Ugh…as my consciousness slowly started to fade back in, my head felt like it was going through the spin cycle of a washing machine and I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything at first.
Where I was. Or more importantly, when I was.
The last thing I could remember was feeling a little lightheaded at the bar, but I figured it was my out of control blood pressure boiling over watching that redheaded hussy trying to squat on my territory. I knew Eric had no interest in her and thanks to my near perfect recall, I knew she’d never been one of his takeout dinners. But that didn’t mean I had to like seeing her rub her pussy on him like the bitch in heat that she was.
After that was a blur though and when I finally tried to open my eyes, it was the first time I cottoned onto the fact there was a cottony piece of cloth covering my eyes.
Had Eric developed some new superpower that enabled him to hypnotize me and now we were in the middle of playing Red Light Fuck Light?
The missing glow from the light within my hoohah told me no.
Attempting to remove my blindfold did me no good, then discovering my whole body was tied down at my wrists and ankles, but my struggling must have been witnessed by someone because my ears filled with the sound of a voice that sounded vaguely familiar.
Familiar because I’d heard it a time or twelve hundred in a six part George Lucas Sci-fi movie saga.
I was being held captive by Darth Vader.
“Miss Stackhouse,” the Dark Lord all but purred. “So glad to have you finally join us.”
While I wracked my topsy turvy brain, trying to pull up a face to go with the voice that wasn’t James Earl Jones’, I found it was impossible. So I put my inner Sci-fi dilemma on pause while trying to force my brain to cooperate and wake the fuck up.
I wasn’t in Kansas anymore or even at that harlot’s party. But I was possibly in a galaxy far far away.
And when I thought I was somewhat coherent – made easier when I felt my ‘freak-the-fuck-out-now’ switch attempting to flip – I channeled my inner damsel in distress and asked, “Who are you? What do you want with me?”
Considering I could feel the draft on my bare legs, I knew my already scanty dress wasn’t covering much of me. And I thanked baby Jesus and all twelve disciples I’d worn panties, despite Eric’s vehement stance that I wouldn’t need them.
Proof positive his genius brain didn’t know everything.
But knowing he could feel my emotions – among other things – left me wondering where in the hell he was at. I had no way of knowing how long I’d been out, but if he’d been too busy cutting a rug with Sophie-Anne to notice I was gone, he could be sure I would be cutting him off from my rug indefinitely whenever I saw him again.
I couldn’t be sure because I’d been really horny thanks to our weeklong dry spell.
But I could tell I was lying on my back with my arms and legs tied down in a way that left me spread-eagle, so I was almost afraid to find out what they wanted with me. However that was nothing compared to the fear I felt over the unmistakable feeling of a cold wet snout butting up against my calf and hearing the soft growl of its owner.
Please let it be a cocker spaniel. Please let it be a cocker spaniel. Please let it be a cocker spaniel.
I’d even be happy with Joe Cocker by that point, but I said nothing more and just waited.
For a response.
For big pointy teeth to tear into my flesh.
But really hoping for the chorus of ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ to fill my ears.
Instead what I heard was another soft chuckle from my mystery kidnapper followed by, “Now where is the fun in that? Giving away all of the answers before the end of our game isn’t very sportsmanlike.”
What the fuck was he talking about?
Before I could stop myself, my inner love child with the big fucking mouth and no sense of self-preservation, whipped her head towards the sound of his voice and asked, “Like Jeopardy?” And because she was obviously drunk and high on crack from her momma and daddy, she then did her best impersonation of SNL’s Darrell Hammond impersonating Sean Connery, adding, “I’ll take Giant Douche Nozzles for a thousand, Alex. What is Darth Douchebag?”
“Oh, Miss Stackhouse,” he chided, calmly tsking me at the same time. “Not very sportsmanlike or ladylike for that matter.”
No. The love children of drunken truckers and used up strippers do not go to finishing school.
And reminding me Justin Timberlake wasn’t about to serenade me about dicks in boxes, he gifted me with what felt like a backhand to my jaw. Feeling the sting reverberate clear down to my toes, I shook it off as much as I could and hoped Eric at least felt that to get him to notice something was wrong or else I would be putting his dick in a box.
And I didn’t mean mine.
But remembering the last time I’d been backhanded, I hunkered down and waited for the sound of Eric crashing through the Death Star to give good ole Darth Trebek a run at the Daily Double in the Whoop-Your-Ass category.
Any time now would be good. Great, even.
So when I didn’t hear the sound of my rescue commencing or the bells and whistles signaling the Daily Double had been found, I knew I hadn’t been found just yet and had no choice but to listen to him say, “Now, tell me about your employer and all that he’s been able to come up with in that busy little brain of his that allowed three humans to keep up with my wolves.” Adding in a knowing tone, he said, “We’ll get to the vampire in just a moment.”
Figuring now would be a good time to pull out my ditzy blond routine, I said a prayer that it would work and asked, “Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t pull that innocent act with me, Miss Stackhouse,” Darth Dickhead chided. “We know Northman was participating in Operation Werewolf and made progress with his research. We just don’t know what he’s been able to discover or accomplish. But considering he’s been, shall we say, resurrected? There aren’t many dots to connect there.”
