had to make specific plans. My hope was to destroy your spirits to the point that when I showed up and offered a friendly hand, you would see me as your savior and devote your life to me,” The Prince shrugged disappointedly. “Unfortunately, your vampire beat me to that move; the lucky bastard. You are quite beautiful. How unfortunate that the fruit has already been spoiled,” He sighed, and Sookie recoiled when she saw just what he had intended for her.
“You sick son of a bitch,” Sookie growled.
“You were not very hesitant to jump into the Viking’s bed once he saved you, and I have little doubt that it would have been any different if it were I that had found you instead,” Niall smiled smugly.
“You know what Niall, I really am goin’ to kill the Water Clan,” She looked up to gaze into her great grandfather’s eyes, “You just won’t be around to reap the benefits.”
“What do you- ARGH!” Niall screamed as his left arm was ripped from its torso, followed swiftly by the right.
“This is my gift you wanted. Enjoy!” She cried as his left leg was torn away, and then his right once he toppled to the ground. Without hesitation, she blew out his torso, and watched delightedly as her great grandfather’s head rolled across the floor. Internal organs littered the dungeon floor, his intestines dangling like a grim streamer from one of the hinges of her cell’s door.
All that kept the girl contained was a single door, and she had become well practiced at using her telekinesis to open locks. Soon, she was free and crouching down to pick up Niall’s head by its silver hair.
“Now, how do I get out of this realm?” She frowned as she gazed at the old fairy’s horror frozen expression. “I suppose I can ask the water fairies,” Sookie carried the head by its long hair, swinging it lazily like a basket of flowers as she walked through the dungeon. She paused momentarily at the archway, seeing her kin’s heart still trembling, trying to continue beating without purpose. Her foot stomped it flat, any remaining fluid oozing out under the sole of her shoe. It served him right. Crushing his heart as he had tried to crush her soul.
“Grandfather?” Sookie stopped at the call from another cell she passed in the stockade, “Please, Grandfather, please let me go…,” A pitiful voice moaned from behind the iron door. “I can’t do it….”
The telepath reached into the mind beyond the door and grimaced. A female fairy was behind that door, and from the memories the poor creature was recalling, she had been behind that door for a very long time. So long, that she could not remember when she had last been free, or what it was like to bed a man willingly.
Apparently Sookie had not been the only victim of her great grandfather’s greed. Also, it seemed that his want for breeding stock was not complete fiction; it just had not involved Sookie. Instead, Claudine, a relative that Sookie was too irritable to care about discerning a title for, had been bound and raped repeatedly over the course of several years. Never carrying to term, and less frequently conceiving at all in recent attempts.
Using her ability, Sookie unlocked the door and gave it a kick open, “Claudine,” she husked in a grim greeting.
“Who’s there? Who are you?” The weak voice did not even sound nervous, instead it sounded relieved. Perhaps because a woman was calling to her and thoughts of a reprieve from the attentions of her usual visitors was inviting.
“My name is Sookie Stackhouse. Your sister Claudia put me on Niall’s radar, and he brought me here to use as a weapon,” Sookie told her impatiently, blowing apart the manacles around the older fairy’s wrists and ankles, “I can’t offer you any clothes, but I’m sure we’ll find somethin’ for you to wrap up in on our way.”
“You’re goin’ to show me how to get to the water fae,” Sookie announced.
“What?” The alarm in Claudine’s voice was apparent.
Spinning on her heel, Sookie stared into the sunken eyes of her fellow, former prisoner, “You heard me. Now take me to the Water Clan, or you can join your grandfather,” She held up Niall’s head and Claudine recoiled in reflexive horror.
“You did this?” Claudine whispered, staring at the agonized face of her deceased grandfather.
“He wanted a weapon. I showed him what happens when you don’t read the consumer warnin’,” Sookie sneered.
“You’re…,” Claudine gasped as she stared into Sookie’s eyes. The blue irises were purple, almost turning red, “You’re Bonded to a vampire, aren’t you?”
“Yes. To Eric Northman. He is Mine,” Sookie ground out with increasing impatience.
“Sookie,” Claudine took a tentative step back, keeping her voice gentle, “if you have been separated from your Bonded, you are going to become very dangerous to me.”
