I was grateful for those kisses I’d shared with Eric because I’d unknowingly gotten a twofer out of the deal. Not only was he a great kisser – it was an easy thing to reckon despite my lack of experience in that area – it was thanks to those kisses that I was able to sufficiently distract myself from where we were going and why. However when we pulled up and parked a little ways down the road from Arlene’s trailer, with me having driven there on autopilot, I could no longer hide from myself why we were there and I nearly leaned across the console to attack his lips with my own just so I could be distracted some more once I realized this was it.
We were going to kidnap Pam’s kidnapper.
Both he and Rene would be dead before sunrise.
Could I really go through with this?
No matter what my spotty church attendance might lead some to believe, I really did try to be a good Christian, but I believed in my heart both Gabe and Rene were inherently evil. I already knew going to Bud or Andy would do nothing more than make me look like a vampire sympathizer – which I secretly was – and would only put myself in even more danger when they did nothing to stop either one of them. I’d already seen what happened to Rene’s victims just for having consensual sex with a vampire, so I could only imagine the horror that would await me if he ever learned I had been the one to free Eric. And while my attendance at Sunday service might have been spotty, I was pretty sure there was a verse in the bible somewhere about ‘an eye for an eye’, so I hoped to be able to justify my own actions when it was my time to stand at the head of the line outside Heaven’s gates.
Then again, any one of us could probably claim it in our own defense depending on the outcome tonight.
I hadn’t realized I was white-knuckling the steering wheel until Eric started slowly peeling my fingers open and then kept my hand in his as he softly said, “If this is too much for you, I can do it on my own.”
“No!” I quickly argued, but my denial had nothing to do with my belief in whether or not I could idly stand by and watch him torture and kill two evil men. Over the last few weeks I’d felt myself slowly changing and after everything I’d seen from both Rene and that Gabe guy, I truly believed we were doing the right thing. They had nothing to offer the world except for hatred, violence, and pain and while I would suffer if an innocent life was taken – vampire or human – neither one of them fit that bill in my mind. They were monsters, plain and simple, and I had no illusions their deaths would be easy for me to witness, but that I was already prepared to suffer through. My argument over being there with Eric was because I couldn’t stand the thought of him being alone with the two of them, knowing if one of them got free and hurt him – or worse – I would never forgive myself.
“No,” I repeated again. Now more sure of myself, I added, “I’ll come.” Looking up into his eyes I could see some hesitation there, but I wasn’t sure what the cause of it was, so I added to my case by saying, “You need me, right? Whatever they tell you could be a lie, but their secrets aren’t safe with me around.”
My telepathy had been the bane of my existence my entire life, but Gran had always said God had given it to me for a reason and I had a sneaking suspicion this might be it.
I just wished nerves of steel and an iron gut were a part of the package deal.
Eric seemed to be lost in his own thoughts for a moment, but I already knew that was a battle I just couldn’t help him with not being able to read his mind. So I concentrated on Arlene’s trailer hoping at least Coby and Lisa were already asleep. I hadn’t had to use my shields at all over the past couple of days since I’d only been around Eric and Jason – whose thoughts I’d been reading as a precautionary measure during dinner – so it was easy to hear the thoughts of everyone inside of Arlene’s home.
“Sookie,” Eric said just as I said, “Eric,” at the same time. When I looked over at him he gestured for me to continue, so I said, “They’re not there. It’s just Arlene and the kids inside.” I leaned my head out the window and peered around the front, before settling back into my seat and saying, “And his truck is gone too. Arlene’s in there hoping they stay in Shreveport for a while because Gabe gives her the creeps.”
“They’ve gone to Shreveport?” he asked when I was through. When I nodded my reply, he asked, “Does she know where?”
My head was already shaking no when I answered, “They just told her they were meeting up with some of Gabe’s friends in Shreveport. She’s wondering if they’re as creepy as him and hopes Rene doesn’t invite them over. From the tenor of her thoughts, I don’t think they’ve been gone for very long, so we probably just missed them.”
My anxiety over everything had me ready to jump out of my skin and without waiting for him to say anything, I started the car again before turning back onto the road to head towards Shreveport. I’d rather drive around all night long than sit there waiting for them to come back and even if we didn’t come across them, they’d have to return home sometime so we could always go back and find them there later on. I used the oddity over being out at night to distract me from our true purpose, with Eric having remained silent until he unwittingly tried to get us into an accident by saying out of the blue, “You will have dreams of me.”
