Chapter 16: The Last Chapter! (this is not a drill, people!)
Eric spun around at the sound of a dull thud. He had been so sure however was following them had been down the street, but he realised at that moment it had been a diversion to separate them. He sprinted back as fast as his supernatural speed would allow him. The motel door still had the key in. Eric strained his senses, trying to hear something, smell something, but it was useless.
'Sam!' he cried, but he knew the hunter had most likely been knocked out. He felt despair and fear rise within him. It wasn't often he felt those emotions. He turned back and ran for the bar, for even thinking about grabbing any sort of weapon in case it really wasn't vampires.
The place was still crowded, and Eric had to control himself as he pushed his way through the crowd. He reached the bar and recognised the bar maid, but Dean wasn't there. He leaned over and got her attention by using the full force of his glamour power. He didn't have time for anything else.
'You were flirting with a young man tonight, his name was Dean.'
'Yes,' she said tonelessly.
'Where is he?'
'He spotted someone in the crowd and followed them outside about five minutes ago.'
'Damn.' He thought for a moment. 'Did you recognise whoever Dean followed?'
'I think it was Emmett Jones.' If the girl knew this person, perhaps it was demons after all. Perhaps the possessed Emmett had flashed his black eyes at Dean to get him to come out of the bar.
'And where does Emmett Jones live?' Eric demanded. She gave up the address and directions. Eric left her dazed and confused, but unharmed. He ran as if his life depended on it.
The house was a nice old thing, situation a good distance outside the town proper. Perfect for nefarious purposes and demon games. He really, really hated hell spawn. The house was a three storied, red brick, heavy set building; all the foliage around it seemed to sag towards its weight. He watched the place from across the street behind a thick oak. The curtains were drawn in every window, but there was a light downstairs. Demons could see in the dark, couldn't they? Ah, but so could he. The question was, what was the best approach? They knew he was here, and surely they knew he was a vampire and would come for Sam, and Dean. They were expecting him...
Best not to keep them waiting.
He crossed the street in the open, walking at a leisurely pace. He headed up the nice paved path between rows of roses. The door held a big brass knocked shaped like a lion's paw, but he ignored it in favour of just opening the door. True to his expectations, it wasn't locked.
The hallway was stately, filled with an intimidating staircase. The open archway into the living room gave some light, which Eric followed.
The living room wasn't the damaged wreck he had expected. Instead it was lush room of typical upper middle-class American tastes, which Eric secretly detested. A big couch with even bigger cushions faced the fireplace, next to which stood a vampire.
In truth, not what he had expected, especially since he recognised said vampire.
'Patricia.' He got a smile for that, as if she truly hadn't expected him to remember her, but who could forget the Vampire Queen of Pennsylvania? The Indian Vampire, as they called her, or Native American these days, if you were the politically correct type.
She was of average height, far too thin for Eric's tastes yet muscled in a way that spoke of a hard life. Her hair was black, long and unkept, and made her face even longer. You could always tell she wasn't pure caucasian with that hair, though her skin was whiter than a native due to her vampirism. Still, there was something about the set of her eyes or the shape of her nose that spoke of European decent.
She wasn't beautiful like a women, but she could be pretty if she wanted, which she never had. She wore what Eric could only describe as a hippie-looking dress, brown with a floral pattern. In terms of appearance and impression, she was the exact opposite of Eric's own former Queen of Louisiana. Instead of a spoiled Gucci-queen with a love for money perhaps even greater than her love for blood, Patricia was a wild thing, refusing forever interaction with mortals despite the Great Revelation. Eric had met her once, briefly, at a party for his own Queen. One thing the two women did had in common: they were both crazy. It seemed to be a requisite to becoming queen.
'Eric Northman,' she greeted with a smile. 'You're a man in high demand these days, and hard to find.' Eric knew he was faster and stronger than Patricia - she was considered the youngest vampire ever to become queen at "only" four hundred years.
'Is that why you are here? Just for me?' He noted every tiny movement of her body, but she was being deceptively calm and he wasn't sure if she was alone, yet, so he waited.
