Chapter 10 – Fade to Black

EPOV

“Are you sure you’re not trying to kill me?” I asked playfully.

Sort of. In a way, it did sort of feel like she could be trying to kill me.

Of course not,” she smiled innocently back at me in the mirror. “You know how much I hate job hunting.”

“How would I know that?” I smirked back. “You’ve only ever worked for me.”

“Exactly,” she replied smoothly. “It took me three years to train you. Do you think I want to go through the hassle all over again with someone new?”

Sookie had me trained alright. As soon as I saw her body covered in clothes, my immediate response was to want to remove them.

Posthaste.

Two nights. Two nights of having Sookie all to my own and I was her puppet.

My hands had already gotten the memo, but there seemed to be a lag in inter-office communication with my executive assistant because as soon as I started sliding the zipper down on the dress she was wearing, Sookie stopped fiddling with her hair to turn around and smack them away.

“Stop it,” she playfully chided. “You’re gonna make me fucked.”

“Exactly,” I leered.

Finally. The lag in communication had righted itself.

“Quit it,” she laughed. “You’re not hittin’ it again right now. I have to get to work before my hard-ass of a boss gets on me for being late.”

“Your boss is hard for your ass right now.”

While true, the strength behind my flirtatious words surprised even me. I’d always wanted Sookie, but finally having her did nothing to sate my need for her.

I would be jonsing for her again the moment my dick stopped shooting cum into her.

Unaware of my very real addiction to her, she winked at me and said, “He’ll get over it when I get under him later on.”

Not soon enough.

Extricating herself from my grip, she pulled me down for a quick kiss and added, “Besides, I’m sure he’s just dying to go downstairs and play with his Legos.”

My Legos. The furry puzzle pieces I was trying to snap together.

Aaand…he’s off!” Sookie snickered and patted my chest after a moment of silence, bringing me back to the first floor from where my mind had automatically wandered to downstairs.

“See?” she grinned and added, “You won’t even notice I’m gone.”

“Lies,” I smiled, but in reality it was my denial that was a bit of a lie too. While I constantly craved her presence, in the two days since she’d agreed to be with me I felt an all-encompassing clarity. I felt better able to focus on whatever it was before me. Work. Sookie. One or the other, depending on which one was in front of me, I was there one hundred percent.

But even when she wasn’t physically around, she was still there. In the back of my mind. In the depths of my…pants. But then, in a way, she’d always been there, well before we’d become well acquainted with what was in each other’s pants.

The only difference now was I felt an odd but welcome sense of peace knowing she was mine.

It was a little while later that I heard the footsteps coming down into the lab and I was surprised when I looked up seeing Victor of all people. He’d dropped in occasionally in the past, but hadn’t in a very long time, so I stopped what I was doing and looked back at him asking, “What brings you here, old man?”

Without preamble – and without returning my smile – he opened with, “You need to rein in your little blond assistant. I know she takes care of a lot of the things you don’t want to bother with, but she’s overstepping her bounds lately.”

“Sookie?” I asked needlessly because who else would he be talking about. “What did she do that’s got your dick bent?”

I knew they only tolerated one another and that was okay. They didn’t have to be BFF’s, but since we were all working towards the same goal, they usually kept their mutual dislike to a minimum.

“She overrode my decision to hire Krasinski and Associates to look into the missing funds and went with another firm without even bothering to run it past me,” he complained.

“And?” I asked. “What does it matter who audits the books?”

Sookie told me the reasons why she’d immediately dismissed the asshole sent over by the Krasinski firm and I agreed with her reasoning.

Her tits were mine. End of story.

But I could do without her ever again telling me that Bobby’s ass was mine for the taking.

“That’s not the point, Eric,” he scolded. “She takes liberties she shouldn’t be taking. She acts as though she is the CEO of Northman Inc. instead of you. You need to put her in her place or else you’re going to wake up one day and find she’s stolen the company out from under you. You give her too much free reign to do as she pleases. Did it ever occur to you that maybe she was the one who’s stolen the money and that’s why she went with another firm. One that would be reporting directly to her. One she would have control over.”

I kept trying to tell myself he was only looking out for me, like he’d done for the majority of my life. I’d joked plenty about Sookie being my sex toy – for lack of a better term – in front of him in the past, but he didn’t know we were a couple now. He didn’t know my true feelings for her and it was the only reason why I didn’t jump up and break his jaw with my now clenched fist.