“I am very dangerous to everyone,” Sookie grinned so darkly that it sent a shiver down Claudine’s spine. The fairy was no longer sure if she did not prefer her imprisonment over being at the mercy of a manic hybrid with powers that Claudine found incomprehensible, and immunities that left the older woman with little chance of overpowering the other. “Now, take me to the Water Fae, and if you make me ask again, well… I won’t.”
“Yes, I’ll take you,” Claudine breathed anxiously. Sookie smirked at the tremble that wracked the woman’s body, delighting in her fear and servitude. The show of submission fed the churning bloodlust for the time being.
“Good,” Sookie stomped up the stone stairway, out of the dungeon, Claudine on her heels. Once they were on an inhabited floor, Sookie grabbed the fabric of a drape they passed and yanked it free from its bar, “Make like Scarlett O’hara and put that on.”
“Just cover up,” she grunted.
The telepath knew very well that this aggressive attitude she was emulating came from none other than her distressed Bonded, but it gave her reassurance. If Eric was this enraged, it meant that he had not given up and tried to kill himself. As long as she could feel his rage, she had time to do what needed to be done.
Reaching out with her telepathy, Sookie took a quick account of the bodies in the building. There were several minds in the dungeons below from which they had just escaped. She could feel twenty minds on the floor they traipsed through now, and there were another forty minds scattered above her on the higher floors. Spreading her mental reach outward, she counted another fifteen guards on the outside grounds.
“This place is crawlin’ with fairies,” That dark grin of bloodlust was curling Sookie’s lips again, and Claudine could not resist pulling away from her relative ever so slightly once more.
Two of the guards on their floor were approaching around a corner, and Sookie did not even break her stride as their bodies exploded, showering the women in a fine mist of blood and sinewy pieces. Sookie felt the woman beside her cringe and grasp at her when she became entangled in entrails, but the hybrid just laughed and licked her bloodied lips. The taste of the crimson fluid intensified the need to rain more of it down.
If it had not been for the boiling rage Eric was providing her through the Bond, Sookie might have been mortified of her actions thus far, but every kill from the inside of the palace to its outer gates was reveled by the fairy pariah. She did not know that every kill made her eyes glow that much more with a violent, scarlet hue, nor would she have cared if she had known. All she knew for sure was that basking in the glory of her murder spree kept her sane enough to remain focused on her agenda, and that was the only reason she did not massacre the entire castle.
Kill as many of Niall’s supporters as she could.
Kill the Water Clan.
Most importantly, but unfortunately the last errand on her itinerary:
Return to Eric.
By the time Sookie and Claudine were off the palace grounds, they were both bathed in blood and had several pieces of flesh sticking to their skin and hair. Claudine looked ready to be ill, but Sookie gave her a firm shake and urged her on.
As the pair continued, Claudine staring nervously at the telepath’s back, the older fairy could see the younger one losing steam.
“Are you okay?” Claudine asked tentatively, more concerned about her own wellbeing in such close proximity to someone as unbalanced as half a Bonded couple.
“I’m fine,” Sookie snapped back, but it was a lie. That storm of bloodlust was receding, and now her heart felt like it was shattering a million times over. Her breaths were more like pants as each one felt like a cold stab to her chest. Tears that she had not summoned were building in her eyes, and an underlying frustration was making it harder to keep them from falling.
“How long have you been in Elfyria?” Claudine asked softly.
“A few hours,” Sookie felt in her heart that it was so much longer, “maybe five?”
“Your Bonded would be without you for five days, now,” Claudine told her.
“Yes,” Was all the blonde responded with.
“He is still alive?”
“That is something, at least,” Claudine sighed. “Are you-”
“Listen,” Sookie spun around, “I have no patience for any conversation with a fairy, unless it is a way to get me home, or lead me to the Water Clan.”
“What is this obsession with the Water Clan?” Claudine demanded.
“They want all hybrids like me, maybe even my brother, dead. It’s kill or be killed, and I’m not fancyin’ lookin’ over my shoulder for the rest of eternity,” Sookie snapped, “Now shut up and show me the way, or go back to your dungeon and rot.”