'The Authority wants you dead,' she smiled, 'but not everything is about you.' Eric frowned slightly at her tone. Patricia was usually fiercely loyal to The Authority since they had given her a purpose to continue to exist, though that faith had been shaken since the Great Revelation. Had she gone rogue? If so, that could be a point in his favour. She didn't seem the type, however, crazy bitch that she was.
'Why are you here?' As if in answer, a scream of pain was heard from somewhere in the house. Eric recognised the voice; it was Sam. He couldn't help the slight twitch in his muscles as he fought to restrain himself from running to his hunter. Patricia noted this and smiled maliciously. She toyed with a lock of her wild hair.
'So you really are fond of the mortal,' she commented, 'My underlings told me they saw you kissing him, but I didn't really want to believe a vampire of your age would stoop so low... then again, you have already killed a King and mixed with... undesirable company.' Had Eric been mortal, he would probably have swallowed uncomfortably as he tried to figure a way out of the situation. As it was, he merely stared at the Queen impassively.
Another scream rose up, Dean this time. It told of a long resistance, and then a defeat. The scream was bit off quick, and the fight started up again. Eric knew it wouldn't be long before they wrenched the next scream from him. Vampires were good at torture. Not as good as demons in Hell, obviously, but good enough.
'What do you want with them? Why take them when you want me?' If they had wanted him, they could have just taken him in the street. Dean and Sam were the primary targets.
'Oh, I want you too,' Patricia assured him, 'no need to get jealous of your little mortals. We're all here for a party.'
'I will kill you,' Eric said. He knew he could, fairly easily.
'And your mortal toy will die,' Patricia pointed out unnecessarily, with an airy flick of her hair as if she was bored with the conversation already. 'I think the best thing you can do is surrender. We've been having such a good time in this town. Your Winchesters were the third hunting party to investigate, and boy did we finally hit the jackpot.'
'Give him to me, and I won't kill you. Kill him, and you die.' For a brief moment there was a look of disgust on her face. She couldn't abide the thought of Eric caring for a mortal.
Before she could answer, the double sliding doors to the next room slid apart, revealing a man. He was in his thirties and ordinary-looking. Eric was confused for a moment by the presence of such a mortal - Patricia was well-known for her utter hatred of all humans - when a scream of pain was heard from Dean, and the normal brown eyes suddenly turned black as if in response.
'Hell spawn,' Eric hissed. The demon gazed at Eric calculatingly, tilting its head to the side in a pantomime of human gestures. Eric looked to Patricia for an explanation, and got none. 'You are working with hell spawn?' The very idea was revolting. Patricia looked to the demon.
'What?' she demanded.
'We want a turn with the younger brother as well,' the demon told her. 'We want them both, together.'
'You'll have them eventually,' Patricia demurred, smiling a sweet smile. She walked towards the demon, and he watched her with black eyes. 'We'll all have a big party, together.' Eric almost looked away in disgust as Patricia reached out and trailed a finger down the demon's face. He seemed to enjoy it. Eric heard more screams, from both brothers. The demon disappeared, closing the doors again.
'How can you work with demons?' Eric demanded. Patricia returned slowly to her spot by the mantel.
'A bit of a hypocrite, aren't we?' She blinked slowly at him, her face a grotesque simile of innocence. 'I would much rather kill mortals with a few demons, then be in love with one of the disgusting creatures. Don't you see? Demons are our kindred spirit.'
'You are mad.' She didn't react to the taunt. Screams rose up and she tilted her head to listen, closing her eyes in bliss. Eric closed his fists, nails digging into his palms.
'I have seen the light,' she said dreamily, 'and it's the fires of Hell on earth.'
'Lucifer would destroy humanity,' Eric pointed out, 'he wouldn't leave any food for us at all.'
'No, he'll keep the mortals. To torture, and bleed,' she argued. 'There'll be lots of bleeding.' She opened her eyes again and stared at him. 'Sam's probably bleeding right now. He's with my underlings of course. They've all had a taste of him. Dean's with his pals from downstairs. I wanted to draw straws, as I'm all about fair play, but in the end we decided it just made sense this way.' Eric tried to stop himself from showing a reaction, but his teeth were grinding and he knew she could see it by the curve of her smile.
'That's it,' Eric said and moved.
