Dead and Alive

A/N: I don't own the Southern Vampire Mysteries or any of the characters. Sole copyright belongs to Charlaine Harris.

***Dead and Alive is set after From Dead to Worse (number 8) if you have not read up to this point in the series my story may not make sense.***

Chapter One

Sookie was feeling rotten. It had been three weeks since she had seen a vampire and there had been no trouble in that time. Life was ordinary or at least as ordinary as it gets for a girl in Bon Temps. She knew she should be thankful for the peace but sitting alone watching a documentary about the making of Twilight she couldn't help but feel a little blue. Amelia would be back in two days after a week visiting her father in New Orleans. Sookie only had two days off work and she was trying to enjoy the rare time alone but her mind was relentless.

Yeah as if vampires could really fall in love with a human. She thought bitterly as she listened to the reporter describe the 'new Romeo and Juliet'. And vampires DON'T sparkle! She smiled at the thought of Eric Northman, sheriff of area five sparkling like a disco ball. Then giggled slightly at the image but felt a pang of hurt which she clamped down before it had chance to consume her. She wouldn't think about it. She became angry at herself as her body squirmed at the memory of a perfect shower. You can be damn sure he's not thinking about me. I haven't heard from him in three weeks!

The interviews on the screen turned to pictures of cliffs hanging over the ocean as they explored the sets of the film. I wish I could just run away from it all. She mused, picturing herself atop a cliff watching the ocean crash against the rocks. Sookie had always loved the ocean but living in a small town in Louisiana she could count the amount of times she had seen it on one hand. She looked around the small living room that she had known most of her life. Normally this house was nothing but comfort. The only home she had ever known and the last remaining link to her grandmother. Normally she would smile at the old furnishings and out dated d├ęcor with affection, laughing as she remembered her gran cleaning or cooking. Tonight, however, the memories seemed to stab at her heart. A few tears rolled down her cheeks as she saw her gran sitting in the rocking chair telling her to stop her pity party while she knitted a baby matinee coat for someone at church. And remembering Eric curled up next to her as they talked and laughed together by the fire. She missed them so much. She knew she would never get them back. They were both gone forever. Her grandmother killed because of her choice to love a vampire and Eric, well he was Eric. He would never again be her Eric. The sweet and lost creature that cared for her as an equal and loved her, putting her first as no one but her grandmother had ever done before. She still mourned the loss of both of them and deep down she knew that she always would.

"What are you doing Sookie?" She gasped as she realised she had broken her resolution not to think about Eric anymore. She had never been pragmatic but she decided he was gone so there was no point dwelling on the loss. She had promised that she would forget him and try to live her life. That had proven more difficult than expected, especially since he had regained his memory of their time together. She had been waiting in trepidation for the talk they were yet to have. The one that will break my heart and give him power over me forever. He never really loved me anyway. It was just the curse. She thought with a pang. All of this lasted only a few seconds and as she watched the ocean on the screen crash against the rocks she longed to be there. Away from this house that was haunting her heart. She closed her eyes and rested her head on the back of the couch picturing the moonlight on the water and the relief she would feel to have the sea breeze on her face. She sighed heavily with the longing the fantasy invoked and opened her eyes just in time to see her living room become replaced with a scene entirely different.

"Jesus Christ Shepherd of Judea!" She cried as she looked at the black ocean below her. The moonlight sparkled against the water but Sookie was too scared to notice the beauty all around her. The ocean breeze blew in her face billowing her hair all around her and she curled her arms tightly around her chest to protect her body from the cold. She was still wearing her Merlotte's uniform from her lunchtime shift and the thin white long sleeved t-shirt and black pants were not nearly enough protection against the icy wind.

Looking down she saw nothing but the dark waters at the foot of the cliff. She reached out with her gift trying to figure out who had done this to her but she found no other minds in her range. Fantastic! She spun on her heal and began to trudge through the dark forest silently praying that she would find help quickly. I'm going to freeze to death. Sookie Stackhouse, crazy barmaid from Bon Temps in Louisiana found dead in forest. She pictured the headlines of the local papers.

The cover of the trees blocked most of the moonlight so she tripped and stumbled often. Pull it together Sookie. She thought as she felt her body quiver with fear. Twenty minutes later and she was still no closer to finding her way out of the darkness and there had been no sign of her abductor. It felt like she had been in this unknown forest for hours and she began to think that it was someone's idea of a practical joke. Every rustle of the trees and scurry of the wild life around her made her yelp in panic. Her body was on full alert and her senses were hyper aware. Still her disability found no other minds and she was starting to think that she had in fact gone totally mad. Serves me right for feeling sorry for myself. I might never find my way home. She thought and her heart stopped beating for a moment. The thought sent her nerve wracked body over the edge and she fell to her knees to sob. She cried for everything she had taken for granted and everything that she knew was about to happen. Fear swirled through her heart. She may play the dumb blonde on occasion but Sookie Stackhouse was no fool and she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was in big trouble. In fact, she was a little surprised that she hadn't been beaten, shot, stabbed, raped or killed already. As far as bad situations went this one wasn't the worst she had experienced, yet.