“You have killed Niall,” Claudine gestured to the head of which Sookie’s hand was still fisted into the long hair, “You have made me ruler of Elfyria.”
“So it was your guards you let me blow up without a bat of the eye?” Sookie was confused.
“Yes, but I would have them killed for treason, anyway. Most of the royal guard has raped me by now. You saved me a lot of trouble,” Claudine shrugged, “That is why I will show you the way to the Water Clan. So that you can pave a way to peace for our people-”
“Your people!” Sookie sneered as she emphasized her personal disassociation with the realm she was trapped in, “I want nothin’ to do with the fae other than exterminatin’ them,” She followed Claudine as she walked on ahead.
“I could give you that job.”
“As an executioner?” Sookie asked, a twinge of enjoyment eclipsing the burning of Eric’s agony for the briefest of seconds.
“Not quite. There are only a few Fae that exist in your realm, and they are of no threat to you. The only threat from the Fae would come from Elfyria,” Claudine explained.
“A discussion for after I remove the cretins of this realm,” Sookie grumbled, “What can you tell me of them?”
“Not much. The past decade or so, I have been Niall’s prisoner, and have been out of touch with the goings on in the moving world,” Claudine frowned, “Their last known headquarters was in a tavern in the eastern city, but they have probably moved since then.”
Sookie rolled her eyes, “Then how is it you are goin’ to help me find them?”
Claudine had an amused look on her face, “I may be out of touch with the world, but I know a lot of things,” She gazed around at the terrain, “If he is still living, he will teleport once we clear that line of stones,” Claudine pointed to what looked like a knee high, stone fence. “That is the teleportation barrier. Once we pass it, we can move through the realm freely,” She glanced at Sookie. “Do not blow him up if he appears. He is not a threat to you or me.”
Sookie was wary, but tried to resist her instincts to “shoot first” and ask no questions after. As they hopped over the stone wall, both paused and waited a moment.
“He is dead,” Sookie frowned.
“Give him a moment, he may not realize….”
They were silent another minute before a loud *POP* rented the air, and Sookie had to use all of her will power not to respond in her usual way.
“Colman!” Claudette exhaled in relief, opening her arms and flinging them about the neck of the tall, dark haired stranger. “By the Gods!” She wept in his disbelieving embrace.
“Claudine,” He breathed in her hair, his dripping eyes pouring out years of withheld tears, “My love. You are free,” Colman sobbed into her shoulder as he lifted her from the ground and rocked her gently in his embrace.
A deep pang rang through Sookie’s body, something more powerful than the rage that fueled her up until this moment. Longing coursed throughout her, and her heart seemed to reach through lands and realms, searching desperately for its other half.
Left alone in her despair as the reunited lovers hugged and kissed, Sookie felt a vaguely familiar thrumming in her chest. Looking down at her breasts, expecting to see a dagger plunged through her ribs and its blade being clenched by her crumbling heart, she instead saw a light. The familiar glow sparked a memory. It was the same glow her heart had emitted when she was trapped in her dream so many months ago. The beacon of light she thought would lead to Eric.
“Sookie,” Claudine was looking away from Colman now, her gaze transfixed on Sookie’s chest, “Your Bonding ceremony, did you use any special artifact?” Her inquiry was hushed, disbelieving.
“The Bloodletting Blade,” Sookie held her hand over her heart. “I think I remember y’all called it Erfea?”
“Erfea!” Colman gaped, “That blade was gifted to a vampire during one of the last vampire fae wars. The king himself gave it to a vampire who spared him a great loss. The young one of Ghal.”
“Yes, Godric of Ghal. I am Bonded to his Child,” Sookie nodded, “You can see the glow?”
“Yes,” Claudine nodded, “Sookie! This is wonderful! Even if I cannot find the Gatekeeper’s Saber, you can still go home!”
“Really?” Sookie asked hopefully.
Claudine nodded, “Ong Zan, Erfea.”
“One Blood, One Soul,” Sookie nodded, showing that she was aware of the translation.
“Ong Zan, Erfea, Coueretella,” Claudine whispered.
“Coueretella?” Sookie repeated.
