A/N: Greetings readers! Here is the final chapter of Blood Lies. And I am going to be perfectly honest I hate this chapter. I don't think I wrote it well at all, but I rewrote it about 4 times and this is the result. Writing Chase into the maenad mess was just painful, but it had to be done. I glossed over some parts and I may have gotten some things wrong so forgive me. Anywho enjoy it if you can and let me know what you think!
"Bill this is crazy!"
"It is the only way, Chase. Maryann has Sookie and Sam is what she wants. Just have some faith. The plan will work," Bill responded irritably.
"She is going to kill him, Bill!"
"I am aware of that Chase!"
"And you don't care?"
"I care; I just have a plan to remedy the death part of the situation."
"You still haven't even told me how you plan to kill her!"
"Well in order for the second part of the plan to work, the first part needs to be completed."
"That tells me nothing, Bill!"
"That means do your part to help complete the first part of the plan, Chase."
"Sam, this is madness, please tell me you aren't going to go through with this?" I pleaded as I followed behind them.
"Chase, Bill is right," Sam replied reluctantly with a sigh looking over his shoulder at me. "We are just going to have to trust him."
I growled in frustration. "Sookie isn't going to like this plan at all either, Bill."
"I am also aware of that Chase, but just like you, she is going to have to deal with it."
We were approaching Sookie's house fast and I wasn't happy about Bill's plan. He had filled me in on everything he knew about the maenad so far, what had happened while I was away and some of his plan, on the way back to Bon Temps. When we met up with Sam, he had also been less enthused about Bill's plan, but upon learning that Sookie was in trouble he immediately agreed. Yet another man willing to do anything for Sookie Stackhouse.
"Oh Jesus Christ," Sam muttered in an odd mixture of aggravation and awe.
I looked up and felt my eyes widen at the sight. Nearly every resident of Bon Temps was on Sookie's front lawn, dancing, kissing, or rolling around in the grass. Some of them were barely clothed, while others were in formal dress. Weird music was playing loudly, with a tribal and animalistic tone. But this wasn't the most shocking part of the whole sight; it was the giant statue that they were dancing around. It looked as if it were made of wood and, judging by the smell, raw meat. I stopped walking as I stared down at the scene.
"What the hell is this?" I asked aloud.
"This is Maryann's doing," Sam replied shaking his head sadly. "They all are under her control. They do whatever she says."
I shook my head in disbelief.
"I told you things had gotten crazy," Sam said placing a hand on my shoulder.
"Yeah but I didn't think it was…this crazy," I mumbled.
"Are you two ready?" Bill asked impatiently. "Sookie is still in the maenads clutches, the longer we wait the more harm that can come to her."
"I'm ready," Sam answered, his hands clenching into fists.
"I'm not," I answered truthfully. I was beginning to wish that I hadn't come back to Bon Temps. I didn't want to deal with this craziness. But Sookie needed me. Sookie always needs something…the dark part of my mind thought bitterly. I shook my head to toss the thought away quickly. I was not going to turn on Sookie now. She had done nothing wrong.
"Chase, you remember what you are to do?" Bill questioned, ignoring the fact that I had said I wasn't ready.
"You are going to let the maenad take Sam and then I will distract her after she kills him so that you can heal him."
"I suggest that you distract the maenad by destroying her offering to her god," Bill advised pointing to the large structure in front Sookie's house.
"Got it….any chance we can come up with a different plan?"
Bill shook his head. He almost looked apologetic. I looked to Sam who was staring down at Sookie's house with a face full of anguish. I still couldn't believe he was going to go through with this. Even though Bill did promise that everything was going to work out and that he could heal Sam. I had a little faith in Bill, but still it was a lot for Sam to risk, it was his life after all. There were too many 'what if's' involved. What if Bill's plan did not work? What if Bill didn't get to him in time? What if this was the last time I would ever see Sam again? Sam was not just my boss, he was my friend as well and I cared about him. Without him I could have died when Rene attacked Sookie and me. And he had given me a job knowing very little about me, when I really needed it. I had a lot to thank him for. And I was sure that I would miss him if he were gone.
