Disclaimer: I don't own True Blood or any of its characters. All I own is Justine.

Chapter 9

Dawn approached. While Russell talked off Sookie's ear about everything and nothing in one corner, Bill brooded in another, much to Pam's sick enjoyment. Justine sat still chained to the stripper pole, head bobbing up and down, trying to fight the returning dark of unconsciousness. It was the sound of footsteps that caused her to blink tiredly and look up. Eric stood before her, smirking at her pale, weakening body. She waited for him to speak but he never did, just stared at her. Annoyed, she tried to spit at him but her mouth was too dry. Instead, she settled for glaring at him while calling him a leech. He laughed for a moment, palm of his hand over his mouth, before snarling and covering her open mouth with his hand. She struggled for a moment before she realized the metallic taste seeping onto her tongue. Eyes wide, she looked at Eric who just quirked a brow at her. Take the hint, was the silent message. Justine immediately began to drink his blood, feeling the healing effects on her knee and foot immediately. After a moment, Eric pulled his hand away and wiped the traces of blood on her mouth away.

"Why?" she asked breathlessly, curiously.

"Because I need you strong," he answered simply and walked away without a second glance. She watched him speak briefly to a rather distressed Pam before wandering over to Russell and Sookie. "Shall we?"

"Do let's!" he exclaimed with an excited clap of his hands.

"One caviat, gentlemen. If you drain her completely, that's the last fairy blood you'll ever drink," Bill advised from the seat he was now chained with silver to.

"Hmm, good point."

"We are schooled! Onward to adventure!" Russell shouted impatiently, like a child at Christmas.

"If this is you trying to help me, thanks for nothing," Sookie told Bill. She looked up at Eric, who gently caressed her cheek with the back of his fingers. She just glared back him, pouring all the hate she felt into one look. Bored and sick of waiting, Russell sighed.

"Oh, for God's sake." Grabbing Sookie's arm, he pulled her to him and bit down. The blonde tried not to scream but failed when Eric at last bit down on her neck. A few moments passed until she was suddenly quiet, deathly so, and Eric walked over to the club door. He spared a look over his shoulder at his progeny before slowly stepping outside. Inside, the group watched him from the video feed of the security camera's outside, walking around the parking lot unharmed in broad daylight.

"Unchain me!" Bill cried out desperately. "I have to feed Sookie!"

"It's fairies! Fucking fairies! Who knew?" the king laughed and watched as Eric smiled at the camera, waving for Russell to join him.

"Let me go or she'll die!"

"My hands are shaking. I feel like a little child!" Wiping the bloody tears of joy, literal joy, he turned to Pam. "Thousands of years of night, you can't know..."

"What are you waiting for?" she coaxed, smiling at him. Russell didn't wait a moment longer, immediately rushing out the door to join Eric.

Struggling against his chains, Bill shouted, "I have to feed Sookie! She needs my blood now!" Pam didn't listen, eyes fixed on the screen. "Pam, let me go!" Justine, like Pam, continued to ignore Bill and watched as Eric handcuffed himself to Russell and a pipe outside. The effect of the blood was starting to wear off from what she could tell on the screen, as smoke could clearly be seen. Justine struggled a moment with the chains around her wrists until, with the added strength from Eric's blood, she finally broke free. The first thing she did was attack Pam who, already weakened from the bleeds, was easy to take care of.

"That's for the bitch slap," she panted and kicked the vampire in the ribs for good measure. In the next instance, Bill was free and quickly set about feeding Sookie. Knowing that those two would be okay, Justine grabbed the nearest bar stool and slammed it onto the ground. One leg broke perfectly so she snatch it up and ran outside. "Eric, this is just stupid!" she scolded.

"Go…away," he groaned weakly, skin burnt.

"Like hell I am!"


Shaking her head, she scoffed, "I am not letting you do this!" Putting down the stake, she sat on her knees and broke the handcuffs. Thousand year old vampire blood really did the body good.

"Help me, please!" Russell pleaded weakly.

"Shut the fuck up, you psycho!" she screamed at him.

