Finally, the wall has been breached and the little lightbulb above my head finally got changed. Writer's Block is a bitch. But, here she is; I feel it's a tad "meh" but serves its purpose in the end. ENJOY :)
Again, I own diddly squat aside from the adorable T.S., Adder and the guys at the end. Thanks to CH and AB for letting me play with their characters.
It was a fairly nondescript building; it's squat, crumbling, grey architecture fit easily into the industrialized feel of the street that shared its name. The only clues that gave it away as being more was the jazzy neon sign glaring in the window, the reverberating sound of blaring bass and the straggle of ostentatious fangbangers that still lingered outside its closed door, wearing little clothing and wielding even less scruples.
"Well, nice to see some things haven't changed," Sookie said dryly as she turned to hide her son's eyes from the exposed flesh outside. "Why are they dressed like they're on the set of some X-rated John Wayne movie?"
Bill parked the small yellow car near the entrance and glanced at the loitering group. "I do believe it is theme night," he said haltingly, as if the concept was completely foreign to him.
As if being a vampire wasn't enough…Sookie thought. "Can you please remind me why we're here again?"
"Sweetheart, Eric is extremely erudite," he explained. "He has walked this Earth for over 1,000 years and has seen a great many things in the process. I feel that he will be our best chance in finding the answers to our questions."
"Do you think it's a good idea to tell him about you-know-who?"
"I would be surprised if he did not know already," Bill said. "But to be on the safe side, let us not mention the little extra details."
Sookie nodded in agreement. "I still don't trust him, Bill."
"In any other setting, I would concur," he said. "But for some unfathomable reason, I trust him in this matter."
"But he's the one that got you into all this trouble in the first place, Bill."
Bill sighed; he couldn't argue with that. "That is true, yes," he agreed. "However, he was the one that came to claim me after my imprisonment. And I also believe that he has watched over you and T.S. these past years, though he feigns knowledge about it. He may be deceitful, dear heart, but he is fiercely loyal to those he considers loyal to him." Bill glanced at his watch: 2:07AM. "It is past two," he declared.
"Let's get it over with," Sookie muttered.
They both exited the car at the same time and helped to extract T.S. from the back. They walked briskly to the door, Sookie holding T.S.'s hand while Bill gently steered Sookie with a hand to her lower back. They reached the worn wooden barrier and, without knocking, stepped quickly inside.
T.S. looked around the bar in awe. This is nothing like Uncle Sam's place…he thought to himself.
The main room was dark and enclosed, giving the patrons a feeling of being in the bowels of a large beast. The walls were painted red and black furniture was scattered about. A small dais with a large chair lay to one side and a long bar took up the opposite. Neon lights cast a harsh glare on every surface. Despite the fact is was after closing time, a few stragglers lingered, either calling for rides, passed out at the bar or leaning heavily on an arm of the undead. T.S.'s bright eyes drank in everything, flitting quickly from place to place before…
A sudden chill trickled down his back and a cold, calculated thought whispered in his head.
Without betraying his interest, T.S. focused intently on the last person he scanned.
A black clad, average looking man was slouched over at the bar, his face half-hidden in the darkness. There seemed to be nothing otherwordly (despite the vampire-vibe he gave off) about his appearance but then that feeling came over the boy again and he knew that man was trouble.
Trouble with a capital T.
Suddenly, a booming voice rang out in the relative silence of the closed bar.
"You missed me that much?"
T.S. heard his mother groan and when he turned, his little eyes widened in amazement.
Before him stood the tallest man he'd ever seen. He was dressed in all black: black boots paired with black jeans and a black vest, a black cowboy hat and a black bandanna was tied around his neck. The ensemble was tied nicely together by a pistol holster slung low across his waist. The only color in his outfit was the shiny, gleaming platinum 'sheriff's' badge pinned to his chest and the long mane of golden locks that peeked from behind the hat. The man smiled wider and spread his arms to show off more of his costume.
"You like it? I think it's very authentic myself," he said.
"You do look the part," Bill commented.
"A regular Rooster Cogburn if I ever saw," Sookie muttered.
The man's smile grew even wider. "There's that charm I've missed. How long has it been, dear Sookie: more than two years, yes?"
"Three years and two months," Sookie answered smoothly. "Believe me, not long enough."
"But you're here right now," the man answered back, his voice becoming terse and his eyes hardening a little. "Tell me, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?"
T.S. listened as his momma began to tell the story of the attack, being interrupted a few times by both his father and the tall man, who asked her a lot of questions and made her repeat herself many times. Bored by the story about something he was at, he let his little mind wander and eventually found himself trying to focus back on the man at the bar. He felt the characteristic chill crawl down his spine before he actually found the man and when he did his eyes widened a bit.