She, despite her taunting, had clearly not expected Eric to react physically. She was truly shocked when he was across the room before she could blink, hand around her throat so tight she couldn't scream. He squeezed and squeezed until blood streamed from her eyes and then twisted the head off entirely. Even weaker than he had anticipated, he thought as he tossed the head into the empty fireplace. She had ruled through loyalty, not strength. The Indian Queen, a strange creature; the first vampire of the New World.
He spared her no more of his thoughts and moved quickly to the doors, pressing his ear to them to ascertain where in the house the screams were coming from. He had to free Sam first, who was with vampires he could more easily defeat. They could then turn their combined efforts on the demons.
His plan was dashed, however, when he entered the dining room. The chairs were thrown haphazardly around the room, but the table, a dark thing polished to perfection, held Sam's prone body. He was naked above the waist, arms and legs tied to the legs of the table, and had three vampires feeding on him.
All three heads lifted up at the sound of door opening. They were young creatures, Eric concluded, all male; the eldest couldn't be more than a couple hundred years, and the youngest clearly a fledging.
'Eric,' Sam gasped. They couldn't have taken much from him, as he seemed to be still struggling. They were drawing the feeding out for sport.
The vampire closest to the door, the eldest by Eric's reckoning, launched himself at the intruder. Eric spun to the right and caught the head under his arm, continuing his spin and lifting the vamp off his feet by his head and sending the body flying out of the room at high velocity. He didn't bother to see where it landed before being tackled by the next contender. This one was bigger of build and used his bulk to push Eric up agains the wall. Eric was quicker, though, and grabbed hold of the head, pushing his thumbs into the eye-sockets. The vampire screamed and Eric used the distraction the pain caused to twist off the head. He was really getting good at that. The body fell to the side and Eric dropped the head, eyeing the last vamp. The little thing was trembling with fear, shooting glances at the windows.
They made their move at the same time. Eric cut the vamp off before he could reach the windows. He grabbed the longish hair and pulled. The vampire screamed a high-pitched wail of fright. Eric put a stop to that quickly. That head was the easiest to pull off of them all. Such a young thing.
'Eric, untie me!' Sam yelled. Eric got the arms first and then the legs. Sam's torso was riddled with bite marks. 'You can heal them late,' Sam rebuffed before Eric could say anything. The hunter stumbled to his shirt and jacket, lying in a pile in the corner, and shrugged them on. 'They didn't take the knife, the idiots,' he muttered as he checked his pocket. They had probably assumed it to be a normal knife.
A scream caught their attention. It was downstairs, Eric was sure now. He checked with Sam, who gave him the "let's go" look. Just as they were about to burst into action, something drew their attention to the door Eric had just come through. Another demon wearing a young hispanic woman for a meat suit. Eric didn't have time to spare a thought to where the vampire he had thrown away had gone to.
'Go get Dean, I'll take care of her,' Sam decided, shifting the knife into a fighting position and crouching. The demon smiled in response, eyes blackening. Eric hesitated. 'Go!' He left.
He slammed through the destroyed rooms of the house, ending up in the kitchen before he found the entrance to the basement. He could see light coming from below, but luckily it appeared the stairs where not the type that someone could hide under. Eric paused and took a breath before he sped down them faster than a human could see, stopping dead the moment he hit the stone floor.
Dean was also naked from the waist up, but he wasn't tied to a table. He was hanging from four hooks piercing the skin of his shoulders and upper arms. Blood ran down his back in thick rivulets and knife cuts decorated his back and probably front, though Eric couldn't see it. Demons really were better at torture.
Two demons were playing, standing on either side of Dean's limp form. One of them the man who had interrupted Patricia. The other was a female, a nice old lady, probably the original owner of the house. They both looked up when Eric arrived. At first, they looked confused - perhaps they thought Eric worked for Patricia. That theory was quickly dashed, however, when Eric started chanting an exorcism.
'Stop it, or I'll kill him!' the male demon howled, holding his knife to Dean's throat. Eric didn't stop, but shrugged as if to say "go ahead," and charged instead. He used all his strength and power, and he was quite a sight.