"Let's get this over with," Sam grumbled as he stepped forward.
"Wait!" I yelled a little too loudly. There was so much emotion in my voice and I felt as if I was going to cry. Sam and Bill turned to me in surprise as I jumped into Sam's arms hugging him tightly. I felt him tense in my grasp, but relax after a second. His arms came around me, pressing my body into his as he buried his face into the crook of my neck. My eyes watered and my vision blurred at the thought of what he was about to do.
"Sam…I know we haven't know each other for a long time, but…I value you as a friend and if things go wrong…" my voice faltered, breaking off as a single tear escaped my eye falling down my cheek. I couldn't say goodbye. I didn't want to. I didn't even want to go through with this.
I felt Sam's hand in my hair and I pulled my head back to look him in the eye. His face was sincere as always, and his eyes held regret. He reached up and wiped away the tear that had escaped carefully, his thumb lingering as he caressed my cheek. I could feel his heart pounding in his chest.
"Sam, don't do this," I whispered. "We can find another way."
"It's going to be okay, Chase," he replied softly. "I promise."
It was an empty promise. And just from his voice, I could hear that he didn't believe it. My fingers clenched in the material of his shirt as he kissed my forehead, his lips also lingering for a moment before he pulled away and left me standing there, striding quickly toward Sookie's house. I sighed and wiped the tears away from my eyes before turning to catch Bill gazing at me. He didn't say a word, only stepped past me catching up to Sam quickly, leaving me to follow.
"Chase, stay close," Bill ordered softly over his shoulder. "These people are not in their right mind and will harm you without thinking twice."
It surprised me that Bill even cared, but I moved to his side as ordered. The stench intensified as we neared the crowd and I almost felt sick to my stomach. Familiar faces turned to stare at us as we approached, wide and creepy smiles spread across their faces. I jumped at the sight of their eyes, moving closer to Bill on instinct as I saw that they were completely pitch black. Fear crept up my spine as a few people moved closer to us, hands reaching out as their smiles widened. I grabbed on Bill's jacket as the energy began to swarm within me. I kept a tight hold on it. I didn't want to hurt anyone, but if it came down to them or me I would. I didn't think my body would give me a choice.
I jumped at the call of my name and let out a small scream as someone swept me up into their arms. I was twirled through the air as the person holding me laughed gleefully before being set back on my feet. A mouth was on mine next kissing me feverishly before I shoved hard against the chest pressed against me and looked to find that it was Jason Stackhouse. His eyes were as black as the night and he was wearing the same creepy smile as everyone else.
"Jason," I breathed as I wiped my mouth. He had tasted like liquor and some other foul taste that I didn't want to guess.
"Gosh Chase am I happy to see you here, let's fuck," he said pulling me tighter against him.
Whoa! "Uh Jason-," I pushed against his chest as I looked over at Bill who was holding Sam as if he was some prisoner. I raised my eyebrows at him as if to say help me!
Jason began tugging at my clothes, his mouth going to my neck just as Bill yanked me from his arms. Jason turned to him angrily. "Hey fanger!"
Bill put a protective arm in front of me. "Go and tell your maenad that I have brought her offering!" He commanded loudly to Jason, grabbing hold of Sam once again.
Jason's face fell as he looked to Sam, his smile returned in seconds and he turned to Andy who jumped up and down eagerly. I frowned as I noticed he was pant less. Oh god. They went running for the house as everyone else began to cheer. I felt uneasy as I watched them, every single one of them happy and joyous about the fact that this maenad was happy to kill Sam. Sam may not have been liked by everyone, but I didn't think anyone of these people were capable of or wanted to kill Sam. It was all the maenad's fault. She was doing this to them. It made me angry. She had turned my hometown into a mad house, had made my friends zombies to her spell, and planned to kill Sam. She did deserve to die. The energy in me swelled at the thought.