“To My Heart,” Claudine explained, “It is the Angelic language. A blade forged by Dwarves, enchanted by the Fae, and blessed by the Angels. A pair united by blood and that blade cannot be parted. The Master will always be a beacon to his other half and she can be by his side if she follows the light. Even dimensions cannot keep them parted if they do not wish to be.”
“So, I just follow the light coming from my chest? Why did it only appear now?” Sookie wondered; feeling despair as the aura began to flicker.
“You were not focused intently enough on him,” Colman explained, “When your heart reached for his, it began to open the portal to his side. Even wards and spells cannot keep you from teleporting to him.”
Sookie let out a sigh of relief, “I can go home whenever I wish.”
“Are you leaving now?” Claudine asked.
“I should…,” Sookie gazed down at her chest, seeing the light pulse stronger now, “He is hurtin’ so badly. In our world, he will have been without me for nearly six days now.”
“I understand, Sookie,” Claudine smiled at her reassuringly, “You have already done more than enough for me, for Elfyria.”
Sookie swiped at a tear she had not meant to shed, “Can’t he come to me? He and I could kill the Water fae so fast together.”
“No, he cannot,” Claudine shook her head, “He is Master of the blade, he can only call you, he cannot come to you.”
“He can force you to teleport to him,” Colman explained.
“Then why hasn’t he?” She sobbed, giving in to the pain, losing more and more of her bloodlust as despair robbed away her fury.
“He probably does not know how. He will have to do a blood call, and I don’t know that he would know how to do that without knowing the blade’s power,” Claudine smiled at her sympathetically, “Go, Sookie. You need him just as desperately.”
Sookie was still staring at the light radiating from her chest, silent tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Is that…,” Colman’s voice broke the thoughts of Sookie’s deliberating, “Niall’s head?”
The pulsing light diminished quickly at Colman’s question, and she looked at the head clutched in her hand by its hair. Pushing down Eric’s despair, she instead focused on the constant rage he was suffering under.
“Yes,” Sookie straightened up, “and it is the first of many heads I have and will take this night.” Looking at her relative’s beau, Sookie told him firmly, “Take me to the Water Clan’s headquarters.”
“What?” Colman was shocked.
“I am goin’ to kill them all,” Sookie explained simply.
“You can’t be serious,” Colman was shaking his head, not daring to believe this woman could accomplish such a feat.
“I destroyed Niall and several guards to get you your Claudine back to you. Do you think a few Water fairies scare me?” Sookie raised her eyebrows, that demonic glow raging once more in her eyes and causing Claudine and her lover to take an automatic step back, “Do you know where they hide?”
“I know their headquarters,” Colman nodded slowly.
“Do you know anythin’ of their numbers?” Sookie demanded next.
“About thirty,” he answered quickly now.
“And their security?” she continued.
“Modest. Niall’s been hitting them hard, and they have not recovered from his last bout,” Colman went on, “Their numbers were nearly a hundred earlier this year, but they are waning. They are running low on supplies.”
“And the structure they have made their haven?”
“An old, abandoned Inn at the center of the Queen’s Village.”
“Are there tunnels?” Sookie raised her eyebrows.
“What are Fairy weaknesses?” Sookie pressed.
“Iron will weaken fairies as silver weakens vampires. Lemons are fatal,” Colman offered willingly.
Sookie snorted, “Lemons?” The two fairies nodded, “I will not need either of those, but it’s good to know.”
“She won’t need either?” Colman whispered to Claudine curiously.
“You do not want to know. It is… Unsettling,” Claudine replied weakly.
“Perhaps that is all the explanation I want. Seeing that you are covered head to toe in blood… I was so relieved to see you, I did not realize you were bathed in it!” he hissed to her.
Sookie interrupted them, “I have a tentative plan,” She looked at her relative’s lover firmly. “Take me to an access point to the tunnels under the Inn. Once you have taken me there, leave with Claudine to the edge of town. You will be safer there. You will know that it is over when you see the Inn fall.”
“To the ground,” Sookie assured.
“Then we come back for you?” Claudine guessed.
“No, then I will follow the light back to Eric, and you fairies will leave me alone. Forever,” Sookie declared.
“Sookie,” Claudine cried, “I have something for you, though. The role of Gatekeeper,” she reminded.
