Godric and Eric each put their closest arm in front of me, blocking the direct path of any of the vampires coming at us. Eric still held his sword, now dripping with Andre's blood. Godric moved his free arm to his back, and removed a similar looking weapon, and they both crouched, at the ready for whatever was coming.
"Sookie love, would you mind telling me exactly how you just threw a vampire almost 25 feet with a simple shove?" I heard Godric's voice in my head ask.
"I have absolutely no clue! I was just so mad, and I could feel the anger coming from both of you, and it was like there was an electric current running through my body. I pushed, and he just flew! Why is Sophie Ann in such a huff? Surely she knew some of her people would die in this fight?"
"Andre has always been her favorite child, and her most cherished lover," Eric said. "Obviously, she is slightly distraught at his passing." Even in the midst of a battle that could leave all of us dead, Eric couldn't resist the urge to crack a joke!
Before anything else could be said, a very large vampire lunged at Godric. Well, maybe the word 'large' isn't quite the perfect way to describe him. Huge would probably be more accurate. He looked like the product of two professional wrestlers morphed into one. He got his arms around Godric and tried to lift him into the air, but Godric was able to swing his sword slightly, cutting the vampire's arm off just above the elbow. As Godric bent to remove himself from the vampires grip, Eric shoved his sword into the vampire chest, and Godric lopped off his head. Apparently, they worked well together.
Each of them repositioned their swords, holding them at the ready once more. As another vampire moved to attack us, I wondered idly why they didn't all just attack at once. Surely a mass attack would make it easier for them to defeat us? I didn't have much time to ponder that however, as a wooden arrow came flying from behind us, hitting the attacking vampire square in the chest, and he crumbled to ash as he collapsed. I turned my head to see Pam rushing to join us, positioning herself beside Eric. She turned slightly and caught my eye, nodded her head and winked at me.
"It does not matter how many of your little minions come to your aid, you will all die," Sophie Ann yelled. It was only then that I noticed that red tear tracks now stained her beautiful face.
"Oh, I wouldn't be so sure about that if I were you, Sophie," came a familiar female voice from behind us. I turned slightly once again, and was shocked to see Isabel, Stan, and about 20 others from the Dallas nest!
"You have no business here, Isabel. I would suggest you leave before you loose more than your new position as sheriff," Sophie Ann added, a look of pure hatred crossing her features.
"Oh, but you see, that's where you're wrong," Stan said menacingly. "This human saved a great many of us during the attack on our nest, and as she is blood bound to Godric, it is well within our rights to assist in protecting her. And let's not forget that the Magister has set an edict that she be protected, no matter the cost."
Sophie Ann was obviously displeased at this turn of events. It was not difficult to see her mentally considering what options she had at this point. Surely, she had to realize that her guards could not defeat all of the vampires gathered here against her. Plus, would she truly want to risk the wrath of the Magister?
"Is it too early to hope we might get out of this without anyone else getting hurt?" I asked Godric and Eric.
"Oh, I guarantee more blood will be spilt before this is over." Godric did not sound pleased, but answered truthfully all the same. "It might not come to a full scale war, however, she will not just let Andre's death slide."
As if she'd been able to read our minds, Sophie Ann began to speak. "Fine. Godric, you and the human are free to leave. Isabel, you will remove yourself from my state immediately. Eric, however, will stay and pay the price for killing my personal bodyguard." I heard Eric snarl, and felt his anger growing again.
"No. He will not." At the sound of that voice, every pair of eyes immediately turned in the direction it came from. Standing on the top of the high wall surrounding the courtyard stood the Magister himself. He crouched slightly and jumped, landing on the ground, and immediately began walking toward the assembled vampires.
"Sophie Ann, you have overstepped your boundaries for the last time. This is no longer your kingdom. You will be replaced as ruler of Louisiana. So, unless you want to die as well, you will end this, and end it now." I was shocked that he was actually giving her an option.
"I will have vengeance for Andre's death." Sophie Ann seemed to not be thinking coherently. Didn't she realize that, if she continued to pursue this, she would be dead whether she won or not? The only way she'd be spared was if she walked away. But, the more I thought about it, I considered Godric and Eric. If someone had killed Eric, would Godric just be able to walk away? I doubted it.
Sophie Ann took a step towards us, and Godric mirrored her movement. "You will not kill my child, Sophie Ann." His voice sounded so rough, almost unrecognizable. The bond we shared flared and snarled. That's when it finally hit me. Eric had spoken before about "the beast" that was always alive inside of Godric, which rarely was let out. I knew instinctively, the beast was ready to play.
Sophie Ann crouched low to the ground and fixed her eyes on Godric. It reminded me of a cat ready to pounce. To my utter amazement, Godric tossed his sword to the ground, and sank into his own crouch, slowly making his way toward Sophie Ann. I felt Eric put his arms around me, and tried to turn me away. "Sookie, you should not see this."
I fought his hold. "Let me go, Eric. Whether I want to or not, I need to see this. I need to know it's over." He gazed into my eyes for a moment, nodded, and allowed me to turn and watch. He did, however, keep his arms wrapped around me, and held me close to his body.
Godric and Sophie Ann slowly circled each other, both still crouched low to the ground, both snarling at the other. It reminded me of a show I'd seen on the Discover channel that showed two male lions battling each other to be the alpha lion. The irony of the situation was not lost on me. This was most definitely a battle for the alpha position.
Sophie Ann had curled her hands into makeshift claws, and once she was within reach of Godric, her arm shot out and she scratched her long fingernails across his face, taking bits of flesh away with her. I felt a stinging burn across my face as if it were me instead of Godric she'd scratched. She smiled at him as she pulled back out of his reach, and resumed circling. I watched in awe as the wounds on Godric's face healed themselves, as he watched for an opening to strike.