The man had moved closer.
To the normal observer, the man hadn't moved much, if at all from his place a the bar. To T.S., he knew because the bad feeling in the pit of his stomach grew stronger. He listened as the man slowly, silently and surely moved closer.
"Momma," he whispered out of the corner of his mouth. She was busy talking and failed to hear him. "Momma," he whispered a bit louder, this time tugging on her hand clasped in his.
She peered down at him and said, "Hang on, baby," before she returned to her conversation.
"Momma," he said again.
"Thomas Samuel, you're being plain rude," she said, looking down at him again. "Momma told you hang on; she's busy discussing something with Mr. Northman. What's so important that you had to keep interrupting me?"
Before he could answer, a dark blur flew into Sookie and she was flung away from where she stood, her hand being ripped from T.S.'s grip in the process. A pair of pale, cool hands grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and T.S. felt himself moving very fast towards the door. "Momma! Daddy!" he yelped in fright, his arms flailing wildly as he tried to hit any part of the man that would stop him. He watched as they reacted, there movements far too slow for his liking; everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. The door that at once seemed lengths away now lay directly in front of them, the handle being touched by one of the man's pale hands…
Two things happened simultaneously.
Just as the man touched the door handle, Sookie suddenly raised her forearm towards him and her outstretched fingers twitched; just then, the man grunted in pain and he dropped T.S. to clutch his chest. A black blur flew towards the boy and he once again found himself hanging by the scruff of his neck, this time in the arms of Eric Northman. He looked towards the man, who was still grimacing in pain, before he noticed something.
"Like the sky on a clear day," he whispered. The man looked up sharply and all four could see his eyes were a strange, sea foam blue. Despite his pain, he fixed them with his raptor gaze and muttered, "The hunt has only begun." Before they could make a move towards him, the strange-eyed man vanished, leaving no trace of himself behind.
Silence reigned. No one breathed, not even the ones who had to. Eric fixed Bill and Sookie with a stare and asked, "What the hell did you do to invoke the wrath of Congregatio Clausus?"
"You have failed, Adder."
The man known as Adder lay knelt at the foot of the throne, his sea foam eyes cast downward in deference. "Yes, My Lord but things did not go as planned. There were…complications."
"Explain. You started with the vampire, correct? You bested him."
"Only just and it was by chance, My Lord. There is something…different about him."
The man seated in the throne tapped his fingers idly on its arm. "I will investigate the vampire further, Adder. Now, surely you overpowered the woman; she is merely a half-breed."
Adder remained silent for a moment before answering. "She surprised me the most, My Lord. I have reason to believe she is…"
Adder raised his gaze to meet the shiny silver eyes of the man in the throne. "I have reason to believe she is from your clan, My Lord."
The idle tapping ceased and an unearthly silence fell upon the room.
"I could kill you for such thoughts, Adder," the man whispered. "What evidence have you gathered towards such an idea?"
"She has the Touch."
The tapping started again, this time slower, more thoughtful. "You experienced it?"
"Yes, My Lord. It is quite underdeveloped but thrums with untapped power."
The man made an noncommittal sound and the tapping continued, slow and thoughtful. "It appears we have underestimated our prey, Adder."
"I take full responsibility, My Lord."
An indulgent smile creased the face of the silver-eyed man. "Yes, you would." He flipped his hand towards Adder. "You are dismissed. I am giving you a second chance, Adder; pray you don't fail me again."
Adder stood and bowed low, keeping his gaze averted. "Never, My Lord," he said before turning and walking out the grand double doors at the end of the room.
The silver-eyed man waited until the resounding click of the lock came before he made any movements. His hand gently picked up the red phone and one elegant finger pressed the number "2." Almost immediately, it was answered.
"Wisp, it's Wraith," said the silver-eyed man.
"Enlightening. Revenant was up to a great many things before we killed him."
Shall I investigate?"
"No, I have it under control here. Perhaps you could send another Hunter."
"Rattler will depart immediately."
"An excellent choice, my brother. Ab aeterno…"
"Mortui Vivos Docent."
A/N: Congregatio Clausus means "Restricted Congregation." This will have more light shined upon it in further chapters.
Ab aeterno="from the beginning of time"/ Ad infinitum="to infinity"/ Mortui Vivos Docent="Let the dead teach the living"
For those of you still reading, thanks for sticking by my unreliable self. Keep those kick-ass reviews coming my way; they really bring a smile to my face.
Next chapter: SOME ANSWERS!