Eric pushed hard against the wind allowing it to batter his body and numb him of the pain of Sookie’s absence. As he passed over the houses of Bon Temps, Eric was surprised to see darkness blanketing the entire area. None of the noises typically associated with a busy town were there. If he hadn’t been able to hear and smell the humans of the town below Eric would have thought the place was deserted. He wondered briefly what had caused the blackout before deciding he didn’t care. The only thing in the town that meant anything to him was gone and he knew it was his own fault. Of course, that didn’t mean there weren’t others who would have to answer for it as well. One person in particular had to answer for it and Eric was going to make certain she did.
Landing in the parking lot of the bar Eric ignored everything around him as he vamped inside, grabbed his child, and pulled her back outside with him before anyone had a chance to notice his presence. His hand was like a vise around her arm as he hauled her into the woods surrounding the bar. He made sure they were far enough away from the bar so no one, other than those with supernatural hearing, would be able to hear them before throwing her several feet across the forest. Eric could barely contain his anger when he looked at her, and he was solely tempted to strike her down.
He had only asked her for one thing and she had failed him. He could forgive her many things but he could never forgive her this one failure.
“What the hell is…” The rest of her words died on her lips as Eric appeared before her in the blink of an eye. The flat of his hand connected with her face and a resounding force caused her head to snap to the side. Pain flashed through her settling in her cheek. She could feel the bone re-knitting itself and she realized Eric had broken it. She glared at Eric with hatred, not understanding what she had done to cause the abuse.
“Why?!” Eric growled, forcing himself to back up so he wouldn’t hit her again. He couldn’t think of a single reason why she would disobey him on such an important matter. He had lost everything because of her and he swore if she didn’t have a good explanation he would send her to her True Death without delay.
“Fuck you!” She spat as she went to push past him.
“Wrong answer!” Eric snarled, seizing her arm and yanking her back. Grabbing her upper arms, Eric dug his fingers into her pale flesh and pushed her backward slamming her violently against a tree. He bared his fangs hissing at her as he pushed her back into the rough bark. He could see the fear in her eyes, but he could also recognize the anger and her anger only served to further provoke his own. She had no right to be angry with him. She was the one who had failed him.
As he stared at her all he could see was Sookie; Sookie fighting for her life, Sookie reading the mind of Mr. Gus and realizing how he knew about her, Sookie crying when she realized he had told them where she was. Sookie crying… Sookie crying… Sookie crying… Her face flashed through his mind, tear-stained and broken.
Eric roared in anger, in frustration, in grief. All he could see was Sookie hurting and he wanted to take that pain away only he couldn’t because she wasn’t there. She was gone, and it was all…
“Your fault!” Eric shouted before lunging forward and sinking his fangs painfully into her neck. He wound his hand in her hair, yanking her head to the side so he could have better access as he tore at her flesh. He made sure his bite was as painful as possible wanting her to feel even a fraction of the pain he was experiencing.
She screamed out in pain as he chewed on her neck and blood tears streamed down her face. ‘Does it hurt?’ She winced as she recalled asking him that question the night she was turned and she cursed her naïveté. She had foolishly gotten caught up in her beliefs and romanticism of being a vampire. She had no clue what she was getting into at the time, but she remembered his answer with startling clarity. ‘Not the way I do it.’ He had been right; she hadn’t felt a thing that night. Yet that was the past, at that moment he was chewing on her neck and making damn sure it hurt.
Forcing herself to remain calm, she slipped her hands between them and pressed them to his chest. She braced for the pain she knew was about to come and with a scream she pushed on his chest. She couldn’t hold back the cry of pain when Eric’s fangs ripped through her neck as she dislodged him and sent him flying backward. She could feel her blood dripping from the wound on her neck and as much as it hurt she was more pissed. Vamping to him before he realized what was happening, she reared back and punched him in the nose. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
The pain of her blow caused some of Eric’s anger to recede and he let out an unnecessary breath while he gazed down at his youngest child. A rueful smile tugged at his lips as he eyed her. It seemed little Willa was not as weak as Pam had claimed. The six-month-old baby vampire had managed to back him up several yards. “Why?” He asked again, only this time his tone was much less harsh.