The steering wheel jerked to the right, along with my head as it snapped towards the sound of his voice, while I sputtered out an eloquent, “Wh…what?”
Did he have dream telepathy? Dreampathy?
How else could he know about my dreams of him? But seeing the embarrassment on my face, he only looked back at me apologetically and said, “It is a side-effect of taking my blood. I should have warned you beforehand so you could make an informed decision, but it only occurred to me just now.”
I had already been having dreams of Eric – sexy dreams – long before I ever had his blood. But wondering if they would change now that I’d had it, I asked, “What kind of dreams?”
His regret disappeared and was replaced with a smile as he answered completely unrepentant, “From what I’ve been told, you will have…erotic dreams of me. You will find yourself more attracted to me – drawn to me.”
Good Lord. If I was drawn to him any more I’d be in his back pocket.
After all, he had a really nice butt.
My thighs rubbed together, with me squirming in my seat just thinking about it, but his chuckle brought me out of it with him saying, “Perhaps it has already taken effect. Tell me Sookie, what are you thinking?”
I knew he could feel the reaction I had and aside from being aroused, I was embarrassed to be sure. But it wasn’t like he’d been any better off when I’d taken his blood. The fact that he was in his second pair of jeans for the night testified to that truth, so I answered dryly, “Why?” Looking over at him with my eyebrow quirked up, I deadpanned, “Are you dying to know?”
I couldn’t stop from snickering at my lame pun directed at He Who Has No Heartbeat, but his barking laughter had me laughing out loud right alongside him. He was always attractive regardless of what mood he was in, but to see him laugh so freely, he was truly beautiful. I had a feeling it wasn’t something others got to witness often, so I felt proud that I was able to get that kind of reaction out of him.
And I found myself squirming in my seat again trying to get my own reaction to seeing it under control.
Once we both finally calmed down we continued to drive along in silence, with each of us stealing occasional glances at the other, but I couldn’t hide my yawn, even though I tried to behind my hand. So I broke the silence by casually offering, “Well, at least this will help me to sleep in a little in the morning since I have to work my first dinner shift in forever tomorrow night.”
Of course I left out the part where I’d be lucky to ever be able to sleep again considering the horrors the night had in store for us, but the steering wheel and my head did that whole jerking to the right thing again when I heard Eric say, “I will pay you for your services.”
And just like the last time, I sputtered out a repeated, “Wh…what?”
“I will pay you,” he said with his voice hardening. “Ten thousand dollars for your help tonight and another ten for what you’ve already done. It should be enough so that you don’t have to work nights for the more lucrative tips.”
“No!” I exclaimed completely affronted. “I didn’t rescue you hoping for some ridiculous payday and that’s not why I’m here now!” I added feeling insulted.
His voice softened considerably but was still meant to broker no argument as he said, “I never believed that to be the case. That is why you deserve the money all the more and it will help you to live more comfortably. Your gift is a valuable commodity. I would have paid you just as much even if I…”
His words trailed off and ended there, but I gave exactly two figs over his ‘don’t argue with me’ tone and pushed, “Even if you, what?”
And it had better be a good one if he didn’t want to have to walk home.
Apparently stubbornness wasn’t a trait I owned outright because he ignored my question and only sniped, “Your immunity to our glamour is aggravating.”
“So is your refusal to answer my question,” I snapped right back.
“Stubborn woman,” he growled.
“Infuriating vampire,” I snarled.
We’d just taken the exit for Shreveport and as I came to a stop at the first red light, I turned towards him ready to duke it out in the front seat of my car with a thousand year old vampire. Only Eric had other plans because he grabbed the back of my head and leaned over, attacking my lips with his own. His dirty tactics proved he was the better strategist of the two of us because it worked, with me completely forgetting what we were arguing about until he finally pulled away and kept his forehead pressed against my own, saying softly, “We will discuss it further later on.”
I didn’t have the chance to argue with him when the light turned green, but I wanted to hearing him mumble under his breath, “But you will take the money.”