"I will not surrender to the true death!" he shouted, defiant and weak. "I will find a way to come back and kill your precious Viking, your brooding Mr. Compton, that ridiculous werewolf Herveaux, Miss Stackhouse and even your little friend Sam, and anyone else you care about, you useless little BITCH!" Enough was enough. Justine snatched up the stake and screamed as she rammed it into Russell's chest. The king shouted in pain, choking on his own blood.

"Whose the bitch now?" she retorted and pulled the stake out. The moment she did, Russell exploded into a pile of blood and she shrieked a little as she was splattered. "Ugh, gross," she muttered, wiping her eyes. Chucking the stake, Justine quickly grabbed Eric by his jacket and dragged him back inside the club. Once the door was closed, she collapsed to the floor within him lying heavy in her lap. The three she left inside ran over as she sat up, holding Eric in her arms, and her wrist against his lips. "Drink!" Eric tried to pull away but she pulled his precious hair so hard that his fangs popped out. "Drink, Eric!"

"He can't. He's too weak to use his fangs," Pam told her.

"Oh, for fuck's sake!" She held out her wrist to Pam, who bit it open for her, and quickly placed it back at Eric's mouth. "Drink or die for good, Eric, your choice." He mumbled something in Swedish that made Pam laugh tearfully and grabbed Justine's wrist, biting down as hard as he could. The shifter hissed in pain at first before a shot of pleasure exploded in her nether regions. That was unexpected. Great, fantastic even, but definitely unexpected.

"Keep an eye on him. We both know he could lose control," Sookie said as Eric growled, swallowing hungrily. Begrudgingly, Bill nodded and watched as Eric grasped Justine's wrist, drinking even harder from her. So hard that she had to bite back a moan. Who knew that a vampire's bite could feel so pleasurable? He started to heal slowly and, just when all his burned were just about healed, she tried to pull away. Eric quickly grabbed her with his other arm to keep her there and continued to feed.

"That's enough," Bill said and grabbed Eric's hands, pulling them off to Justine could move away. She quickly crawled away from him, panting and dizzy, weak. While Eric wiped his lips clean, licking the left over blood off his fingers, Bill quickly punctured his finger and wiped his blood over Justine's wound so it can heal. "Do you need some?"

"No thanks," she panted. "I think I'll just...I'll just sleep it off, have some vitamins...and a big ass breakfast," she joked quietly.

"Where's Russell?" Eric asked, back to perfect health.

"The shifter killed him," she informed her maker, sounding extremely grateful. Eric, on the other hand, looked anything but when he set his eyes on Justine. She shrank back, afraid of what he might do.

"Why did you do that?"

Gawking at him, she sarcastically retorted, "Would you've preferred I'd brought him back in here with you?"

"Godric appeared to me and told me to let him live," he argued.

"You are insane," Bill sneered.

"Killing him hasn't solved anything!"

"Has from my point of view," Sookie snorted.

"No one asked you," Eric snapped.

"Who are you right now?" Pam wondered, deeply confused. "He killed your family! You should be happy he's gone!"

Pointing at Justine, he warned, "You should not have done this."

"Forgive me for saving you then, you miserable bastard," she replied and shakily rose to her feet. "Now, if I may, I'm going to go home and go to sleep." She moved to leave but Eric quickly grabbed her and pulled her back to him. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"

"You're staying here," he ordered.

"The hell I am!"

"The hell you are." Pulling out his phone, Eric quickly and quietly spoke to someone about needing their van at his club by nightfall. As he hung up, he commanded the room's attention. "You are staying as well, Miss Stackhouse. It's not safe. Pam, direct Bill to one of our guest coffins."

Bill tried to say goodnight to Sookie, but she pulled away from him and followed Eric into his office. Justine moved to follow as well but hesitated, feeling a dizzy spell come on, and grabbed the bar for support. After a moment, she opened her eyes and spotted an urn filled with blood. Curious, she stumbled around the bar to inspect it. It definitely didn't belong to either Eric or Pam, she knew that much from working at the club. That only left one option: it was Russell's.

"It's Talbot," Sookie told her. Justine looked over her shoulder, brow furrowed. The blonde just shrugged. "What's left of him." Looking back at the urn, Justine remembered how Talbot played at being her friend before serving her up for dinner. That just pissed her off even more. With what little strength she had, Justine took off the lid and dumped what was left of Talbot into the sink, turned on the faucet to get it all down the drain and then the garbage disposal for good measure. After a moment, she turned it all off and turned around with a satisfied smile. With a nod to Sookie, she moved slowly into Eric's office. He was leaning against his desk, smirking at her.