“Why what?!” Willa spat, rubbing the sleeve of her shirt over her neck in an attempt to clear away some of the blood. She could tell the wound had healed but she had lost more blood than was healthy for her and she knew before long she would have to feed. That was if her Maker didn’t try to drain her again.
“Why did you ignore my message?” Eric asked sounding utterly dejected. He knew his youngest child hated him, and with good reason, but he never imagined she could hate him so much that she would ignore such an urgent message.
“What message?” Willa replied having no idea as to what Eric was referring.
“The message I sent you several hours ago telling you Sookie was in danger and asking you to go get her to move her somewhere safe,” Eric said, his shoulders sagging under the weight of all that had transpired. For the second time that night, Eric felt all of his thousand years. He was tired.
Willa frowned as she watched Eric sag and slide down to the ground. She stared at him in confusion as he propped himself against a tree. She wasn’t sure what was happening, but she could tell when someone was hurting and Eric was practically screaming in pain.
Letting go of her anger for the time being Willa moved toward him cautiously. “Eric, I never received any message from you,” she told him truthfully while crouching down before him. “If I had, I would’ve gone to Sookie’s.”
Eric eyed Willa carefully attempting to detect any deception. Seeing none, he blew out an exasperated breath as he tried to make sense of what that meant. “I sent you at least four messages,” he said as anger once again began to leak into his tone. “Are you telling me you received none?”
“Yes,” Willa replied nodding. “I may hate you, Eric, but Sookie is my friend. I wouldn’t put her in danger just to get back at you for abandoning me. I didn’t even know you had returned until you showed up tonight and manhandled me…” Reaching into her pocket, Willa fished out her cell phone and handed it to him, “If you don’t believe me, look for yourself… Oh, and I see you’re cured. Thanks for letting me know by the way.”
Eric’s lips twitched at her words and he thought Willa could teach Pam a thing or two about sarcasm. Taking her phone, Eric frowned when he checked her messages and saw the only one she had was dated two days ago and was from Sookie. He knew she could have deleted the others but something told him she hadn’t. “You haven’t got my number,” he said frowning as he checked the cell phone’s directory.
“Why would I?” Willa retorted. “We weren’t really at the exchanging numbers part of our relationship when we last saw each other with you releasing me and all. I had no need for your number…” Willa frowned as a question popped into her head. “How did you get my number? I didn’t give it to you.”
“Pam,” Eric replied while he programmed his number into her phone and handed it back.
“How did she get it? I sure as hell didn’t give it to her!” Willa snorted as she took her phone and slipped into back into her pocket. “I hate her more than I hate you.”
Eric winced at her words. It pained him that his child hated him but he knew he was the only one to blame. He hoped he would one day be able to make it up to her, but given her anger with him, he conceded it might be unlikely. “Pam has a way of getting things.”
“Yeah, I bet,” Willa replied as she sat down on the ground in front of him. “Never mind that. I want to know what happened to Sookie. You said she was in danger. Tell me.”
Eric opened his mouth to tell Willa to forget about it, not wanting to go through the pain of explaining it to her when he noticed the distressed look on her face. It was obvious that his youngest child cared about his Sookie and it warmed his heart. He knew the two of them had gotten to know each other in his absence but he hadn’t realized just how close they were.
Closing his eyes, Eric wondered where to begin and how much he should tell her. Realizing nothing but the truth would suffice; he opened his eyes and set about explaining all that had happened.
“… So these Yakuza guys threatened Pam to get you to tell them where Sookie lived,” Willa said, trying to see if she had it all right. Seeing Eric nod, she blew out a breath. “I swear, Eric, if I would have gotten the message I would have gone to Sookie’s. I wouldn’t have… Are you sure you sent it?” She asked, trying to find an explanation for what had gone wrong.
“Positive,” Eric replied his voice taking on a steel-like quality as he grabbed his cell phone and showed her the messages he had sent. They were right there in black and white, four text messages pleading with her to get to Sookie’s and get her somewhere safe.
Willa frowned as she read the messages. Guilt was eating at her that she hadn’t received them and she wanted to find the reason. She was just about to give Eric his phone back when something caught her attention and she took a closer look. “Eric, this isn’t my cell number,” she said looking up.