“Victor,” I growled out, surprising us both with how menacing I sounded. “I trust Sookie. Her decisions. Her ability to run things in my absence. Her, Victor. I trust her. She wants my money about as much as she wants a raging case of crabs.”

Her words. Something she enlightened me with on more than one occasion.

I went on to add, “She gets paid nearly as much as you do so three hundred thousand means nothing to her. You need to find a way to accept the fact she’s not going anywhere and that she has my approval to do whatever she sees fit to do in running Northman Inc. Maybe it’s my own fault for teasing her so much around you in the past, but the fact is Sookie and I are together now, so watch what you say about her.”

“Eric!” he exclaimed and then softened his tone, adding, “Son. You can’t be serious. She’s no good for you. She’s only concerned with her career and how high she can climb up the corporate ladder. Do you honestly think she wouldn’t drop you in a heartbeat if a better opportunity came along? You’re making a mistake, son.”

You’re making a mistake!” I hissed. “I told you! Watch. What. You. Say. You have no clue of how Sookie and I work or what our real relationship is like. What she does for me, to me, or because of me. Who she is to me or what she means to me.”

By then you could cut the tension in the room with a knife, so of course he added another heaping dose of it to the already full room by saying, “You love her.”

While it wasn’t posed as a question, his tone didn’t disguise the fact it was one of both wonder and disgust. But as his words settled into my psyche, I found I didn’t feel any need to deny them. Maybe I did love Sookie. Maybe I’d felt something close to love for her for a while now and I only needed for us to clear that last hurdle – commitment, on both of our parts – before I could realize it. But I’d be damned if I was going to admit it to him before admitting it to her.

So I said nothing.

And taking my silent response in whatever fucking way he chose, he dropped the subject by changing it altogether and asking, “Have you made any progress on the werewolf situation?”

“Some,” I eventually replied, feeling my blood pressure ratchet down a few notches. I owed Victor a lot for everything he’d done for me in the past, but Sookie wasn’t a price I would ever be willing to pay, to repay him for that debt.

Ever.

I explained what I’d found out about the reaction their blood had to silver – omitting the details of how I came about that discovery – and how Godric had tracked down and ID’d the man from the video. A false identity – so far as we could tell – but it was something to go on. He hadn’t used the credit card again since the gas station and Godric had been able to track his movements using the traffic cameras posted along the highway after he’d gassed up. All the way up until he got off of the interstate and contact with him was lost when he entered into a more rural area about sixty miles north of Los Angeles.

Flood’s search team should be scouring that same area at that very moment.

But before I could tell him about that part, Victor said excitedly, “We should call Colonel Flood.”

“I did,” I replied. “He came by last night and I told him everything.”

I was close to figuring out the puzzle and I knew it. I just couldn’t tell how close I was, but the characteristics of the unidentifiable elements in the blood samples Flood had provided were starting to feel familiar in ways that had nothing to do with how long I’d been working on the problem. Hopefully I’d figure out why sooner rather than later.

“What do you mean you told him everything?” he bellowed. “Eric! Did you sign anything? What kind of contract did you negotiate?”

“Contract?” I asked, flabbergasted now that I was trying to puzzle out his words.

His face froze into one of pure shock as he said, “You didn’t.”

“Didn’t, what?” I asked again, still not knowing what he was getting at.

“Tell me you didn’t give them everything you just told me for free.”

“What?” I repeated, thinking I couldn’t have heard him right. “Why wouldn’t I tell them everything? Flood asked me to do this for them and I agreed. You were there.”

“Eric!” he yelled again. “Do you realize what you’ve done?”

“What I said I would do?” I yelled back in response, getting more and more pissed off.

He ignored my angry and snarky tone and began pacing back and forth before eventually stopping short and using a calmer voice when saying, “Maybe this is a good thing.” I could practically hear the gears turning when he explained, “You’ve given them a taste of what you’re capable of, so now they’ll be willing to pay through the roof for whatever you come up with.”

“Victor!” I yelled again, interrupting him before he could make my blood pressure go through roof, and said, “I’m not doing this for a payday. For fuck’s sake, I would’ve paid them just to have access to the samples they’ve already given me, but I’ll give them whatever I come up with for free. Just because I’ve never jumped at the chance to fashion the latest and greatest WMD for the military in the past doesn’t mean I won’t do whatever I can to help protect this country. There are werewolves on American soil. Do you think there’s any amount of money that’s worth the safety of this country?”