The one with the knife at Dean's throat was first. Eric charged him until they both collided with the far wall, finishing it with a vicious punch to the demon's chest so hard he broke all the ribs. That wouldn't stop it, however, but it distracted it long enough for Eric to turn and accept the nice old lady's offering.
She slashed at him with her knife, screaming at the top of her lungs as Eric's ongoing exorcism made her head rattle. She managed a good two inch gash on Eric's arm. He knocked her away before she could go in for another and punched at her so hard she stumbled back and fell on her ass.
The male demon grabbed his shoulders from behind, but he had managed to keep his exorcism going uninterrupted, even through the pain in his arm, so the hold was desperate and clumsy. He grabbed the demon's hands before the hell spawn could choke him. The demon was screaming its head off, angry as only a hell spawn could manage.
The old lady's demon, watching from the floor, decided to call it quits before she was sent back to hell. Her mouth opened wide and the hell spawn flew out. The other demon seemed to lose its courage at that, and Eric felt the hands crawling at his throat go slack. He let go and the body fell to the floor. He didn't really care if it was dead or alive; he was too focused on the hunter.
Silent now that the torture was over and the demons were dead, Dean looked about as bad as hell warmed over. His chest was riddled with knife, nail and bite marks. His face was pale, almost lifeless, but somehow he lifted his head. His eyes were dull as he gazed at Eric, who hurried to his side to try and life him off the hooks.
'Fuck,' Dean swore when the hooks started to give. Eric lifted him easily with one arm around the torso, slipping the hooks off with his other hand. Dean went limp in his arms once his "support" was gone. 'Thanks.' Eric wasn't sure if he heard that last part.
He heard a crash from upstairs and started to lift Dean up to carry over his shoulder, but the hunter protested.
'I can walk, just help me,' he contradicted himself. Eric slung one arm over his shoulders and put the around the bloody waist, and dragged the hunter upstairs as fast as he could. Dean was silent despite the pain his shoulders had to be in.
They returned to the dining room to find Sam on the floor, a snarling demon on top of him. Eric was a second away from throwing Dean to the floor to intervene, but Sam surprised them by managing to stick the knife right into the demon's throat, spraying blood everywhere, including right across Sam's face. The hunter reacted instantly, pushing the demon off as if it would still bite him and rubbing at his face. Eric sat Dean down quickly in a chair that was still intact and hurried to Sam's side.
'Is there any on me?' Sam asked, voice filled with panic, his eyes wild. Eric knelt in front of him and grabbed his shaking hands.
'You're fine,' he said in the calmest voice he could muster under the circumstances. 'We need to get out of here. Dean might need a hospital and two demons got out, not to mention the vampire that's unaccounted for.' Sam nodded, putting himself together and getting up. Eric went back and hefted Dean up again. The hunter said not a word, but walked mostly by himself out of the house.
'I'll run back to the motel and get the car,' Eric told them. He handed Dean over to Sam as swift yet delicate as they could. Then he ran.
'Okay, lie down on your stomach,' Sam urged his brother. He had patched up the bite and knife marks with bandages in the car, but the holes from the hooks needed stitches. Fucking hooks, was all Sam could think as he surveyed the damage. Dean was limp as a rag doll, probably exhausted from the pain more than the blood loss. They hadn't stuck the hooks deep, but thanks to Dean's weight the wounds were pulled open. Sam swallowed at the sight and set to work preparing his needle and thread. He hadn't asked if Dean rather wanted some of Eric's help. He was pretty sure Dean didn't want any supernatural help.
'Get me the whiskey bottle,' Sam told Eric, nodding towards the duffle bag. Eric got it out and handed it to Sam, who used it to clean the wounds and then leaned forward to pour some into Dean's mouth. His brother lapped it up gratefully. His head flopped back down after. Sam kinda hope he passed out. There had been enough pain for one night.
'I need to go,' Eric told him, standing by the bed looking a little lost with nothing to do. Sam glanced up at him. 'I can heal your wounds before I go.'
'They're fine,' Sam said, shifting his weight a bit to feel out his wounds. The bite marks weren't big, just painful. They had taunted him mostly. They could smell Eric on him, apparently. The thought made him shiver. 'Just a few bandaids and I'll be fine. You should go. The sun's coming.' Eric looked out the window at the brightening sky, before turning back to Sam.