“This isn’t my cell number,” Willa repeated. “The last two digits are wrong. Mine ends 2-9, but here it says 9-2.”
Eric groaned as he took his phone back. “Pam must have reversed the last digits by mistake,” he said banging his head against the tree. Of all the stupid mistakes to make, Pam had to make that one.
“Mmm,” Willa murmured biting her tongue. She couldn’t say for certain but she very much doubted it was a mistake. She hadn’t been around Pam much, but even she could tell how selfish and possessive the blonde vampire was when it came to their Maker. Willa wouldn’t have been a bit surprised if Pam hadn’t deliberately transposed the last two numbers.
“Sookie thinks I sent people to kill her because of a stupid mistake with a phone number,” Eric growled. “I can’t even tell her and Jason wouldn’t listen if I tried to tell him.”
As angry as she was with him Willa couldn’t help but feel for Eric. It was clear to her that he loved the telepathic blonde and it was killing him that she believed he wanted her dead. “I will talk to Jason in a few nights,” she said as she pulled herself to her feet. “I’ll try and explain what happened. I’m not making any promises that he’ll listen but I will try.”
Staring up at Willa Eric was overcome by her compassion. He knew Pam would never have offered to talk to Jason for him. She would have just ordered him to get over it. “Thank you,” Eric said sincerely.
“I’m not just doing it for you,” Willa replied. “Sookie deserves to know the truth as well. Thinking you wanted her dead is hurting her too.” Casting her eyes over Eric one more time Willa gave him a small nod before backing away. She hesitated when she reached the trees that would lead her back to the bar. “Oh, and Eric,” she called out. “If you ever lay your hands on me like that again, I will find a way to kill you…”
Eric smiled as she disappeared through the trees. No, little Willa was definitely not weak. As he pulled himself to his feet Eric swore on Godric’s memory that he would fix his relationship with her. It was time he took his responsibilities of being her Maker seriously.
Won’t Pam just love that… He thought as he took to the air and headed back to Fangtasia.
Eric took his time on his flight back to Fangtasia; he needed the time and space to go over all he had learned as well as to clear his mind. For the thousandth time that night, he cursed himself. He couldn’t believe things had gotten so out of hand and he wasn’t sure if they could be resolved. He had fucked up, plain and simple. He should have killed Mr. Gus and his people the minute they set eyes on Sookie… Hell, he should have killed them the minute he was cured. They were hardly a threat to him even while he was infected; it was only due to their threatening Pam that he had agreed to make a deal.
Sookie now hated him because he too busy trying to play politics instead of just ripping out their hearts. Nora had been the expert when it came to politics, not him, so what the hell was he thinking? He wasn’t thinking and that was the trouble.
As he approached Fangtasia, Eric let out a sigh. He wasn’t yet ready to go in there and deal with Pam’s bullshit. He knew she wouldn’t care that Sookie was gone. It would make her happy but he wasn’t ready to listen to her. He knew he couldn’t trust himself not to do something he would later regret when she started mouthing off. Her fervent dislike of Sookie was tiring on the best of nights; he was in no mood to tolerate it now. He circled the bar a few times, wasting as much time as possible before landing at the front door. He prayed for patience as he reached for the door and pulled it open.
The second he stepped into Fangtasia Eric knew something was wrong. The place was too quiet. There was no Ginger chatting away despite no one listening to her, there was no Pam pacing back and forth, there was nothing. Creeping into the bar, Eric made sure he was as quiet as possible as he eyed everything in his path. He noticed the bodies of the men he killed were gone, their blood and guts removed, and the club was now spotless. He had no doubt Ginger had done the cleaning after Pam disposed of the bodies. His brat of a child wouldn’t get her hands dirty by cleaning up blood or any soiled byproduct thereof.
As he stepped further into the bar Eric was disturbed to see signs of a scuffle. Overturned chairs and broken glasses littered the bar floor, and Eric hovered several feet off the ground so as not to tread on them and alert anyone to his presence. Utilizing all his senses, Eric tried to discern if there was anyone else in the bar. A frown marred his brow when he realized what he should have heard but didn’t.
There should have been at least one heartbeat that he could hear. Even if she was chained up in his dungeon he should still have been able to recognize the presence of Sarah Newlin. Eric swore if Pam had taken her anger at him out on Sarah she would be sorry. He didn’t care what happened to hypocritical former reverend’s wife once they had developed the cure, but they needed her in one piece to do that first.