The atmosphere of the group shifted and people began to move hurriedly, some of them forming a large group in front of Maryann's statue offering while others stood near it, pulling out instruments as they began to play 'Bridal Chorus'. I looked to the porch as I heard the screen door creak open and frowned when I saw Arlene skipping merrily down the steps with Jane Boathouse and Tara, holding a large egg, and Lafayette, who was holding a bull mask, following after. They all wore white dresses and their eyes were black. Sookie came next, also wearing a white dress, and struggling against the hold that Jason had on her. Her eyes went wide when she saw Sam, Bill, and I and she struggled harder. I moved forward on instinct, but was stopped by Bill's outstretched arm.
"Remember the plan, Chase," he whispered.
I frowned and gritted my teeth. I didn't like the plan. I didn't want to follow the plan. But I kept my mouth shut. The plan was the only plan we had. The band began to play louder as Maryann stepped out of the house, wearing a beautiful wedding dress, and a floral head band. She smiled at all of her followers as she stepped down the stairs and the energy in me swarmed with a vengeance. My fists clenched as I tried to keep it contained. God if it was this hard holding in the 'miniscule' amount of power seeping through the bond I could hardly imagine what it would be like to unbind my powers and reach my full potential. I didn't think I could control it. Good call Connor, I thought as I made a mental note to thank him again the next time I saw him.
"Maenad!" Bill yelled loudly over the music as he pushed Sam forward.
Sookie frowned when she saw Bill dragging Sam forward. "Bill, what the hell are you doing?"
"I have your sacrifice!" Bill continued ignoring Sookie.
Maryann's smile widened and she looked full of joy. "Oh my sweet vessel."
"I offer him in exchange for Sookie!" Bill finished.
"No! She will kill him!" Sookie cried, struggling harder against Jason's hold. She looked to me frantically. "Chase! Stop him! He can't let her take Sam!"
God Sookie you don't know how much I want too! My thoughts screamed, wishing for once that she could read my mind. I didn't want any part of this. I wanted to stop him, but I stood there with a blank face, attempting not to give anything anyway. That was the plan. I couldn't let the maenad know Bill had a trick up his sleeve, and right now that trick was me.
"Take her to the dead man, she has served her purpose," Maryann called, nodding at Bill.
Jason obliged immediately, dragging Sookie to Bill as she screamed in protest. She struggled against Bill as he handed Sam over to Egg's and took Sookie in his arms. She kicked and screamed, fighting against him as she grasped onto Sam's arm desperately trying to pull him back to her.
"No! They are going to kill him! Chase, help me! We can't let them do this!" Sookie screamed looking at me desperately.
"I'm sorry," Bill said holding Sookie tightly as she attempted to flee from him. "This is the only way!"
Sookie turned brown eyes full of fury upon me. "I can't believe you Chase!" she snapped at me. "She is going to kill him and you are just going to watch!"
I ignored her. It was the only thing I could do.
"Get them out of here!" Sam yelled angrily at Bill. "I won't have them watch me die."
The crowd laughed and cheered as Maryann approached Sam, caressing his face with one hand gently, her dark eyes looking up at him gratefully.
"This is what your vampire source told you to do, to give up Sam?" Sookie snapped looking at Bill.
"Sookie you are just going to have to trust us," Bill replied through clenched teeth as he looked down at her.
Sookie frowned up at Bill, halting her struggles before looking at me. I nodded in hopes to assure her that Bill had a plan. "Trust us," I repeated. She looked as if she didn't believe us, but didn't continue her struggles. Things went silent around us as Maryann spoke.
"Let us call forth our god," she said loudly, raising her arms slowly.
Behind her, Lafayette placed the bull head upon the statue. It made it look even creepier. "The god with horns!" Lafayette yelled as if it were an introduction. "Worship him bitches!"
I would have laughed if the situation wasn't so serious. Maryann's zombies immediately bent down to their knees in worship, making sounds of awe as Sookie, Bill and I watched in shock. This can't be happening, I thought to myself. First vampires come out, and then I learn witches exist, and now maenads are taking over the town.
"Now for the sacrificial egg," Maryann continued.
