Indie Fic

The Indie Fic Contest

Title: Deadly Nightshade

Characters: Primary - Hunter and Thalia

Word Count: 7635

Summary: She was his eyes, he was her heart, together they were unstoppable. In a world still reeling from the revelation fairy tales were genuine, a powerful young telepath is kidnapped and almost brought to his knees only to find freedom at the hands of an assassin.

The young human watched the vampire mercenary stride toward him, all loose limbed predatory grace. The vampire towered over his companions, silver blond hair braided back, and a warrior's body topped with dangerously cunning eyes. The vampire's Child paced to his right and slightly behind. She mirrored her sire's steps a smaller but just as deadly twin predator. The other male trailed the two vampires. His eyes always moving, nose lifted to the air, thick dark hair and a ripped muscular body displayed by his too tight t-shirt. He was one of the two natured, a wolf by the mental signature the human read.

The human waited patiently for them in the buildings shadows. The woman in his arms a barely noticeable weight. She whimpered and his eyes unfocused for a brief moment while he reassured her. The small distraction noticed immediately by the mercenary and his two lieutenants now standing near the human pair. As if sensing their measuring stare, the human broke his concentration and turned his attention to the three supernatural's holding motionless in front of him.

"You will keep her safe?" The human demanded looking from the tall vampire to the frail blonde woman he still clutched in his arms.

"It is what you hired us for is it not?" the undead Viking mercenary retorted.

The human bit his lip and the vampire's brow lifted in amusement. The human's face hardened with resolve. Now was not the time for him to back down from his decision, it was the only way to keep her safe, the only way he could get through what the dreams had warned him would be their future.

His decision made the human took a step forward and offered his prize to the mercenary. She was removed from his arms carefully and he watched as the vampire's nostrils flared as her scent registered. A flash of surprise, eyes narrowed in calculation and then the Viking shifted her gently in his arms, being careful not to bruise her fragile flesh. Then he raised a large hand to sweep aside locks of hair the same hue as his own from a feminine brow.

Observing the unconscious gentleness with which the vampire was handling his charge, Hunter nodded once and turned to go. "Her name is Sookie," he offered over his shoulder and then he strode away from the four of them never looking back.

The dreams had told him Eric Northman was the one person he could trust to protect his Aunt from those who hunted the two of them. She would be angry with Hunter when she woke from the deep sleep in which he had placed her but it was for her own good. Unfortunately the vampire was going to have his hands full with one pissed off out of control hybrid fairy telepath when she rose back to consciousness. The mercenary had a reputation for his lethalness and the strength of his word once given. Eric had informed Hunter he could get her the help she needed and keep her safe, for the right price. A price Hunter had agreed to without blinking an eye.

The fairy magic which kept Sookie looking more like his sister than the aunt of the twenty five year old had grown unstable. She could not control it and her telepathy had grown exponentially as well, destroying the shields she labored to build to keep other minds out. The two of them had been on the run for years, had escaped from various facilities, human and vampire alike who had thirsted after their power. But Sookie could run no more, she needed the help of her fairy kin and Hunter did not have the means of contacting them.

The thousand plus year old vampire, Eric Northman did. At least that is what Hunter's dreams had been telling him for the last few months. Get Aunt Sookie to Eric Northman and he would care for her, protect her and potentially in the long run, love her. With Sookie defended from those who endlessly sought them out, Hunter would be able to lead their pursuers away from the aunt he adored above all others. She had been the one to protect and raise him, to teach him how to use his powers, to anchor his humanity so he would not give in to the rage that pushed him to end their torment once and for all. She would not let him destroy those who chased them, even though it would be so easy to slide into their minds and give a tug here, a tear their and rip their psyche to ribbons. Sookie wouldn't kill, but her new vampire guardian would, Hunter was counting on it.

Hunter had managed to avoid his pursuers for three months and a dozen states, slipping through their traps and ambushes, drawing them further and further away from Sookie and her new Guardian.

He had felt her when she awoke and discovered him gone; her mental scream had given him a headache for a couple of days. He would reach out to her now and then, checking to make sure she was still ok. She seemed to be healthy enough and apparently the vampire was taking up most of her thoughts. Hunter laughed to himself when he plucked out Sookie's several attempts to escape from her annoyingly stubborn sexy vampire warden from her mind; and those honorifics were on her good days. Yes it appeared the Northman was keeping her preoccupied, just as he wished. Hunter just hoped the Viking had been able to locate her fairy kin and get her the help she needed.

