“I will tell you. I will tell you what you took from me. I will tell you what I’ve lost,” Agatha reached into the van and pulled out her purse, which must have been sitting on one of the seats. She pulled something out of her purse.
It looked like a photograph. She held it up, until it was inches away from my face. “Take a good look. This is what you took from me. This is who I’ve lost,” her hand shook as she held them. “You took them from me…now, I’m going to take something that you love away from you.”
I was stunned speechless when I realized that I recognized the people in the picture. I must have looked incredulous because Agatha smiled an evil smile. “I’ve shocked you, didn’t I?” she guessed. She moved away from me, put her photograph back into her purse before continuing on. “Let me see…you already know that I’m a witch, therefore it wouldn’t be too hard to guess that there would be somebody that I knew who you have wronged in the past.”
“How do you know them?” I asked, hesitantly. I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat. Just like when I’d killed Debbie Pelt, I felt a tremendous wave of guilt and remorse wash over me. “Were you their advisor or something?”
“No,” Agatha shook her head. “I was their aunt. My sister was Marnie and Mark’s mother,” she explained. “When they both realized their talents and desire to learn the witchcraft trade, I was very happy and excited to teach them all that I knew.”
Marnie and Mark Stonebrook were the witches who led us all into the Witch War. Marnie, otherwise known as Hallow, had been the witch who had taken an interest in Eric. Not only sexually, but also knew that she would get a lot of money for his blood. She had put Eric under a spell that had wiped his memory clean. I had found him wandering along the road, late one night and had taken him in. He was half-clothed and barefoot. That was when I had started to fall in love with him. It was the first time that we’d made love and Eric had been willing to give up a lot of things in order to be with me. It was also when I’d murdered Debbie Pelt. I frowned in remembrance.
“So-o-o-o,” I dragged it out. “You want revenge against us because we basically were the reason why they ended up being killed,” I finished for her.
Agatha looked at me with a pleased look on her face. “Now you get it,” she nodded her head. “I would’ve completed my duty too, but Eric and your stupid bond somehow found out where I’d ordered Dimitri to hide you.” Now it was her turn to frown. “I’d heard about your little bond and knew that Eric had somehow developed feelings for you. You were his Achilles’ heel or weak link, I’d figured out. I knew that the way to get to Eric would be through you. Plus, you had a helping hand in the War. It would be like killing two birds with one stone.”
“So, are you planning on doing to Eric, what Hallow did?” I hesitantly asked, fearful of the answer. “Are you after his blood as well?” I didn’t even approach the sexual question because I really didn’t want to picture this old witch and Eric in any kind of sexual situation. Yuck.
“Well, let me see…” she paused, while she thought about it. “I suppose it was. My plan was to take you for a ride and then my friend here would look after you once the sun went down. I would lure Eric here and have another friend, whose a high-ranking vampire, help me dispose of him. Then, we would make a lot of money selling his blood on the market,” she explained. “But since you refused to get into the van, we’ll have to come up with another plan.”
“Why don’t I just knock her out?” her friend and assistant spoke up from behind me.
Agatha shook her head. “No,” she replied. She looked up at the sky. “The sun will be setting soon. Eric will know where to find her and he will come for her. I could just as easily wait for that to happen. Our good friend knows where to meet us and knows that Eric will be coming.”
I wondered who this vampire friend of theirs was. I didn’t dare ask that question though because a part of me was too afraid to know. Was it a vampire I knew? Was it the King himself? I had no clue. I just hoped that Eric would awake soon and would come for me.
How close do we have to be in order to read each other’s minds? I briefly wondered. I didn’t have any more time to dwell on it than that, because Agatha’s friend decided (ignoring Agatha’s wishes) at that moment, to knock me out.
Blackness closed in on me…
Eric woke up suddenly and sat up quickly in bed. He knew right away that Sookie was in trouble. Worse than that, he couldn’t feel what she was feeling. He could still feel her presence, somewhere in Las Vegas. She was still alive, but he couldn’t sense her fears or of anything letting him know of what she was feeling. Other than when she’d been kidnapped, there was only one other time when that had happened. It had happened when she had been unconscious.
Oh my God, what have they done to her? He worried. It was a good thing that he knew where she was meeting Agatha so that he could just fly over there. He quickly changed into his t-shirt and jeans, his usual attire. He rushed out of their hotel room to fly off to find her.
Help is on it’s way, he wished that he could tell her, but knew that there’d be no way that he could reassure her now.
He flew off towards Cashman Field in the ever darkening night.
I came to and I was in the back of the van, tied up. There was even a gag over my mouth, so nobody would be able to hear my screams. I couldn’t see Agatha or her friend, but judging from their brainwaves, I knew that they were close by.
That was weird… I thought to myself. There was another set of brainwaves. It was more like a fuzzy blur, as if whomever it was, was a Were or shifter.
I raised my head, and scrambled to my knees so that I could see outside the side window. I could see another figure standing there but couldn’t really see too much to know who it was. I could hear their muffled voices but they were drowned out by Agatha’s thoughts.
