Madman Across the Water
“Susie,” Sookie gasped, as she jumped to her feet and raced to the door. The worry for her niece combatting the intoxicating effects of draining her cousin.
Susie’s eyes were wide as she backed away from her aunt. “Y-you. Mommee.” She was breathing heavily and her big eyes were teeming with unshed tears.
Sookie felt her heart break as she realized what Susie was talking about. She’d felt her kill Claudine and was now scared of her. “Susie, I…”
“I saw—” Susie hiccupped, “I saw you.” Her bottom lip quivered, and she bit it hard. She had seen her aunt through her mother’s mind. She saw as Sookie came at her. She stayed in her Mommy’s mind as Sookie drained her. And she felt when she died.
“I know,” Sookie said softly, as she lowered herself to her knees. “I’m sorry you saw that, sweetie.”
Susie only saw Sookie getting closer. And she ran to the other side of her Daddy. “Why…”
“Your mommy was… not who she appeared to be,” Sookie said, unsure of how to explain it all to her young niece. “She did something very bad.”
Susie nodded slowly. She knew that — kind of. Tracks of sobless tears rolled down her cheeks, but she still took another step back. Daddy’s and Jesus’s thoughts were pressing on her, since she had their focus.
Looking up at her brother, Sookie meet Jason’s questioning gaze as she slowly stood up. “I killed Claudine,” she explained.
Susie had stopped walking at the edge of the woods. And a deep voice behind her said, “We know.”
“Who the fuck are you?” Jason snapped, as he turned towards the mystery speaker.
“Me? I am Dagda Warlow.”
“What the hell you doin‘ on my property?” Jason barked.
Susie slowly turned. She was right in front of the man who was speaking. Her eyes were level with his hips. Her eyes trailed up his body and her breath caught in her throat at the large, intimidating man whose mind was different from any she had encountered.
“Susie, get away from him,” Sookie called out, as she took in the sight of the man. Her instincts were screaming danger.
Susie’s breath caught in her chest and she was frozen before the mountain of a man, who now noticed her before him. Warlow crouched down to see her better. His massive hand grasped her upper arm as he examined her with his dark eyes. He leaned forward, his face towards her neck, before he took in a long breath.
She would do. “It’s suitable, Niall,” his deep voice rumbled.
“Good,” Niall said, as he stepped up beside him.
“Get the hell away from my daughter,” Jason shouted, as he took a step forward. “Baby, come to daddy.”
“Daddy?” Susie asked, sounding a bit dazed. She tried to step back, but Warlow’s hand on her arm held her in place.
“Let go of my baby,” Jason growled, as he tried to make another step forward. It was only Nora’s hand on his arm that stopped him.
“Niall — can we help you?” Eric asked, his teeth gritted. Susie, who had been still, suddenly gasped. She pulled back her foot and kicked Warlow in the shin before punching into the man’s crotch . . . just like Daddy taught.
“I am not here to answer your questions, vampire,” Niall sneered, as he took a step forward. “Warlow, get the girl,” he added in a harsh command, as he threw a bolt of light towards the vampires.
Susie was running hard, but she could only do so much on her short legs. She cried out but was suddenly silent as she realized she couldn’t see her body anymore. She was invisible. She looked back to Warlow as he snarled and looked around wildly. Backing up, she slowly made her way to hide in the house, but where she could look out the window to listen and to make sure Daddy and Sookie and Eric and Mister Russell and Miss Nora were okay.
Niall’s eyes widened in shock as he saw both Sookie and the child disappear. It wasn’t possible. Sookie couldn’t have the ability to shield herself in such a way. That wasn’t a fae trait. It was a… No, he wouldn’t even think it.
“So then Niall, why don’t you answer your great-grandson’s question?” Eric suggested.
“He is no kin of mine,” Niall replied haughtily. “I have no use for him. He is of no importance.”
“What do you want, Niall?” Russell growled.
“What is mine by right,” Niall replied, finally answering. “What you have all conspired to take from me.”
“And what would that be?” Russell prompted.
“My kin,” Niall growled before throwing another bolt of light at them all.
“Your kin chose not to find you when she got back,” Russell responded.
“That might have had something to do with him trying to kill her,” Eric added to Russell.
“Lies!” Niall shouted. “You vampires poisoned her against her own kin. She spilled our blood.”
“She’s a vampire now, what good would she do the fae?” Russell asked.
“Not the fae,” Warlow replied. “Me.”
“You stay the fuck away from my sister and daughter,” Jason shouted, struggling in Nora’s hold.
“Can you locate the girls?” Niall asked, ignoring Jason completely.
“Aren’t you supposed to be telepathic?” Warlow prompted Niall with a rough growl.
“The vampire whore is shielding them from me,” Niall snarled.
“So let’s bring her out,” Warlow said before disappearing himself. There was a moment where Jason seemed to be just backing up a few steps. But the cause soon became apparent. Warlow reappeared, his thick forearm was held against Jason’s throat, forcing the man away from the witch and vampires.
“You really shouldn’t have done that,” Sookie said, still concealed from view.
“Why’s that, little Vampire girl?” Warlow said with a sneer as he pressed harder on Jason’s neck.