I put that comment on the backburner to argue over later because I was still trying to gather my wits since Eric’s tongue seemed to have scattered them all to points south of my waist, so I had no idea of where we were going and just followed his directions as he told me where to drive. I rarely drove to Shreveport, but had been there often enough to notice the changes once I was finally able to take in the scenery. Many of the businesses had signs posted on their doors or front windows, in some cases politely stating vampires weren’t welcome there and in others coming right out and crudely declaring ‘No Heartbeat, No Entry’. It sadly reminded me of the Civil Rights Era I’d studied in school that at times still left me feeling a lingering hurt and shame just for having grown up in the south, even though it had all happened well before I’d been born.
Bon Temps was small enough that you knew who the vampire haters were for the most part and since there weren’t any vampires left after Bill had been presumed dead, no one went through the trouble of making signs to hang in their windows.
“How long has it been like this?” I asked sadly as we went passed yet another ‘No Vamps’ sign.
Eric sighed when he answered, “They started sprouting up as soon as the clusterfuck in Dallas made the news. Before that we’d been able to assimilate into the human world relatively peacefully with only the occasional bible thumper protesting our existence.”
I didn’t agree with the hatred, but I understood the fear behind it and offered softly, “What happened to those people in Dallas was horrible. It was easy for normal folks who were on the fence about vampires to be fearful enough to jump on the bandwagon after seeing what happened. They killed children.”
He growled softly, but I didn’t know what caused it until he said, “Yes, they did. The vampires there acted foolishly – recklessly, but it wasn’t as though they hadn’t been provoked. The majority of vampires around the world condemned them for their actions, but Newlin wasn’t without blame. The Fellowship had kidnapped a vampire – a nestmate of Area Nine’s sheriff – and held him captive in their church with the intention of sacrificing him in a sunrise service on the morning after the massacre occurred.” His voice hardened once more as he said, “Tell me Sookie, how many humans would’ve been up in arms over seeing a vampire burned to ash for the crime of simply being one?”
I for one would, but I knew I was in the minority. Eric was right. Everyday citizens would have clucked their tongues and shook their heads, but ultimately they would’ve returned to their lives without doing a damn thing about it. However, I didn’t think that made what happened to the innocent people in that church okay, but before I could voice that Eric said, “They overreacted. They should’ve stormed the church and retrieved their nestmate, leaving the majority of the humans unharmed. They could’ve glamoured their way in and left without incident, quietly getting their justice against those who deserved it later on. Killing innocent women and children is reprehensible to most of our kind and what’s left of Area Nine’s vampires have scattered, knowing we will exact punishment against them ourselves for their actions that night.”
Since I’d already been witness to Eric’s brand of punishment against the vampire who’d licked my face, I could only imagine what he’d do to any of the ones he’d just spoken about if he got his hands on one. But it made me feel better knowing he wasn’t okay with what happened to those people too. I just wished people could see that not every vampire was a child killer and didn’t condone their actions. But since their queen – and my almost kidnapper – Sophie-Anne Leclerq’s televised renouncement of what happened only managed to get herself killed, I already knew that wouldn’t be enough to sway the opinions of the public at large.
I was too lost in my own thoughts to pay much attention to where we were until Eric had me pull over and park on a dark part of the street we were on, prompting me to ask, “Where are we?”
There were a few cars here and there, but the area looked mostly deserted, so he pointed at a nondescript door farther down and said, “That is the entrance to the Hair of the Dog. It is a Were bar, but vampire have been known to frequent it as well. It’s not known to the human population for obvious reasons, but Lanier and his kind could have intel or simply followed a vampire here. And there aren’t any other more obvious places for them to go hunting for one now that my bar is no longer open.”
I almost asked why he thought they’d be out hunting vampires, but kept my mouth shut considering, why else would they drive all the way to Shreveport in the middle of the night? I highly doubted they were all sitting in a diner somewhere discussing church politics over a cup of coffee, so I hunkered down in my seat prepared to wait for something to happen.
I didn’t have to wait for very long.
My first clue was Eric’s suddenly stiffened posture in the seat next to me so my mind automatically reached out and I barely had the chance to open my mouth to tell Eric I could hear Rene close by when he literally flew out of the open window.
If he could fly then maybe it wasn’t too farfetched for him to have dreampathy too.