Now Hunter was in yet another city, thousands of miles away from his Aunt Sookie and trying to find a modicum of normalcy to brighten his day.

Vivian stopped her ministrations for a brief moment to look up the body of the gorgeous man in her bed to catch a glimpse of his topaz eyes. Those same eyes, heavy lidded, locked with hers and the hint of danger she found in those lustrous pools had her catching her breath in desire. For a brief moment she took in the sharp cheekbones evenly matched with the cat like slant of his gaze. He reminded her of some of the fantastical paintings at the library of elves and fairies, with his shaggy hair falling about his face in chocolate waves.

His body was all but purring under her fingertips. The golden skin pulled tautly over hard toned muscle, reminiscent of a Grecian sculpture. She moaned and then bent back to what she had been doing; drawing the silken steel of his length between her lips, tongue swirling over the bulbous head as one hand gently cradled his balls. Her other hand was busy exploring and enjoying the rest of him moving in counterpoint to her lips and tongue.

Above her Hunter groaned, his restless hands finding their way into her red mane as he carefully guided her movements. He struggled with keeping his hips quiet, not wishing to hurt her by taking all control and fucking her mouth as he wished too, instead letting her set the pace, for now.

They had met at a Club a few blocks away. He had yearned for a drink, and maybe an hour or two of people watching before finding oblivion in his hotel bed. She had been dancing on the stage, a fiery red head well aware of her effect on the audience. He had taken a quick dip in her head and found out she actually loved her job. When her show was finished she had left the stage and wandered over near him. He had purchased her a bottle of water, started to talk for a bit and shortly thereafter ended up back here in his room.

They had already had sex once, Hunter making sure she had her pleasure first before seeking his own. They had dozed a bit until she had woken him with her busy lips and hands.

Now he was on the edge of release, her lips and hands increasing the rhythm as she sensed how close he was, his balls tightening, his hands releasing her hair to grasp the twisted sheets below him. She grinned around him and purred, the vibration all he needed to come with a groan, his whole body clenching and then releasing in pleasure.

She licked him clean with another murmur and he smiled down at her through partially closed eyes, his body completely languid. He went to reach for her, to pull her up and hold her against his chest while he recovered, but stopped when his mental net started to scream in alarm.

In only seconds he was out of the bed, dumping her to the mattress in a heap as he pulled on his jeans and t-shirt. Before Vivian could open her mouth to complain, he had his shoes on and was stuffing a wallet and keys into his pocket.

Hunter raced over to her, dropped a kiss on her lips in apology and said, "Sorry cher, time to go, the room is yours for the rest of the night," and then he was out the door and gone.

Vivian pouted as she left the mussed bed to take a shower. Shortly thereafter she was seated in the room's only chair, brushing out her hair when the door to the hallway smashed open. She never had a chance to scream before she was hauled up against a hard body and a gloved hand covered her mouth. Her eyes bulged as she watched a half dozen men stream into and through the room, checking every corner, even under the bed before four of them went back into the hallway.

Two men were left in the room, including the one holding her. The second man stood in front of them, his dark eyes reptilian in nature. She could see little else, for he was covered heat to toe in military type fatigues.

"No one else here Sir," one of the men at the door announced.

Snake eyes looked over Vivian and asked, "Where is he?" as her captor released her mouth allowing her the ability to speak.

She licked her lips before she spoke, her voice trembling in fear, "He ran out of here, ten minutes before you arrived."

He struck her, the force of his blow breaking her jaw. "You stupid bitch," he growled. "You were supposed to keep him occupied."

She was shaking, not only from pain but terror of what she saw in his eyes. She struggled against her captor and fate, her attempt futile.

"Kill her," Snake eyes ordered then turned away from the sound of the whore's neck breaking. "Put her back on the bed; make it look like he killed her then join up with the rest of us." He then strode between the guards at the door, growling at them to follow him as they tried to pick the trail of the telepath back up.