Tara hopped to her feet carefully, taking the egg to the statue. She placed it into an opening on the statue which prompted Maryann to continue with her ceremony. "Hail Dionysus!" She yelled throwing her head back. Everyone chanted after her, repeating her words. "Bacchus. Bromios. Eleutherios. Dendrites. All these names are yours, our bull horned god. Upon this day of our marriage our offering symbolizes the birth of our god. When he was a child, the jealous titans ripped him to shreds, eating all but his heart. And his last piece was saved by his sister, Palace Athena."
Sookie and I shared a glance. Maryann was clearly bat shit crazy. This is what this had all been about? She wanted to marry a god? Maryann had continued her speech as I was lost in thought and I was snapped out of it when I heard Sam's muffled cries. I looked up to find him being carried into the crowd on a stretched made of wood, all his limbs tied down and his mouth gagged with a white cloth. He looked around in a panic as he writhed against his bonds. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of him and I had to resist the urge to run to him.
Sookie began thrashing against Bill again. "No! Sam!"
They placed Sam's stretcher upright, leaning it against a wooden holder as Maryann advanced to him slowly. "Oh at last," she sighed longingly. "Oh at long long last." Her eyes moved to the sky. "He is yours my lord." Maryann turned to a zombified Egg's, who held a silver platter out to her. She reached for the object on it carefully and held it up, revealing it to be a knife. I could see Sam's eyes go wide and I felt my body tense, the energy threatening to break free from my hold.
"You are lucky, Sam. So many people wish to have their lives mean something. And so few get to realize it," Maryann said sincerely.
"Come on do it!" Terry called from where he stood in the crowd.
"Do it!" Arlene yelled in agreement. The rest of the crowd followed in cheering and encouragement.
"Sam, use your gift!" Sookie pleaded attempting to rush forward. Bill and I stopped her.
Bill grabbed her tightly, wrenching her from my grasp as he hugged her to his chest. I could hear his soft whisper. "Sookie, use yours," he prompted.
Time seemed to slow down as I watched Egg's moved to stand in front of Sam, and raise the knife Maryann had just been hold. He didn't hesitate before he plunged the knife into Sam's chest, wiggling it slightly as Sam gargled against his gag. I felt something stab into my heart as well and I looked away quickly, wiping at my eyes. I heard Sookie's screeching voice as she bellowed Sam's name in grief, falling down to her knees. I couldn't move. I was frozen.
"Bring me the blood," Maryann demanded.
Egg's withdrew the knife from Sam and turned towards Maryann. I looked to Bill for orders, my eyebrows going up as if to ask 'Now?' Sam needed healing and now would be the opportune time to distract Maryann; Sam wasn't going to last much longer. I frowned when Bill shook his head, my face setting into a scowl as I looked back to find Maryann letting out exaggerated moans as she rubbed Sam's blood on her neck.
"Oh yes!" she cried loudly, looking as if she were nearing an emotional breakdown. "Yes, he is the vessel. He is the vessel that shall unite us my lord."
"Sam!" Sookie called and Bill finally released her, allowing her to rush forward to Sam.
Bill turned to me, grabbing my arm and leaning toward me. "Now, Chase."
My body was moving before my brain had even really registered what Bill had said. I couldn't waste time. Sam needed healing; I needed to do the distracting. I moved through the crowd, shoving people out of my way. I reached the statue and jumped up to the nest in the center of it, retrieving the egg and throwing it as hard as I could at the ground. I heard shocked gasps as it cracked and spilled its contents in the dirt, but I ignored them and thrust my body against the statue attempting to knock it down and hoping that Maryann had noticed like everyone else. The statue didn't give as I put my body weight against it; it was sturdier than I had thought. I was pushing on it when someone came up beside me and I looked to see that it was Sookie. She was pushing along with me, her face scrunched with the effort. I felt the energy swelling inside me as I struggled to knock the statue over, I was just about to unleash it when I saw a light erupt from Sookie's palms and the statue tipped over almost taking me with it. I quickly found my footing and stood there panting, looking at Sookie in shock.
