Chapter 6 – Tick, Tock

Chapter 6

Daina looked around the party that was in full swing, though it was a bit more sedate than most victory parties she’d been to before, she thought that was most likely because those were thrown by football players and this one was done by millennium old vampires. Significant differences there.

Glancing around the room she saw everyone who had been involved in the actual ‘victory’ and quite a few more who were just there to sort of re-up their commitment to Godric. To her it looked more like they were there to make sure that he knew that just because they didn’t come through with the rescue that didn’t mean they had anything to do with the initial attack like Hugo had.

Basically they were all kissing his ass thoroughly like the vampire versions of every power hungry little social climber she’d ever seen in politics. They were suck-ups with years of practice and she just found the whole thing beyond funny to watch. It must be true what they say, the more things change the more they stay the same. Well some things anyhow.

Sookie seemed to be currently stuck between a Viking and a wall, and after everything Bill had done, or more importantly hadn’t done, over the last few days she didn’t seem to be in any great hurry to change that fact. Though she was making sure that things stayed appropriate between the both of them. Eric wasn’t allowed to touch anything but the wall she was leaning against, but it was progress in the right direction and that was what counted.

Jason was flirting outrageously with anyone and everyone who came near him, man, woman, human, vampire, or undecided. He seemed to be bouncing back easily enough, proving that he was a Stackhouse to his core even if he wasn’t as gifted as she and Sookie were with some of the more obvious gifts of the Stackhouse lineage.

Bill was hovering in a corner with the evil skank from the basement, who she had since learned was Bill’s Maker Lorena. Turns out Bill’s vampire mommy didn’t like the fact that Billy boy was shacking up with Sookie, and Bill didn’t seem to have the balls necessary to defend his honey-boo. Not that, that really surprised anyone. Hell, it probably didn’t even surprise Sookie anymore.

Jessica seemed to either be M.I.A or at least hiding somewhere out of everyone’s line of sight. Once the whole rescue had ended Lorena had made it clear how she felt about Bill’s progeny and her opinion was not a favorable one. After having her jaw broken by the uppity bitch the poor baby had made it her new mission in her un-life to avoid the pair of them until grandma decided to pull up stakes and high tail it back to wherever the hell she’d come from.

Stan was being his usual pompous self off in the center of everything talking loud and long about how they all should have handled things, and how the witch wouldn’t have been able to take him if he hadn’t been hampered by the less gifted of his own kind getting in his way. Apparently in his version of the truth he was a rock star, not that she cared enough to even try to untangle the web he was currently weaving for an audience of enraptured fangbangers.

Isobel was hangdogging it in a corner waiting for judgment to befall her former sweetie and current traitor Hugo. She looked torn between which outcome she wanted to see, but again she had enough problems without borrowing more from the people around her.

Soon enough she and her cousins would be trapped in a car together on the way back to Bon Temp with nothing else to do but to deliver a few home truths to one another. Not that that really bothered her any, neither of them knew enough about her life to speak ill of it or her in any way. Not that there wouldn’t be plenty to say if they did know, she was a Stackhouse after all and poor life choices were as much a family tradition as their free loving natures.

The original plan was for her to continue on back to California from here, but some things were more important than returning to her empty family home to try and find new ways to entertain herself in the face of insurmountable boredom. When Jason entered the picture the entire landscape changed and with it their plans for the future, someone had to help set that boy back on the path that didn’t lead to his immediate and bloody end and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be Sookie.

Making her way around the room she didn’t stay in any one place for very long, her shields were very strong, but most of these fangbangers were really loud broadcasters so it sort of evened out though not really in her favor. If she heard one more fantasy about her and either one or both of her cousins getting it on for the entertainment of the masses she would be getting arrested for murder in the very near future. Even the fact that they were all related, which had circulated through the gossips like wildfire didn’t seem to slow them down any. If anything that fact just seemed to add fuel to the fire, adding a taboo element to it all. Ewww!

She couldn’t even imagine what poor Sookie was hearing, but she was close enough to Eric for his silence to muffle it a bit, not enough to shut it out completely without touching, but enough to keep her from losing her shit in the middle of a vampire party. Which while entertaining in the short term would also most likely be deadly in the long run, and most likely for all three of them.

She needed a drink if she was going to survive this.

Godric watched the young woman from before as she circled the room yet again before heading for the bar. He’d learned from his Childe a bit more about her than he’d previously known but he still did not know much.