"Feeling better?"

"I will," she replied quietly.

"The couch, Miss Stackhouse, is quite comfortable."

Disgusted, Sookie replied, "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm going home."

"How many times must I say this?" he sighed, aggravated. "It is not safe."

"I'm a lot safer out there than I am in here! Goodbye!" She stormed out of the office. Eric didn't try to stop her and, eventually, both of them heard the club's front door slam shut. Eric turned his attention to Justine, who moved to sit on the couch. With a curt nod, he moved to go to his own coffin.

"What'll happen to me?" she suddenly asked and he turned back to her. "I mean, you can't just kill a vampire, especially not one as old as Russell Edgington, and not have any consequences."

"You forget, he was King of Mississippi." Justine cringed, her face crumbling to tears as she held her face in her hands.

"Fuck!" she groaned. "I'm screwed, aren't I?" Sighing, Eric walked over to her like as if she were a chore.

"You will have to face the Authority and explain what happened."

"And what then? Will they kill me? Because killing me would be pretty fucked up since I did them a favor and all."

"I don't know," he answered honestly, which really didn't make her feel any better. "When I do know, however, and they come, I will notify you immediately." Justine nodded, licking her lips, carefully deciding whether or not she should say what she wanted to. Looking up at Eric, calm and collected, she decided to just be honest.

"It felt good. I won't lie about that. Killing…" Taking a breath, she tried again to phrase just exactly what she was feeling. "Killing something that old and powerful, it felt really...really fucking good."

"I'll ignore that and wish you goodnight," he said and turned his back on her.

"I don't mean it like that." With an annoyed sigh, Eric looked back at her with a bored, impatient expression. "I mean…what I said about the Maenad, that was true. The things she did to me, I wanted to kill her so much but…I couldn't. She was…she owned me. And then I finally got free, had an werewolf for a boyfriend who thought rape was foreplay, and then she found me again – saved me, really – made me come here and, just when I think I can finally be free of her, she came back. And Sam, of all people, killed her." Shaking her head, Justine chuckled mirthlessly under her breath. "When I killed him, it was like I finally got my chance to kill her. Or something similar. If that makes any sense." Head tilted, she surmised, "It probably would've felt a hell of a lot better if it had been her."

"I suspect it would have," he commented dryly.

Unable to resist, she curiously asked, "Why didn't you want me to kill him?" Eric looked away from her.

"When I saw him," he quietly confessed, "Godric told me that everyone has peace when they die, even Russell Edgington. I could not bear the thought that he would find peace, any redemption whatsoever."

"If I hadn't killed him, what would you have done?"

"Wrapped him in silver, buried him in concrete somewhere far away." She nodded slowly.

"Buried alive, and I use that term loosely. Not bad," she compliment. "He'd be trapped for at least a hundred years or so. Good plan."

"I thought so." His tone clearly indicated that she was an idiot who ruined his perfect plan.

"And when those years passed, what if he got free?"

Eric paused a moment before replying, "Perhaps I would kill him then." All she could do was nod again. She thought aloud about how he would be extremely weak then, easy pickings. The two smirked at each other, amused. "I did not know such a devious side of you existed."

"My little secret," she teased. Sobering up, she hesitantly asked, "When the Authority comes…"

"I will speak in your defense," he assured her stoically and she thanked him. "Consider our debts repaid." That shocked the hell out of her but she certainly wasn't going to argue with him. "Good night."

"Good morning."

Justine slept peacefully, much to her surprise, all through the day. By the time she woke up that afternoon, she felt so much better. Still dizzy and in desperate need of sustenance, but better. A quick check of the two gunshot wounds showed no scaring whatsoever. She quickly looked at her reflection in Eric's computer screen; the scar on her cheek was gone as well. With a satisfied nod and stretch, Justine went out into the bar and had been about to take a seat when she saw Ginger, cleaning glasses. And the bloody urn she'd dumped out yesterday. The dimwitted waitress grinned and waved at Justine, who shrugged to herself and took a seat across from her. Ginger seemed to have forgotten about shooting her a few hours ago.

