A/N So today is my ninth wedding anniversary and because of that I wanted to put this last chapter up.
I can't say a bit enough thank you to all of you who have read and reviewing this story. With almost a hundred reviews and over ten thousand views this is my most popular story that I've ever had here. It's pretty astounding when I thought I would barely get one person to read let lone review.
Each review has been a giddy highlight to writing and I've felt nervous every time I see one.
I'm toying with the idea of a sequel maybe based in New York but I will see how the must goes and see what it tells me. Now that I've finished season 6 I'll see what pops into my head for the wonderful duo.
I know a lot of you were surprised by Sam's betrayal in the last chapter and originally he was just going to fade into the background as the chapters went on but then came the idea of someone needing to turn on their own views in order to survive and I couldn't see it being Sookie or her Gran and it wouldn't be believable if it was Lafayette. For all that Sam is loyal (he does favour being a dog after all in the early episodes) he's been hidden a long time and he knows to keep hidden he has to either run and look even more suspicious or join in and hope for redemption but then Supes don't really think like humans.
Because I had surrendered they only tied my hands. It wasn't all that helpful trekking through the woods in the dark. I stumbled more times than I could count. The women in the group were up front. They didn't want to be near me. They thought I was poisoning the minds of their children. I didn't know them let alone who their children were so I had no hope of appealing to them. Loud mouth stayed way too close for my liking grabbing my arm whenever I slipped or stumbled holding on much longer than he should until he was told to stop being a creep by one of the women. He disappeared into the darkness of the woods after that. That boy made me nervous.
The other four men kept their distance as much as they held four corners around me only ever coming closer when the land required it. The way they moved was almost trained but I found no sense of military or otherwise in their heads only a blank spot. It was in all four of their heads in exactly the same place. Stumbling into one of them so he caught me I pushed harder using the contact as he helped me right myself to boost it. All I can see is them searching the woods then the spot and then guarding me. I was baffled but still afraid. I know once I get to where ever we are going I'm going to die. It will be painful and horrid and if I'm lucky I'll just end up dead quickly. I bring up my shields so I don't see the end before the end.
As we walked my own death march I noticed the sounds of the woods were back. They had come and gone a few times but now they were sounding as though even we weren't there. It was oddly comforting when I felt so terrified.
The men suddenly stopped. I froze along with them although I was several steps forward when I did. When they drew their weapons my heart stopped. I knew that was it. I would meet my death at the end of the gun of a bunch of crazy people in the middle of the woods of a small no wheres ville town. I'd just wondered if they would actually bury me or just leave me for the wild animals when the first shot was fired.
I stayed crouched on the floor making myself as small as possible as the four men fired into the darkness towards the front of the group. The chittering had stopped and now around the harsh bang of the guns there were gurgles and horrid snapping and crunching sounds. A breeze seemed to have picked up around me but it was moving around and around lifting the hair of my pony tail. It was only when the abandoned flashlights picked up a blur of movement that I realised there was no breeze, it was a vampire. The blur moved again only this time I could see a man's head jerk to the side before he fell limply to the ground. I'd risen slightly from my curled up position as I watched and listened to the blur move around this way and that. Hope blossomed in my chest that this was who I thought it was. A shot whizzed over my shoulder making me screech. I moved to duck but went up instead.
I still had my hands over my head and my eyes squeezed shut when I felt a hand brush over my hair. There were still the sounds of gunshots but they seemed to be getting further away. I opened my eyes only to see Eric in all his leather clad glory. My mouth wouldn't work so I settled for smiling at him. Wrapping my arms around him I discovered my feet aren't touching anything. A glance down had me scrambling to hold on tighter. We are high, very high off the ground. I can see trees for miles now.
My heart can't seem to stop racing.
The gunshots lull for a moment but then pick up again spreading out further and further. There are flashes here and there peaking through the breaks in the trees. There's the sounds of shouting, men and women screeching at eachother. I have no idea going on down there but I know the only armed person on our side was Terry.