Should’ve left when we had planned to. I knew that she was a wry one, having defeated my niece and nephew at their own game. Should’ve cursed their bond without giving them a chance. Who is this guy? I’ve seen him before, but not in many years. We’re just going to have to get rid of him somehow.
I felt him getting closer. I knew that Eric was on his way. It was only a matter of time. I only hoped that whomever this Were or shifter was, would delay Agatha just long enough for Eric to get there.
Eric, can you hear me? I asked him in my mind. Please, if you can hear me, just give me a sign. I pleaded.
I didn’t need a sign after all, so it happened. The Were or shifter attacked Agatha, when she had turned towards the van in order to drive it away. She screamed in pain.
“Sookie!” I heard Quinn’s voice calling to me through the window. “Are you alright? Don’t worry, I’m here to protect you.”
I was very relieved and breathed a sigh of relief. That was when shock of all shocks happened. Victor Madden came out of the blue, tackling Quinn to the ground. Agatha was now free. I couldn’t see what Victor was doing to Quinn, but I did hear a loud roar.
Agatha, sprang into action, ripped open the van door and climbed into the driver’s seat. She turned around to look at me in the back.
“Buckle up, sweetie,” she instructed me. “We’re going for a little drive,” she explained.
She turned on the ignition and the engine roared to life. She quickly put the van in gear and started to pull out of the parking spot. The parking lot was now mostly deserted, since the baseball game was now over. She peeled out the lot, squealing her tires and smoke came up from the road.
Up ahead, I could see the entrance to the parking lot. I knew that I had to escape somehow. Even though I was tied up and gagged, I looked around to see if I had something to break free with. Noticing a sharp edge on the seat, I moved in front of it and rubbed the rope that bound my hands against it. I worked as quickly as I could. Eventually, the rope gave way and my hands were free. I untied the gag up around my mouth and took a deep breath. I was able to breathe finally.
Noticing that Agatha’s attention was all on the road and not on me; I tested the door to see if it was locked. Bingo! It wasn’t. I turned it and pulled it open as quietly as I could.
Agatha turned her head when she noticed that the door was open. “What th-” That was all I heard before I jumped out of the moving van, landed on the pavement, and rolled to get out of the way of the moving vehicle.
I was in pain. I didn’t know how bad it was but I knew that I was hurting. I couldn’t move my arm and guessed that it might be broken. Tears sprang to my eyes at the pain, but it didn’t stop me. I became aware of my surroundings long enough to know that Agatha was now pulling a U-turn and was starting to head back towards me. There was only one thing that I could do. I stood up on my wobbly legs and started to make a run for it in the bushes. There would be no way that she could follow me in there, I thought to myself.
Her headlights lit up the bushes in front of me, so I could see easily, but it also made me realize that she was steadily getting closer and closer. If I didn’t get out of the way soon, she would run me down like a bulldozer. I was nearly there, when I felt someone reach under my armpits, pick me up and lift me up into the air.
I didn’t need to guess at who it might be. I knew. It was my bonded. Eric. He had finally found me.
He lifted me up and we were flying. I looked down at the ground and parking lot. I could see Agatha’s van drive by right where I’d just been. Agatha was driving at such a speed that she didn’t have time to stop. She drove straight into a tree.
The sound of metal crashing was deafening to my ears. I looked away because I didn’t want to see what happened next. Instead, I looked up at Eric, who had a hold of me by my armpits. The van burst into flames. I could hear Agatha’s screams coming from the van in pain…then silence.
“Thank you,” I said, as the pain in my arm began to increase immeasurably. “Ouch!” I cried out in pain.
“Sookie?” Eric asked me, full of concern. “Are you alright?”
“I think I broke my arm. I think we’re far enough away…can you put me down?” I asked, through my tears. It was horribly painful now, since Eric had used my arms as a way to lift me up into the air. He lowered me to the ground and right away looked at my arm.
“It’s broken,” he guessed, in that cold, impersonal way of his. He took in the way my arm reacted to his ministrations.
“No, kidding,” I replied back, sarcastically. “Didn’t I just tell you that?”
“Yes, but I had to see for myself. We’ll take you to a doctor who can set it, okay?” He looked at me, full of concern and relief.
I was suddenly happier than I’d ever been. I was so relieved to see him and that he had saved my life. Ignoring the pain in my arm, I moved closer to him and buried my face into his t-shirt. “I’m so glad you came when you did,” I said, muffled into his stony chest. He didn’t reply, but squeezed me in response. “I would’ve been a goner for sure.”
“Not, if I could help it,” Eric replied back, his voice sounding protective and fierce.
I raised my head and looked up at him. “Did she really die?” I hesitantly asked.
Eric nodded his head.
“Good,” I replied, not at all sorry that Agatha had died. “Did you know that she’s Hallow’s and Mark Stonebrook’s aunt? That’s why she came after us like she did. She wanted revenge.” I explained to him.
“It does make sense,” Eric replied back. “I wonder if she was going to drain me and sell my blood, just like Hallow?” Eric questioned aloud.
