“Explain,” I spat icily at Pam not yet in complete control. She cowered. I knew that I must be terrifying right now, covered in blood and ash and standing in front of the burning mansion. I needed to calm myself. I sped away and ripped a tree up by the roots and tossed it away. Punching another tree, it splintered under the force and I screamed out the rage that tore through my body. Once I freed myself of some of anger, I walked back to the group of us who had survived.
“Please Pam you said you had a plan. Now would be the time to reveal it.”
“We expected Bill to betray us; we just didn’t know who he was working for. We didn’t really think that he would abduct Sookie, but we couldn’t take any chances. Before we left, I bought her a locket and had it outfitted with a tracking device.” She finally looked directly at me. “We have the ability to follow their movements. We just need to figure out who he has on his side.”
“Felipe,” I hissed. “I saw him leave at the beginning of the battle. I thought he was simply preserving his life, but with the knowledge that Bill has taken Sookie, I think we can reasonably assume that Felipe is his ally.” I swallowed the fear for Sookie that threatened to overwhelm me.
“I just need to get my phone out of the car. I left it there in case we needed to make a quick getaway. We will find her, Eric, don’t worry,” she added softly.
“Get your phone, now,” I commanded and she sped off. “The rest of you: I thank you for your valor in this, but if you do not wish to help any further, get the hell away from me. Everything that you have been promised will be given.” I eyed them all and no one moved.
“I’m in, Er,” Win said simply.
“Me too,” Ritchie agreed readily.
“Any one that tiny and yet devastatingly brave and loyal deserves my help as well,” Mac pronounced. “I will help you rescue your love.”
The rest of the circle nodded. I had expected Mr. C, Diantha, Karin and the rest of those who knew Sookie to agree, but that my allies, who only knew her through the battle and my speaking of her, were willing to help was a surprise. If I hadn’t been so angry I would have been touched. Instead I laid out the plan.
“Mr. C. I’m assuming you have use of a plane?” He nodded his assent. “Good. Get it gassed up and prepared to fly us to wherever we need to go. Make sure that it’s stocked with blood and first aid supplies; we’re going to need it. Everybody else, get to your vehicles and meet us at the airport. I know you’re exhausted, but we will go to ground when we reach our destination. Chances are the sun will be up before we can move tonight so we’ll attack tomorrow, but remember Bill is mine. No one kills him. I want him taken alive.” I glared at my allies. I could hear the mansion collapsing behind me and sirens in the distance. We needed to get out of here. The fire would take care of any of the bodies, but if we were still here when the authorities arrived they would try and detain us and I didn’t have the patience to glamour them.
Pam finally returned and was already using her phone to discover where Bill was taking Sookie. “She’s moving quickly, in the air I would imagine. Looks like they’re headed to Las Vegas. I won’t be able to pinpoint her location exactly until they stop moving. Hopefully Bill won’t be smart enough to figure out we’re tracking her. If we move quickly enough, it won’t matter.”
“Alright. Move. I want you all at the airport in the next half hour.”
They scattered and headed to their individual vehicles. I sped towards the Corvette, Pam and Karin following right behind me. I would have to leave it at the airport, but I didn’t give a shit. Sookie’s safety was all I could think of right now. I stopped suddenly when I caught Sookie’s scent. I followed it until I came across her katana lying discarded on the lawn. I grabbed it and resumed my race towards my car. I nearly ripped the door off in my haste. Pam and Karin jumped in right behind me and we were on our way seconds later. My hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly I heard something crack.
“Damn it Pam, how could you let this happen?” My voice was sharp.
“She knew the dangers Eric. She agreed. She is not helpless, you need to remember that. You’re fairy princess is little but feisty. You saw her tonight.”
Karin decided to chime in. “Eric, trust me, we will get her back. I’ve never liked a human before and I won’t let a cretin like Bill take her away from us.”
“She’s already been taken from us,” I roared at the two of them. “Just shut the fuck up. I swear if she’s dead, I’ll stake you both in the desert and wait for sunrise to take you.”
Silence fell in the car and I was grateful for it. I knew that Pam and Karin were trying to reassure me, but I didn’t want their hollow assurances. I wanted Sookie in my arms. I wanted to crush her against me and claim her body and soul. I had been so close and she had once again been ripped away from me. I stroked her katana that lay across my legs feeling the bloodstains that roughened the edges. I pressed my foot harder down onto the gas pedal, the sides of the road blurring.
We arrived at the plane and I paced impatiently waiting for takeoff. Once we were finally in the air I downed four bottles of True Blood. It was filling, but did nothing to alleviate the tension that held my body rigid. No one came near me and there was nothing to plan until we landed and knew where we were going. Pam stared at her phone, watching the small blue arrow as it moved. Mr. C was busy renting out a block of rooms at a small vampire motel on the outskirts and Diantha contacted a car company and reserved several large SUV’s for our use. Genevieve tended to Jean-Pierre, and the rest of the group, Karin, Quinn, Win, Ritchie, Mac, Dmitri, Harrison, Thalia, Palomino, Mustapha, and Warren, whispered among themselves. I was shocked once again at those who had stayed for yet another fight. I sat down hard into one of the seats and went into downtime deciding instead to focus on memories of Sookie. The tension was palpable, but I ignored everything.
By the time we landed in Vegas I had succeeded in relaxing myself. Mr. C had given everyone directions to the motel and organized the group into cars. It didn’t take long for us to arrive, but we just beat the sunrise. Before they disbanded I ordered everyone to gather at my room right after sunset. I wanted to get to Sookie as soon as possible, I couldn’t risk that Bill would harm her. Though I didn’t think he would physically injure her I worried that he would take her against her will. I reverently cleaned Sookie’s katana as rage pulsed through my veins and I was still replaying that scenario over and over when the sun rose and death claimed me.
I woke instantly at sunset, still clutching the sword, jumped up, and grabbed Pam’s phone searching for Sookie’s signal. It was stationary and slightly southwest of the city a few miles off a small two lane road. It would take us a half an hour to drive there, though I would have been able to fly there much more quickly. But there would be no way for me to track Sookie while flying and I cursed the fact that we were not still blood bonded. It would have made finding her much easier.
I realized that I was still covered in the detritus of the battle and I showered rapidly. By the time I came out, still dressed in my costume from the evening before, everyone had gathered. The group in front of me looked haggard, having also donned their costumes from the party, but their eyes were bright and ready. I barked out commands. Diantha forwarded Sookie’s location to everyone’s phones so that they knew exactly where to go if for some reason anyone got separated from the rest of us. I slipped Sookie’s katana through the belt at my waist and strode outside. I wanted her to have it for the fight.
Slightly under a half an hour later we ditched our vehicles a mile away from the blinking blue dot that indicated Sookie. There was nothing for miles in any direction. We approached the house that stood sentinel in the emptiness and I heard Pam swear under her breath when she realized that the house that stood before us was an exact replica of Sookie’s. I hadn’t thought that I could feel any angrier than I already did, but when I realized that Bill’s betrayal had been going on for much longer than even Pam and Karin had thought, I almost blew our cover when bloodlust surged to the surface. My hands clenched and unclenched repeatedly. I needed to be patient, but my body screamed at me to rip my enemies to pieces.
Several cars encircled the house, just inside a dome of light from the security lights that beamed out into the desert night. We moved silently, creeping up in the shadows until we were hidden by the vehicles parked there. We were close enough that I could just make out the conversation within. What I heard made my blood run cold. Pam and Karin’s eyes widened as they picked up the same response that I did.
The strain and anger in Sookie’s voice was evident, even from our hiding spot. “Oh fuck no, there is no way in hell I am going to marry Bill Compton.”