Hunter sensed all of this from his car two blocks away where he waited for the light to turn. His enemies were getting better; the girl had scanned clean to him. Perhaps she really had no idea what had been planned for her. No matter, Hunter had learned his lesson; he wouldn't be slaking his bodily needs anytime in the future with anything but the palm of his hand.

The people hot on his trail had been hired by an agency run by the vampire Bill Compton and funded by the human billionaire Steve Newlin. Newlin's so called charitable donations were known to be behind some of the most notorious governmental experiments, both military and civilian. Since vampires, shifters, fairies and other fantastical creatures had stepped into the limelight, announcing they were real and telling humans just to get used to it, Newlin had pretty much purchased the human government out from under the constitution. He was a religious fanatic with millions of followers determined to exterminate anything he considered abnormal, at least in public. Behind the scenes, he was a manic collector of rarities, no matter what the species.

Compton had been on their tail for an eternity fully besotted and obsessed with Sookie, claiming she was his when he ran into her at the bar she was working at many years ago. She had needed money for food and clothing for Hunter, only 10 at the time and coming full into his powers, and had taken a position at the local bar. Bill Compton had come to the bar to speak to a shifter and some drunken human had bumped into Sookie, causing her to drop the glasses she was juggling. She had had to kneel to clean up the broken mess and ended up slicing a finger not far from the table where Compton was in discussion.

With the scent of her blood in the air, Compton had come on point, leaving the shifter at the table and offering a solicitous hand to Sookie. He then followed her home and proceeded to become one of her living nightmares. She tried to run during the day, grabbing up Hunter and their miniscule belongings then high tailing it out of town but Compton had found them and had taken them into captivity.

The icing on Compton's fairy tale cake after the kidnapping was the discovery of Sookie's gift and there after Hunter's. Their telepathy became something to be traded, abused and traded again, all for Compton's pleasure of course. His obscenities brought them to the attention of the vampire monarchies and then his stupidity and greed put the human government on their radar, all for national security of course.

Sookie might have been blonde, but she wasn't stupid and found a way to escape their clutches with Hunter in tow, leaving Compton to run behind howling and fuming as his toys got away.

Now Sookie was safe, at least for now and Hunter was back on the run. He drove for two days straight until exhaustion caught up with him. He pulled over in a small town, dumped the car and with only a bag slung over his shoulder found an uneasy rest under a weeping willow tree next to a slow moving river. The soft rush of water lulled him to sleep as well as making the fatal mistake of forgetting to throw out his protective mental net.

The only warning Hunter received was the brush of nylon against leaves as the commando attacked. It was enough to have Hunter on his feet, two wicked daggers in his hands as he crouched and blocked the incoming blow. The two men circled each other warily, Hunter with the advantage of being able to pick the next move from the commando's head before he made it.

While they fought, Hunter scanned the area and swore when he sensed his attacker's back up closing in on him. There was very little time; he had to get away now before he was surrounded. The commando lunged at him, dual batons swinging and Hunter spun and ducked out of his way. Hunter's follow through slipped past his attackers guard, slitting the commando's throat before sprinting out from the cover of the tree, hoping to out run his pursuers.

He ran for a couple of miles, using every bit of cover he could and avoiding even the hint of a mental signature. His heart dropped when he caught the throb of a helicopter and the roar of all terrain vehicles in the distance. He scanned the river below him, hoping he could find a way to forge across to the other side, but the deep slow moving currents warned him it would be a fool hardy attempt.

Hunter was determined to get away, confident he could avoid the humans. He was still running when the sun dropped below the horizon, bringing another variable into the pursuit. It wasn't long before the sound of the persistent helicopter was joined in by a rustle running parallel to his path.

Breathe wheezing, side throbbing in pain, Hunter kept moving even though he knew his capture was at hand. He could sense the void next to him, and a small dip into the snake like pit of its mind told him all he needed. There were four more waiting for him ahead and there would be no getting around them. He slowed his movement to a walk, shrugged his shoulder and with a sardonic smile aimed at the shadow pacing him; Hunter sauntered out of the brush line into the waiting arms of his enemy.

"Welcome home, pet," Compton announced as he met the laughing Hunter with the meat of his fist, laying him out cold. "Get him loaded up," he ordered the vampire's behind him. Compton watched balefully as his officers roughly lifted the unconscious telepath and hauled him over to the waiting helicopter.