"We must go."
"No my friends are still down there."
"The couple have already left. They left in the car about an hour ago. The soldier went into the woods. He hiked his way to a wooden building in the middle of the woods on a large estate."
"We couldn't find the witch. She used magic to disguise her trail but she did leave in her car."
"Holly's a witch?" I pulled back to look him square in the face but scrambled back closer when my grip faltered.
"Yes as are the other two." I'm wide eyed and in major overload so I just nod. How did I not know all of these things about these people, about my friends.
"Don't worry. One is part demon and knows the other has yet to realise his potential."
"How do you know all this? Were you having me followed?" All he does it smirk at me. I pause for a second wanting to wail and rant at him for being high handed but he just saved my life, again. I'm glad I trusted the Were. I have no doubt that it was him that was working for Eric.
"Come," It's only when he takes my hand that I realise we are on the ground and outside my house.
My house. My house with it's lights on.
Letting go of Eric's hand I run inside banging the door back as I enter. Gran is stood calm as you like in the entrance hall three bags at her feet as she fusses with her coat and argues with a huge wall of a man. I'm equal parts elated and frustrated to see her.
"Why are you here?" I ask my voice just a breathy whisper.
"Where else would I be?"
"I asked you to go?"
"I wasn't leaving you."
"I was fine. I would have come to you."
"If you think for one second Sookie Stackhouse I'm going to buy that swill you're peddling you've got another thing coming." Her attention is purely on me now, her hands now done with her coat. I've seen the look on her face before but it's never been directed at me. Jason yes, Bud and Andy yes. She looks disappointed almost with a side order of pissed. Gran is never pissed.
"Gran I love you but I've just spent I don't know how many hours running through the woods and hiding in dirt holes from a town that is trying to kill me and the only up point in it was I knew you were gone and safe." I'm crying now big fat heavy tears streaming down my face. The weight of the last few hours races up on me. My town, people I grew up around and with had just tried to kill me. Rene and those men had tried to kill me.
Gran wrapped her arms around me and as good as it felt it had to end. I wanted so badly to get lost in the familiar comfort but I couldn't. The town was still out there, still hunting. I had no time to fall apart.
I pulled away looking down at myself. I was covered in mud and blood and bits of leaves. What was left of my uniform was barely recognisable. It didn't matter. It wasn't like I was going back.
"I'm a mess."
"Six hours in the woods would do that," a strange voice said. I peered around Gran to the dark haired man. His head was the usual Were snarls so I guessed this was Eric's associate.
"We have little time," Eric said from behind me. "We must leave."
"Go Sookie. There's a change of clothes on your bed. There's no time for a wash up but it will do for now." I nodded as Gran tapped me on the butt to get me moving up the stairs. Pulling my shorts off quickly I tossed them in the bin beside my dressing table. I avoided looking in the mirror as much as I could.
I had one foot part way in my jeans when I heard a truck start up and peel out of the drive way. Panicking I tugged the jeans on and ran to the window in Gran's room as I fastened the zipper. The tail lights of a truck were disappearing out of sight down the road but I could see the lights from flash lights and head lights coming across the field next to the drive. A quick scan revealed Gran and the Were were gone. All that was left were two voids, two vampires, one near the front door.
I was back in my room dirty Merlottes t shirt over my head before I spotted Eric sitting at the end of my bed. I squealed ever so slightly behind tight lips when I caught sight of him clutching my t shirt to my chest.
"We are almost out of time," he growled. He was staring towards my window head tilted as though listening.
I grabbed the clean t shirt from the bed but couldn't see a bra. My drawers were open and empty so I opted to keep on the one I had on instead of going without. It wasn't all that clean but it was better than nothing. Forgoing one wouldn't be wise if I was going to end up running for my life again. When Eric began to turn around I pulled the t shirt over my head turning my back to him to hide by blushing face as I threaded my arms in.