“I want nothin’ to do with any of your political crap. I want nothin’ to do with Elfyria, or fairies. I want you all to leave. Me. Alone,” Sookie snapped, but she could already hear Claudine planning to offer her the job once she was no longer suffering separation sickness. Still, she resisted.
“Nothin’, Claudine,” She stomped her foot with finality, the vicious red glow in her eyes making the older fairy quiet.
The group was silent until the male fairy finally spoke up, “I will teleport you as close to the Inn as possible. Have you ever teleported before?” Colman asked.
“Oh,” He grimaced, “Try to relax. It is very disorienting when you are being taken along for the ride. It isn’t as bad when you teleport yourself, though,” he told her. “Claudine?”
“I will move myself. I know where you will appear,” She nodded for him to go ahead.
Colman took Sookie’s hand and she had to resist the urge to recoil at a man other than Eric touching her. In a flash of bright light, she felt as though her entire body was breaking down into tiny particles, and when the flash swallowed itself, those particles came back into formation. Now, she was standing on a cobbled street, old buildings like those you would see in a Dickins novel movie remake lining those roads.
“Ugh,” Sookie doubled over, her stomach doing flip flops, “you weren’t kiddin’.”
“The access point is there,” Colman pointed to a grate in the ground. A loud *POP* sounded beside them, and Claudine stood next to Sookie, between her and the grate.
Pushing past Claudine to get towards the grate, Sookie asked, “Which building is the Inn?”
Colman pointed down the road. There was a dilapidated old building standing at the end of the street, that Sookie found befitting a small, failing revolutionary headquarters. “You will come upon it quickly once you are below. I can assure you that there will be resistance in the tunnels.”
“I figured that much. But they can’t sneak up on me,” Sookie lifted the grate with one hand.
“Sookie,” Claudine called after her, “Niall’s head. May I have it?”
“Proof of death?” Sookie guessed as she lobbed the head at her relative.
“Precisely,” Claudine nodded, catching the head and fighting the urge to shiver.
“Good luck, Claudine,” Sookie nodded at her as she began to lower herself into the hole.
“Best of luck, Sookie,” Her relative nodded back, taking Colman’s hand as Sookie descended into the pit.
It was a slightly deeper drop than the telepath had anticipated, and she felt a jarring in her ankles that seemed to radiate all the way to her knees. Shaking off the little shock to her joints, Sookie took a deep, steadying breath and decided to try out one of her tricks that Octavia had taught her.
With a bit of concentration, Sookie focused her aura outward, ensconcing herself in a thick, blue glow. The ghostly light did not illuminate the din, but created a physical barrier that would trigger any traps that might have been set, giving the woman time to react before she was snared. It was a simple energy work that Sookie had taken to quickly, and one that Eric thought very useful. Right now, Sookie had to agree.
Now that her aura was set, Sookie reached out with her mind, searching for any thoughts and potential threats. She could sense two minds several yards ahead of her, standing a stationary post a couple feet before the subterranean entrance to the Inn.
Approaching the sentries without hesitation, Sookie managed to get close enough before they could react, and killed them instantaneously as she walked through the shower of blood that rained around her.
Though weapons were not really needed by her, Sookie grabbed the saber that clattered to the ground and decided that it might at least pose an intimidation if necessary.
Branching out her mind again, she could sense another guard standing on the entrance just above her. Sookie slid the sword she held into the belt of her sundress and began to climb the ladder to the cellar of the Inn. As she approached the trap door, she used her telekinesis to fling it open and send the guard flying across the stone floor. She was through the entrance and on solid ground before her foe could rise, and she quickly dispatched him like the others.
As the telepath went to the stairs, she felt something new from Eric’s end of the Bond, and it took her breath away. Clutching her chest, she leaned against the cool brick of the wall and calmed her breathing, trying to quell the sudden pain.
“Please, Eric,” she whispered painfully, “just a little longer, Darlin’.” She groaned, slouching down towards the floor, “Please, Darlin. It’s all almost over,” Tears were rolling down her cheeks, and she felt that familiar light begin to pound out of her chest again. When the agony began to abate and the desperation in him became strong once more, Sookie could cling to that desperation and use it to fuel her vengeance.
