Chapter Thirty-Four – Out of Harm’s Way

EPOV

Feeling her fear threatened to make my fangs descend, but I somehow managed to keep them inside of my gums. We were in full view of both humans and supernaturals. I’d already taken a risk by appearing at her side, without giving any thought about the speed with which I used. But I couldn’t stay away.

Not when I had felt her distress.

“Tell me lover,” I whispered soothingly into her ear. “Why do you feel fear?”

The vampire I recognized, from both the video and my files, to be the head of my security staff – Chow – had already put himself across the room and appeared to be giving orders to another. He no longer looked concerned about our presence, so I didn’t believe he was the cause for her growing fright. And she proved me right when she buried her face into my chest and reminded me my hearing wasn’t nearly as good as her own in some aspects when she softly replied, “There’s a man here looking for that Stonebrook woman. He thinks you’ve done something to her and he knows you’re a vampire. He…he…he’s angry.”

“Where?” I growled.

If she thought he was angry, then it was a good thing she couldn’t feel the fury rising up inside of me now. That Stonebrook bitch was the cause for our current ails. Even if it was her spell that helped bring me to my lover’s side – something I couldn’t be certain of – with all that I felt for her I was sure it would have only been a matter of time before I would’ve sought her out on my own. Simply there was no way I would have been able to stay away. Not for long.

Memories or no.

I loved her. I was sure of it before I was even sure of my own name.

But even with only my new reality to rely on, I could still take stock of the evidence I had seen for myself.

My home clued me into the fact I was wealthy.

My ownership of the busy establishment in which we now stood clued me into the fact I was successful.

The chatty witch had confirmed I was the leader of my race – in the southern portion of the state, at least – explaining the files we’d found back at my home earlier.

So I felt it was also safe to assume I would have the facilities necessary somewhere close by – if not in this very building – to house those who needed…special consideration. But it was a risk I could not take. While I had no doubt I could get my answers from the man whose thoughts frightened my lover, I had no personal knowledge of my own fucking life in order to carry out that strategy. If he was conspiring against me with the likes of the Stonebrook woman, then he too could be a witch. The threat to all that I held dear – currently located in my arms – was too great of a risk. I couldn’t confront him without more information. Information I didn’t possess, nor did I have any way of seeking it out without requesting help from those who worked for me. It was a move that would potentially give away my secret.

One of many I held, apparently.

But I needed my memories to know who to go to. I fucking needed them to know who to see about getting my memories returned.

Unsurprisingly, it felt like we were constantly running in circles.

But with nothing left to do for now, I softly whispered into her ear, “Where, lover?” Wrapping my arms around her body more tightly, I pulled her closer, knowing she didn’t need her eyes to find him. To the casual observer, at a glance we would look like nothing more than lovers sharing an intimate moment.

However to the supernaturally enhanced, we could possibly be overheard.

But it couldn’t be helped. I wanted to lay eyes on this angry man she’d spoken of – if for nothing else – to make sure he stayed away from her.

She was only there to help me. I would not allow her selfless actions to be repaid by any negligence on my part in keeping her safe.

“He’s maybe fifty feet behind me now,” she whispered in return. “It feels like he’s…pacing maybe? But I can’t really make out his thoughts anymore. His whole head turned red the moment he saw you.”

If he came near my lover I’d make sure that more than his head turned red. The whole of his body would be flayed and covered in his own blood if he laid a single finger on her pristine skin.

My eyes darted to the groups of people approximately fifty feet behind her, but there were too many for me to be able to pick out any one suspect. There were too many to pick out any supernatural scents above the numerous humans milling about, so I thought to draw him away, using ourselves as bait when I inquired, “Would you care to dance?”

“What?” she asked incredulously and dropped her voice back down from the shrieking levels she’d questioned me with, adding, “You wanna go cut a rug when there’s some guy lurking around, probably wanting to shove a stake into you where the sun don’t shine? I know we’re in New Orleans, but Ash Wednesday’s in March and we’re not even close to Fat Tuesday. So forgive me for not wanting to Mardi Gras my ass all over your ashes to the beat of Pitbull! You don’t even have any beads!”