He stared me down and I thought perhaps he was finally getting it through his thick fucking skull, when he surprised me by saying, “I’ve told you before, Eric. War is business and just like your little blond tart, you’re making a mistake.”

“You’re right,” I agreed through clenched teeth. But before he could get his hopes up, I added, “I did make a mistake – in keeping you on after I took over the company. You’re fired. Now get out.”

“Eric!” he exclaimed. “Son! Think about what you’re saying!”

You should’ve thought about what you were saying, but I’m glad you didn’t. At least now I know how you really feel, so I know we’re really not on the same page. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me in the past, Victor. But this just cements what I’ve been suspecting for a long time now. We have different ideals. Too different to keep trying to make this work.”

“You’ll regret this,” he offered after several moments of silence. “You’ll calm down and realize you’ve just made a huge mistake.”

Tired being told how wrong I was, I flippantly offered, “According to you, I’m making them left and right. So what’s one more?”

And even though he left without another word, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last I’d heard from him.

Or his lawyers.

But I hadn’t been lying when I said I’d had a feeling our ideals weren’t meshing. I’d kept Victor around out of loyalty and gratitude, but the truth was his beliefs were outdated. His business sense, antiquated. It took me coming in when I was twenty-one to revitalize the company.

Victor was a dinosaur in a world evolved to where werewolves were now at the top of the food chain.

Hopefully, not for long.

But thinking of food made my eyes fall to Pam’s tank where she was all but saying, “Feed me, bitch!” with her expression. She’d been languishing away – just like my work on human regeneration – for the last month, but as I did as her eyes bade me to do, I had an epiphany of sorts. Thinking back on my research with her made me see the similarities to the unidentifiable properties I’d found in the werewolf blood samples and a few more pieces of my Legos snapped into place.

Victor was long forgotten as I plowed through the next few hours and when I was done I was almost positive I had solved the riddle.

Or perhaps, improved upon the unknown.

According to my calculations – in theory – the serum I cooked up was very similar to what could have made Furnan molecularly transform into a werewolf. But – in theory – my version was a kissing cousin of that one, when added to the research I’d already done with Pam. Without more data – the kind only having a werewolf would provide – there was no way of knowing if they were able to retain enough of their human thought processes while transformed into their wolf persona.

Did they just react based off of their animal instincts?

Or were they capable of acting with premeditation?

The differences I hoped I may have just achieved would give a human all of the strength and quick reflexes we thought the wolves possessed, but without the furry four-legged exterior. An enhanced human who could heal from wounds at a rapid rate. One who wouldn’t tire as quickly and could move fast enough to keep up with a wolf – if not overtake them in speed.

A human like that would be nearly unstoppable.

But the only way to know for sure would be to test it. Animal testing – the standard in medical research – would be of no use in this situation, considering I would be testing for inhuman reactions. Flood had already let me know the night before he had a contingent of men both ready and willing to be my lab rats, if and when the time came. They had all volunteered because they had all been a member of one of the teams that had gone out to track down the werewolf camps. They had all suspected conventional weaponry might be of no use when their opponent had the potential to move quicker than they could aim and pull the trigger.

And they had all known at least one – if not both – of the men who had died getting a hold of Furnan’s video transformation.

And while I thought they were brave to volunteer for something so dangerous, I couldn’t in good conscience potentially kill someone in the name of science.

So it was a good thing I had an artificially intelligent busybody lying around.

I’d been running my theories and calculations by Godric all day – or night by now, for all I knew – and knowing Sookie would probably be back at any time, I wanted to finish up as much as I could. Mixing a sample of the serum I’d made along with a sample of my own blood, I ordered, “Godric. Run a simulation on the theoretical outcome and make adjustments as needed to calculate the dosage for the optimum result.”

I had a good supply of donated human blood that I kept on hand for running my experiments, but my hubris demanded I use my own.

“You realize the effects could be idiosyncratically different to each individual based on their distinctive DNA?” he asked, as a computer generated outline of a man I presumed to be me came up on the smartboard.

Staring at the gross misrepresentation my smartass AI put up on the board, I ignored his question and asked my own with, “You realize my head isn’t that big, don’t you?”

I looked like a balloon-headed stick figure.