"He will regret he ever ran from me," Compton muttered. "Soon he will tell me where his precious Sookie is, and I will bring her back where she belongs, right into my arms."

He signaled the rest of his retinue and headed over to another helicopter waiting to take him on the first leg back to their compound.

Hunter winced when the light hit his eyes as he woke, his body aching from head to toe. He carefully raised his sore head and found himself bound upright naked, his arms and legs spread, held with chains and shackles to the ceiling and floor of a barren white walled room. The smell of antiseptic and the scream of hundreds of mental signatures told Hunter he was back at Compton's so called Mental Institute for the Gifted. Foolish family members from all over the nation sent their children and spouses here when it became obvious something was 'wrong' with them because they heard voices are saw thing which never happened. It was a living experimental hell and Hunter was not looking forward to his future here.

A door opened in the far corner and Bill Compton strolled in followed by two burly human guards. A swift mental probe and Hunter found nothing to fear from them, the vampire however was another matter. His slithering mind was filled with images of torture and mayhem, all swirled with an indecent pleasure.

"You never should have run from me boy," Compton snarled in rage as he pulled a cat o nine tails from behind his back. The fluorescent lighting caught the gleam of razor sharp metal at each tip and the blood lust in the vampire's eyes as he bared his fangs.

Hunter had barely a moment to center himself in preparation for the pain before Bill stepped behind him and let go with the first blow. The whistle of the leather through the air was the only warning before the slashing pain of leather and metal sheering through the skin of Hunter's back overwhelmed him. He lost count of the number of blows, concentrating only on holding his center to keep the pain away. Compton was growling and snarling behind him, each blow increasing as the smell and sound of Hunter's blood dripping to the floor filled the room.

Compton was furious at the steadfast refusal of the bound telepath before him to scream or show his pain in any other way. Disgusted and aroused, the vampire tossed away the whip and moved toward the telepath, reaching out one finger to catch a drop of blood before bringing it to his lips to savor. His blood lust deepened at the faint hint of Fae in the red liquid, not as strong as his Aunt's but present none the less.

To the disgust of the waiting guards, Compton began to run his tongue and lips over the numerous stripes and welts his punishment had left behind, gathering up every drop of blood, and of course as a result of the vampire's saliva, Hunter's wounds began to close. Since whipping hadn't been enough to bring the telepath low, and fully engorged and throbbing from the blood he had just consumed, Compton lowered the zipper of his Khaki's, pulled out his member and began to rape the human hanging at just the right level before him.

The first thrust caught Hunter by surprise and barely penetrated. The second had him struggling, trying to get away. The third and fourth finally had him screaming as the vampire started to use his preternatural speed, ripping and tearing Hunter's body. The telepath finally let all the pain consume him, gladly dropping into unconsciousness, never feeling the rest of the abuse Compton laid upon him before leaving the room and the others to care for the telepath.

The next time Hunter awoke, he found himself in a padded cell, furnished with a cot, table, chair, commode and sink. The front wall was translucent, allowing him to be observed from without and granting little to no privacy. There was another cell across from him that he could see, empty for the moment, and cell's to either side of him, only one currently with an occupant.

He took measure of his wounds, his back still throbbing in agony as well as other things. He was thankful the guards had at least dumped him on his stomach and swore at himself for being stupid enough to be caught. He remembered in detail the hell Sookie and he to a lesser extent had gone through at Compton's hands the first time, it wasn't going to be easy keeping his sanity. An hour later the guards returned and Hunter was introduced to his daily regime of drug therapy followed by demands to display his abilities.

Compton had Hunter again in his power, abusing him, using him, doing all he could to break Hunter and force him to reveal Sookie's location. He was moved to a cell far from others and drugs and magic pumped through his system to increase his abilities and his torment. He was taken out like a show horse, naked to prance and cavort around to amuse politicians and vampires alike, sightless because of the narcotics placed in his veins. At twenty five years old, a tiny part Fae, gifted with preternatural charisma, telepathic Hunter was a sculpted work of human art lusted over by the powerful and Compton's greatest asset.

Compton preened among his betters, the Kings and Queens, the Congressmen and the Generals who came to see his wares, to test Hunter's mettle and call him weapon.