"I've seen much more of you than that little one," he whispered in my ear, his body pressed against my back. His voice sent a shiver through me but it wasn't the time or the place. He pulled away slowly trailing his hand down my bare arm, his hand taking mine and guiding me out of the room. We were half way down the stairs when a large explosion lit up the house. I ducked behind Eric unsure of what just happened. I struggled down the stairs as he continued to walk undeterred by the loud explosion.
"It's only Pam and the RPG." If I thought hearing those words was bad seeing the flaming ball that was clearly once a truck sitting on my front yard out did it. The flames were roaring out of the truck's windows, the sound overwhelming.
I heard a curse before I was barrelled over a shot of red hair shaking around as the person tried to hit me over and over screaming like a banshee. I didn't even know I had walked to the edge of the porch but I could feel the dirt and gravel at my back as I tried to defend myself. Her hands were wild, fingers clawing and scratching at my face as though trying to claw my eyes out. I slapped one hand away getting a gouge in my cheek for my trouble. Using the opening I swung my fist hitting her cheek. There wasn't much force behind it but it got her off me and gave me the chance to hit her again. It hurt like crazy and I didn't like having to hit Arlene but I did and she went down hard.
I carefully stood up keeping a watchful eye on everyone around me. Pam had fists and feet flying unconscious or maybe dead people littering the ground around her. Eric was tossing his attackers around crashing them into one another or just sending them flying down the yard.
A flash at the corner of my eye had me turning to catch the glint of a blade before it was gone. I knew my brother's back better than anything and he was no holds barred pummelling a bald headed guy. His knife was on the floor beside him as was a small handgun. I grabbed both and turned ready to fight.
Stake the bitch.
I twisted around catching the stake headed to Pam's unguarded back before I saw the man. Raising the gun I took aim but the man collapsed before I fired. A giant Viking was holding a head in his hands where the man once stood. Behind him stood Sam and a shot gun aimed at his back. I fired before he did but Eric was still hit falling to his knees with an animalistiic snarl. It echoed through the woods and had everyone stopping.
I'm sure I screamed. I'm positive I did when I heard the second shot from the man that stepped in front of him and Eric's body rocked from the force. There were only a few still standing but they didn't last long. In a rage fit of a berserker Eric and Pam whizzed around in a constant blur. No one was standing now. There was some spluttering noises and the roar of the flaming truck but a relative quiet fell on my yard now everyone was down. And so was Eric.
Dropping the gun and knife I ran over to him falling to my knees at his side. The shot in his chest was still open blood pouring out slowly. I took his face in my hands.
"What do you need? What can I do?"
"No Tell me," the revving of an engine nearby had me crouch over Eric expecting the worse.
I wasn't expecting the blood splattered arm that appeared lifting Eric up as though he was nothing. He hissed but moved getting up and stumble walking. Taking his other side we headed towards a very familiar red truck. Sam's truck. As Eric climbed in I looked back to where Sam went down. I didn't know if he was dead or alive. It hurt so much that he had turned on me. When a tear slipped free and ran down my cheek I swiped at it angry at myself.
The roar of more engines coming down the nearby road had me whizzing around in fear.
"Go Sookie. I got this," came Jason's voice from near the porch. He was surrounded by weapons, a rifle in his hands.
"Go Sookie. Don't come back. You hear. Just take care of Gran." I nodded as I walked the few feet to the truck mouthing an I love you to him before slipping in the back with Eric. I had just slammed the door when Pam took off. I looked out the back window to my brother falling to his knees as he fired a shot up in the air.
We bounced down my bumpy drive at an insane speed the old truck rattling in protest. Eric grunted at each bounce although I doubted he was willingly making the noise. There was a set of headlights directly behind us now but they were gradually getting further away.
"What do do?" I asked Eric but when he didn't reply I looked to Pam.
"The bullet is silver. It need to come out so he can heal from the buckshot in his back."