"How dare you destroy my offering?" I jumped, turning to find Maryann staring at me and Sookie angrily. She looked on the verge of tears as she rushed forward, staring down at the fallen statue offering. "Lord Dionysus, forgive me," she whimpered looking at the skies.
She pivoted, facing the crowd as malice crossed her face and she stared furiously at shocked faces of the people under her spell. "Allow me to sacrifice all of them for you," she growled through clenched teeth.
Maryann began to vibrate, her whole body shaking, like she was dancing in vampire speed. I had no idea what she was doing to everyone else, but it had no effect on me or Sookie. Anguished screams filled the air and everyone affected sank to the ground in pain.
Sookie ran to Tara's side, holding her. "Stop it!" she shouted at Maryann in a pleading tone. "You are hurting them!"
Maryann stopped suddenly, looking at Sookie wrathfully. "You brought this upon everyone," she snapped in a demonic voice.
Maryann dove forward, shoving her hands into the loose dirt beneath her. I could hear her growling from where I stood, but I was frozen, unable to move. I watched in astonishment as she withdrew her hands from the earth slowly, revealing that they had somehow morphed into large three finger claws with huge talons. I remembered the damage those claws had done to Sookie's back and how she had almost died from the poison alone.
"Sookie run!" I shouted looking at her.
Maryann turned to me at the sound of my voice, her face full of rage. She rushed me and my body acted on instinct before my mind could even think of something to do. The energy exploded out of me like a shock wave sending Maryann flying backwards into the crowd of her still stunned followers. I was instantly dizzy and my legs wobbled under my weight, forcing me to my knees. I was on all fours, trying to recover from the sudden weakness of using my powers when I felt warm hands on me.
"Chase, get up dammit!" It was Sookie's voice loud in my ears, trying to pull me to my feet. "Come on we have to go."
I shook my head and forced myself to my feet, hanging on to Sookie until I found my own sense of stability. I could see Maryann recovering from where she had landed, looking dazed, confused, and angry as hell. She managed to get to her feet before setting eyes on Sookie and I. Panic hit me immediately and I took off running, pulling Sookie behind me. It was like deja vue all over again. It seemed like only yesterday that Sookie and I were running through the woods trying to escape a murderer, only this time it was night, and the murderer happened to be a supernatural creature with large poisonous claws. I for one did not want to die choking on my own vomit as the poison paralyzed me.
I risked looking over my shoulder and let out a loud scream when I saw that Maryann was not far behind Sookie and I. She was close, nearly within arm's reach. My heart thudded in fear and I willed my body to move faster, but she was fast. I heard a cry from Sookie and suddenly I was on the ground with a painful thud. I rolled onto my back quickly, looking up to find Maryann standing over Sookie and me, poised to strike. I screamed loudly scooting backward on my hands as I attempted to drag Sookie with me when a loud animal cry filled the air making Maryann halt. I continued moving backward as Maryann stared off into the distance distracted. I didn't know what was distracting Maryann, but I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to get Sookie and I out of there. I finally got to my feet, yanking her along with me and running.
"Chase! Wait!" Sookie yelled, pulling on my arm to make me stop.
I paused reluctantly and looked to see what Sookie was stopping me for. Maryann had walked off into the distance, approaching a large long horned white bull. She ran her hand down his snout and I could hear the sound of her voice, but not what she was saying. Maryann stepped backward as she raised her arms upward, opening them as if she were ready to accept a hug.
"Is that the god?" Sookie asked me. "Did he really come?"
I shrugged unable to take my eyes off the bull. "I…I don't know…"
"It can't be right…I mean…her god doesn't exist…" Sookie continued incredulously.
Maryann remained motionless in front of the bull, her arms outstretched waiting to embraced, consumed, mated with, I really had no idea. I wasn't really in the mood to stay or find out either. If this bull really was her god then that meant Sookie and I were on its shit list too.
"Sookie we should really get-Oh!"