“She admitted as much to me,” I replied. “Well, now that it’s over…we-” I paused as another thought hit me. “Oh my Gosh! Quinn was attacked right before Agatha drove away. I wonder if he’s alright?” I exclaimed, making my concerns known.
Eric frowned. I could feel his jealousy creep in.
“No, it’s not like that. You have to go see how he is. He tried to save me and I want to make sure that he’s okay. That’s it,” I tried to convince him.
I could tell by the way Eric was both thinking and feeling, that he wasn’t pleased.
“Fine,” he sighed, giving in. “If it would make you happy…”
“It would,” I insisted, giving him a pleading look. If you saw it, it would look more like a pout, than anything else.
“But I’m not leaving you here all alone,” Eric insisted right back, proof of his protective nature. “Ah, there he is,” he was looking over my head. “Right on time.”
“Who’s right on time?” I wondered. I gazed up at Eric, wondering what he was talking about.
“The dog will watch over you until I get back,” was all Eric would say.
I spun around, wondering what dog he was referring to, when I noticed a collie sitting on it’s haunches not too far away. I turned to look up at Eric once again. “You got Sam to come here and help,” I stated.
Eric shrugged. “Yes, I figured that I needed all the help that I could get and I wasn’t sure if Quinn would pull through or not.”
“You got Quinn to help too?” I repeated, incredulously. “How? I never thought he’d want to ever help me again after my last conversation with him.”
Eric shrugged once more. “I convinced him that it would be in his best interest.”
“You mean, you threatened him,” I guessed. I could tell that Eric didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it either. “Fine,” I sighed, giving in. “He did come through and delayed Agatha long enough so that you could get here,” I relented.
“That’s right,” Eric replied back, grinning. He was pleased with himself for thinking of it, I could feel.
“Okay, go,” I motioned Eric away with my hand. “Go check on Quinn. Sam and I will be just fine.”
Eric turned towards Sam. “Take her to the hospital. She broke her arm,” he explained.
Sam barked back at him, in his collie state. I wondered how Sam would get me to the hospital, if he was in his dog form.
Eric turned back towards me. “Later, lover,” he spoke, softly, then he gave me a sweet kiss.
With that, Eric took off.
I looked at Sam. “Well, don’t sit there all night. You have to take me to the hospital,” I ordered, grumpy because of the pain.
Eric found Quinn laying on the ground, naked and back in his human form. The vampire who had attacked him, was nowhere in sight. Eric wondered who had won their fight, but judging by Quinn’s condition, he figured that it was probably even. He didn’t know why the one didn’t kill the other, but decided to find out from Quinn himself.
“Wake up, tiger. Sookie is saved,” he nudged him with his boot.
Quinn opened his eyes and glared up at him. “She is? That’s good. I wish I would’ve been more help back there, but…” his sentence trailed off and he shrugged his shoulders. “I didn’t know that Agatha had a vampire in her back pocket.”
“Who?” Eric demanded, angrily. “Sookie told me who Agatha really was, but she didn’t tell me about who the vampire was.”
“Well…” Quinn seemed hesitant to tell him. “I’m not sure if it’s a wise idea. You may not like it when you find out.”
Eric knelt down close to Quinn’s face. “No, I don’t like it when vampires, Weres and witches plot and plan against me and use someone that I care about in the process. Now, tell me who it is,” he ordered, impatiently. His accent was more pronounced, because he was angry. His fangs elongated.
“Your fangs don’t scare me, vampire,” Quinn replied back, not the least bit sorry. “You won the girl, you should be happy.”
“Oh, believe me, I am.” Eric grinned, wickedly at him. “I just want to take care of some business before I settle in and become really happy.”
Eric could tell that Quinn hated him at that moment. Not only for getting him into this mess, but for winning Sookie’s heart. But he didn’t care. All he cared about was making all those responsible live in intense pain…or die, for the trouble they had caused.
“You’ll never believe it,” Quinn shook his head. “I didn’t believe it either at first, but then it’s kind of hard to not believe it, when he’s trying to kill you.”
“Will you get on with it,” Eric grumbled, not happy that Quinn was deciding to take this moment to toy with him. “Do I know the vamp?” Eric demanded.
“Yes, you do,” Quinn replied. “And you’ve worked closely with him too.” He nodded his head.
“Who is he?”
“Victor Madden,” Quinn answered.
Eric froze. Everything began to make sense. Victory Holdings, was named after Victor. Why Agatha was in Vegas? Victor worked for Felipe, who was the King of Vegas. Who had enough money to pay off Dimitri and Agatha? Victor. He just didn’t know how Victor knew Agatha and why he would get mixed up in her troubles.
“Victor,” Eric repeated, just to make sure.
“I take it that you’re going after him?” Quinn correctly guessed, as if reading Eric’s mind. Eric nodded his head, he was so angry that he couldn’t speak. “Want some help?”
Eric turned to look at Quinn, incredulously.
“What?” Quinn replied back. “He was a part of a plot to hurt Sookie. She may have spurned me, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t stopped caring for her.”
“Fine,” Eric stood up once again. “Let’s go.”
With that, Quinn rushed over to his car that was parked in the parking lot, while Eric took flight. They took off in search of Victor.