After receiving my Childe’s report about Jessica’s meeting with her human family and the text message from Sookie telling me she was heading back home to Shreveport alone, I settled in my office to go through some of the Area paperwork my lover had helped me with. No sooner had I sat down at my desk that Bill Compton came barging in, moaning about the Area vampires being uncooperative and asking me to do something about it.
“What do you want me to do, Compton? Most of the vampires of Area 5 have been residing here since well before the Great Revelation. For them you are an outsider…”
“An outsider?!” he exclaimed, outraged. “I was born in Bon Temps…”
“I was born in Sweden, Compton, but if I were to move back there I’m pretty sure Gustaf and his court would be weary of me at first.”
“Gustaf Olafson, the Vampire King of Sweden. As a member of Queen Sophie-Anne’s court I would have thought you were familiar with other monarchs. I’m a mere Sheriff and I know of most of the vampire Kings and Queens in both America and Europe.”
“I… You… You are way older than me, Northman! I’m barely 200 while you are over a thousand.”
I sighed. “Back to your trouble with our fellow Area vampires, maybe you should spend more time socializing with them.”
“Socializing? You mean spending my nights here like most of them seem to do? I am mainstreaming, Northman!”
“Then mainstream here at Fangtasia. I have an arrangement with most of the vampires of Area 5; in exchange for a night of being on display at the bar I lower the percentage they are to give to the Queendom.”
“That’s illegal! I’ll have to report to the Queen that you are withholding…”
“I am withholding nothing, Compton. You see, I cover the difference for them.”
Compton was clearly confused. I have to admit that I really like confused Compton.
“Fangtasia is a vampire bar. More vampires spending nights here mean more profits for the bar. You see, it’s a win-win situation for every parties involved. The vampires pay less, the bar makes more money and the Queendom receives all the money it is due plus the percentage of the profit from the bar it receives is substantially higher.”
What’s the human saying? Stick that in your pipe and smoke it?
‘You… I can now understand why your Area is the most profitable of Louisiana.”
“That and the fact that I’m a keen businessman. Now, what else…”
I stopped and nearly double up in pain.
“Northman? Are you…”
And with that I was out of the building and taking to the sky. The closer I got to Sookie, the more pain I felt. Each seconds passing were nearly killing me. I finally landed in a secluded road, a couple of miles out of Bon Temps. Sookie’s SUV was stopped in the middle of the road, but Sookie was nowhere in sight.
I heard a groan and vamped to it. My Sookie, my lover, min alskäre was lying face down on the ground, the soft material of her blouse ripped and blood spilling a gashing wound. Without even thinking I bit my wrist and brought it to her mouth. A foul scent was clinging to her, a scent I never smelled before. While she took mouthful of my blood, I fished my cell phone from my pocket.
“Ludwig I need you in 5 minutes… Fangtasia will be closer… It’s Sookie… She was attacked… I don’t know… Please, Ludwig, I can’t lose her…”
Three minutes later and we were entering Fangtasia. Ginger was cleaning up the bar and screamed as I vamped in.
“Ginger, shut up! And be useful, bring clean towels!”
I carefully laid Sookie on one of the ottoman and cradled her face in my hands.
“Ludwig is coming, min alskäre…”
“Eric…” she moaned. “I…”
“Northman! What the hell…”
I turned toward Compton and promptly shut him up. His attention turned to Sookie who was now squirming with pain.
“Sookeh! What happened to her?”
“I don’t know…”
“You called, Viking?”
Standing at the entrance was the small Supernatural doctor. Although I had known her for decades, I had never been able to find out Patricia Ludwig’s exact specie. But right now, whether she was a Hobbit, a Munchkin or a Leprechaun didn’t matter. What mattered was that my beautiful lover was in pain. My blood had done barely nothing to ease her, which was a first.
“Who the hell is that?” asked Compton, getting closer and closer to my Sookie.
I growled at him, fangs down.
“That, fanger, is the doctor who’s going to save this little girl. Get out of my way and let me do my job!”
She approached Sookie and looked at her back.
“What the fuck happened to her, Viking?”
“I don’t know. I felt her pain through the bond and found her lying on the road.”
Compton was now by my side, looking at Sookie’s ripped back.
“You think an animal did that? Should we give her blood?”
Ludwig quickly examined the gash on Sookie’s back before looking through her medical bag.
“I don’t know for now… As for blood, yours won’t do anything, but the Viking, maybe.”
“What do you mean, my blood won’t do? My blood is as good as Northman’s!”
If it wasn’t for the fact that Sookie was probably dying in front of me, I would have maybe ripped Compton into pieces. But my little fairy was dying, it broke my undead heart to admit it, but she was.