I screamed as the bull's head bowed and its horn plunged into Maryann's chest. She cried out but didn't fight, only gazed down at the bull in surprise. What the hell? Black blood gushed from the wound in Maryann's spilling onto the ground before her. The air shifted around the bull and suddenly it was Sam standing there, with his arm still in Maryann's chest. He withdrew it quickly, revealing her blackened still beating heart in his palm. He looked at her determinedly as she stared at him in amazement, no doubt wondering how she had been fooled. Sam crushed the heart in his palm and simultaneously Maryann's skin shriveled to her bones; it disappeared leaving her a gray skeleton with hair and a wedding dress, before it crumpled to the ground.
Realization hit me as my brain put the pieces together. This had been Bill's plan all along. I was to distract Maryann so that he could heal Sam and have him return as Maryann's bull god, leaving her vulnerable for an attack. I felt a smile playing at my lips. I had to hand it to Bill. It was a good plan, extremely risky and crazy, but good.
"Sam!" Sookie yelled before leaving my side and rushing into his arms. I followed after her, stopping to stare down at what was left of Maryann. "He killed you!"
"No," Sam sighed, panting for air as if he was winded. "Almost."
In the distance I could see Bill stumbling towards us, holding his wrist. Sookie released Sam and rushed to Bill cradling him in her arms while Sam went to retrieve his lost clothes.
I looked up to find that it was Jason approaching me with Tara at his side. Their eyes had returned to normal and they looked confused and frightened at the same time. They slowed down as the noticed Maryann laying at my feet, their eyes widening.
"Holy fuck!" Jason gasped stopping beside me. "We got her?"
Tara rushed into Sookie's arms. "Do you remember anything?" Sookie asked.
Tara shook her head, she looked so scared. It was unusual to see her this way when normally she was so tough. "No, it was bad wasn't it?"
Bad is an understatement. You guys had a party and killed, Sam. My thought was full of sarcasm.
"Bill, get rid of the body. Bury it, I don't care where, just get it out of here," Sookie ordered. "Sam, Jason, help everyone get home."
Jason hesitated. "Well…aint you gone tell me what happened?"
"Not. Now," Sookie growled through clenched teeth. She seemed flustered. "Just…get everyone off my lawn."
Everyone moved to follow Sookie's orders as she turned to me, coming forward and wrapping me in a hug. "Gosh Chase I was so worried about you. And I am sorry about getting angry with you over, Sam. I just…didn't know you and Bill had a plan," she breathed into my hair.
I shook my head withdrawing from her. "It's okay…"
"Are you alright?" she asked pulling back and looking me in the eye. "What happened in Dallas?"
I sighed. "It's way too much to tell right now I just want to get home and-," my face fell at the thought of home as I remembered my parents and Isaac. "Shit! I have to go Sookie I need to find my parents and make sure they are alright. I will call you later alright!"
I didn't wait to see her response as I took off running back towards Sookie's house. Most of the crowd was dispersing, although some people still lingered looking dazed and confused. I looked around carefully, but didn't see my parents or Isaac anywhere. I checked inside Sookie's house, which was a disaster, and circled the house a few times. I still couldn't find them anywhere. I set off away from Sookie's down the road that would lead to my house. It would be a long walk, but I had to get home to make sure they were alright and I had lost my cellphone so I couldn't call. I would need to buy a new one.
I heard the rumble of an engine and turned to see Jason's black truck pulling coming to a stop beside me. He wasn't alone in the car; Arlene, Terry, and Jane Boathouse were with him. Jason leaned over Terry as he rolled down the window.
"Chase, where are you going?"
"Home, I need to check on my parents," I answered.
"Well get in," he said as he unlocked the doors. "I'll give you a ride it aint safe out here."
My heart almost burst with joy as I pulled opened the car door and climbed into the back with Jane and Arlene. Arlene smiled weakly at me before averting her eyes and Jane looked at me sadly. She had been crying and my face fell as she held up her hand showing me that she was missing a finger.
"I lost my finger," she whined holding up the dismembered digit.
I blinked unsure of what to say. "Oh... I'm sorry?"