I had no idea what her rant was about, so I ignored it completely and merely replied, “Yes.” Grasping her hand to pull her along with me, I leaned down and whispered into her ear, “I am hoping he will follow us. If you can, keep track of his movements with your gift. But if he doesn’t follow, we’ll circle back around and seek him out. But I would rather not let on that we know of his existence.”

We would only need to stay long enough for me to see who our adversary was. We already had more information than when our evening had begun, so it was a start. If she proved trustworthy – something we would need time to ascertain – I hoped the witch Octavia would have more resources at her disposal and would be able to do something productive with the little bit of information we could provide about Stonebrook and the unknown male. So the sooner I could lay eyes on the man – who would soon wish he had never laid eyes on me – the sooner we could leave.

And the sooner my lover would be out of harm’s way.

The sounds of music blaring in the distance made it easy to head straight for the dance club and the sea of people somehow knew to make a path for us. I couldn’t tell if it was due to my position as the owner or the humans’ innate sense of survival on a subconscious level. Because no matter how putty-like I became in my lover’s hands, it didn’t negate the fact at my core I was a predator and they were my prey.

Humans would not have survived for thousands of years without an underlying mode of judging the safety of their surroundings.

No sooner had I staked claim to a spot on the dance floor than she fell into step in front of me. Seamlessly moving her body against my own to the beat of the music, she made me temporarily forget what our true purpose was for being there.

My mind was puttied by her as well.

“He’s here,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around my neck to pull herself closer, with her words reminding me why now wasn’t the time to try and convince her, the ‘me’ with my memories would not be upset if she chose to give herself to me now.

I was quite certain we would both be the opposite of upset.

But before I could ask her where he was, she turned to put her back against my front and shimmied against my body, threatening to make my fangs descend for a whole other reason than anger.

Of course, I didn’t stop her from doing so.

I didn’t need my memories to know what a stupid idea that would have been.

My hands landed on her hips, doing nothing more than resting there, while the rest of me wondered if she would consider anal sex to be breaking her missing-memory-morality-code, when she turned back to face me and said, “He’s hovering at your ten o’clock.”

Funny.

My cock had just been hovering around her six o’clock.

But unable to read my mind, she went on to say, “He’s about six feet tall. Brown hair. Angry eyes. He’s dressed in a grey jacket.”

My eyes immediately moved in the direction she’d said and met the angry eyes she’d also said would be there waiting. But instead of dropping my gaze, he defiantly stared back at me for only a moment before turning and storming out of the club. My instincts told me to pursue him. To hunt him down and rip every one of the answers I wanted from his body, while my lover ripped them from his mind.

And once again she surprised me by appearing to be thinking along the same lines when she stilled her body and her eyes grew wide with concern when she said, “He’s leaving! We should follow him!”

But remembering he too could be a witch, I stopped her from going after him. I wouldn’t allow her to be put in the line of fire, but I agreed with her assessment. Knowing what he looked like would do us no real good. We needed more information on him, so I said as much by agreeing, “Yes, but we should do it from a distance.”

We would need at least a name to go along with his face. But short of that, finding out where he resided would do just as well. I hoped it would be enough. With those few details, the woman who mentored the chatty witch might at least have some insight on who the perpetrators were and perhaps the knowledge of how to return me to my former state.

Because quite frankly, I wasn’t so sure of how much further I was willing to go.

I wasn’t willing to allow my lover to put herself into potentially dangerous situations night after night. And while a part of me still worried over how I might react when I regained my memories, there was yet another part of me that had taken root. Had grown at a rapid pace now having a better idea of what else I was missing out on.

Knowing all that I had – and seeing how little my lover possessed – made me want to be able to do more for her. She deserved everything her heart desired and knowing I could give it all to her made me more determined than ever to do all that I could to be able to give her those things.