I would’ve taken the time to let my dumbfounded brain work through it all, but Rene’s mind wasn’t the only one I’d heard. There were four more just like his close by and all of them just as hateful. I didn’t know if Eric could handle all of them at once, so I quickly grabbed for my old softball bat that I kept on the floorboard behind my seat and got out of my car as quietly as I could. I couldn’t see them, but I knew their general location thanks to their thoughts and hadn’t registered the vampire void in addition to Eric’s until I heard Rene think, “There’s one.”
In his head I could see a small female vampire with long dark hair, but seeing the fierce expression on her face I thought they were foolish to let her size fool them.
Her gift could very likely be killing them with nothing more than a look.
I willed my feet to remain silent as I moved them more quickly towards them, all while keeping to the shadows. But I knew Eric was closer thanks to his void and I barely had the chance to register the sound of the female’s enraged snarl before the whole lot of Rene and his buddies were shouting. Their thoughts and their words made for a cacophony in my own head, so I couldn’t decipher what was going on until I peered out from behind the dumpster I’d gotten behind and a squeaked out protest left my own throat.
Rene, Gabe, and three others had managed to trap the female with a silver net, but they’d left her there on the ground to surround a really pissed off Eric, while Gabe shouted, “I THOUGHT YOU SAID HE WAS DEAD!”
Rene had an ‘Oh shit’ moment thinking he’d be in trouble for lying to Gabe over what had actually happened to Eric and I gathered from his thoughts he’d lied and told him he ended up having to kill Eric so he wouldn’t escape. It was why they were in Shreveport that night, looking for another vampire to offer up to Steve Newlin when he arrived at the end of the week.
Eric was truly frightening when he merely snarled lowly in return, With his gaze locked onto the man who intended to do unspeakable things to his child, he mocked, “I am dead, but then so will you be before this night is through.”
I was too worried about Eric to process it all once I heard the thoughts of one of the other men who was standing directly behind him, thinking about the wooden stake he had tucked away in his pocket. My feet automatically ran forward – much more quickly thanks to having Eric’s blood in my system – with my only thought being I had to get there before he could use it, and I lifted up my bat and swung as hard as I could as soon as I was close enough to make contact. The sickening crunch of his arm breaking made me wince and the bat dropped from my hands, just as the stake dropped from his as he drew his now useless arm to his body. He dropped to his knees crying out in pain, but Eric was merely a blur as he moved too fast for my eyes to register his whereabouts and when he finally came to a halt, we were the only ones left standing.
The other four had been knocked unconscious – I could still sense they were alive thanks to my disability. But I was too busy trying to calm my shaking my hands by wringing them together to pay much attention when Eric hesitantly reached for them and stilled them in his own. When my eyes finally managed to look up into his, I could see the regret behind them as he said, “Thank you. I’m afraid I let my own emotions get the better of me seeing Lanier and the one I assume is Gabe. It seems you have saved me yet again.”
His lips quirked up at the corners, but his small smile was more rueful than anything else. However our fisticuffs seemed to have given away our presence. The door to the bar opened, with several people coming out to see what the noise was about, while Eric tore the shirt from the guy I’d taken down and glamoured him to be quiet. Using the cloth to cover his own hands, Eric ignored the gawkers and sped over to the still trapped female, pulling the silver net free from her body.
I’d been right to be afraid of her because she didn’t even flinch as the net tore pieces of her skin away with it and she only looked even more enraged glaring down at her attackers. But she seemed to force her own anger back as she nodded towards Eric, saying stiffly, “Sheriff. You were presumed dead.”
“Thalia,” he acknowledged with a nod. “You should know better than to listen to the gossip of Weres.”
That reminded me of what Eric had said about this being a Were bar and thanks to Sam’s initial reaction meeting Eric, I immediately started trying to scan their minds to see if any of them were threats. Their thoughts were what I could only describe as being red and snarly, similar to the haziness I got from Sam’s head, but I didn’t get anything from them other than their shock seeing Eric alive and well. Well, as alive as he was ever going to be, however I was startled from my own thoughts when the vampire Eric had saved was suddenly in my face. with her fangs bared while she inhaled deeply.
Eric was in between us less than a second later with his back to me as he roughly shoved her halfway across the parking lot, snarling, “She is mine.”
I wasn’t sure if he really felt that way due to our earlier kisses or if it was more of a protective measure, but it wasn’t like I was going to argue with him about it right then and there and demand specifics.