Jason dropped me off first thankfully since my house was the closest. I said goodbye and thanked him for the ride before jumping out of the car and running for my front door. My house appeared to be untouched and it looked as if all the lights were out. I retrieved the key from under the potted plant on my porch and unlocked the door.
"Mom! Dad! Isaac!" I called as I swung my front door open.
I was met with darkness that made me hesitate. I flicked on the lights quickly and found my house neat and clean just like my mother would leave it, but my parents and Isaac were clearly not there. I could feel how empty it felt just from standing in the doorway. I went for the phone next, leaning against the kitchen wall as I dialed my mother's cell. It rang six times before my mother's voice answered sleepily.
"Mom? Where are you?" I asked hurriedly.
"Chase?" she replied sounding confused.
"Yes, mom, it's me. Are you and Dad alright? Is Isaac with you?"
"Yes, Chase we are all fine. Didn't you get my message?"
I sighed in relief and ran a hand through my hair. My pounding heart finally began to relax. "No, I didn't get the message. My cell…broke…where are you?"
"We are back in Austin, honey. You know that big tree in the Johnsons yard next door? Well Greg attempted to cut it down himself and it fell right into our backyard and clipped the house! It's such a mess, Chase. Your father and I had to come home to deal with it and we brought Isaac because we didn't want him hobbling around on his own trying to care for himself."
Oh thank god.
"Chase, are you alright? It's really late, dear. And you sound…weird," Mary said apprehensively.
You have no idea what I have been through these past few days. "I'm fine, mom," I lied. "I'm sorry for calling so late. I just got home and I didn't have my cell so I didn't know that you had gone back to Austin. I was worried."
"Well we didn't mean to worry you dear. How was your trip? Did you…find out anything?" she asked cautiously.
I found out much more than I wanted to know. "Yes, I did. But we can talk about it another time when it's not so late, mom," I said softly.
"Okay dear, we will be back in Bon Temps as soon as we can."
I hesitated, twirling the cord to the receiver in my fingers. I didn't want them to come back. Living with my parents and brother was not a part of new and independent Chase's plan. I shut my eyes and let out a slow breath, I knew my next words would break my mother's heart.
"Mom…I think it's best if you and dad and Isaac stay in Austin."
I heard Mary's breath hitch. "Oh Chase you know how your father and I feel about you living there alone."
"Mom, I am an adult. I will be okay. I need to learn how to make it on my own and I don't want you and dad worrying. I will be fine," I urged. Even though I wasn't going to have Eric around to protect me anymore it didn't mean that I didn't want to find my own independence. I wanted to live on my own and make my own decisions. I would just have to ask Connor to unbind my powers and teach me how to control them so I could fend for myself in case a situation arose where I was in danger. But new and different Chase didn't plan to be in any more danger any time soon. She had, had enough for a life time.
"Chase, you have changed so much since you moved away from home," she said sadly. I could imagine her shaking her head as she said it, her brown eyes full of worry. "We just want you to be okay. We worry about you."
"Well don't," I said trying to keep the bite out of my tone. "I am going to be fine. Okay?"
I can take care of myself.
"If this is what you really want, Chase," she sounded so hesitant and full of worry. "Promise me that you will take care of yourself and stay out of trouble and away from vampires."
Trust me that will be no problem. I am done with vampires, specifically Eric Northman. "I will, mom. I will let you get back to bed. Don't stress too much about the tree. I will call you tomorrow."
"Okay, Chase," Mary replied reluctantly. "I love you, goodnight."
"I love you too."
I hung up the phone and slid down the wall, landing on my butt as I put my head in my hands. I had done it. I had survived Dallas, my psychotic biological mother, Dominic, and now the maenad. And I had lost Eric in the process. With nothing to distract me the giant gaping hole in my heart came to the forefront of my brain and I felt tears stinging my eyes. Why couldn't he just tell me the truth? Why couldn't he just love me?
I threw my head back and wiped at my eyes. I was done crying. I was done being hurt. I was going to move on even if it killed me. I could protect myself, or at least learn how, and I could forget about Eric and find someone new.
Everything was going to be fine.