A loud crash in the distance shocked her back into herself. She wiped the tears away with one hand and grabbed a rock from the forest floor with the other. If I am going down then I am going down fighting. It took a few minutes for the adrenaline to reach her legs but as soon as it did she began to run through the forest. Straining all her senses to search for the impending danger as she went.

"Sookie. Sookie, wake up!" A familiar voice yelled at her.

"Amelia?" Sookie was still groggy as her eyes fluttered open and she took in the small room. Her room.

"You're going to be late for work. Hurry up and get ready. And why are you sleeping with a rock?" Amelia giggled to herself and rolled her eyes. Sookie bolted up and looked at the clock by her bed. 11 o'clock, the date told her it was the fifteenth. Two days had passed. She remembered running through the forest with the rock that was still in her left hand but the last two days were a total blank. "What's wrong Sookie?" Amelia must have noticed her panicked expression before she shook her head and plastered on her nervous smile. Make like Scarlet, think about it tomorrow!

"Nothing, just had a bad night is all," she lied. "Did you have a good trip?" Amelia knew she was hiding something but she didn't push.

"It was alright but I'm glad to be back. My dad was driving me crazy. He wanted me to take over the management of a new business he just bought. It took me forever to convince him I was happy here. You enjoy your days off?"

"Yeah. They went by in a blur. I'm glad you're back." Amelia grinned as she walked out of the room. Just as she reached the door she paused and called over her shoulder.

"You have a shower and get dressed and I will get you some coffee and toast. Can't have you late for work, Sam would throw a fit."

The lunch shift went without incident and Sookie was grateful that Sam was busy working on the books in his office. She got on with her job as best she could but she couldn't help feeling afraid. She had lost two days and knew that something significant had happened. Sam would surely notice something was wrong. He was so perceptive. She had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach and it made her feel small and weak. Her mind was so busy trying to work out what had happened that she neglected to hold her shields up.

Get a load of those tits! God I would love to fuck that. Too bad they all say she only fucks dead guys. I bed she could use a good fuck too, she looks all stressed out. Sookie plastered on her smile and walked up to the tall blonde guy who was blatantly staring at her.

"Here's your change, sir. Have a nice day." She flinched as he pictured taking her on the pool table and quickly forced her shields back up.

"Thanks Miss. You to," he said as he left. Sookie sighed in relief as Sam emerged from his office.

"You all done Cher?" He asked casting his eyes around the now deserted bar.

"Yeah I started my prep while the last guy was finishing. You mind if I take off?"

"Course not, you ok? You look paler than normal." Sam tousled his red curls and gazed at her with concern in his eyes.

"Just a bit tired. I'll see you tomorrow Sam." She quickly grabbed her purse from his office and hurried out the bar. She just wanted to crawl back into bed.

It was just starting to get dark as she parked her car in the back yard. She clung to the steering wheel and tried to calm her breathing. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she wondered if this was how Eric had felt when he hadn't remembered their time together.

"What's wrong?" Bill demanded as he swung open her door making her jump. She sniffed and shrugged her shoulders, a little embarrassed at having gotten caught. Especially by Bill. If there was one person she didn't want to see her cry it was her betraying ex-boyfriend.

"Nothing why?" She winced as he glared at her in that cold way vampires do. She knew he could see through her lies but she resented having to explain herself in her own back yard.

"Then why are you crying?" She wiped the tears away with the back of her hand and pushed Bill aside as she climbed out of the car. He let her pass and closed the door behind her.

"What do you want Bill?" She demanded, putting all of her anger into the question. He growled.

"Eric sent me to check on you. He felt something strange with the bond a few nights ago and when I came over to check you weren't here. He said I was to watch your house until you came back and find out what's going on. So what's wrong? Where have you been?" His voice was rough and Sookie knew that he hated taking orders from Eric.

"There's nothing wrong and it would be none of your business if there were! Now you tell Mr. High and Mighty Northman where I have been is my business. Thank him for his concern and tell him to butt out!"

With that I stormed into the house before he could call my bluff. I knew I was being childish. I knew they were just worried and with good cause. I knew that Bill could beat me to the house or force me to tell him but I was angry and confused and scared. I lashed out at Bill and, bless his heart, he let me. He didn't stop me. He didn't follow me. I stomped into my room, curled up on my bed and cried. I had never felt so alone or so in the dark before. I wanted to tell them but I was more afraid that I would get them killed than I was of the void. I had no idea what had happened and there was no way I was going to put those I loved in danger. I wanted to be brave but I was too afraid of the feeling deep inside. Something big was happening and as hard as I tried to remember there was nothing but darkness. My bleak thoughts didn't last long. My whole body ached with exhaustion and before long I was drifting asleep. I wouldn't remember my dreams.