South Beach was just as relaxing as Sookie had hoped. She started feeling more and more like her old self the longer she spent in the sun. For her first week away from Bon Temps, she laid on the beach from sunrise until lunch, go to her room and order a meal of fresh seafood appetizers from lunch, then lounge by the hotel pool until sunset, when she’s again retire to her room and stay in until morning.
After another week, she decided to move on. Driving the rented convertible off the interstate to explore lesser-known routes north was fun, but she regretted not having Addie with her when she got ticketed for speeding. When she entered the city limits of Savannah a few hours later, she was mesmerized by its antebellum beauty. Her gran would have loved it.
The meticulous city squares were blooming with spring flowers. Sookie would take a blanket with her on walks to lay in the miniature parks, relaxing in the sun and reading a good book, enjoying the sweet scent of magnolias, tulips, and daffodils. She strolled the River Walk and bought souvenirs to send back for her brother and his family, all of her friends, and a gold charm bracelet for her daughter. As she packed up her room at the quaint B&B, she realized that she only had three more weeks to kill before she reunited with her baby.
A week was spent in Charleston where Sookie was sure she gained several badly needed pounds from Southern food that rivaled Gran’s. Even with her small frame, she’d been told many times over the past years that she needed to put some weight on. A few days each were spent in Wilmington, Nags Head, and Virginia Beach. She nearly twitched through her visits to Williamsburg and Richmond, getting too excited to see Addie. Two days earlier than expected, her blue convertible merged into the Beltway congestion. Ironically, because she was closer to her daughter, she breathed easier despite the traffic.
Unfortunately, even with GPS, navigating Washington, D.C. was not as easy or as straight-forward as the other cities she’d visited. Due to poor planning and rush-hour gridlock, she didn’t manage to arrive at her daughter’s apartment until dusk. She knocked on the door, not completely shocked that there was no answer. Sookie had wanted to surprise her daughter with her early arrival and she wasn’t prepared to drop her plan without a fight. Remembering a deli just a block away made fantastic sandwiches, she parked her car and started walking.
Feeling comfortably full after her roast beef on jalapeno cheddar, she decided to stroll the well-lit streets of her daughter’s relatively safe neighborhood. Sookie’s mall-town, country eyes were completely awestruck with the majesty and beauty of Washington, D.C.
Pam left the hotel, frustrated. Eric was more than happy to use the donor service provided by the hotel, but his child longed for a hunt. There was no need for it any more, what with donor registrations and bagged blood deliveries. Despite her own business contributing to the taming and de-fanging of her kind, she knew that at least she was still a predator at her core.
She searched several nightclubs, but was unable to find anyone that appealed to her discerning palate. After several hours of scouting, she was thoroughly disheartened. Feeling resigned to feeding from one of the bland hotel donors, she started back at vamp speed.
A scent on the breeze caught her by surprise and she froze to a stop. What was that? She’d never come across anything so… mouthwatering in all her years. Sookie had smelled sweeter than average humans and the sheriff’s little plaything was even better, even if the human memories were less than welcome. But this…
Pam went into hunting mode instinctively. Her sharp sense of smell searched for the scent. As though fate wanted her to gorge on some luscious delicacy, the breeze blew by carrying the heavenly aroma again. The blonde woman started tracking.
When she turned a corner, she found her meal. In a park, she saw a petite woman from the back, with wheat colored hair. Unaware of the danger stalking her, she was looking up at the few stars that could be seen in spite of the city’s light pollution. Using her supernatural stealth and speed, Pam lunged for what she was sure was a full-blooded fairy. Nothing else could smell so good.
Eric licked the neck of his A-negative donor to seal her wound then pricked his finger to erase the marks – hotel policy. The brunette was merely average in looks, but was clean and kept a healthy diet. Her blood was nutritious but bland, only slightly better than bagged. At least with a donor he got a pulse and usually a gratis fuck.
His bond with Pamela tingled in his blood as she stalked her meal. He regretted not hunting with her but he’d felt strangely… melancholic lately. In truth, every time he left his suite and passed through the lobby, he smelled Lex’s fragrant little hybrid. He assumed the sheriff had moved her in because her scent had been consistent for the past several weeks.
Her fae essence didn’t just resurrect human memories, he’d discovered. He’d smelled the rot of England during the Plague when he’d met the woman to become his sister and the only one to have his utter devotion after Godric. The scent of exploded gunpowder in China, the first time he’d seen fireworks. The dizzying tropical gardens that helped convince him to purchase the plantation in Barbados. Even the ice on the winter breeze from his “windy shithole” in Öland. He had a thousand years’ worth of memories to draw from.
Most recently, when he passed the secured penthouse elevator, he’d smelled sawdust, wet paint, drying cement, and sundried cotton. Shampoo that left an pear scent on his pillows. Milk and honey body wash that perfumed his sheets. The smell of fear-inspired adrenaline as a stake is bravely shoved through the chest of a reincarnated vampire god.
Not for the first time, he wondered how Sookie was. After Bill went to his final death, he’d felt her seek him out and leave before they could interact. When she left, he assumed that she was cleansing her life of all things supernatural as she denied her own mythical origins. She’d been nothing but hurt – emotionally, physically, mentally – since Bill came into her life under orders from that cunt Sophie-Ann and he – Eric – had regretfully taken part in causing her pain.
A dark jolt rocked through his blood. Pam was being attacked, but it was weak. It wasn’t silver or a stake; it was something he only had a fleeting remembrance of. He vamped to his balcony and took to the air in search of his child.
Pam attacked the woman from behind, sinking her fangs deep into the side of her neck. The flavor… it was like liquid sunshine! She could practically taste the forbidden light and it warmed her from the inside out.