Hunter ignored it all, holding his center deep inside, shielded and secluded from the chaos without. He waited and he planned, eternally patient, gifted with the knowledge a mistake would inevitably be made.

One of his goals had been attained; Sookie was safe and hidden with the Viking. She perhaps had yet to find love in the vampire's arms, but she had earned respect and an odd form of equality. Sookie was strong; Hunter was stronger as Compton would soon become aware.

Compton had made a grave misjudgment. If he had thought Sookie to be his blade, his sniper, his quiet deadly assassin; Compton in turn had considered Hunter the inferior. A glass knife to one of steel, a flint locks to the forty four. What he did not comprehend was Hunter was so much more than a mind reader. Hunter was a fucking nuclear bomb, and he was royally pissed. Compton's stupidity in enhancing Hunter's abilities would go a long way to ending his undead life.

Six months had passed since Hunter's capture, day and night bleeding into an odd eternity when Hunter sensed a change, the signal he had awaited. Someone new had joined the padded cells around him, someone other than Barry the insane telepath, or the unnamed weather witch who was trapped forever buried in desert sand. Someone who hissed and yowled with ferocity, which refused to yield to fist, fang or taser. Someone who could only be bound by the black magic's of Compton's coven.

Hunter knew every human walking and talking among these hidden walls. He knew every shifter, every witch, every supernatural being down to their very chromosomes thanks to his power and the drugs which enhanced it. He had no doubt he would know this woman just as well. The new inmate placed near him paced her cell measuring out stride by stride her limits. She reached out with her senses, lightly brushed against his but dismissed him as unimportant, unworthy of her notice.

He tsked to himself and laughed softly. She was the elder, the weight of her existence granite upon her shoulders. Her voice he knew would be dark silk, the taste of honey and figs and her body would be a compact killing machine. She would be his belledone. She would help rid him of his ennemie mortelle. She would guide him home. In his mind, battling with the touch of insanity which always loomed, the soft teasing language of Hunter's father reassured him the time had come.

The first time they were brought together was the interrogation room. Hunter's keepers led him from his cell and walked him down the long hall then left him on his own in the bleach scented room. Hunter reached out mentally until he found the observer waiting behind a mirrored wall then slipped into the human's mind silently, smoothly integrating his senses until Hunter peered out at himself through another's eyes. He watched as the door behind him opened and the guards dragged a small struggling female form inside, tethering her to a chair while Hunter stood silent before her.

It was difficult, using someone else's vision especially from a different perspective to assist in his movements, but Hunter had become an expert since his own sight had been stolen from him. He moved his body like a gamer playing an avatar behind a computer screen, turning his body and walking to the other chair available in the room, seating himself while he waited for a command.

In the mean time he used the stranger's eyes to peruse the female in the room. She was tiny, maybe five foot, with very little softness displayed by the prison like clothes. Her hair was a mop of tight curls, her skin toasted almonds, her eyes a hardened glitter over a roman nose and full lips. The fangs she bared at those who had deposited her identified her as vampire but it was the stink of magic which told the tale of how she was contained by mere humans.

She was watching him in turn and he felt the touch of her vampiric aura as she sought to identify him as a threat or no concern. Apparently his obvious blindness shoved him in the weak and of no concern category because she turned her attention back to the closed doors with intensity.

Soon after the doors swished open and another man entered. He was of average height, average coloring but his eyes were reptilian and his lips twisted into a perpetual sneer. This was Gabe, Compton's second in command and the person who was in charge of this particular complex. He had personally led the attempts to capture Hunter and had left his own set of scars on Hunter's skin.

Gabe ignored Hunter for now, instead approaching the seated vampire. He paced in front of her for a few minutes before standing with legs spread and arms crossed in an attempt to intimidate her, causing Hunter to chuckle behind him at the absurdity of a human thinking to dominate a vampire.

Gabe scowled and Hunter choked for a moment when the punishing voltage from the control collar around his neck swept through his body, but his laughter continued despite the pain. Hunter knew how to push Gabe's buttons and they both knew it.

The vampire flicked an eyebrow in surprise as she avidly watched the by play between the two human's, not quite picking up on the undercurrents beneath it all.

