Ain’t No Sunshine
Six Months Later
“From reports that are still incoming, it’s rumored that the vampire population of California has been completely wiped out. An attack by a yet unidentified group started just after 2 am Pacific time, and swept through the state at an alarming rate. Within ninety-minutes, known vampire businesses were set ablaze and the suspected bloody remains of over two-hundred vampires were seen upon the ground. There has been no word from the Vampire Authority or the AVL as of yet, However; it is clear to see that someone out there is attacking vampires. This is the tenth reported attack on vampires in the last six months…”
“It’s just not fucking logical anymore, Roman!” the vampire spewed at him.
“Oh, change the fucking record, Illinois,” Nora cut in before Roman had a chance to reply. “We ain’t giving her up. Now fuck off.”
“Well, we will not be helping any more, and the Danann will hear it. Your fucking stubbornness has ensured the destruction of one third of all the fucking vampires in this country! Now I won’t allow me and mine to be a part of it anymore!” There were nods from many of the vampires from other states.
“You’re all fucking stupid if you think handing her over will stop the war,” Nora argued heatedly. “Those bastards want us all dead. It’s not just about Sookie.”
“Regardless,” another vampire stepped in, “there is a distinct lack of trust in the administration now. Nothing effective has been done to prevent these deaths.”
“You could always get off your arses and fight yourselves,” Nora countered. “You lot hide behind heavily forged doors and only communicate by video calls. We are out there fighting and providing refuge to the vampires who survive. You’re all quick to point the finger, but won’t do a fucking thing to help those around you.”
“Why the fuck should we when those who do just get decimated!” a third cried.
“You should because it’s not about those who fight and those who don’t. It’s about whether or not we all will survive this,” Roman told the vampire.
“These constant arguments are getting us nowhere,” a soft voice interrupted before any more mud slinging could start. “Handing over Ms. Stackhouse is not an option… Unless instead of facing the Danann you wish to go up against Russell Edgington.”
Russell let out a bellowed laugh, “True, true!” He voiced his presence for the first time and then asked, “May I ask who is speaking?”
Nora exchanged a look with Eric at the voice. She knew that voice as did her brother, and hearing it didn’t usually bode well for anyone.
“I am Freyda Nulah, Queen of Oklahoma,” she answered politely.
“Well, Freyda Nulah, Queen of Oklahoma, you should know I am not the only ancient willing to kill vampires for her, though I am the eldest,” Russell said. “So anyone who tries to turn against us will no longer be concerned with the Danann. They will have already had their severed heads shoved up their asses. – I am working on perfecting the timing so that happens before you explode, but I could always use more practice.”
“You would doom us all to death over that whore?” a foolish monarch spat.
“I would rip your tongue out and shove it down your fucking throat before you’ll call my child a whore again,” Russell threatened, “Do not think I won’t go up to Washington to do so, Liza.”
Liza snapped her mouth shut at Russell’s threat, knowing full well he meant everything word of it.
“So if you won’t give the whor… Her,” Illinois corrected quickly, hearing a growl from Russell, “what will you do? We are running out of vampires for the Danann to kill.”
“Reinforcements,” Roman said. “European, Asian, South American, African, and Australian allies must be called in.”
“Coalitions of species. There is no reason not to work with loyal Weres, Dae, Fae, and others,” Eric added.
“You wish for us to work with the Fae?” Illinois scoffed. “They’re in league with the filth that hunts us.”
“I said loyal Fae,” Eric snapped harshly. “Meaning proven loyalty and every reason to support us. That doesn’t concern you, however.”
“Doesn’t concern me?” Illinois blustered. “I am a King. I have a right to know.”
“You are not my king,” Eric responded, “and the Fae I have in mind will not be near your state or your fighters.”
“Then I will allow it…”
“Like you had a fucking choice,” Nora snorted.
“So that’s settled,” Roman said again. “We contact those we trust for help and whoever is willing should come quickly to assist.”
“I’ll make some calls,” Nora said, shooting a look to Eric, silently telling him whom she would be calling. He nodded, glancing at Sookie a little warily.
“If there’s nothing else,” Roman continued, “We all have work to do.”
“For the record, I still think this is a bad idea,” Illinois said, wanting his disagreement with their plan noted.
“And for the record, I think you’re a cowardly tosser,” Nora replied, giving him the finger.
“Enough! Illinois, you are either with us or against us,” Roman stated. “And if you are against us you know what Russell, Eric, Nora, Sookie, and I will do.”
“I am with you,” Illinois pledged through gritted teeth.
“I’m sure,” Roman replied, before cutting off the call.
“He’ll betray us,” Nora said once all the screens went blank.
“Then he’ll die,” Russell responded.
“Sounds good to me,” Nora shrugged. “I’ve always hated that prick.”
“Most have,” Eric replied. “Any who’ve met him.”
“Did you make any headway, Nora?” Sookie asked. Russell was sending out a few text messages, getting those who owed him or were loyal to him to lend their assistance.
Holding up her phone, Nora smiled at Sookie, “Just about to make the call,” she said, scrolling through her contact list and finding the number she was looking for.
“Quinn will contact Weres, local and otherwise who will assist,” Russell announced.
“Eric, you should contact Desmond and see if we can borrow his flowers,” Nora said, as she waited for her call to be connected.