But I was also still wary. Not just of the unknown the man represented, but of what else might change if my memories were restored. I had just as much to gain as I had to lose with either outcome and I still wasn’t sure if this was the prudent course of action to take.

No amount of wealth or power would be worth losing her.

But I also knew enough to know that she wouldn’t stop in her pursuit until we had tried every avenue. Run down every lead. We had already agreed upon the negotiated terms of our arrangement and were nowhere near the end of our allotted time in the city.

And I had promised her I would try.

I would not break the vow I had made to her.

So it was with a heavy heart that I followed along behind her. We kept pace with him as he left the casino, only getting as close as her gift demanded in order to keep him in her mental sights. So when he traveled a few blocks in the opposite direction of where she’d parked her pitiful car – yet another tick in my mental ‘Yes’ column in favor of regaining my memories – and got into his own, I pulled her into a dark alleyway to keep us out of sight.

I could feel her surprise, but still she smiled up at me and chuckled, “The last time I was in a dark alley with a vampire, things got out of hand.” Her emotions faltered for a brief moment with her off the cuff remark. Not with fear over her attack, but with the guilt she still harbored over her perceived betrayal.

It made my own guilt rise over that part of me that still wanted to keep things as they were.

But at the same time I knew it was only the ‘me’ with my memories intact that would be able to allay her remorse.

We both chose to ignore our matching emotions and instead she dropped her voice down to a seductive level as she teased, “So it’s a good thing I’m armed, but I guess that makes me Sheriff Woody since I’ve got a stake in my pants. Er…well…dress, but you know what I mean.”

Choosing to play along, I took her hand and showed her it wasn’t only our emotions that matched by placing it directly on the wood in my pants, while smiling back at her with, “Me too, so does that mean I’m a sheriff too?”

I didn’t wait for a response, nor did she have the time to give one because a moment later I had her in my arms and flew us straight up into the sky above the rooftops.

And feeling her grip tighten, I realized perhaps putting her hand on my wood as a distraction wasn’t such a good idea.

She finally released my cock from her grasp in order to slap at my chest before clutching my body as though her life depended on it, while she hissed, “You could warn a girl!”

“Lover?” I crooned with a smile, now feeling her wrath.

If she wouldn’t be in danger of plummeting to her death, she may have very well staked me then and there.

I was even more certain of it when she glared what must have been those daggers she had told me about and snapped, “What?”

So I smiled wider and warned, “Hold on.”

It took a moment for her ears to register my words, but hold on she did when I shot us forward, staying high enough above the ambient light to keep us out of sight. But low enough I could still see the suspect’s car traveling down below. Within twenty minutes we were hovering above a small home in the suburbs of New Orleans and watched as the witch’s accomplice entered the house. So I set us down in the shadows three houses away, hoping it would be close enough for her to hear his thoughts.

“Anything?” I asked after a full minute had come to pass in silence.

But it was possible I was getting the silent treatment.

She was still feeling vengeful.

“Yeah,” she nodded and jerked her head at the home directly in front of us. “The woman in there is thinking she hopes her husband hurries up and gets off soon, so he’ll get off of her and she can finish the laundry.”

Zeroing in on the house, I could hear the rhythmic squeaking of what I assumed was the bed, and asked, “Really?” And feeling concerned my lover may have had similar stray thoughts during our previous intimacies, I added, “Do you…ever…”

My question trailed off, not sure I wanted the answer, but she snickered anyways – perceptive as ever – and replied, “No.” I could feel her added amusement when she arched her brow at me challengingly and innocently offered, “You don’t have a washer and dryer at your house.”

My eyes narrowed down at her in return – daggers, just like she’d taught me – with my body and mind prepared to accept her challenge, when she nudged me in the direction of the accomplice’s home and grabbed my hand to pull me along saying, “Come on. I need to get away from her before I break in and start sorting the colors from the whites, so she can concentrate. Lord knows I can’t think straight from here.”

We had barely moved a meter when I detected the scent of Were on the breeze. My ears caught the muffled sounds of chanting a split-second later, but before I could focus on the words being spoken, I felt a wave of dizziness move through my lover.