"Are you hungry? I could make you a peanut butter and butter sandwich?" Despite the hunger gnawing away at her, Justine shook her head in disgust.

"No, but if you have a pair of pants lying around, I'd really appreciate it."

"Oh, of course! I always keep extras, just in case!" As she ran off to fetch the pants, Justine began to wonder about what kind of scenario "just in case" might entail. Thankfully, her mind stopped that train of thought before it could really get going. "Here ya go!" she exclaimed cheerfully and Justine gratefully accepted the leather shorts, despite not wanting to know just where they'd been. She slide them on, quickly followed by tying a knot in the back of the Fangtasia shirt to show off a tiny slit of skin. It wasn't perfect but at least now she didn't feel completely naked. The door to the club opened and Ginger scream loudly, ducking beneath the bar to grab the gun. Justine turned to attack but laughed, grinning wildly as she ran straight into Alcide's arms.

"I don't believe it!" she exclaimed happily. "How'd you know I'd be here?"

"I didn't," he told her and she pulled back, a perplexed look on her face. "Eric called me, said he needed my help with something. Promised to settle all my dad's debts."

"…Oh." Behind them, they both her Ginger thank God and calm down.

"Why? You in trouble again?"

"When am I not in trouble?" She joked and the two shared a quiet laugh. "So, uh…you want a beer?" Alcide nodded and the two sat close together, Ginger serving them both a cool drink. "How your sister? Janice, right?"

"Yeah, she's fine. Whole family's fine, knock on wood." The fact that he actually knocked on wood made her smile. He was just so sweet. "Debbie's gone missing though."

Justine quirked a brow at his concerned tone and asked, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

"Knowing Debbie? I'm not too sure. I'd still watch your back though, if I were you." She nodded and an awkward silence settled over them. Justine looked at Ginger, who was totally clueless until Justine cleared her throat. All of a sudden, a light bulb went off and the waitress said she had to go clean the bathroom. As soon as she was out of sight, Alcide told her, "I've been thinking about you. A lot."

Biting her lip with a grin, she blushed and replied, "I've been thinking about you, too."

"Even had a couple dreams about you." Justine quirked a brow and grinned deviously, rising to her feet to stand in between his knees.

"Do tell," she demanded playfully. Alcide laughed, embarrassed, but put his hands on her hips regardless.

"It's good to see you again. I'd have hated it if we never saw each other again."

"Me, too." They smiled at each other, leaning in to kiss, when the back door to the employees office opened with a slam. Eric, Pam and Bill walked out, looking much better than they had the previous night. "Killjoys," she muttered under her breath.

"I heard that," Eric warned her before turning his attention to Alcide. "Good, you're here. Your truck out front?" The werewolf nodded the affirmative. "Good. We have work to do."

"You should be fine to go home now, Justine," Bill assured her.

"Thanks for the permission, Daddy Dearest," she retorted sarcastically, still annoyed that the three vampires had interrupted her moment with Alcide. "Oh, and by the way, if I haven't done so already, I rescind invitations to my home to all vampires present. Don't take it personal," she said, raising her hand at Bill, who opened his mouth to protest. "I need a vacation, okay?" Bill sighed but reluctantly nodded. Pam didn't care, just rolled her eyes in her typically bored fashion, and Eric just growled at her. He was displeased but Justine honestly didn't care, she just turned to Alcide and smiled. "It was lovely to see you again, Mr. Herveaux."

He smiled in returned, replying with a smile, "Miss L'eveque."

"Feel free to stop by whenever you get done."

"Will do."

With a roll of his eyes at the disgustingly romantic display, Eric stated, "If you two are finished eye fucking each other, let's go." Justine rolled her eyes at the Sheriff and sauntered out of the club. With closed eyes and a smile, she breathed in the night air. Aside from the smell of Russell's rotting bloody pile of a corpse, it was a great night. Things were finally settled down. For the moment. Behind her, she heard the others come out, Pam complaining about how she had to help clean up Justine's mess. Even that couldn't dampen her mood. She just stripped out of the shorts Ginger loaned her and pulled off the shirt, tossing both of them at Eric. Justine winked cheekily at him and waved goodbye to Alcide before shifting into a barn owl, flying back home.