The Safest Way into Tomorrow
Back at the Stackhouse’s farmhouse, Susie was sobbing in her father’s arms. It wasn’t from anything that was still happening, but from the thoughts and fears of those in the room. She clung to Jason desperately. She didn’t really understand anything, but she knew her mommy was dead…and then some mean people with odd sounding or evil thoughts had appeared. She didn’t want to be taken with the big man. She wanted to be with her Daddy.
“Sshh, baby girl, Daddy’s got you,” Jason said, rocking her gently. Her arms grasped his neck and she pressed as close to him as she could get. “No one’s going to hurt my baby. We won’t let them.”
Her legs gripped his waist as she sobbed silently into his shoulder. His words calmed her slowly, but the thoughts of the scary man weren’t nice. She wished she hadn’t tried to probe his mind. “Y-you won’t let him take me? I don’t want to go with him!”
“Never, baby,” Jason assured her, as he rubbed his hand over her back. “I’ll never let anyone take you. None of us will.”
Eric watched father and daughter as Susie continued to sob. Sookie was trying to be strong for her brother and niece, but he knew Susie’s terrified scream had jolted them all. He looked to Nora. “We need to talk with Roman.”
“I will call him,” Nora said immediately, her eyes flicking back to the still weeping child. “I’ll ask him to meet us at my house.”
Eric nodded, looking back to the sobbing girl.
“Aunt Sookie,” Susie said, calming down slightly. “C-can you hold me?” Her eyelids were getting heavy, all the excitement and crying had worn her out.
“Of course, sweetie,” Sookie said, going to her immediately. She held her arms out for her young niece and wrapped her up tight as she stepped into them. “No one will hurt you, I promise.”
“You’ll keep me safe?” Susie asked, wide-eyed and looking at her aunt like she could protect her from anything.
“I will, sweetie,” Sookie replied, pulling her light around them and concealing them from view for a few seconds.
Susie slipped onto her aunt’s lap, curling her feet under her body. She laid her head on Sookie’s chest and nuzzled in. She had just watched her Mommy die and had just heard malicious thoughts from her. She reached out to her Daddy, wanting his hand.
Jason moved towards them without hesitation, his arms going around them both. He had lost his sister for thirteen years; he wasn’t going to lose his baby girl. He would kill anyone who tried to take her.
Susie moved so she was snuggled between them. Her tears stopped completely. Her eyes closed. Her breathing slowed. Sookie kissed the top of Susie’s head as she drifted off to sleep. “What is the plan?” she asked, looking up at Eric and Nora.
Eric glanced at Nora. “We’ll need to meet with Roman, maybe even the council members to get more focused information. We need to anticipate that they’ll be back. And that they’ll do anything to find you both.”
Sookie took a moment to take it all in, to know she had been promised to that monster hundreds of years before she was even born was a bitter pill to swallow. “They won’t be safe here,” she said, referring to Jason and Susie. “They’ll need somewhere else to go.”
“I disagree, Princess,” Russell interjected. “I think you’re the one person who can keep them safest.”
Sookie stared at her maker, but said nothing. She knew he had faith in her; he had it in her long before he even turned her, but this was different. The evil in their minds was staggering; she had never touched something so dark before, not even Debbie and the Weres were as bad as they had been. “We’ll need help,” she said finally, looking to Russell.
“Situations are a little different now, Sookie,” Eric started. “The Weres are now under Alcide’s leadership. He has been less than cooperative. There is us, our allies. Maybe Lafayette and Jesus will consent to help,” Eric added, as he remembered how Jesus had stepped forward to try and help.
“We can ask Lafayette and Jesus,” Sookie replied. “But, Alcide isn’t the only one with a pack,” she nodded towards Russell, “maybe it’s time we called the pussy.”
Russell smirked. “I was waiting for you to ask about your pet. I’m sure he’s pacing his cage, waiting for you to let him out.”
“I think it’s about time we took him out for a little fresh air,” Sookie grinned. “I hate to think what he’s done to the furniture by now.”
“Hopefully he’s used his litter box,” Russell quipped.
“And who is this?” Eric asked.
“John Quinn,” Sookie answered, as she passed a sleeping Susie to her brother. “He’s a royal pain in the ass, but he serves his purpose. And I got him to wear a collar once.”
“Once? You had him prancing around in just that collar for weeks!” Russell laughed. “Not that he wasn’t nice eye candy, from the neck down.”
“He shouldn’t have broken the rules,” Sookie replied with a shrug. “No Were, regardless of what they turn into, is allowed to touch me.”
Eric didn’t realize that his hands were in fists so tight that his nails were breaking his own skin. “What happened?” he gritted out.
“It was innocent, at least his intentions were,” Sookie said, as she stood up. “He just got a little over touchy one night. He wasn’t going to… He wouldn’t have survived if that was his plan.”
Eric loosened his fists slightly and crossed his arms. “Anyone else?”
“Anyone else what?” Sookie asked, slightly confused.
“You have Quinn. He is one Were. A decent fighter, but we are talking about the potential for many more fae. Many more of Warlow’s people,” Eric explained.
“We have an entire pack,” Sookie clarified, “and I’m sure you, Nora, and Roman have many allies.”
“Do not underestimate their potential, Sunshine,” Russell gently scolded. “You are an amazing warrior, an amazing vampire. But the first way to get yourself killed is to go into a situation overconfident and unaware.”
Sookie nodded in concession, “You’re right. I can’t protect Susie if I get myself killed. I am still young and I know I have a lot to learn and I will learn it.”
Eric hid his smirk. If only she had listened to him like that when she was alive.
“Perhaps we should move this somewhere else,” Nora said interjecting herself into the conversation. “Roman will meet us at my house within the hour.”
“Sookie will be with us,” Russell said, not willing to waiver on this point.
Eric nodded and looked at Jason, holding his sleeping daughter.
“Are we safe here?” Jason asked, looking to Eric for his opinion.
“You have your gun,” he said, stating the obvious since it was on his hip. “And Sookie assured me she has lemons here. Use those and here–” Eric added, pulling an iron dagger out of his boot. “You know how this works?”
“Stab any fucker with pointy ears who tries to get through that door?” Jason replied, as he took the dagger.
“Keep the doors and windows closed,” Russell added. “Use the air conditioner if you need it. But do not open the door for anyone. If you need to, go into our resting place.” He knew how much Sookie wanted, needed her brother, despite their visual differences now, she wanted to get to know him again.
“You’ll take care of those pointy ear bastards?” Jason growled.
“We’ll be back before that becomes an issue, Stackhouse,” Eric replied, giving him a knowing look.
“It’s time to go,” Russell added, standing up.
Sookie leaned over and pressed a kiss to Jason’s cheek and one to Susie’s head before straightening up and moving towards Russell.
Susie blinked her eyes and peeked through them sleepily as she saw three vampires, her aunt in the arms of one, float up and fly off of the porch. Her daddy locked the door behind them and came back over to her. “Daddy, it’ll be okay.”