Hunter had slid into Gabe's head, ignoring the increased pain, and he shuffled through the thoughts and fears laid before him. This was a game he played, to keep Gabe on his toes, and to push himself to pains limit. He was conditioning his body to take the massive abuse while inflicting a bit of his own torment.

Gabe snarled and whirled out of the room, returning a few moments later with one of the witches they employed. She in turn cast a spell on Gabe to keep Hunter out of his head for a short period of time, a spell which could only be maintained as long as Gabe was in her physical presence.

Satisfied with his results, Hunter ignored Gabe and instead turned his attention to finding a way to get around the witches spell, only half of his awareness to the room around him.

Gabe turned away from the telepath and returned to his stance in front of the vampire.

"You are Thalia," he pronounced with confidence. "Our people have been able to identify this much about you. You sell your skills to the highest bidder and are known to be a deadly opponent. What is not known is why you are here and who hired you."

The vampire identified as Thalia said nothing, just stared Gabe down with a smirk on her lips.

"We have ways of getting the information we need," Gabe stated. "Ways which can be painful physically or ways which may be akin to mental rape. Either way you will tell us what we require."

There was no reply to his threat, just indifference as Thalia made it clear she felt Gabe to be beneath her notice.

Gabe shrugged, "Very well then, Telepath do your thing."

With a tingle of pain warning Hunter he should obey, he turned sightless eyes toward the vampire and reached out mentally, carefully skirting her natural shields before slipping into the morass of her mind.

She met him there with a mental feral snarl, fighting to defend her secrets. Hunter brushed her away and carefully peered through her mental files, looking for the information he could use instead of their captors.

It took him only milliseconds to find what he was looking for and it was difficult to hide his elation. He made the decision on the fly and opened his mind to Thalia in turn, showing her that he was the one she was there to find and offering to share information. She agreed and laid out the plan made by her employer, Hunter made adjustments with the data he had and then slipped out of her mind to start the first step of their escape.

"She is working for Peter Threadgill and is here on a scouting mission to pin point Compton's schedule and movements," Hunter said quietly.

"Anything else?" Gabe demanded.

Hunter shook his head, "She has some mental blocks installed to hide things from those like me. It would take me time to break through them."

Gabe paced for a moment before lifting his head and summoning the guards to remove Hunter and Thalia and take them back to their cells for now. Hunter allowed himself to be led from the room, but maintained his contact with the hidden observer, listening in mentally on his conversation with Gabe and two others. When he was satisfied they had believed his story, Hunter dropped the contact with a secret smile.

Thalia had nothing to do with Threadgill, a vampire Monarch who had a score to settle with Compton over some broken contracts. She had been sent to infiltrate the compound and free a prisoner; a telepath named Hunter Savoy and return him safely to her employer, Eric Northman. She was one of his assassins, well paid and very good at her job.

She hadn't expected it to be easy but the knowledge the human she was trying to break free was blind was cause for a few doubts. When they were returned to their cells, Hunter reached out to her again and showed her how he could use the senses of those around him; in fact he could share her eyes if she allowed, assisting them in getting free. Once she was convinced, he also showed her what he planned to leave behind when they breached the walls. She was impressed and the fleeting thought he would make a great vampire was transferred through their contact.

Hunter just laughed and bombarded her for news from home, stopping only when he sensed their captors monitoring the use of his abilities.

The second time they were brought together, Thalia had faked the collapse of her mental shields from drugs and spells. Like the first time Hunter was brought to the interrogation room, but this time Compton had foolishly decided to join in the fun.

Hunter had reached the point where he could steadfastly ignore any of the pain applied and his system was becoming immune to the drugs. Occasionally he could make out shadowed movement as his body over came the drugs momentarily, hinting at the potential return of his sight. He still faked being affected by pain, and played the cowed captive to Gabe's delight. This was another reason for Compton being included in the interrogation, Gabe wanted to show off to Bill how easily he had broken Hunter.

Thalia was waiting in the room when Hunter was brought in and pushed into a seat in the corner. She was restrained only by magic and Hunter began right away to seek out mentally the witch responsible.

Compton and Gabe entered, with Gabe's arm slung over Bill's back, the two men appearing as the best of friends.