The fairy grunted, struggled, and kicked, trying to fight her way free. Her thrashing wouldn’t free her from a ravenous vampire that had just tasted the sun. She only had one defense.
She hadn’t used her light defensively since being attacked on her honeymoon. Even then, it hadn’t been her “supernova” that would have eliminated her fae essence (at the time). She had a feeling that that little ball of pure sunlight was the only thing that would save her life. But first she had to free herself long enough to conjure it.
She fought against the weakness of her blood loss and focused on her anger. If this vamp succeeded, she’d never see her daughter again. Would never get to tell her how proud of her she was. Would never see Addie marry or get to rock her grandbabies.
She’d never see Eric again. Never know why he claimed to care for her then forgotten her existence. Never give him forgiveness for all the things he’d done to her. Never thank him for all the things he’d done for her.
Despite her weakness, she summoned her rage, her fear, her regret and sorrow. Sookie pushed that powerful negativity toward the undefinable spark that resided at the core of her being. Sensing that her light was about to be extinguished, she shoved the two abstracts together. Negative emotion met positive light; both ignited then exploded, throwing both the injured telepath and the gluttonous vampire across the park in opposite directions with a blinding flash of pure white lightning.
The charge affected both combatants for the worse. Livid, the vampire haltingly rose to her feet, hair smoking, eyes dazed, and body swaying. It took longer than expected for her to be able to focus on the tan, blonde lump on the ground a hundred yards away.
Sookie was beyond woozy. The stunning jolt weakened her more than she’d envisioned. She fought to stay conscious, knowing that now the vampire wouldn’t just be hungry… it would be mad as well. She didn’t have the strength to pull together her supernova and fell back on her last resort – prayer.
Raised in the church by Gran, Sookie tried for a long time to live her life as a good Christian. Despite her parents’ deaths, the molestation by her uncle, and the derision by… well… everyone, she tried to live as a good person, doing unto others as she would have them do unto her, and believing in a benevolent higher power.
After the atrocities in her adult life, her belief faltered. Gran’s murder, walking through the church that bigotry built, witnessing first-hand the dangers of megalomania combined with witchcraft, beholding the madness of mixing vampires older than Christianity with religion and some really old-ass blood. The danger of fairy-vampire hybrids set on consummating an agreement made more than five generations before her birth. Watching her boyfriend get shot in front of her. Hep-V. Don’t even get her started on that fucking “camp”. Jessica, James, Willa, and even Jason told her horror stories about the brutalities committed against sentient beings in the name of preserving humanity. It made her sick and a little more of her belief in a kind, forgiving God died. When her husband was murdered, only the tiniest grains of faith remained.
She tried to will enough mental fortitude to plead for heavenly forgiveness and divine intervention so she could see her little girl one last time. The lights flickering in her vision and the white noise that filled her ears made her realize that her prayers were not likely to be answered.
Eric landed in front of his intoxicated progeny, who had an imbecilic smile and was staring at a struggling form across the park. “Eric,” she mock-whispered with a giggle. “I found a fairy!”
“As it is not a pile of dust, I assume it was able to defend itself?” he asked with a smirk at seeing his precious, cold, heartless bitch so uninhibited. “Would you like to clean your plate like a good girl?”
The female vampire’s grin widened as she nodded earnestly. As a pair, they stalked across the park. The blonde form whimpered as they approached, sensing their presence despite lying face down on the grass. Blood only trickled from the jagged wounds in its neck, so great was the blood loss. It perfumed the air and triggered Eric’s fangs to drop. “I hope you’re prepared to share, Pam. This smells better than I remember.” He turned the fairy over to access the uninjured side of its neck.
When the blond hair fell back, exposing the woman’s face, at first Eric had no reaction. He was quite focused on assuring the fairy still had a pulse before taking his taste. When Pam giggled, he ignored it, thinking it was only her inebriation, until he felt a malicious glee in their connection. From the ground he looked up at her curiously.
“Sookiesookiesookie,” she hissed thought another wicked chuckle. “Lookie lookie, it’s Fairy Sookie. No wonder you didn’t share her. I’m tempted to take back my offer. Shoo. She’s mine.”
Faster than even her eyes could follow, he was on his feet with one of his large hands wrapped in her long hair. “She is not yours and never will be.” He looked down at the fading figure on the ground and sapphire eyes took in the fairy’s face. Very little had changed since he’d last seen her, but her scent – wheat, honey, and sunlight – was far stronger and more concentrated. If she’d smelled like this the first time she encountered Compton, she wouldn’t have lived to meet him – Eric – a week later at Fangtasia. Even at his advanced age, Eric was consciously struggling with his thirst.
Kneeling, he ripped open his wrist and used his blood topically to close the wounds at her neck. “I can’t give her blood; she’s lost enough that it could turn her. She needs a transfusion.”
“Ooh! We should make Fairy-flavored NuBlood! It’ll be a best seller and we wouldn’t need stupid FDA approval!” Pam exclaimed excitedly, still drunk from nearly draining the hybrid.
“She needs fairy blood. Fortunately, we know where to find another hybrid. The hybrid’s master runs the area and most certainly would order his pet to make a donation to recompense the victim of a rogue attack. You will not be present in your current state of mind,” Eric stated firmly, scooping Sookie’s unconscious form into his arms.
“Blah blah blah. You released me. I don’t have to listen to you,” Pam mocked, determined not to miss out on any action. She’d been so bored since arriving in Washington.
“You will fight your intoxication and question the wisdom of defying your maker who is more than nine hundred years your senior. Now go. Behave,” he ordered and took off into the night sky, still not quite believing who laid limp against him. A few short, valuable minutes later, he touched down in a dark corner of a parking lot and pressed the intercom for the private entrance.