He knew that she was related to the two Stackhouses here, one of whom seemed to be claimed by that fool Compton. Though looking over at his Childe as he leaned even further into the girls personal space he didn’t see that lasting much longer. Very few could stand against the will of a Norseman for long.

The other one Jason, what little he knew of him did not paint the young man in an entirely favorable light. However, the fact that he made no pretenses of being either more or less than he truly was did make him think a little better of the simpleton. A fool he may be but as far as he could see he was a well intentioned fool.

None of this however told him more about the girl who was in most respects his rescuer. She had been the one who’d initially come in after him, and the others of course. She was the one who came up with plan after plan as everything seemed to fall apart around them all constantly, never once giving in to the impulse to panic. She was as far as he could tell a very brave and intelligent young woman. If they had met earlier it was a near foregone conclusion that Eric would have been welcoming a new sibling in the near future, but now he was just too tired to do more than wonder about her.

Suddenly her voice cut through the room, tight, commanding, and in control. Leaving no room for argument.

“Everybody get down!” Every vampire hit the floor immediately used to listening to such a tone nearly instinctively, the humans were it seemed a bit slower. Too slow for most.

Within moments all hell broke loose and his world was once more turned head over foot, though this time in a more literal sense.

When he was able to open his eyes again the world was on fire, or at least his furniture was. Someone had set off a bomb in his home, judging by recent events he assumed it was the Fellowship of the Sun once more wreaking havoc. He could feel the wounds left by the shrapnel, thankfully composed of only common metals and not silver and knew it would be almost impossible for him to move at the moment even if he wanted to. He felt through their bond that his Childe had also survived and while injured he was in far better shape than he was at the moment.


Looking up he saw the face of an angel bathed in a golden light. It took him a moment for his vision to clear enough to see that his angel was none other than Daina Stackhouse and the golden light was the glow of the fires that surrounded them on most sides.

“Woah dude, you are tore up. You need blood right? What am I saying of course he needs blood, he’s a vampire blood is how they heal, come on Daina get your act together and at least pretend like you’ve got a brain. Duh.”

Watching her reprimand herself was amusing, she seemed to both question and answer herself, no one else was truly needed for the conversation to be complete. He was so focused on this new quirk of hers that at first he didn’t realize what she was doing until he smelled more of her blood. She’d cut her own wrist, not deeply but enough so that he could feed.

He thought vaguely about protesting but before he could make up his mind her wrist was pressed to his mouth and he tasted ambrosia.

He was ashamed to say that he lost himself in her taste, enough so that when he returned to his senses she was in the midst of a conversation he did not remember her beginning.

“Jesus Sookie just do it!”

He turned his head slightly, still not releasing the wrist pressed to his lips, to see what it was exactly she was demanding be done. Seeing his Childe on the floor a few scant feet away he took in the difference between what he saw and what he still felt through their bond. While Eric looked to be near to death he knew that to be only a ruse, and one that seemed to be working if the girls next actions were anything to go by, and the smile that graced Eric’s face. Glancing up towards his own savior he found an answering smile upon her face, so she had been aware of the subterfuge and had chosen to participate rather than out the farce to her cousin. 


Feeling the last of his wounds heal he finally released Daina, licking his lips

Bill could feel the adrenaline rushing through his body, the thrill of the hunt he hadn’t felt in so long he had almost forgotten what it was like to just give in to the instincts that told him to rend and tear into his enemy. These men had tried to kill him and he would return the favor in kind! The rush was so potent that when a new sensation rose up to overtake it suddenly he nearly stumbled as he broke stride, Sookie!

When Eric had told him to get the humans he had simply obeyed because it was someone else, someone with more authority in their world than him giving him permission to do what he wanted to do and he took that permission and ran. Now he was cursing himself for his stupidity in leaving Sookie alone with the Viking for so long, even injured Eric was a threat and he should have remembered that. Now there was a new threat rising up to meet him and there was nothing he could do, he was too late to stop Eric’s blood from reeking havoc on his bond with Sookie, it was already inside of her invading the space that should have been only his! 

How could she? Even knowing that it was more likely that Eric had tricked his kind hearted love into violating their bond so thoroughly he still felt incandescent rage towards her for not doing more to stop it. To stop him.

He rushed back into the newly destroyed house and found his sweet Sookie looking at him with blood smeared across her mouth and Eric smirking at him in triumph. No!

He moved towards them not sure himself which of the two he was going to reach for when he found his way blocked by the infuriating woman who seemed to be blocking him at every turn since he had first laid eyes on her, and maybe even before then. 