I barely heard her response of, “She smells tantalizing,” over the thoughts of one of the Weres who were all still standing there. He was built quite nicely and his dark hair and green eyes only added to his appeal, but hearing him think I was ‘fangbanger trash’ had me scowling in his direction with one eye while the other one looked for my dropped bat.
I’d show him the damage ‘fangbanger trash’ could do if he didn’t watch himself.
Eric’s tension lessened when the other vampire made no move towards me and he only said harshly, “Her scent and everything else about her is mine as well.” His arm moved to point at the shirtless man with the broken arm as he offered, “Feed from that one. If your fangs ever get near what is mine again, you will lose them. Have I made myself clear?”
Hearing him refer to me as his anything had my feminist thoughts warring with my traitorous body. I was pissed off and turned on at the same time, so when Eric turned enough for me to see his wink and smirk now aimed my way, I knew the jerk felt it.
Stupid sexy Neanderthal vampire.
Thalia’s responding, “Yes sheriff,” could be heard just before the vicious sounds of her feeding from the man whose arm I’d broken drowned it out and I quickly turned away so I wouldn’t have to see it. Everything I was hearing coming from her feeding from him was nothing like when Eric had fed from me and perhaps sensing my repulsion, Eric moved once more to place himself in between us. I heard the man’s body hit the ground with a thud only moments later, but I didn’t dare look over because I already knew from the disappearance of his mind that he was dead.
While I still felt nauseated, I couldn’t find it within myself to feel too badly for him because he’d not only brought it on himself for what he’d been there to do, but what really sealed the deal for me was the fact that he had intended on killing Eric.
Let him try and explain his way out of that one to Saint Peter.
I was more horrified by my own non-reaction to it all than the manner of his death itself, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it when Eric barked out, “Herveaux.”
My eyes caught the movement of Mr. Nasty Thought’s green eyes rolling back into his head as he gruffed out, “Yeah?”
“I’m calling in your debt,” Eric said, ignoring his attitude. “You will dispose of Thalia’s meal and will be available to dispose of the other four when I contact you.”
A whole slew of curse words were streaming through his mind, but his face didn’t show any of it as he merely huffed, “Fine. Any idea on when that’ll be because I have to be in Jackson by tomorrow afternoon.”
“Change your plans,” Eric replied without sympathy. I might have been a little perturbed over his display of highhandedness on this Herveaux’s behalf, but considering I was just fangbanger trash, I only smiled at the Were seeing he could no longer hide his annoyance. “You will remain and do as you’re told until I no longer have need of you,” Eric finished.
At least he had someone new to direct that behavior towards because he had another thing coming if he thought I was going to let him pay me twenty thousand dollars for something I had done for my own peace of mind.
I would tell him to bite me, but I had a feeling he would be happy to do it. And it would lose its ‘comeback oomph’ since I’d already learned I would like it.
I quickly folded that thought into a nice little origami bird in my mind’s eye and quickly freed it like it was a whale named Willy, hoping it would fly far far away before Eric caught onto the tenor of what I had been feeling thanks to remembering his earlier Sunday supper. But I knew it was too late when he snarled again and that time, the smoldering look in his eyes told me it had nothing to do with him being angry.
Damn nosy vampire blood. Can’t a girl have any privacy?
His fangs had been down the entire time we’d been there – understandably so given his rage moments earlier, but as Eric turned towards me and slowly started stalking forward like a lion, I had a strong urge to run.
But I knew that would just make me the antelope in this scenario.
The only thing that kept my feet still was knowing he wouldn’t hurt me and I’d seen that same fire in his eyes only a couple of hours earlier. It was the same look he wore after feeding me his blood right before he kissed me again.
He was turned on.
It was a case of the chicken or the egg – which came first? Was he turned on because he’d felt my twinge of lust or was it something else? Something to do with the fight or all of that possessive mine crap he’d been spouting? Did it really matter considering that look in his eyes was doing a massive amount of damage to both my sense of propriety and my panties?
I didn’t struggle when his arms wrapped around me like two steel bands and instead I sunk into him. Lord only knew what else I would’ve allowed him to do if the sound of Rene’s moan hadn’t brought me back to reality. But remembering we weren’t alone, I tried to get him to snap out of it by whispering into his chest, “Eric.”
His hands fisted into my hair and pulled my head to the side, while he leaned down and skimmed his nose along my jaw line to my ear where he licked the outer rim, making a shiver work its way down my spine as he whispered his reply of, “Sookie?”
