You guys are in for a treat! If you love mystery, intrigue and suspense…this is a chapter for YOU!
What will Sookie think about these murders? How will she react? How will this affect Eric and Sookie’s relationship? Thanks to your votes – you will find out in this chapter!
Deborah would like to thank all of you for voting! She hopes you like what she’s written!
Before you start reading, we wanted to remind you that you can now order Deborah Court’s novel, “Bound To The Prince” in paperback through Amazon.com! It will make a great Christmas gift for that special someone or a gift to yourself from “Santa”! You can order it here, along with the Kindle edition! Who says, you’ve been bad this year…? You deserve it for putting up with what happened on True Blood!
We’re sure you’re probably anxious to get reading…so we won’t keep you! Enjoy!
The Dark Queen
By Deborah Court
Eric pressed Sookie close to his chest as she went rigid with shock. He wished she could feel a steady heartbeat there that might calm her down. Humans, he had often observed, seemed to be comforted by listening to each other’s heartbeat, and by being enveloped in their loved one’s scent, although they didn’t even realize it. Knowing that vampires didn’t seem to smell of anything to mortals, he was reminded painfully that he couldn’t provide those natural ways to make her feel instinctively loved, and protected. He couldn’t even comfort her by warming her with his body as he was well aware that he must feel lifeless and cold to her. At moments like this, he would have happily died a thousand deaths if it would have given him the chance of being human, a true mate to the woman he loved.
For a long while she was silent, her face concealed by his jacket. He wasn’t sure how to interpret what he learned about her emotions through the bond. Sure, she was shocked and sad, but he didn’t sense the acute wave of pain he had expected from her after losing the first man she’d been with. Probably the shock still numbed her grief over Bill’s demise.
“Sookie, I am so sorry,” he whispered into her hair, and after a while he added, “Forgive me.”
This made her finally raise her head from his chest. As she looked up to him, he saw that her face was ashen. But there were no tears in her eyes.
“Why should I need to forgive you, Eric?” she asked. “It’s not as if you had anything to do with his death.”
“No, I didn’t kill him,” he said. “Nor would I have ever done that, knowing that I’d hurt you by harming him. But I must admit my true feelings to you.”
“What do you mean?” she whispered.
To her surprise, the tall vampire dropped down on his knees in front of her and pressed his cheek to her side, circling her waist with his arms. Confused, she began to stroke his hair.
“I must tell you,” he said quietly, not daring to meet her eyes. “If you should choose to leave me because of it, this is the consequence I’ll have to endure. But I won’t lie to you, my Sookie. I’m not sorry that he’s dead.”
She didn’t answer, but her fingers stopped caressing his hair.
“I must admit that a part of me even feels relief – the part of me that’s possessive about you, more than you’ll never know. My greatest fear was that one day, you might decide to go back to him, after all. I know that you once loved him. But I’d never forgiven him that he let this human blood-drainer couple beat you half to death,” Eric continued calmly, although he fought against the rage that threatened to consume him. “I would have enjoyed killing him for that long ago. The only reason I didn’t was that I knew it would hurt you, too. Now you see who I truly am.”
She sank down to her knees until she was enclosed in the safety of his arms, hugging him back. “I love whatever you are,” she whispered, softly touching his lips with hers, “and I always will.” The kiss soon grew more passionate as the horror of the room took hold of her. Suddenly she wanted to feel alive desperately, unlike that pitiful body that had been a living, breathing woman just like her, not too long ago. She buried her hands in Eric’s hair and opened her mouth to let him in, sighing as she yielded to his kiss.
When the door abruptly opened, Eric leapt up in the fraction of a second, pulling Sookie with him so that no one would have suspected that they had just been kneeling on the floor, kissing each other senseless.
“Look what I’ve found inside the shoe closet in my dressing room, Eric,” Pam said, pushing a pale and shivering Ginger into the room. “I am sure that she has seen something, though I haven’t been able to make her speak. Just look at her. She’s half mad with fear.”
“Now that’s interesting,” Eric said coolly. While he stepped nearer to the wide-eyed barmaid, he fixed his intense gaze on her. Ginger gave a little shriek and tried to move closer to Pam.