“Eric?” she asked, with her eyes going wide. “I…I don’t feel…”

The scent of what I could only describe as magic exploded around us, while her legs gave out from underneath her. I caught her body before it could hit the ground and my fangs snapped down through my gums, when my eyes took in the likely cause for her unconscious state in the movement I saw coming from the shadows.

The witch’s accomplice stared back at me with a menacing glare and an evil grin.

“How does it feel?” he asked, moving from the darkness and into the light of the streetlamp. “To have someone you care about ripped away from you?”

“What. Have. You. Done?” I snarled, feeling equal parts panicked and pissed. Her heart rate was steady. As was her breathing, so I didn’t think she was in imminent danger.

The same could not be said about him.

“What have you done with my sister?” he hissed back.

The witch was his sister?

She was the cause for my current state of being. Of that I was almost certain. And now it would seem her brother wanted a hand in fucking with me and mine.

And to me and my enraged mind, the solution was simple.

My lover’s hair barely had the chance to settle into a golden halo surrounding her head on the grass I had set her down on, when I was holding the now detached head of her magical attacker in my hand. Above the blood, the unmistakable scent of Were permeated the air, but I paid it no mind. My only concern was lying on the grass. But when she didn’t stir back into consciousness when I tried to rouse her, I realized the error of my ways.

I should have known better. I hadn’t given any thought to my behavior. I’d been furious.

I acted on it.

But her attacker’s death did nothing to help bring my lover back from wherever his magic had sent her and my fear for her wellbeing rose with every second that ticked by. And it only grew tenfold when I realized my hasty actions might bring about a fate similar to my own in the much smaller blond before me.

And if she no longer remembered me if and when she woke up, my subsequent rage at myself for putting us in such a position could very well level the entire city.

My first instinct was to spirit her away, but I knew I could not leave the evidence of the decapitated Were-witch behind. After all that she had done to put the authorities off the trail of me and my kind, it would be a disservice to her to inadvertently lead them back to us.

A death brought about in such a gruesome way would surely draw their attention.

She appeared to be well and our blood tie told me she was in no pain, so I took the short time required to discard the head and body, sealing them inside of the witch’s home that could no longer keep me at bay with the owner’s death. The blood splatter was mainly confined to the grass – and me – so I saw no reason to do anything further to try to hide the evidence.

Perhaps it was reckless on my part, but it wouldn’t come close to how reckless I’d been with her safety. All I wanted was to get her out of there, so that’s exactly what I did.

First taking her high up into the clouds, I hoped the cool air would help bring her back to a conscious state. When her body began to tremble in my arms and the moisture settled on her skin and hair, I nuzzled her cheek with my own and whispered into her ear, “Lover?”

I felt no stirring within her mind, but my own was in an all out panic. It made me want to return to the witch’s home and shred him into pieces for taking her away from me. But it also made me realize I would give anything for her to come back, even if it meant she would no longer be mine.

Not knowing what else to do, I gently shook her and for the very first time tried out her given name on my tongue, calling out in a louder voice, “Sookie?”

Nothing.

All while I pleaded with her to wake, we literally flew in circles in the night sky, with my mind running through all of the possibilities.

She might wake up on her own. I could fly us back to my home in the country and wait there for her to rise.

I could feed her more of my blood.

But recalling her objection, both spoken and unspoken, to a permanent blood bond, I set that thought aside for now.

For now.

I would do it if she didn’t wake soon.

But not wanting to break trust with her – not wanting to feel her disappointment at my second hasty action on this night – my mind settled on the only course of action I could come up with. With every minute that ticked by, my worry rose and I no longer cared about keeping my secret – my memory loss – to myself. My only concern was bringing my lover back from wherever she was held hostage inside of her own mind, but even with my own already made up, I couldn’t help it when another fear moved through me then. But it was all my own.

My fear over finding the answers we sought, and thereby sealing our fate if my own memories returned and with them I ended up losing her.