The man was dangerous – to my moral compass – and my hands were already sliding down his back to do a thorough check of his backside to make sure it hadn’t been hurt in the scuffle. But the sound of Rene’s appalled voice shouting my name was enough to snuff out the flames of desire Eric had been stoking within me.
As soon as I peeked around Eric and he saw my face, Rene’s shock turned into hatred as he spat out, “It was you! YOU set that abomination free! You’re nothing but a fangbanging whore!”
I barely had time to notice Eric’s sudden disappearance from my embrace when I found him standing in front of Rene, who now had a newly bloodied lip, as Eric calmly snarled in his face, “You will be more respectful when speaking to my future lover or you will lose your ability to speak at all.”
Rene seemed to have forgotten all about me, with his eyes widening now seeing the vampire he’d done unspeakable things to standing freely in front of him. I could see in his thoughts he was remembering every injury he’d inflicted upon my apparent future lover (we would so be having a discussion about that later on) and his eyes traveled over Eric’s broad form, looking for signs of any of the damage he’d worn only two nights earlier. His mouth fell open when they came to rest on his hands, seeing all ten of his fingers right where they belonged.
Eric must have guessed what Rene was thinking because he lifted his hands and wiggled those ten fingers in his face, taunting, “You like? I know how much you liked my last set, but I’ve grown quite fond of my new ones. I’ll be keeping them, however…I wonder if you’ll like your next set of fingers as much as you like the ones you have now.”
I scarcely saw Eric move and Rene only had time to react after the fact by crying out in pain as Eric held up his now detached pointer finger. Using it to jab at Rene’s forehead with the bloodied side, he painted it red, as he said with mock sympathy, “Oh…I forgot. Your fingers can’t regrow like mine can.” Eric shook his head ruefully and clucked his tongue, while Rene continued to cry holding his mangled right hand to his chest. But his next sob got stuck in this throat when Eric said, “Silly me, but now that I’ve already started, I should probably go ahead and just finish the job to make both sides even, shouldn’t I?”
Rene violently shook his head no and then cried out again when Eric suddenly held up two newly detached fingers from Rene’s left hand. He sucked his teeth in exasperation, saying, “Oops! I took one too many. I’ll just have to even it out.”
I couldn’t watch anymore as Eric went back and forth, ripping fingers off of each of Rene’s hands and pretending to take one too many from each side until there were none left to take. But I had no sympathy for him because my memory of the blood encrusted state I’d found Eric in was enough to make me stand firm. I’d seen everything he’d done to not just Eric, but to his sister and Maudette too. So that was what gave me peace with what was now happening to him and I idly wondered if he’d ever read the bible at all, much less the verse that said ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you.’
If not, he really should have.
Gabe and the remaining two had woken up as well. Rene’s screams could have woken up the dead, but they remained quiet and stayed where they were, probably due to their survival instincts kicking in, but it was already too late for that. My eyes squeezed shut when I heard a sickening crunch as Rene’s scream suddenly got cut off and then a wet ripping sound followed by a thud.
I already knew what that sound was having heard it come from what Eric had done to that vampire on the night that we’d met.
One of the other men in Gabe’s gang leaned over and threw up, which oddly disgusted me more than what I was sure happened to Rene, so I looked away and tried not to focus on any one thing when Eric was suddenly in my face again. His arms held me in place as he pressed himself against me and I could feel what he was feeling pressed against my stomach. I didn’t know if it was me or taking out his revenge on the man that had tortured him that had Eric so randy, but future lover discussion notwithstanding, nothing could happen between us right now. Rene hadn’t exactly gone quietly into the good night and we still had an audience of four Weres, three kidnappers, two dead bodies, and a vampire.
Imagining her in a pear tree in the twisted Christmas song now playing in my mind, I made a mental note to ask Eric if elves were real too.
I found myself hugging him back and feeling strangely happy for him that he was able to get his revenge, but still I said, “Eric, we need to go. Someone could have heard Rene’s screams and called the police.”
He continued to rub himself against me, but a soft growl rumbled through his chest hearing my words and he reluctantly let go of me. His eyes were full of the things unspoken between us, but they would have to remain that way for now.
I could already hear the sounds of sirens and they were getting closer.