Hunter allowed his lip to curl when he sensed their entry, briefly scanning their surface thoughts while he struggled to break through the witch's shields.

He kept on ear open to the conversation, as Gabe bragged to Bill. He dutifully pretended to read Thalia's mind while he frantically ripped through the witches defenses. He was successful and knocked her unconscious, causing the spell containing Thalia to fall.

Before they could stop her, she was across the room and Gabe laid dead at her feet his throat torn out. She held Bill Compton easily, his hands wrapped around behind him, his body bent so she could easily reach his throat, waiting for Hunter to make the next move.

He had already removed Compton's ability to call out and had convinced the guards mentally to look away from the security cameras. He wasted little time getting to the point as he informed Bill.

"You are going to your true death today Bill, and there is nothing you can do to stop us. Sookie wishes you a fast track to hell and I am sincerely happy to oblige her," Hunter said with a smile then ripped into Compton's mind destroying everything in his wake while Thalia slammed a fist through Compton's back and tore out his heart. It was fast, it was messy, and it left Hunter less than satisfied, as he craved the retribution of torture. But it was all that could be done if they wished to escape this madhouse.

"Time to go Belledone," Hunter said to Thalia with a cheeky grin, stepping over the mess on the floor. She waited for him patiently while he took over the thoughts of the guards, getting them to release the locks on the doors before shutting down their minds. The door opened and the guards dropped to the floor like discarded toys.

Thalia grabbed a taser from a guard and then Hunter's hand as she led him out into the hallway. He murmured for a moment, stating he would need her to guide him for a few more seconds while he took care of the rest of the facility. She waited patiently as he worked his mental magic to their advantage.

Keeping a small portion of his attention on the vampire guiding him, Hunter threw out a mental net to encompass the compound. As each employee's mental signature moved across his radar, Hunter reached out and snuffed out their life one by one with a mental scalpel. He truly may have been able to escape on his own, if his sight had not been stolen, but with the vampire at his side guiding him and watching his back, it was inevitable the two of them would be able to walk away scot free.

Before he killed the guards on the cell block, he had them open all the cages, setting the 'patients' free. The havoc wrought served as another diversion and with a weary smile Hunter signaled he was done to his companion.

He slipped into Thalia's head and piggy backed her eyes, moving his body fluidly with her own until it was difficult to tell where she started and he began. They made it out of the building and into the parking lot with only a few instances to stop them, guards who had been beyond Hunter's mental net yet still handicapped by the fear of the unknown. How did their fellow guards fall so silently and without apparent wounds? Thalia took care of these nuisances efficiently and it was not long before they were speeding down the highway in a stolen car she had hotwired.

Hunter directed her to one of his weapon caches which he had maintained in every state. There they found the supplies and finances necessary to get them back to Louisiana where Northman waited for them.

Hunter gifted Thalia with two of his favorite blades, daring to brush a kiss along her sharp cheekbones when she accepted them. She smiled at him, flashing a bit of fang in appreciation before helping to pack up the rest of his things.

Hunter was happy to be physically armed again and as the days and miles passed ecstatic to find his vision returning as the drugs were flushed from his system. He was still uneasy about their direct return to where he had hidden Sookie, but Thalia assured him that Eric had his reasons. The political climate was changing and Newlin was slowly being toppled from power. The vampire monarchies had their hands full dealing with treachery from within as officers tired of watching their monarchs kiss human ass in turn for political favor. The where about of a human telepath was a grain of sand in comparison to the chaos currently rampaging the country.

This did not mean pursuit stopped, or that Hunter and Thalia could roam the towns and cities with impunity, far from it. Newlin had his own mercenaries, supernatural and human, who were dedicatedly rounding up the escapees from his mental institution.

There were several clashes and while it was not always with ease, Hunter and Thalia remained victorious, leaving only ash or inexplicable deaths behind them.

The two had become friends during their journey, Thalia sharing stories of the past two millennia she had survived. She was gruff at first, but warmed to him quickly when he was swift to open his mind for her perusal, giving her a trust she had found nowhere else. He respected her privacy, maintaining a distance mentally and physically unless she initiated it.