Snickering, he replied, “I apologize if you find my creativity lacking, but I do believe that is a very accurate representation. However, if you disagree, perhaps my sensors could use a recalibr…”

The sound of his voice cutoff just as the power flickered and then went out altogether. I was plunged into complete darkness and for a split second, I wondered if Sookie had come in upstairs and put Operation Counting Sheep back into effect. But I could tell based on the lack of sound that everything was shut down and there was no dim light left on like last time. It didn’t make any sense since I had backup generators hooked into the house’s main power supply that ran off of solar energy, but there was nothing else I could do in the pitch black room but get up to go take a look outside. I was in the process of feeling my way to the door when I heard it.

Clicks.

I couldn’t place the sound at first, until another one was added to the mix.

A low growl.

Like the kind a wolf might make.

It dawned on me then the clicks I heard were the sounds of their nails on the marble floors, but before I could grab the baseball bat I kept in the lab – it helped me think when I paced – they were on me.

Snarling. Biting. Tearing.

The pain was horrific, just like the sound I could hear coming from my throat, but there was nothing I could do to stop them. I had no weapon. No silver bullet or earring at the ready.

I wasn’t strong enough to fight them off.

Nor could I fight off the will to succumb to the shroud of darkness that came over my eyes and my last thought was that I hoped they would be long gone before Sookie got home, when my consciousness finally faded to black.

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45 comments on “Chapter 10 – Fade to Black

  1. Holy crap! What an action packed chapter. Can’t wait for more!

  2. Loftin says:

    Damn it!! I’ll bet victor is behind this somehow. Right along with flood….maybe. I was just thinking that Eric should have changed all access codes to his house because victor is a sneaky dirty little bitch when the power went off. I’m hoping that Godric is still functioning on some level to at least call Sookie for help and keep track of what’s happening right now with Eric. My next thoughts when the power went off was that he would accidentally spill and get contaminated with the serum he just created. I never actually thought he would get bitten. Fantastic as usual!

    And you are just hilarious with Dr. Vajayjay!

  3. adriana2230 says:

    Fucking Victor. I bet he’s behind all this mess.

  4. missingjasamalways says:

    😮 Holy crap!!!! I just know Victor is behind the missing money, but I’m not so sure about the werewolves. Wouldn’t surprise me though. And I can’t wait to find out what Eric’s serum does to him. Cause I get the feeling he is gonna end up contaminated by it after the wolf attack. Or maybe he will end up a wolf too. Hope they are gone by the time Sookie gets there. Please hurry back soon!!

  5. pk22477 says:

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no!!!! You can’t leave us hanging like this. OMG what a chapter. I loved it and can’t wait for more.

  6. itsamia71 says:

    Bloody hell, what a cliffie!!! The plot definitely thickens. Hurry home Sookie (but not til the wolves have gone)!

  7. Jfozz says:

    Thanks for the cliffie. So who has loose lips, Victor or Flood? I’m hoping for a bit more Bill bashing too. How did the wolves get in the lab? *twitching*
    Blessings

  8. msbuffy says:

    Fucking Victor. First he’s thief, then he tries to blame Sookie – probably because she shot him down too, and now he’s going after Eric because he’s discovered the truth…except Eric’s probably just discovered the solution…

  9. Shortscotwifey says:

    Oh my goodness I about fell off my seat. Can’t wait to see What sookie will do. I wonder if Victor had something to do with it. The plot thickens. Excellent story I love it.

  10. Oh. My. Frickin’. Godric!! Eric is in some terrible shit! How is Sooks going to get him back!!!

  11. duckbutt60 says:

    Holy Smokes!!! If he’s bitten will he turn into a bitten half man-half wolf like Jason in the books? Hmmm…. victor is behind this, no doubt. He may be playing both ends against the middle. He’s going to be willing to turn anything that’s discovered to any government that’s willing to pay –I would bet my butt on this…..

    You bitch!! 🙂 Better update and stop playing with officer Vayjayjay on the horn….

    Pat

  12. nixaskarlovr says:

    WTH?!! Victor is pinging my “behind this” radar!!!! Sook and Godric saves him by giving him the serum. …

  13. Karin says:

    Dammit! You cliffie leaving hussy!

  14. lostinspace33 says:

    HOLY FUCK!!!!!!

  15. red high heels says:

    Shit just got real! Nooooo!

  16. cros8262 says:

    This has Victor all over it! The missing money, and now the wolves…jerk! Hurry and get there Sookie and kick some ass! Wait-is Eric going to become a werewolf now?! That’d be weird.