Moving toward the basement stairs Eric made sure to keep his feet off the ground as he descended them. His eyes widened in shock when he reached the bottom and, for once in his undead life, he found himself speechless. Where Sarah should have been, Eric found Pam in her place. His eldest child was chained to the wheel, silver chains were wrapped around her wrists and ankles, and a metal collar adorned her neck. Eric’s eyebrow raised comically when he noticed the rag shoved in Pam’s mouth.
After taking a moment to insure they were alone and he was in no danger of being attacked, Eric grabbed the pair of gloves he kept there, walked over to Pam, and set about pulling the silver restraints off her.
“It’s about fucking time!” Pam snarled once she’d been freed. She couldn’t believe she had been stuck in that filthy basement for over an hour with a rag shoved in her mouth while her Maker was out chasing after Sookie fucking Stackhouse. He should have been there when SHE needed him, the gash in a sundress didn’t.
“What happened?” Eric asked ignoring her attitude. “Where is Newlin?”
“I don’t fucking know!” Pam spat as she dragged herself to her feet. “The hobbit with a medical degree fucking took her…”
“Dr. Ludwig did this?” Eric replied while waving his hand around, signalling the damage to his bar.
“Not on her own,” Pam said anger radiating off her. “She had others with her. Vampires! Fucking vampires helped her!” She still couldn’t believe the small doctor had just barged into her bar and demanded she hand over Sarah Newlin. Who the hell did she think she was? Sarah belonged to her and Eric. She was their ticket out of this hell hole.
“Why would Ludwig do this?” Eric asked trying to make sense of it all. The Doctor stayed out of politics. She was indifferent when it came to power struggles and the assorted supernatural species.
“She wanted Newlin,” Pam replied as she started to pace. “She said she was payment but wouldn’t say for what or for whom. When I objected, she set her fucking vampires on me.”
Eric stared at Pam, knowing a lie when he heard it. He knew Dr. Ludwig enough to know that it would have required more than just Pam objecting for her to have her restrained in silver as she had. The Doctor abhorred violence and would never use it unless absolutely necessary. She would never set her vampires on anyone unless that someone threatened her first. “Why would Dr. Ludwig want Newlin?” Eric asked thinking aloud. “She’s no use to… Unless she knows about the cure…” Eric nodded to himself putting the pieces together. “How would she know abo… Sookie,” Eric groaned, slotting the final piece in to the puzzle.
He chuckled sadly as the realization dawned on him. Sookie had told Ludwig about Sarah and the cure. It was the only explanation. She would have seen everything in Gus’ head and realized that they never intended it to be a cure. Believing they were going to use Sarah and her blood to make them rich, she had told Dr. Ludwig everything. It was the ultimate ‘fuck you’ to them all.
“Sookie?!” Pam screeched, irate. “She did this?! The fairy gash cost us millions of dollars! I’ll fucking kill her!”
Eric saw red at her threat and lashed out. Wrapping his hand around her throat, he slammed Pam onto his torture table. “Harm her in any way and I will kill you!” He warned menacingly with fangs bared.
Pam stared up at Eric in terror. She couldn’t believe he had attacked her over threatening Sookie. She opened her mouth to reply when she noticed the murderous look in his eyes and, for once in her undead existence she did the sensible thing and kept her mouth shut. There would be time later to deal with Sookie, but it wouldn’t be while her Maker was so out of control.
Eric eyed Pam making sure she understood his warning before letting go of his hold on her and moving back. He didn’t care that she was his child or if Sookie had cost them millions of dollars, he wouldn’t let her threaten Sookie in any way. He had already hurt her enough. As he stared at Pam, Eric knew it wasn’t the time to tell her Sookie was gone. The news would only delight her and her reaction would only piss him off.
Combing a hand through his hair, he cast his eyes over the basement, “Clean this up,” he ordered. “Upstairs as well. I will contact Ludwig and find out what is happening.” Moving toward the stairs, he paused on the first step, “Oh, and Pam, I better not hear you tried to attack her,” he added before continuing up the stairs leaving a troubled Pam behind.