"Either with your fingers or by sucking it out." I nodded shifting in my seat. His black t shirt had a distinct hole in the centre of his chest. I tore at it making the hole bigger. Thankfully he was propped up at an angle against the door and the seat or there would have been no space for me to climb into his lap as I now was.
I felt the edges of the wound. I could feel his breast bone and the bullet lodged in it.
"It's stuck in the bone." I said trying not to sound as hysterical as I felt.
"Then fingers and mouth sweetness. It needs to wiggle free." I nodded syching myself up for this. A glance at Eric's face had me worried. He was paler, grey almost. I turned to Pam her eyes catching mine in the rear view mirror. She mouthed hurry and that's all the incentive I needed. If she was worried for her maker then things must have been bad.
With a cringe I pushed one finger into the bullet hole. When I touched the bullet I tried to wiggle it a little flinching back when Eric hissed. I switched options putting my mouth over the wounds. I sucked and felt it move but when I tried again nothing. I pushed my tongue in feeling it wiggle again. I sucked again and again it moved a little. I swallowed the mouthful of blood I had too desperate to get the bullet out to spit it away. A little more tongue and Eric moaned beneath me his back arching a little though I wasn't sure if it was pain or pleasure. My eyes locked onto his face feeling aswell as seeing his eyes watching me. Closing my eyes I sucked a final time and the bullet came free with a huge amount of his blood.
Twisting I spat the bullet out onto the truck floor the blood left in my mouth dripping down my chin. The bleeding stopped but the wound doesn't close. I don't understand. Now he looks even more grey than before.
"He needs to feed," Pam growls swerving the truck around a corner. The headlights are gone now but with Pam's crazed driving I wasn't too surprised. I leaned over putting me closer to his face. The cut from earlier is right in front of him but he does nothing. I shift my hair clearing the way but still nothing.
"Eric," I whisper but he just looks at me. Taking his face in my hands I beg.
"Second exchange. You do not know what you are asking." He whisper groans trying to free his head from my hands.
"I don't care tell me later. Just please, feed." He watched me searching my eyes for something. Whatever he's looking for he must find as he brings his mouth to my neck licking and kissing over and over. I'm tingling all the way down to my toes and the only reason I know he's bitten is I can feel him pulling at the bite. It feels amazing. My fingers thread through his hair and my back arches as he pulls away licking his bite.
Eric's mouth was on mine the moment I straightened, his tongue sweeping through my lips. It was like he was searching for his taste inside of me as I tasted myself inside him. He pulled me in closer to him, deeper into his lap as the kiss went on.
The car skidded to a stop jolting us. I pulled free panting against Eric's lips. I was ready to kiss him again. Before I could I was blinded by a bright light coming through the truck's window.
"Can you step out of the vehicle please?" I freeze suddenly afraid of what was on the other side of the door. I slipped into the heads of the dozen or so people around. There were a couple of Were's but the one who spoke was a clear broadcaster. They were army.
Feeling like I could breathe again I reached for the handle opening the door slowly. I could hear behind me Pam doing the same. Climbing over Eric I jumped down and moved clear of the door so Eric could get out. When I saw him get out easy and smooth as though he hadn't just been shot I turned around only to be met with the business end of a rifle. I yipped jumping back with my hands up.
I looked around desperately trying to figure out where I was and where I could run to when I saw the sleek looking plane. The door was open and a short flight of stairs led down to two people arguing. One was military the other my Gran. She didn't look happy about not being allowed off the plane.
A smartly dressed man walked up to Eric with a man in military gear and a clip board following him.
"Eric Northman, this is Pamela Swynford de Beaufort." He didn't introduce me and I felt an a flicker of annoyance burn at my insides.
"Your plane was set to depart almost an hour ago Mr Northman."
"We were detained."
"By what Mr Northman? What could have held you when you were so insistent upon leaving tonight?" I decided to speak up. The man's tone was annoyingly condescending and I just didn't like it.