But if it was the only way to save her, then so be it. As far as I was concerned, there were no other options, so I set course to the only conceivable place where I knew we could find help.

And moments later, with my lover’s body cradled in my blood covered arms, I stood face to sleepy face with my only option.

The chatty witch who – inconceivably – was my only hope.

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34 comments on “Chapter Thirty-Four – Out of Harm’s Way

  1. Ara827 says:

    Great chapter!! I can’t wait until we find out what happened with Sookie! Its going to kill me! Love the cute Eric and Sookie fluff in this chapter, so adorable! Can’t wait to find out what happens next! Update soon!

  2. well shit! I was so excited for the update and now I’m gonna have to wait for the next chapter. to find out what happened to Sookie. I loved all the Eric/Sookie banter, and I wasn’t a bit surprised that Eric ripped Mark’s head off. Hopefully Sookie will wake up and remember Eric. At least she better!! Thanks for posting!!!!

  3. Mindy says:

    It was so fun to see this update. I enjoy reading through Eric’s thoughts and longings not to lose Sookie. I’m worried for Sookie. Great chapter!

  4. kleannhouse says:

    that was a great chapter, Chow backing off when he realized Eric and Sookie were together, but WTF did Mark do to Sookie and i knew that Eric would go to Amelia for help. I don’t see him loosing her when she wakes up and he gets his memories back, hopefully there is no delay for him. until the next post Kristie

  5. msbuffy says:

    Damn! Fucking Werewitches! Wonder what’s happening with Sookie? Hope she doesn’t lose her memories now! What a mess! Great update! Can’t wait for more.

  6. Tiffany says:

    A massive f bomb…. Can’t were witches leave well enough alone?! At this point I’m just hoping Eric doesn’t pull a dick move when he gets his memories and find excuses to not deal with her for months. Annnndddd I’m kind of hoping the first thing he says to her has to do with her Mardi Gras rant and that he has some beads in his bed room…. Lol
    Enjoyed the banter, caveman antics, and general exposure to Eric….

  7. Shandiii says:

    Poor Eric couldn’t help him self, act first and think later, cant wait to find out if Amelia can help, thankyou for the update

  8. trish1215 says:

    Words cannot describe how badly I needed that update! You provide the most wonderful distractions from real life! RL is kicking my ass at the moment and that break away from it was just what the dr ordered.

    Great Chapter! I’m glad the Stonebrooks are no more and hope that Amelia doesn’t piss Eric off too much before she can restore Sookie or it is a good possibility that she will loose her head as well.

    Thanks again for the update! I can’t wait to see which story gets the next one! I am in love with them all…. 🙂

  9. jules3677 says:

    Sookie. Sookie. Where have you put her? That poor girl ends up in danger frequently. With Mark dead, how will Eric be able to locate her? Great chapter. Can’t wait for another. Thankyou.

  10. I was missing your stories and I was considering reading ‘All In’ again when I received this update. I love this story. Poor Eric is so upset he does not know up from down right now.

  11. murgatroid98 says:

    Excellent chapter. I’ve missed you. Poor Sookie, I hope she doesn’t lose any memories. I love Eric’s thoughts and hope he remembers everything when the spell is finally broken.

    As for True Blood, I can’t imagine a normal woman taking back someone who betrayed Sookie the way Bill did. I think Stephen and Anna make a lovely couple and I’m happy for them, but I don’t think their characters should get back together. Still, there are women in real life who continually forgive abuse and betrayal. I don’t know if I’ll watch the last season.

  12. Tiffany says:

    I agree with you. From a psychological pov a person who has been raised in an emotionally and physically abusive environment like Sookie, regardless of the love and support Gran lent her, often unconsciously puts themselves in similar situations as it’s what they are conditioned to. I’d love to see her in a healthy relationship with our favorite Viking but the execs are attempting to put very human psychology into the supernatural world and our outcome is the lovely fae….
    I’ll be honest I stopped watching after Moon Goddess Emporium lol

    • msbuffy says:

      Hard to believe, but it’s actually NOT as common as one might think; particularly with all of the information & education about abuse & its many forms widely publicized and the “duty to report” in the later portion of the 20th century and into present times. It is more common in cases where long-term substance occurs and is inherited. I’ll just stop there since I don’t want to turn it into a dissertation.