Eric pulled out his phone, connecting with the Dae. “Desmond,” he began, “we need all you can spare. Your girls if possible.”
“They will be there at first dark tomorrow,” Desmond replied without hesitation. He was already aware of what was going on and who was involved.
“Anyone else?” he asked plainly.
“I will send all I can spare,” Desmond promised.
“I’m in your debt,” Eric told him.
“They will all be there at first dark,” Desmond assured him. “I will send some of our finest.”
Eric disconnected the call, considering who else to contact. He turned to Russell, “Will Quinn know the local Were Pack and other Weres with whom Sookie had contact as a human?”
Russell nodded. “Quinn has an extensive network of Were contacts.”
“Apparently, he’s a big thing in the Were world,” Sookie said, her feeling on the matter clear by the derision in her tone.
“What’d he do?” Eric asked, not asking about his accomplishments, but about the were-tiger’s fuck up that deserved the disdain he heard in Sookie’s voice.
“He spent the first year I knew him trying to save me from the big bad vampire, despite me being a vampire myself; then he spent the second year trying to fuck me,” Sookie snorted. “He let his bratty sister into one of our safe houses and the bitch actually had the nerve to steal some of my belongings, and then lie about it.”
“Is she still alive?” Eric teased.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Sookie pouted. “I did put the fear of God into her though.”
“Or the fear of vampires,” he said with a laugh.
“Stupid bitch should’ve already feared us,” Sookie replied.
“Anyone else?” he asked Nora as she got off the phone. She obviously had to leave some messages, but she reached a few vampires.
“They’re coming,” Nora replied, knowing he would understand who she meant. “I left a message with the old guard of Sweden and I believe they will come as well.”
“Sookie, you need to know that Pam will likely be returning for this,” Eric told her. “She will remain under Nathaniel’s control as she has been. If you want, we can keep her separated from you as much as possible.”
“Who’s Nathaniel?” Sookie asked first. She had heard Eric and Nora mention the name before, but never really asked who he was, but now that Pam was returning, she needed to know. She had been expecting Pam to return at some point, but she wasn’t expecting it so soon.
“One of Nora’s progeny,” he told her.
“Progeny?!” Sookie exclaimed in shock. “You have a child.” She wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t that. She wasn’t sure why, but hearing that Nora was a Maker was a surprise. Maybe it was because Nora had never mentioned having a child, then again, not many vampires did unless the child was newly made and still with their Maker… or like Pam, a selfish, jealous bitch who refused to leave her Maker’s side and stand on her own two feet.
“I have two,” Nora told her, smiling at the thought of her two darlings. “Nathaniel is my eldest. He’s… well, you’ll have to meet himself yourself and discover what he’s like, but I will tell you he is loyal to our bloodline and me. Nathaniel won’t put up with any of her shit. He hasn’t done,” Nora added, trying to reassure Sookie. “I have kept in contact with my Child, and he tells me Pam has already learned not to test him.”
Sookie accepted what Nora said, trusting her now since their talk.
“On the off chance she does, Ailis is coming as well,” Nora added with a smirk, thinking about the little spitfire who had made her undeath much more interesting. “The last time Pam pissed her off, Ailis set fire to all over her clothes, and then rubbed her face in the burnt remains.”
“We’re not talking about that time,” Eric warned Nora, knowing the time when he had been searching for Sookie had not been a positive time in his long life. He had been vicious and callous; doing things that almost disgusted him now, though Jessica had deserved it.
Nora nodded in understanding. “You won’t have to worry about Pam, Sookie,” she said, trying to gloss over her mistake.
Sookie looked at them, but obviously, they did not want to discuss it. “It’s fine,” Sookie told them. “I can handle her if needed.”
“You certainly kicked her ass last time,” Nora replied before wincing at remembering what had caused that fight and learning of Sookie’s rapes. “I’m just going to stop talking now.”
Eric shook his head, and instead of answering, he wrapped an arm around Sookie’s waist.
Sookie leaned into Eric’s side. She was no longer fazed by references to her attacks. She hadn’t forgotten any of it and never would. She would always carry the scars, but she no longer allowed it to cripple her as she once did. She knew Nora wasn’t being malicious; she was trying to compliment her.
It had been six months since the fight in the field, six months since she had managed to scar Warlow’s face. Reports said that he was rarely seen here, but when he was, his face was still damaged. They had been working to determine what caused her ability to use her light against him then when it hadn’t worked previously.
“Did Lala and Jesus finish putting up the new wards?” Sookie asked directing the question to Eric.
“Yes,” Eric told her. Lafayette and Jesus had been by the compound weekly to reinforce the wards they had placed and spend time with Sookie, Jason, and Susie.
“So at least we are safe here,” Sookie said with a smile. “OK, what now?”
“Now we get everyone here and work out a plan,” Russell said.
“The first wave will be arriving tomorrow,” Nora said. “I have plenty of room, providing they don’t mind bunking up. Nate and Ailis will be arriving in a few nights… Pam as well.”
“Is it possible for Pam to stay in the pool house?” Eric questioned.
“Yeah,” Nora nodded. “It’s light tight. It’ll be safe in there for her.”
“Also, whoever you want to torture, Nathaniel will probably insist on participating,” Eric added.
“My boy is talented at that,” Nora replied proudly. “No one has ever been able to hold out when he starts.”