“Well, you do know that you have your very own faerie vampire hunter now, right?” I smile wickedly.
He is on me like lightening, roaring right in my face, “NO!”
His huge hands have my arms in a death grip, his eyes are angry slits, and those fangs are huge and glistening.
“You will go NO WHERE near him, do you understand me!?!” He is shaking me now, “I forbid it, Sookie! I will never allow it!” he seethes between clinched teeth.
“Eric! Let me go! You are scaring me!!” I yell at him and try to wrench myself free. But it is like I am trapped in a rock wall.
He finally must see the fear in my face because he lets me go so fast, it is as if I was made of fire or silver.
He whirls around shoving his hands in his hair then drops to his knees and pounds the ground over and over with his fists, letting out a tremendous roar.
I am truly shaken for the first time tonight. I am just about to pop away out of pure terror when he stops.
I wait, breathless.
“You must promise me, Sookie,” he begs me. He sounds so distraught it breaks my heart a little.
He slowly turns around to look at me, still on his knees. The anguish in his eyes cracks my heart even more. He is not angry at me. He is terrified for me.
“Promise me you will not go after him, promise me,” he begs again.
“Eric, why? Why are you so upset?” I ask and walk over to him, putting my hands on his cheeks, “What has he done to you?”
I do not expect an answer, it was a thought I did not mean to say aloud.
I wrap my arms around him tightly and he clings to me like a babe to his mother, his head against my chest. I run my fingers through his hair to not only comfort him, but myself too.
“Please promise me, Sookie,” he whispers.
I pull his head back so he can see my eyes, “I will because you are so upset, but that only makes me want to kill him more.”
I feel his muscles relax under my touch, the tension leaving him. I am surprised he did not make me say the words outright. It is good he does not know about faeries and of their sly play on words.
After a few moments I slide down to the ground with him. He sits back on his heels and pulls me to straddle his lap.
Now it is my turn to be the clinging babe as I wrap myself around his body, laying my head on his shoulder.
I can not imagine what this vampire has done to Eric to make him so tormented. It must be the stuff of nightmares. My chest feels like it has a boulder sitting on it just imagining the horrors he has endured.
He is running his hands up and down my back, “I am sorry I frightened you, min lilla. I never wanted to do that. But when I thought of you near him…..” he whispers as a shudder runs through his body. “He is evil, as evil a being as I have ever known or heard of. He tortures and kills for sheer enjoyment. Life means nothing to him. If he knew you meant anything at all to me, he would kill you. And he would probably make me watch. I can not lose you, not after I just found you.”
I sit up and touch my forehead to his, running my hands through his hair and down the nape of his neck. “I am right here Eric, and I am safe. He does not have me and he never will, both of us will make sure of that. I promise you I will be careful. I do not want you to lose me either,” I smile and give him a quick kiss. “But we must find a way to end him and free you. You can not expect me to stand by and do nothing knowing you are suffering. Just as you will not allow me near him, I will not allow him to hurt you again.”
He goes to argue with me but I stop him with a finger to his lips, “I am fae, Eric. There is so much more to me and my kind that you do not know yet. We are a very intelligent people, surprisingly strong, and most importantly, vastly gifted in the art of magic. If there is a way to get you away from that monster, we will find it,” I try to assure him with a smile.
He seems like he may be coming around, but he is not quite there yet.
“Let me go home and see what I can search out from my kin. There is an enormous library at the palace, there must be many books about getting rid of vamps,” I say, giving him a wink.
The corner of his lips quirk up a tad.
“I need to know all of his secrets Eric, anything and everything you can tell me will help. His name, where the nest is, any safeguards he has in place for protection.”
I wait with raised eyebrows for him to offer what he knows. He stands up with me still in his arms and places me lightly to my feet, kissing me lightly on the top of my head. I can see the war he is having with himself behind his eyes.
Finally he seems to come to a decision.
“I will allow you to help me,” I give him a big smile at those words, he returns it with a dark scowl.
“IF, and only if you swear to never go near him,” he says, raising one long finger and pointing it at me.
Now it is my turn to scowl darkly.
“Eric, how can I kill him if I can not go near him?” I argue with arms crossed over my chest. “That makes no sense,” I huff.
“When I go back I will get you all the information you need. Together we will form a plan, and then I will execute it. You. Will. Not. Go. Near. Him, Sookie,” he points that long finger at me again with each word. “You promised me, remember that,” he tells me, his arms now crossed over his chest too.
Well, actually I did not promise, but I will not bring that up just now. I need for him to feel assured. What he does not know will not hurt him.
“Alright, we will do this your way,” I sigh. Just to make sure he knows I’m not happy with our deal.
He wraps me back up in his arms and I can feel his relief. Holding him close I go over what he said again in my head and my heart seizes in my chest.
He is going back. Back to the monster that tortures him, back to the suffering. What if he does not come back to me in a few nights? What if he meets his true death this time?
I pull back, grasping at his tunic, “Eric, you can not go back there! Please, we must find you somewhere safe to stay until we can end him!” I plead.
“Shhh, min lilla,” he says and wraps his big hands around my head, brushing his thumbs along my cheek bones. “I will be alright.”
He pushes my head back against his chest before continuing. “He has tortured me for a hundred years, Sookie, and I am still here. I must go back or he will come find me. I have his blood in my veins, he always knows where I am. I have to go back and make him believe everything is as it should be with me. Besides,” he pulls my head back so I can see his face. “I can endure anything he does to me if I know I will see you again.”
The look he gives me makes my heart seize for a completely different reason.
I very well may love this extraordinary vampire already.
I kiss him with every ounce of feeling I have for him so maybe he will know what I feel, even if I do not. After a few heated minutes of that, I break us apart, “Okay, okay, back to the plan.”
We walk away from each other so that the temptation for more is not too strong.
“I at least need his name, age, and the location to get me started.”
“Our nest is near Uppsala, but it is very well hidden, only those that he controls know of it’s entrance. He is over two thousand years old, very strong and exceptionally fast. And his name is Appius Livius Ocella.”
The blood in my veins runs ice cold. I fill with horror, disgust and then blinding rage.
The vampire I vowed to end at the age of 7, when he took my family from me, is none other than Eric’s tormentor.