This went on for what seemed like hours, but, in all actuality was about 15 minutes. She would strike out at him, and he would reciprocate, each time their wounds would heal before the next strike happened. I was confused as to why the fight was progressing so slowly. Eric understood my confusion, and used his inner voice to explain. "They are testing each other's weaknesses, looking for an opportunity to strike a fatal blow." I nodded, indicating I understood.
As I continued to watch the back and forth, I began to notice something odd. If Sophie Ann would go to her right to attack, her left heel would lift off the ground for a split second just before she lunged, and the same with her right heel going the other direction. "Eric, I can tell what direction she's going to go when her back is to me."
His gripped on me tightened. "Are you positive?"
"Yes. She lifts the opposite heel a tiny bit before she makes her move."
Because he was behind me, I was unable to see his face, but, I didn't need to turn to know he was smiling devilishly. "Godric, we have her. Sookie can tell what direction she is going to strike at. Turn so Sophie's back is to us and Sookie can tell you what side she will go at." I saw a small smirk cross Godric's face, and his eyes widened in anticipation.
A moment later, Sophie Ann had her back to me, and I watched her feet closely. The moment I saw her left heel twitch, I yelled "HER RIGHT!" in my head. At the same moment Sophie Ann moved to strike at Godric, he went the opposite direction, grabbed her shoulder, and plunged his fangs into her neck. As her head snapped up in surprise, he tightened his grip on her shoulder, and pushed against her head with his other hand. I gasped out loud as he used his fangs and strength to rip her almost completely in half. He became drenched in her blood as he pushed her now disintegrating body to the ground. His mouth was open, and blood dripped from his fangs. His eyes were wide and fierce. This was the beast. This was the side of himself that Godric had worked so hard for so long to bury deep within himself. And now, after decades of holding back, he had unleashed it, to save me. I was both terrified, and touched.
As Godric's eyes focused on my face, I felt worry flood the bond. He was nervous about whether I could still love him, now that I'd seen what he was capable of. Eric leaned down and whispered, "Go to him," in my ear, and released me from his hold. Without a moment's hesitation, I began walking towards him, never taking my eyes from his. I pushed all the love and adoration I had for him through the bond, letting him know that nothing had, or ever would, change how I felt about him.
When I was halfway between Godric and Eric, I felt fear and rage ripple through me in waves, being sent by both of them. I turned my head just as I heard Eric yell, "NO!" at the top of his lungs.
And then suddenly, everything around me slowed down. Lorena was only a few feet from me, fangs bared, reaching for my throat. I knew instantly that Godric and Eric were just far enough away from me that she would reach me before they would. I felt the electric charge flowing through me once again, and decided to just let instinct guide me. As Lorena reached me, I turned to put my hands on her waist, whipped around, and used her own momentum to propel her past me. She flew through the air, until, miraculously, her body slammed into a nearby tree. Her eyes widened in horror as she looked down to see a branch protruding from chest. She screamed once more, and then her voice was silenced, and would remain that way forever.
6 MONTHS LATER
Eric was sitting on the ground, his back up against a boulder, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans. I sat between his legs, my back pressed to his chest, as my fingers mindlessly drew circles on his thighs. He chuckled softly as I allowed my hand move higher up on his leg and squeeze. "Have I told you this evening how beautiful you are?" He whispered in my ear.
"Yes, you have."
"Have I told you desirable you are?"
"Yes, you have."
"Have I told you how much I love you?"
I turned to face him. "Yes, you have, but you can say it again if you want!" He laughed and pulled me to him and kissed me deeply.
"I love you," he said, pulling his mouth from mine.
"And I love you." I laid my head on his shoulder, basking in his love.
There was a large THWUMP sound as Godric landed on the ground just next to us, also clad in nothing but jeans. "I swear Sookie, only you would decide to vacation the one place where it was practically impossible to find a cellular signal." I grinned, but held my tongue.
"What news from Pam?" Eric asked him.
"The construction is complete. The concrete should be dry by the time we return, so, we should be able to move right in the moment we get back to Louisiana."
Eric nodded, and placed his hand on my back, absently rubbing circles between my shoulder blades.
I took a moment to reflect on all that had happened since that night in New Orleans. The Magister had named Godric as the new King of Louisiana. Godric, however, said he would refuse to rule unless he was able to choose where to set up his headquarters, and the Magister agreed. We'd arranged for a large, very secure complex to be built on the land that my Gran's house had once been on.
Eric and Godric eventually had introduced me to the man I now know to be my Great-Grandfather. Niall's tale of how I was descended from Fae royalty was hard to swallow at first, but, with my Vampires by my side, I came to accept the knowledge as the truth. I was still learning to yield my new strengths and powers that were given to me with Niall's spell, and I was becoming more and more confident in my abilities.
With a smile, I pulled myself from Eric's arms and stood, walking away from them both. I pulled my shirt over my head, revealing my bikini-clad body. I took a moment to enjoy the way the water reflected the moon so perfectly, before diving in. Once I surfaced, I pulled my bottoms off and threw them on the shore, and they were quickly followed by my top.
"Aren't you going to join me?" I asked as seductively as I could. Faster than I thought was possible, they removed their pants and were diving into the water. I smiled, delighted that I would finally be able to enjoy my lake in Hawaii with the two men I loved.
A/N A huge thanks to JenniferAnn B, vikinglass25, and sunkisz for being my sounding board for this story, and harping on me when I slacked off on my updates. I love you all. MWAH!!!