'You'll be gone by nightfall?'
'Yeah, we'll head northwest, I think,' Sam said. 'Hopefully two states over by the time you catch up.'
'We'll talk tomorrow night then,' Eric concluded and made for the door. Sam looked up, catching the vampire's eye as Eric glanced back at the same moment.
'Do you think other vampires are working with demons?' Sam asked.
'I do not know,' Eric said truthfully, but the thought filled him with dread. Sam returned to his stitching, and Eric left.
The sky was brightening quickly, so Eric walked hurriedly towards a wooded area down the road. They had driven as fast as they could out of town, and had reached a small gathering of houses more than a proper town, but it had a motel so they had parked around back. He didn't have time to find a graveyard so he would have to sleep in the earth. The cold embrace of it sounded appealing right then.
A van parked on the side of the road suddenly roared to life. Eric at first didn't think anything of it, but then it suddenly sped towards him. If they were local hooligans out for some fun, they were certainly going to get it. The black van stopped right next to him and the door slid open.
Four vampires all reached for him. The last thing he felt was a needle in his throat, and then darkness took him just as the sun rose.
Dean had finally decided he would drive the next shift. His shoulders still hurt like a bitch, but watching Sam getting distracted every two seconds was going to do him a lot more harm in the end, so he had ordered Sam to pull over.
Four days of bitch-faced Sam. It was enough to drive any man crazy.
He hadn't even dared ask about Sam's reaction to getting demon blood on his face. It's not like they hadn't gotten sprayed countless times before from all sorts of creatures. Sure, it was creepy, but Sam's reaction seemed off. He had kept silent about it, however, under the circumstances.
Three days and no sign of the vampire. After the first night with no answer and no call, Sam had turned the Impala around. They had searched everywhere around the motel they had crashed in after the hook incident, as Dean now though of it, but had found no signs of anything.
They were two states over again now, and Dean wanted to take a case Bobby had sent them. Sam seemed to be comfortable in his limbo of dark thoughts and bouts of anger. Like right now, Sam was just staring out the window. He still had a bandaid on his neck from where one of the fuckers had bitten him, and he was still missing his own vampire like Eric was his lost puppy.
'We have no leads,' Dean broke the silence. He preferred talking in the car. Less eye contact.
'He might call,' Sam said for the hundredth time.
'We've been stuck like this before, and you know what we do? We keep hunting.' He didn't say he thought Eric was dead, but he pretty much assumed it was a sure thing.
'I know,' Sam sighed reluctantly. 'I know, all right? It's just... this is my fault.'
'How is it your fault?'
'I dragged him into this,' Sam pointed out. 'It was all me. I asked him to help us. He could be happy at his club down in Louisiana, but I fucked it up.'
'He's a vampire,' Dean argued. 'I'm sure he didn't expect things to remain the same forever. Besides, I think I remember something about him showing up on our doorstep and kissing you.' He didn't like saying it, but he had to stop Sam from thinking such stupid thoughts.
'I just hope he's okay,' Sam mumbled.
'He's lived a thousand years, right?' Dean asked, vaguely remembering someone mentioning it. Sam confirmed it with a nod. 'I'm sure he'll outlive us all.' Sam's sad face relaxed a tiny increment, so Dean considered it a victory. He sped up towards the next case.
He tried to ignore the part of him that was clinging to the hope that Eric really was okay.
Notes: Yes, this is the end of Supernatural Blood. I wanted to end this story so that I could (eventually) start on a fresh page for the next installment. I need a break from this world to figure some things out, and I need to start focusing on my other story as well, so it works out nicely that way.
Note on Patricia: I don't use original characters often, but when I do use them I make sure to write up a profile of them before I ever write a word of dialogue for them in the story. Usually, this profile just sits on my computer, but I thought maybe you'd like to see it? Add a review/comment and I'll post it!
Note to readers: Thanks you so much for going on this crazy ride with me. It spawned from just a single fact that Sam and Eric are the same height (in real life). I hope you've enjoyed yourself, and thank you for reading. You're awesome.