“Oh, I’ve already tried to glamor her,” Pam said. “Nothing. She’ll do what I say, but she’s too deep in shock to speak. You’re older, master. Maybe you will succeed.” She waited patiently while Eric pierced Ginger with his eyes again, commanding her to speak. Ginger winced and looked at him as if he’d kill her any moment, but she didn’t say a word. Eric tried for several minutes to glamor her, but it was in vain. Finally he shrugged, looking at Pam.
“I could use more pressure to force her, but in this state, her mind is too fragile. In order to protect her sanity, she might choose to simply forget the memory of the murder and lock it away in some distant corner of her mind. Then we’d never be able to learn what she has seen … or heard.”
“Let me give it a try, Eric,” Sookie said unexpectedly. “I think I can read her mind. Her thoughts are very confused, I only saw a few images …,” she swallowed. “Terrible images. She witnessed the murder while she peeked through a gap in the door. Luckily, her survival instinct was stronger than her curiosity, and she hid in Pam’s room, fearing she’d meet the same fate as …” Her eyes wandered briefly to the body on the dancing pole.
“Yvetta,” Eric said, not showing any emotion. “Sit down, Ginger,” he said. “And do whatever Sookie says.”
The quivering blonde hurried to sit on a barstool. Sookie gently touched her temples with her fingertips to make contact. After a few seconds, she gasped and pulled her hands away.
“Eric,” she whispered, “the pictures in her mind, they are horrible. I can’t …”
“You don’t need to do this,” he said, taking her cold hand into his.
“Oh yes, she does,” Pam intervened, appearing at Ginger’s other side. “Do you know what the police will think when they detect this blood bath here, in a vampire’s bar? Or what the press will write? This will be fuel to the fire of the Authority. They are still looking for any excuse to make an example of him. He’s become far too powerful for their taste.”
Sookie nodded. “I’ll do it. Please try to remember, Ginger,” she said softly, pressing her palms to the woman’s temples again. Closing her eyes, she listened to Ginger’s thoughts. In the meantime, Eric began to stride up and down behind her, furious about the fact that he couldn’t do anything to save his human from the images that would haunt her in her dreams for a long time to come. Due to Sookie’s fairy nature, he couldn’t even glamor her to make her forget. It had been Ginger’s fate to endure what she had witnessed. Now those memories belonged to Sookie as well.
Her eyes still closed, Sookie suddenly began to talk. “Ginger woke up from a nap when she heard something … a high-pitched, agonized scream. For a while she contemplated if she should leave Pam’s room to look for the intruder, but she didn’t dare. Finally her curiosity gained the upper hand, and she sneaked into the corridor. There was Yvetta, tied to the pole. She was already dead, her body slowly bleeding out while the dark shadow was ripping her flesh apart, feeding from her.” She shuddered.
“A dark shadow?” Eric murmured. “What did it look like?”
Sookie shook her head. “I can’t see it clearly. It was some kind of creature, as tall as a human, but different – it was crouching before Yvetta while it chewed at her. And it moved in a strange way, kind of blurred – just like you, when you move too quickly for me to see,” she added, addressing Eric.
He looked at her, surprised. “I wonder if this creature was part vampire. This would explain the swift movements.”
“Yes,” Sookie said. And its skin was deep black, with a wet, disgusting shine to it. There was someone else. A dark-skinned woman with a turban. She was beautiful, and she seemed to be the one in command.”
“Let me see …,” said Pam sarcastically. “All the suspects we have is a woman who loves the African retro look, and her slimy giant dog whose favorite food are strippers. The Authority’s agents will love to hear that. We’ll be all staked before we know it.”
“There’s more,” Sookie said, her voice grave. “A vampire entered the bar and hurried into the room while Ginger was still watching. It was Bill. When he saw Yvetta’s body, the woman with the turban stepped in his way. He demanded to know what had happened here, and if she had … now this sounds strange … the notebook. Right in this moment the black creature sneaked up behind him, and … staked him.” She tried not to look over to the pool of blood which held Bill’s remains.
“Bill?” cried Pam. “The king is dead?” Sookie was astonished when she saw the female vampire kneel down at Eric’s feet.
“What the hell …,” she murmured.
“Damn,” Eric moaned.
“I pledge my allegiance to you, my liege,” Pam said. “You know you’ve always had it.”
“Pam!” Eric said. “Now this isn’t the right time for that! Listen to me.” He grabbed Pam’s elbow and pulled her up to face him. “Nobody must know about this. Understand?”