Merlotte's was busy. Far more busier than I had expected it to be when Sam called me to ask me to come in for a shift the next morning. He had opened even though I didn't think he would and many people seemed to appreciate it. The running story was that there was some sort of gas leak which had made everyone go crazy and explained why everyone was experiencing memory loss. I could hear people's different conspiracy theories as I took their orders and served them their food and all I could do was laugh, because I knew the truth, and these people didn't know how lucky they really were to not know the truth.
I was relieved when five o' clock rolled around and my shift ended. I was exhausted and ready to go home and relax. I hadn't slept much after everything and I welcomed the idea of going to bed early. I retrieved my things from Sam's office, said my goodbyes to everyone and headed out the door, stopping when I saw Sookie heading my way. She looked concerned about something as she carried a large white box, but she smiled when she saw me.
"Hey Chase, you heading' home?"
I nodded. "Yes, I am in need of some sleep…what's with the box?"
Sookie turned red and her smile widened. "It's from Bill. It's a dress he wants me to wear on our date tonight."
"That's so sweet," I gushed.
Sookie nodded, shifting the box under her arm as her face dropped slightly. "How are things with you and Eric? Is he…'back to his old self'? You still haven't told me what happened in Dallas."
"Eric is a vampire again if that's what you mean and things between him and I aren't good at all. In fact he and I are done. For good. I just want to move on and a have a normal relationship with a living person," I sighed. I purposefully left out what happened in Dallas. I wasn't ready to tell her what had happened just yet. Although she and I did have a lot to talk about like the freaky light coming from her hand. Now just wasn't the time. I honestly just didn't want to talk about it.
Sookie seemed taken aback, but nodded. "Oh okay…well I am sorry and I am sure you will find someone more worthy of you than Eric Northman," Sookie replied touching my arm. "You really are a great person, Chase."
"Thank you, Sookie," I said feeling a genuine smile creep onto my face.
"Well I better get back inside before Sam rings my neck," Sookie chuckled. "I will see ya later okay?"
I nodded and waved her off heading for my car. I went home eagerly and ran myself a bath, sinking into the tub full of hot water and bubbles and forcing myself to relax and bask in how amazing it felt. I stayed in the tub for almost an hour before I climbed out and redressed myself in my pajamas. I crawled into bed with a hefty sigh, burying myself into my pillows and covers as I drifted off to sleep.
The phone woke me hours later, snapping me out the blissful darkness that had consumed my brain. I sat up groggily and rolled out of bed, trudging down the hallway to the kitchen. I snatched the phone off its cradle and answered with a yawn.
"Chase, its Sookie," I could hear the sound of her distress immediately.
Oh god, what now?
"Sookie, what's wrong?" I asked suddenly awake.
"It's Bill, he's been kidnapped."
"Tonight we were having dinner and I went to the bathroom and came back and he was gone!"
"Okay Sook, calm down, did you call the police?"
"Yes, but they are no help! Chase please you have to help me find him!"
I pulled the phone away from my ear and sighed so that Sookie couldn't hear me. This was not part of the plan. This was staying out of danger. I wanted to just crawl back into bed. "Where are you?" I asked putting the phone back to my ear.
"I am on my way to Bill's can you meet me there?" she asked hopefully.
"Yes Sookie I am on my way."
I hung up before she could give a response, shaking my head as I headed to my bedroom to change. I pulled on some jeans and a tank and slid on my tennis shoes as I grabbed my keys and headed for my front door. I swung the door open and stepped out pulling the door shut to lock it.
"Oh good you have saved me the trouble of drawing you out," a cold female voice sneered.
I froze instantly, a chill running down my spine as I looked over my shoulder slowly to see Annabelle standing on my porch, leaning casually against the railing. My heart stopped in my chest and I heard my keys drop to the porch. Annabelle smirked as my face fell and her fangs unsheathed with a click.
"Now I am going to give you one chance and one chance only to answer me truthfully before I rip you to shreds in front of your ugly little house," she said viciously as she took careful steps towards me.
I pressed myself into the wall of my house behind me as my heart began to pound.
"Where is my husband?"