      Still, even for fiction TB defies any all thoughts or beliefs that a woman could reunite with someone who has betrayed her in such an unforgivable way. Not even the Sookie they’ve created up to now is that stupid or forgiving; the one who called Bill a “motherfucking monster” last season. It’s sadly become a joke of what once was a fun & promising show.

  13. Loftin says:

    Damn…need more..please!?

  14. duckbutt60 says:

    Adore the update –thanks so much! Now..cure for Sookie and Eric and HEA? and some hot,, hot lemon sauce…..

  15. Tiffany says:

    As long as I’m not alone in my feelings but figure CH ruined the books the show might as well follow her foot steps… Sigh

  16. gyllene says:

    I can’t see Sookie not remembering Eric. Hopefully Amelia can help them both. I don’t want this story to end.

    As for True Blood I hope Sookie and Bill don’t get back together. I know she’s stupid but that stupid. You would think that HBO would learn after the clusterfuck that CH left us with. I have a feeling it will be a disappointing season.

  17. twodognite says:

    Oh dear! I hope you update sooner then 6 months!

  18. GB says:

    love the addition..

  19. theladykt says:

    Love her rant about beads. Oh My Darn witches are resourceful/powerful huh?

  20. luvvamps says:

    You cant leave it there. I must know what is wrong with Sookie. Waiting for more.

  21. Ragna01 says:

    God! I have been looking forward to an update for months! I love rereading about Sookie, Eric and Betty of course!

  22. itsamia71 says:

    Great chapter! Love hearing how devoted Eric is & his internal war between wanting his life back & fear of losing Sookie. And now we have a sleeping beauty – how appropriate for panto season! Can this most handsome of princes break their curses?

  23. lostinspace33 says:

    I couldn’t remember enough of what was going on in this story so I just went back and read it from the beginning, and now I’m completely hooked all over again! Please hurry and let us know what happened to Sookie…I’m on pins and needles here!

  24. fanficglo says:

    Well 1st of all thank you for an awesomely riveting chapter. It took me a while to read it though. Your succinct review of the story wasn’t quite enough to jog my memory. But all of your stories are so good that it’s with great pleasure that I reread this story. I hope we get an update soon before I forget everything I just read!

  25. Rebecca says:

    I just read all of this story and I’m really enjoying it. I hope you update soon!

  26. Catharsis says:

    I can’t wait for an update to this story. Its completely different from others that I’ve read for this series and I just love it! Just like I love all your other writings as well!

  27. honulvr says:

    Oh shit!!! That was awesome! Such an awesome chapter! Loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Margaret says:

    I don’t know how I previously missed this story, but stumbled across it last night after finishing your latest update, and devoured it start to finish. I know you’ve got a million things brewing, any plans to finish this one off?

    Thanks again for all the great work – you’re still my favorite!!

  29. Trubie35 says:

    I’ve reread ever delicious word and it was as great I remember. Looking forward to your completion. Betty is singing Marvin Gaye. ‘ let’s get it on’!

  30. georgiasuzy says:

    I hate that asshole were-witch! You’ve done a super creative job reimagining the Amnesia Incident. I love Betty too. You and Betty crack me up every chapter.

  31. redjane12 says:

    On a binge re-read of this ever-favourite story and found I had missed this chapter somehow! Excellent action filled one… Poor Eric now with an unconscious Sookie and potentially another spell in the works… These Stonebrooks are a tricky bunch… Hopefully Amelia / Octavia can help…

  32. hartvixen123 says:

    Wow. I did not see that coming. Can’t wait to find out what happened to Sookie. I hope Amelia and Octavia can work their magic and help both Sookie and Eric.

  33. lilydragonsblood says:

    omg, what a chapter!!!….. can’t wait for more.

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