"He was saving my life." The man turned to me taking me in a though he hadn't noticed me. I held in the urge to roll me eyes. "Most of the Parish has been set out to kill me all day. Mr Northman and Ms Swynford de Beaufort were kind enough to help me escape."
"And you are?"
"Is the woman currently threatening one of my men related to you?" He asked his face as irritated as he voice.
"Yes sir that's my Gran. And they aren't threats. She will do each and everyone of them." I held my face straight as I heard him mentally splutter. Both Pam and Eric had a raised eyebrow at me. My gran raised me to be polite and to sound polite even if what I said wasn't.
A loud boom had everyone looking down the road. Headlights were lighting the darkened stretch we had come down. Hooting and hollering with the occasional gun shot could be heard and the men around me sprang into action.
The thoughts of the last few fighting members of Bon Temps were beyond pissed. They all were filled with such anger and hate towards me and towards the vampires. I caught a glimpse of Jason here and there but nothing too much to spring any concern. What did scare me was how some of them were on a suicide mission. We were to end up dead at any cost.
"They caught up with us? How?" I looked to Eric and Pam hoping they knew something.
"We passed several sentry points. I drive fast." Pam said. I'm guessed she would have preferred something that could go faster.
"Be on your way Mr Northman before I ground your flight. I have work to do." I didn't get to say anything as Eric scooped me up and sped to the plane the sound of automatic gunfire behind us.. Gran was scrambling up the top step when Eric put me down at the base of the steps. I didn't look back as I entered the small space of the plane. The dozen or so seats were large and plush set out in sets of fours and twos with an alarming amount of leg room. I sat in the one beside Gran on the opposite side to the door taking her hand as I heard the plane begin to fire up. Pam blurred into her seat across from Gran. Eric disappeared towards the front of the plane before blurring into the seat across from me.
Out of the four of us Gran was the only one who looked refined enough to be seated on the beige leather seats. Pam's hair was rather fly way her hands and arm still covered in specks of blood. There were platters of mud and soot up her black clad legs, her boots virtually unrecognisable. Like Pam Eric too had splatters of dirt up his legs and across his boots pieces of it crumbling to the carpeted floor. He was covered in blood, his own and that of others, his shirt torn up to show his pale chest that too was covered in dried clumps of blood. I looked from his chest to his face happy there was more colour to him than there had been. I knew I was just as filthy as they were. I could feel the day clinging to my skin.
With a deep breath I closed my eyes and began to pray as the noise from the engine grew and we began to move. I prayed for forgiveness for all the people that were hurt and dead because of me. I prayed for forgiveness for all the hate and pain that plagued our little town. I prayed for forgiveness for the guilt I didn't feel over my actions to save lives. I prayed that Lafayette and Jesus and Terry and Holly and her kids stayed safe and that Jason would find his way again. I prayed that Sam wasn't dead, that I hadn't killed him in defense of another and that he could forgive me. Lastly I prayed that Eric and Pam and Gran would be safe and be happy.
By the time I'd finished the plane had levelled off and we were in the air.
"I'm sorry Gran," at her incredulous look I continued. "You left your home because of me." She patted our linked hands and she smiled.
"Child there's only three things that kept me in that rickety old house. One was you and I have you here. The other was your brother and there is nothing I can do now to save him from himself, Lord knows how I have tried and the third will find me wherever I end up." I know who she's talking about but I fear saying anything but I do.
"Fintan." It's a statement more than a question.
"Yes child. He's the reason you are who you are and the reason you can hear." She pats me again turning to look out the tiny window and I know she will say no more until she's ready. It's fine by me. I'm still a little overwhelmed by everything that's happened today. I think I will be for a long time.
"So, Mr Northman where is this plane taking us?" Gran asks. She looks more relaxed than I have seen her for quite some time.
"New York. You are welcome to stay in my apartment there if you choose. We will not need it."
"Where are you going?" I ask smiling. He knows what I'm really asking I'm sure. As the silence grows around us watching each other he smirks.
"How are you with snow, Adele?"