“Fuck you,” I spit out, remembering just how I’d found Eric that night, with my anger overriding my fear. I wasn’t dumb enough to give any of his secrets away though and only asked, “If you think you know so much then why in the hell do you need me?”
I assumed I’d be getting another unsportsmanlike backhand to my face. Just goes to show I really needed to stop making assumptions because I was surprised instead feeling the air whoosh out of my lungs with the blow to my gut.
I didn’t have any air to scream or any give in my restraints to curl up into the ball my body was trying to form when my captor tsked me again saying, “I do know much. Like how much Northman cares for you and I would bet anything he would do anything to get you back.”
Yeah well, what he didn’t bet on was what Eric would do to him once he got a hold of him.
And I would help him hide the body.
But since Eric and I weren’t officially out with our relationship, I had no idea of how he would know about it when it dawned on me.
Could my kidnapper be Darth Victor?
It would make sense that he would try to hide his voice from me, knowing I would recognize it. And I already knew how much he liked to bitchslap me, so I held onto the hope the fact he was trying to hide his identity meant that he didn’t plan on keeping me.
Or more importantly, killing me.
And perhaps that was what fueled my stupidity/bravery when I hotly declared, “I don’t care what you do to me. I’m not telling you anything.”
“You’re sure about that?”
Even if he hadn’t sounded like a Spaceballs reject, I could still hear the subtle crazy in his altered voice loud and clear.
I could hear it almost above my own screams.
I knew the burning sensation I felt in my leg was in my own mind because I knew it was impossible thanks to the wetness I could feel surrounding it. My blood or their saliva, I knew there weren’t any flames involved. It was merely my mind’s way of processing the pain caused by the tearing of the not-a-cocker – spaniel’s or a Joe’s – teeth into my flesh. It made me better appreciate what Eric must have gone through on the night he’d been attacked and I felt it when his teeth hit the bone. Screaming myself hoarse, feeling it snap in his jaw, I was still able to hear Vader/Victor yell out above my own cries, “ENOUGH!”
And it seemed to be enough to get him to stop. It was also enough to make me thankfully pass out from the pain.
I woke up who knows when later, but I could feel that I was moving.
In a car, maybe?
I couldn’t be sure since my head was still swimming and my eyes were still covered. My hands were tied behind my back, but at least they weren’t so sadistic to have bound my feet. My leg throbbed like a mother fucker and I could feel the chills working their way across my clammy body, but I still tried to push through it so I could listen to what was being said in the soft whispers around me.
If only I could hear a fart from a mile away like the guys maybe I would’ve been able to.
Instead my ears were just as convoluted as my mind, which was whirling way worse than it had been earlier, so I was startled when the blindfold was suddenly ripped from my head just as our not-so-magic-carpet-ride – the SUV I could now see we were riding in – skidded to a halt. And looking to my left I could now see who at least one of my abductors – and my perhaps biter – were.
I’d seen him enough times on Eric’s giant flat screen to know who he was and I felt my fight or flight instincts kick in just as he grabbed onto my arm and pulled me from the truck. With a wicked smile, he turned to me and said, “Time to chum the waters, blondie.”
I didn’t know what in the hell he was talking about and assumed I was about to get dumped into the ocean, with my Star Wars saga turning into Jaws. But no matter how hard I fought him, it was no use. My tied up arms and broken leg made it impossible to fight against him by doing anything more than trying to jerk free, with my good leg automatically trying to take the weight my injured one couldn’t handle.
But what I didn’t understand was why I could hear so many shouts and screams.
They couldn’t have all come from me.
Or why there seemed to be so many camera flashes.
He unceremoniously dropped me down onto a red carpet – which I found odd since we were outside – but I forced myself up as much as I could to look for an escape, only to see there was none. But there were plenty of other things to see.
Like was that Meryl Streep’s horrified face looking back at me?
Convinced I was hallucinating from the blood loss and who knew what else, I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again.
Only to see Bradley Cooper?
Was he my silver lining or my mind’s way of telling me I was on my way to having a massive hangover?
I wracked my brain trying to figure out what in the hell was going on. Where I was or why they thought I was red carpet ready, but I came up blank.
But feeling my dress now riding up around my hips, I gave another grateful shout-out to Baby Jesus at least I was wearing panties. Another silver lining.
However I perked up seeing the rush of LAPD’s finest running towards us, but the other two men who’d been riding in the truck with us jumped out at the same time we did and had surrounded me with Furnan.
Right before all three of them morphed into wolves.
In front of God and everybody.
Even Morgan Freeman. The voice of God.
With the exception of the cops, everyone else scattered. I envied them and their ability to run in their couture gowns and high heels. But I couldn’t focus on much else since the wolves formed a tight formation around me, circling my body at a quick pace and dodging and weaving one another enough so that I was sure they were doing it on purpose. No one would be able to shoot them without taking the chance of making ‘collateral damage’ being added onto my resume. And looking past the furry bodies flying around me, I could see the hesitation on their faces beyond the barrel of their drawn weapons.
Which were pointed straight at me, with only a wolf in between me and a one-way ticket to meet my maker.