  17. christicdc says:

    I can’t believe you left it there. Talk about a cliffie. I had a very strong feeling that Victor was behind the missing money but he’s got to be behind the werewolves as well. Who else would have let them in? I hope Sookie gets home soon. I’m not thinking Eric will be a werewolf. I’m thinking Sookie will give him the serum. Maybe Godric will tell her to give it to him. I can’t wait till the next chapter. Poor Eric! 😦

  18. kleannhouse says:

    Holy shit Batman, why do i think Victor has something to do with this.. how would they know how far Eric has gotten or that he was involved… damnit i have so many questions and i see Sookie coming in at the end to take care of him but will it work or is this a set up to have him a bitten Were…. Kristie

  19. Trish says:

    GAH!!!! Nooooooo!!!

  20. McDoogle says:

    FUCK!

  21. murgatroid98 says:

    Dang it! I think Victor is up to his sneaky neck in this. I hope Eric is going to be okay. I guess we’ll see if the Werewolf thing is catching.

  22. tabel says:

    Oh god make eric’s superpower thst of a vampire not weres- pretty please? Will he be able to fly? Will he? I’m so excited. luv this fic 🙂

  23. Mindy says:

    Wow, what a chapter! So many exciting things happened! Victor is gone, yeah! But I have a feeling he will come back to hurt Eric. I like that conversation about loving Sookie. The end of the chapter was intense. I hope Eric will be okay. Great chapter!!!!!!

  24. treewitch703 says:

    Oh, Jaysus!
    It looks like great minds think alike – will this Eric be the first vampire?

  25. baronessjai says:

    Omg! …those sums of bitches got my Eric …Damn I’m twitching…slobbering shit I’ve got to get it together before the next chapter or the iPad will be no good….

  26. Sara says:

    Wow… what a crazy chapter! I’m so excited to see where you’ll go from here. Hopefully they didn’t get to Sookie too!

  27. jroxraytech says:

    My money is on Victor being the guilty party. He has probably been stealing the money to fund this side production. Can’t wait to see how this turns out

  28. art4annie says:

    I’m surprised by how many see victor like I do as the bad guy. Who sold Eric out. I’ve wondered about flood since he was introduced since he’s a Were in the books. More please! I know Eric lives because your awesomeness has sookie helping him survive in the summary.

  29. GB says:

    Crap crap crap now I have to wait …

  30. ozzo says:

    Oh no!! Yikes! More please!

  31. Tynee23 says:

    You’re So Mean! 🙂 Thanks for the update. More soon please!

  32. Rayne says:

    Ah hell I guessed right wish I hadnt. I hope his formula works on him brawn an brains to kick ass their butts..

  33. mandy says:

    nooooo. I figure that Victor was working with Bill and possibly DeCastro for a takeover, but how do the wolves fit in?

  34. redjane12 says:

    OMG! Eric’s been kidnapped by werewolves? I can’t wait to see a pissed off Sookie teach those smelly dogs a lesson… Wonder if the kidnapping is a preemptive strike related to his research or not… The timing of his firing Victor with this seems slightly suspect but potentially redherringish (yep, English word) and Victor seemed a bit dumb in all this with the overuse of the ‘son’ interjections and if he was smarter he would have known bashing Sookie was not a smart move… and there is still the question of the money missing which could be related or not to Victor or to the kidnapping… Oh and Sookie and Eric, just cute cute cute…

  35. valady1 says:

    It has to be Victor..and he’s probably the one stealing from the company too…

  36. Can you re-post chapter 9? The link is currently to Tales of the Dead chapter 9. Thanks!

    • kjwrit says:

      I checked the link after you commented before, but it was linked correctly. If you still have trouble accessing Chapter 9 try clicking on the “Previous” blue button above on this chapter page or from the sidebar under the story title. 🙂

  37. Ilive2read says:

    what a way to end this chapter, you kinda have me real nervous here!

  38. aaahhh!!! *biting nails off in anticipation* x

  39. luvvamps says:

    I’m so glad I don’t have to wait for the next chapter!

  40. hartvixen123 says:

    What?! That goodness there is another chapter waiting. I don’t know what I would do with that cliffy. Wow. As for Victor, I’ve had a bad feeling about him from day one. I’m glad Eric came to his senses. I can’t believe that ending. Not Eric!!

  41. lilydragonsblood says:

    wow!

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