Able to move once again, Sookie finally ascended the stairway, feeling five people in the room directly above. She had never tried to tear apart such a large number of bodies simultaneously, but she was growing more and more frantic, and she hoped that it would be enough.
Flinging open the door, Sookie did not spare a moment before bodies around her erupted in crimson geysers. The carnage was plentiful, and Sookie wasted no time delighting in it. She wanted to finish this mission and get back to Eric.
“Fuck,” She grunted, stumbling and taking her balance against another wall. She berated herself for thinking of Eric. As desperate as she felt, thinking of her Bonded brought the wretched tortures he experienced into her body, and it was making it too difficult for her to continue. The woman needed to discipline her mind and prevent herself from taking such lapses. Despite how well she was doing, every moment of weakness put her in peril, and her death would not help Eric. “Damn it,” Thunking her head firmly against the wall, she resolved not to think of anything but the next kill.
The next room had another collection of revolutionaries in it. Sookie was glad that the liquefaction of their comrades was quiet enough not to alert others. Another six were in this room, and after disposing of five with such ease, she was confident on this next room. It was as easy as she thought it would be, and she did not feel fatigued at all yet. Still, part of her mind idly wondered if the overpowering stench of the dismembered corpses would not alert the others to the attack. So far she had gone undetected, but a part of her knew that it was only a matter of time, and that she needed to diminish their numbers as swiftly as possible before she was discovered.
There was only another pair of two just before the next staircase, and Sookie barely acknowledged them as they fell in her wake. On the second level, she encountered three more groups in sets of four, seven, and three.
That was thirty so far, but the telepath could sense that there were still others in the Inn. They were on the third and final floor. Three of them, and by their minds, they knew she was there. Sookie was uncertain if they knew she was there all along, or if they had only just discovered her presence. Either way, there would be no sneaking up on them.
“My name is Sookie,” She called up the stairway, “I am here to kill you. Either fight me like men, or try and sneak up on me like cowards. I do not care which, but let’s get this over with.”
Sookie pushed her telekinesis in every direction at the arrival of her assailant, not daring to be wrong about the sound’s origin. A fairy with long black hair went tumbling backwards into an end table, and recovered in time to stare into the demonic eyes of his killer. Those red, glowing eyes were the last thing he ever saw before his body was torn apart, and his life ended.
“There are two of you left. Now what?” Sookie called.
Again, Sookie pushed out with her ability, and another fairy crumpled. However, before she could dismember like the last, she felt a blinding hot pain begin in her back, and penetrate into her stomach. Looking down, she saw a blood coated blade gleaming back up at her tauntingly.
‘Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm,’ Sookie repeated to herself over and over in her head, ‘Eric can heal you as soon as you kill these last two!’
With a terrible, agonized cry, Sookie managed to blow up the fairy she had swatted down in the first blitz, but the one that had run her through teleported away before he could receive the same treatment.
“You won’t wait me out,” Sookie shouted to the last remaining threat.
“You will bleed to death before you catch me,” he mocked, and the constant *POP*-ping as he flurried around the room seemed to add insult to injury.
‘Not if I leave the blade in.’ She remembered Eric telling her that if she were ever impaled like this, not to remove the weapon, that it would stunt the bleeding until he could heal her.
Following the sound of the troublesome fairy, Sookie let out little telekinetic blasts, hoping to disorient him long enough to catch him. When this did not work, and she could feel her power waning, Sookie expanded her blue, physical aura, filling the entire room with it until only a small space remained, and her tormentor was forced to go in the area she left for him.
In a brief instant of surprise and fear, the fairy looked up at the creature that had toppled his revolution and raised his hands as if to plead for his life. No bargains could be uttered, though, for Sookie took her last shot at him. The last of the threats against her was vanquished in a satisfying burst of blood and flesh.
With her remaining strength, Sookie pushed the blue aura out as far, and with as much power as she could muster. The walls around her buckled and began to tremble as they crumbled around her. The foundation shook beneath her feet, and she knew that the structure would cave soon.
“Finally…,” Sookie sighed, falling to her knees, an ethereal blue light encasing her eyes, “…Eric….”