“I don’t think so Bill. You need to take a walk and calm down a bit more, you seem a bit worked up.” She stood before him with no fear in her eyes at all, she almost looked smug in the knowledge that he could do nothing to her. Not here. Not now. Not with Godric standing behind her obviously protecting her from retribution for her interference in things she has no business being in the middle of.

Sookie tried to move past her to come back to his side where she belonged but she too was blocked by her cousin’s movements. This girl needed to learn her place, he took a half a step towards her before a near subvocal growl from Godric had him stumbling two steps back. He nearly forgot where they were and more importantly who else was here with them, there was nothing he could do to her while they were in Dallas and they both knew it. But they wouldn’t be in Dallas forever and that was all the reassurance he needed to talk himself down from the edge he was teetering on and turn to leave. Alone. 

Godric wasn’t sure why the girl was so set against the youngling, but he was going to make sure she wasn’t attacked for it. It had been a while since he had seen that kind of bravery in one so young, normally he saw rashness and the false assurance of immortality, but this was something else entirely. This wasn’t an extension of youthful bravado; her decision to stand between her family and perceived danger was closer to a warrior’s choice. Though he was sure he had never seen a warrior so ill prepared for battle before, he wasn’t sure what she would have done if he had not stood behind her, but he was fairly certain that whatever it was it would have been glorious. 

He had seen a bit of who she was in the basement of the Fellowship and a bit more during the attack on his nest, but this was where he truly began to get a glimpse of the girl beyond the pretty packaging she presented to the world. She was something from a bygone era, something unique and joyous to behold.

“Why stand between them?” There were so many possible reasons, most if not all of them altruistic in nature, but he wanted to know hers. Hear it from her own lips in her own words.

“Someone has to.”

As he watched her move away from him and towards his Childe he once again wished he could find it in himself to care more than he did. While her presence had piqued his curiosity more than anything else had in nearly a century or possibly even more he had been spiralling towards the abyss for so long now he wasn’t sure even something so new and invigorating would be enough to help him pull himself back from the edge. What a pity. She would have been glorious indeed.

Daina was beyond tired, she hadn’t even known this level of exhaustion was even achievable, but apparently it was. This day had started way too early and ran until way too late and now all she wanted was a nice warm bed to crawl into and for the rest of the world to just crawl away and die until she was ready to deal with it all again. Was that too much to ask for? Was it?

Yes. It was.

Apparently the universe itself was against her because instead of being allowed to follow through with her plans of welcoming oblivion she was stuck watching the train wreck that was her cousin colliding with the bellboy from earlier. Daina had clocked him when they checked in, but she had also seen that he was in just as much denial of his gift as Sookie and one was more than enough for her. Sookie on the other hand seemed to see his avoidance of them as some kind of coy flirtation on his part because instead of giving the guy the space he was clearly internally shouting for she decided to corner him to have a meeting in the hallway. At least she was smart enough, note the sarcasm, to keep the truly incriminating conversation all mental rather than vocalizing it in a hallway filled to the brim with being with super hearing and a hard on for people like them.

She listened in to make sure neither of them went too far, but didn’t really give them too much attention, too busy fantasizing about how good it would feel to slip between those cool sheets just behind the door the two of them were almost maliciously blocking with their pointless back and forth. She just wanted to sleep. 

“Concentrate so hard your hair hurts.”

Seriously? That was her strategy? No wonder she was always so ill prepared and her shields were so hit or miss. If your shields needed your full concentration to function than the minute your attention wandered they would all come crashing down leaving you vulnerable to every stray thought winged your way. This was something she had never really considered, she had thought that Sookie was so far behind because she liked to pretend she was normal and couldn’t hear anything beyond what people said to her, but that wasn’t what was wrong at all. No, while she did herself no favors by being so deep in the pit of denial it was her basic premise that was flawed.

She would have to help her through that, but not right now. Right now was for sleep, tomorrow was soon enough for retraining from the ground up.

No sooner had her hand touched the doorknob than she was called to from down the hall by Bill, of course it was Bill no one else would be so cruel as to keep her from sleeping.

“A meeting has been called everyone who was at the bombing is requested to attend.”

Requested her ass, if it was a request she would be able to blow it off and just keep walking into her room, but since Sookie was already headed towards doom she had to follow along behind her. Damn it!

Closing her eyes she breathed in, dug deep down to wrestle up a third wind and tried to achieve some inner freaking calm. It didn’t seem to be working.

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