I already knew they were quick and could heal fast, but I wasn’t and couldn’t. Nor did I think that made them like Kevlar and only hoped no one would get a case of premature trigger finger. The Mexican standoff continued for a while, but no one seemed to know what to do. The wolves weren’t attacking and to the outside observer it might even look like they were protecting me, except for the fact whenever one of the cops moved closer to us, the wolf closest to them would bare their teeth and growl.
At me. They would bare their teeth and growl at me.
Subtle in who would pay the price for any heroics on their part, they were not.
My fifteen minutes of fame officially sucked ass.
I couldn’t be sure if it was the blood loss, the pain, or if they’d drugged me at some point, but I was feeling woozy . My vision was getting blurrier by the second and it was starting to feel like I was listening to everything through a tin can, which is why I had to question my own sanity when our circle grew.
But recognizing the unmistakable figures – despite the masks they wore – who had literally fallen from the sky to surround us, I looked up at the one with the angry fangs and smiled saying, “It’s about damn time.”
Even if I hadn’t known who the man behind the mask was, I would’ve known those blue eyes anywhere. And I knew them well enough to know he was pissed.
None of the cops seemed to know what they should do about the newest red carpet arrivals, but at least no one fired their gun.
My silver linings were just piling up everywhere.
And since no one was saying anything and the wolves were pretending to be my unnecessary winter coat by huddling against my body, I took the time to admire the guys’ outfits. All four of them were wearing the duds I’d fashioned for them over the previous week and I had to say.
I’d done a mighty fine job.
There was something about seeing a guy wearing black from head to toe that made good girls want to do very bad things and I was currently staring at four very good examples of them. Each with their faces covered, but all of them unique.
John’s Scottish heritage played a role in his outfit, with Celtic shield knots adorning the silver-coated armor plates wrapped around his black clad biceps, leaving his forearms bare, with his upper body draped in a tunic style pullover that ended at the top of his thighs. A silver buckle depicting an entwined Celtic Eagle sat front and center, holding his black belt in place, and almost gave him the appearance of an ancient warrior, if it weren’t for the black combat boots they all wore.
But it worked for him.
And if his was the most simple in design then Alcide’s was the most complex. Black leather straps crisscrossed his massive upper body holding silver coated weapons on each side at his waist. But the tribal-like design made him look like something straight out of a Conan the Barbarian movie.
Also working for him.
And Jake. My goofy guard for the past week wanted something more. Something badass and to him that meant looking like a futuristic warrior. Form fitted flexible Kevlar-like contoured plates surrounded his upper torso, with weapons of all kinds strapped wherever they would fit. He looked like a one man SWAT team, but they all did in their own way.
Guns. Daggers. Swords.
You name it. They had it strapped to them.
Whatever it was that Eric had injected them with not only made them faster and stronger, but it made their hair and nails grow at a ridiculous rate. John trimmed his every few days, but it nearly hit his shoulders now. And Alcide decided to let his go, so his dark thick wavy locks now hit the center of his back, but he had it banded together with a leather tie at the nape of his neck. Jake wanted no part of Woodstock, as he called it, and kept his hair trimmed to military regulation. But he was so boy-next-door looking, I didn’t think it hindered his ability to keep his identity a secret.
But Eric. He was the true masterpiece of the bunch. Maybe I wasn’t objective, but my God, what that man could do with leather. Head to toe, he was swathed in it, with his jacket cinching at his narrow waist and flaring out at his hips, falling all the way to his toes. With his cooler body temperature, he didn’t sweat so he didn’t have to worry about becoming overheated. And while it fit him like a glove, he could still move easily, but it didn’t have enough give to make it easy to hold onto him.
He too had a sword on his back. The guys had all been practicing with them, figuring they were better weapons of choice when there was the possibility of collateral damage – even ones not named Sookie. The longer blades gave them the distance they wanted from the wolves’ bites, but they didn’t have to worry about accidentally hurting an innocent civilian.
And seeing the glint of Eric’s sword reminded me of his other sword I was supposed to be playing with right about now.
So unfair. This week was just getting longer and longer.
But seeing all four of them standing together on the red carpet made me wonder what Joan Rivers and the rest of the fashion police would have to say about their formal wear.
Their trip down my mental catwalk only lasted seconds, but given where my mind had wandered, I figured I was delirious. But since I was deliriously happy to see my Cavalry had arrived I was perfectly okay with that.
Now if only they could do something about those wolves, the night would end on a high note.
But just as I had the thought, I wondered if maybe werewolves were telepathic because without any noticeable signal, each of them took a hold of one of my yet-to-be-torn-apart limbs in their teeth. Not biting down hard enough to break the skin, but the threat was there.
Come after any one of them and Sookie would be a chew toy.
Eric’s nostrils flared and his fists clenched at their obvious threat, but when his eyes traveled down to my mangled leg, the growl he let out seeing it was enough to make the cops jump back a few feet.
I hadn’t looked yet. Some things I was better off not knowing.
But the guys’ outfits weren’t the only black in my field of vision. The darkness was slowly closing in on me until there was nothing left but the blue of Eric’s eyes staring back at me when that too finally faded to black.