His progeny nodded. “I’ll clean up this mess and don’t breathe a single word about it. I’ll just pretend that you’re still in Öland.”
“I must be free to find out who broke into my territory and tried to discredit me,” Eric said sternly. “You need to cover this up and give me some time. I must find the killer before they can try to accuse me of murdering the king. I would have had every reason to do it, after all,” he said, glancing at Sookie. Even Ginger stared at the two vampires, obviously having no idea what was going on.
“Would someone please inform me what’s going on, or is this strictly vampire business?” Sookie hissed. “Please don’t tell me that Eric is king now. Who will decide that, anyway?”
“The Authority, of course,” Pam explained to her. “Nan Flanagan suggested to Eric that he could be the king, and he declined. This is why she chose Bill in the end. Eric is much older than he was, and more powerful than any vampire in Louisiana. He is the most obvious choice.”
“I don’t want to be king,” Eric growled while he was crossing the blood pond with long strides, reaching Yvetta’s body and searching what was left of her jacket. After a few moments he gave up since he found nothing.
“Fuck,” he said.
“Are you by chance looking for this notebook?” Pam asked, reaching behind the bar and protruding a small leather-bound book that was drenched in blood. “This is why the gold-digging bitch came here. She was looking for something that could be held against you by the Authority.”
“And she worked together with Bill,” Sookie said earnestly. “He was the one who sent Yvetta here. He wanted to harm you, Eric,” she concluded, a shiver running down her spine. “This time, he wouldn’t have hesitated to kill you if it had redeemed him in the eyes of the Authority.”
Eric took her hand and placed a quick kiss into her palm. “I fear that you’re right, my lover. But I intend to find out what exactly has happened here. There could be much more than meets the eye. Will you accompany me to New Orleans? I know someone there who could tell us who did this, and maybe even why.”
Sookie took a deep breath and looked up into his eyes. He looked genuinely worried and silently begged her to stay in Bon Temps, where she was relatively safe. However, he had promised her to take her with him, and this was exactly what she wanted.
“It will be my pleasure, Mr. Northman,” she said, a faint smile curving her lips. “Besides, you might need me if a mind-reader should come in handy.”
“The game is afoot, Watson,” Pam remarked. She glamored the barmaid so she wouldn’t know what had happened later. “Ginger, start cleaning that mess up,” she commanded. “I’ll get rid of the body. What a shame. I liked feeding from this stripper.”
Ginger took one last glance at the pool of blood and looked as if she’d turn around and flee, never to come back. Instead, she fainted, hitting the floor with a loud thud.
“Take care of her, Pam,” Eric said. “Sookie, we should leave if we want to reach New Orleans before sunset. I fear that the killer is already awaiting us.”
To be continued…
© All characters are the property of Charlaine Harris and True blood HBO. No copyright infringement is intended. No monetary compensation is gained. Used for entertainment purposes only.
Now it’s your turn to decide how the story will move forward! Today, we have two questions for you – choose wisely!
What will Sookie answer?
– She’ll agree that they should leave for New Orleans right away.
– She’ll convince Eric to spend one night in Bon Temps.
How will Eric and Sookie travel to New Orleans?
– In a black, luxurious stretch limo
– Sookie will fly in Eric’s arms
Cast your votes in the polls below! You have 48 hours starting…NOW!
Here are the results from the polls from the last chapter…
In the first poll, where we asked; “What will happen next?” 86.71% of you, voted for an unexpected visitor will reveal Bill’s plans to betray Eric to the Authority. In the second poll where we asked; “Who the heck will be the King of Louisiana?” 69.23% of you, voted for Eric Northman! There were over 156 votes cast in each poll, which is a record number of votes! Thanks so much for voting! We hope you vote in these polls too!
Deborah, Deborah, Deborah…can’t thank you enough for writing this amazing story! Loved this chapter from beginning to end! I’m loving the intrigue and the suspense! I’m glad to see Ginger in this story too! You write her exactly the same way as on the show! Soooo glad that everybody chose that Sookie wouldn’t be too broken up over Bill’s death! YOU ROCK! Can’t wait to read the next chapter!
As for these next 2 poll questions…I chose Sookie and Eric will leave for New Orleans right away and that Sookie will fly there in Eric’s arms! ♥
Now it’s your turn! Deborah loves reading all of your comments! Please tell her what you think in the comments below!