They would pass the time when they were stopped in the evening sparring with each other. Thalia had picked up on Hunter's love for blade work and was fascinated by the way he could read her moves before she made them. He wasn't able to physically act as fast, for her preternatural speed still made her the superior, but it allowed him to learn moves from her swiftly and accurately.

There had been a few encounters which forced them to share blood, one where she had been hurt severely when they were attacked by other vampires. Hunter had to offer his own wrist to feed her so she could heal. In turn she gave him blood if he was hurt during battle and the bond was begun between them. Yet they were very careful not to cross the line which would bind them for eternity, neither one of them were prepared for that type of commitment.

They were within days of Eric's encampment and Hunter was restless in the rooms they were renting. His vision was fully restored, they hadn't been attacked in days and his body was demanding he take care of its physical needs.

Thalia had been watching him for some time now, yet had never indicated willingness to take him to her bed. She was a beautiful vampire; her predatory grace emphasizing her feminine curves and this night Hunter was finding it difficult to contain his lust. The last thing he needed this close to being back with Sookie was to have his throat torn out by a pissed off vampire.

So Hunter excused himself for a shower, adjusted the temperature so that it was bordering on cold, stripped off his clothes and stepped in to wash his body and take care of a more pressing need.

He didn't hear the door open, or the fall of her clothes to the floor, as he was braced against the shower wall, head thrown back as his free hand leisurely stroked his arousal toward completion.

His first identification someone was with him was when the water changed to a more pleasant temperature. His second was the slight form pressed against his back and the tiny hands which pushed his aside and took up a faster stronger rhythm. She stopped when he was on the brink, and he felt the tease of fangs scraping across his back before he spun around and gathered her into his arms.

She happily assisted as he lifted her and placed her back against the tiled wall, her legs wrapping around him as her busy mouth teased along his throat. With his free hand, Hunter explored her tiny body, paying special attention to the tightened nipples upon her luscious breasts. Her skin was silken over the tensile steel of muscle, responsive to his every touch until he had his vampire panting unnecessarily in his arms.

She gladly welcomed him when he lowered her to encompass his length, her thighs and inner muscles gripping him hard. He bit back a groan before gifting her with a kiss as he slowly began to move within her. She met every thrust, drawing him deep and her moans encouraged him on, soon they were both on the edge but Hunter was determined to have her first to fall. He slipped a free hand between them, talented fingers tweaking and rubbing at her sensitive bundle of nerves. A hard pinch sent her over, her resultant reaction to gasp and then bite into his shoulder. The draw of her lips upon his skin and the feel of his blood being pulled from his body was enough to have Hunter spilling inside of her in ecstasy of his own.

Thalia did not take much blood, lapping at the wounds which marked him with a delicate tongue to seal and heal them. Hunter had set her down gently, both of them groaning at his withdrawal from her body, and then reached for a set of towels to dry them both. They were satiated for now, and returned to the main room to collapse on the bed and cuddle.

They shared each other's bodies twice more before the call of dawn pulled Thalia under and exhaustion coerced Hunter to follow. For the moment they were safe and together, the odd couple of human and vampire happy in each other's company.

A state traveled later found them walking up an impressive driveway to a gated compound. The guards took their identification, summoned a car for them and then drove them to the entrance of the renovated plantation.

Hunter was the first eagerly from the car, while Thalia was content to pace at his shoulder. They had barely touched the threshold of the front door before it was thrown open and a whirling dervish of blonde hair leaped into Hunter's arms.

Hunter gathered his Aunt Sookie close, their minds meshing and trading information as he spun her around laughing. She demanded he let her down, and then proceeded to examine his form looking for damage. Hunter brushed her away tenderly then introduced Thalia. After the introductions were made Sookie beckoned them inside to meet Eric and his household.

The rest of the evening was quiet while Hunter and Thalia filled everyone else in. Plans were made to neutralize Newlin and his associates while Eric discussed the possibilities of taking a throne for his own.

Later that evening, with the sound of dawns birdsong echoing in his ears, Hunter held a resting Thalia close. He thanked the gods above for gifting her to him and prayed that he would be found worthy of his belledone, his deadly nightshade's attention. She had become near and dear to him over the weeks of shared captivity. She had been his eyes when he needed her the most and he planned on his heart beating for both of them, content to wait until it was time to leave the sun behind to walk eternally at her side.