“You’re blood will be useless, Mr. What-Ever-Your-Name-Is.”
“It’s Compton. Bill Compton, Area 5 Investigator.”
“I don’t care who you are or what your job is. I delivered this little girl and I know that she will reject any blood you attempt to give her. And knowing the Viking, he would prefer to meet the sun than to have his bonded and mate takes the blood of another vampire. Am I right, Norseman?”
How she even knew Sookie and I were mated – Odin, I despised the word mate, Sookie was so much more than my mate – I wouldn’t know.
“I will need to undress her” stated Ludwig, putting on surgical gloves. “Norseman, you may stay if you want, but I know you won’t want this one present.”
I softly stroked Sookie’s hair before kissing her forehead as white foam spew out of her mouth. I followed Compton to my office and called Pam, asking her to retrieve Sookie’s car and investigate the site.
“Do you really trust that… thing to take care of Sookie?”
“That thing is the best Supernatural doctor in existence” I said, pacing nervously.
“Supernatural doctor? And she said she delivered Sookie?”
I sighed. “Not only is Ludwig a Supes doctor, she’s also my personal physician.”
“You said she was your physician then how come…”
“If you know what is good for you, Compton, you will shut the fuck up! Ludwig has been the Stackhouses physician ever since Corbett Stackhouse became my lawyer. I take care of my employees. There, you have it.”
I kept pacing the length of my office, trying my best not to trash the place as I felt Sookie’s pain and heard her screams through the door. Pam arrived 30 minutes later, her once pristine pumps now marred with mud.
“Have you found anything?”
“Nothing… There was a foul scent surrounding the car, but I lost its trail after two miles. What the fuck is Ludwig doing to her?”
“Saving her life, hopefully.”
“Have you been able to give her blood? Did she reject it?”
“Yes, I was. But it didn’t heal her…”
“Someone cares to explain why the… doctor said no blood would do her any good?” asked Compton, breaking his long silence.
I looked at my Childe, rolling my eyes.
“Sookie is unique, Compton” explained Pam. “All you need to know is that she seems to reject any vampire blood, that is except Eric’s.”
Finally Ludwig called us back to the bar. Sookie was now shirtless, still on the ottoman and still in pain.
“Hush, lover, keep your strength…”
“Whatever clawed her poisoned her” stated Ludwig. “The poison is slowly making its way through her nervous system. It will slowly paralyze her before killing her.”
“Is there anything you can do to save her?”
The tiny doctor snorted. “Viking, is your Childe doubting my medical ability? Of course I can save her! She will be in pain, but I will save her.”
“Then do it!” I shouted.
Ludwig sighed. “Hold her, Viking.”
The next couple of minutes seemed like hours as Ludwig pour an acid-like liquid on Sookie’s claw marks. I hold her still, trying to sooth her in Swedish as she screamed at the top of her lungs.
“It’s done” simply said Ludwig. “Viking, you may give her blood.”
I nodded as I bit my wrist and feed my lover my blood.
“Give her a good dose” explained the doctor. “She should sleep the whole night and day afterward. If there is any complication, call me. I will expect my payment in the mail tomorrow!”
“It’s always a pleasure doing business with you, Doctor Ludwig.”
As Sookie latched to my wrist Pam shooed a reluctant Bill and Ginger out.
“I will fly us home as soon as I am done feeding her.”
“Want me to follow you?”
“No, you may go back to your house. I will call you at sunset with an update.”
Sookie’s back was now pink, the horrible claw marks barely visible.
“The crew should be nearly done with the nursery and Bobby confirmed that the furniture had been delivered and set.”
“Thank you, Pam.”
I carefully picked Sookie in my arms, covering her naked breast with my leather jacket. The flight home took twice the time, but I wouldn’t take any risk. My precious cargo remained asleep as I set her on our bed. Knowing she was now safe in the sanctum of our house, I went to the kitchen and warmed myself a glass of Royalty Blend. I realized how close I had been to lose her. I vowed to make whoever had attacked her pay dearly.
I set the glass on the counter and turned toward Jackson Herveaux. His coverall was splashed with paint and sweat covered his hair.
“We’re done. My guys are waiting to be glamour, but I thought you might want to check out the work before…”
I sighed. “Yes.”
I followed him upstairs and barely look at the result. It didn’t feel right. Sookie was supposed to be with me…
“Good work, Herveaux. I’ll have your payment wired by dawn.”
“No need, Sheriff. Miss Pam already took care of it.”
I quickly glamoured the construction team before returning to my room. I still had several hours before dawn, but I remained in bed, my lover nestled in my arms. Dawn couldn’t come sooner. Hopefully, by sunset tomorrow, my lover would be back to her old self.