“Because I really don’t like it when people mess with my family,” Sookie replied, as she materialized behind Warlow and yanked him away from her brother.
Warlow smirked as he released Jason and reached back swiftly, grabbing Sookie’s hair. Faster than even the vamps could see he had her in front of him and a distance from the vampires. “Sookie, right?” he asked, forcing her to look up at him. “Can you tell me how you made you and — your niece is it? — disappear?”
“No,” Sookie replied, pushing him back and away from her.
He smirked and eyeballed her, looking the vampire up and down. “Tell me Sookie,” he said, his eyes resting on her breasts before returning to her face, “Are you a good fighter?” His deep voice was like melted chocolate as he spoke.
“Depends on who you ask,” Sookie answered.
He smirked. “Be more confident. Either you’re awful or you’re excellent. One means death.” He looked her over again. “Niall,” he called, his voice commanding and rougher when addressing the prince than when he spoke to Sookie.
“Yes,” Niall answered, shooting a look of disgust at Sookie.
“I want her too,” Warlow said.
“She is of no use to you,” Niall replied. “She is dead.”
“She is magnificent. The young one I’ll take too, per the agreement. This one I’ll claim since you made me wait.”
“What the fuck?!” Sookie exclaimed, interrupting them. “No one is claiming me.”
Warlow ignored her, waiting for Niall’s response.
“Fine,” Niall agreed finally. “They are yours.”
Warlow locked eyes with Niall, grinned maliciously, and turned to Sookie. “So, my dear, are you part Britlingen?”
“No,” Sookie replied, her eyes darting between them as she sent a burst of panic through the bond she shared with Russell.
“So you’re Warlow from the contract?” Russell asked, trying to strategize what would help his child and not put her in more danger. Nora had had to hold Jason back.
“This doesn’t concern you vampire,” Niall said, as he puffed out his chest.
“And I didn’t ask you,” Russell countered. “I am asking Warlow.”
“It doesn’t matter who you ask, the answer is the same,” Niall growled.
“He’s Dagda Warlow,” Sookie said, as she moved to his side. Warlow watched her walk away, not in any hurry now that he owned them both.
“Who the fuck is Dagda Warlow?” Eric asked.
Warlow smirked, “I am Dagda Warlow.”
“Now that the introductions have been made, how about you both fuck off,” Nora said, as she tightened her grip on Jason.
Eric was still looking at Sookie. “How do you know of him, Sookie?”
“We found a contract with his name on it,” Sookie replied. “It promised him a Stackhouse woman.”
“And I assume you set it up, Niall?” he snapped.
“It was my right to,” Niall replied arrogantly.
Russell placed his arm around his child. “She’s no longer yours to give.”
“Your claim means nothing to us,” Niall hissed. “She belongs to the fae.”
“Yet she would happily eat your kind, since she is no longer one of you,” he replied.
“I’ve already eaten two.” Sookie snorted. “I wonder if the Prince will taste better.”
“You forgot the ones we dined on after torturing them in Ireland,” Russell reminded.
“Oh yeah. They were delicious,” Sookie chuckled.
“How dare you feed on us,” Niall growled. “You murdered your kin and by rights belong to us.”
“You tried to have your kin murdered. Your fairies came after Sookie to kill her,” Eric replied.
“More lies.” Niall spat, his eyes darting around nervously. “Now hand over the girls and we will be leaving.”
“You’re not taking anyone,” Russell replied.
“They are ours, vampire.” Niall stated firmly. “Now get out of our way.”
Russell stared at the old fairy. Russell still took him by over 1000 years, but Niall’s age was nothing to scoff at. He examined the long silver sword on Niall’s belt and tried to calculate how quickly he could attack the fae and how fast Niall would be able to draw the sword.
“You do not want to start a war with us, vampire,” Niall warned, as he stared at Russell with disdain. The ancient vampire had fucked their plans up once, Niall would be damned if he let him do it again.
Russell let out a scornful laugh. “You think I give a FUCK about warring with the fae? If it meant securing my progeny, I’d sacrifice your kind.”
Niall’s eyes widened slightly as he heard Russell’s word. Twelve years ago the threat of war with the fae had given the vampires pause. They had managed to gain a lot just through the threat, a threat that at the time was a bluff. They hadn’t been ready, but they almost were now. But not quite. “But would your kind agree?” Niall asked.
“I will stand behind Sookie,” Eric replied, fangs down.
“As will I,” Nora said, as she let her own fangs slip down.
“You are being fools,” Niall hissed, losing his advantage.
“You really want to go up against over 4,600 years of vampire, Niall?” Russell taunted.
“And a brujo?” Jesus added, stepping forward. “No one is taking my goddaughter and her aunt.”
Warlow smirked at their arrogance, showing his white teeth, but he looked at Niall not for guidance but his reaction. What would the ancient fae do in response? Could he really run away with his tail between his legs?
Niall faltered in the face of so much power. Only he and Warlow had come, they weren’t expecting to face any opposition. Claudine had called to him and he had foolishly believed it was time. “You cannot win against us,” he said finally, but his tone belied his words.
“Niall, you’re being an ineffective old fool,” Warlow sneered. He pulled aside his jacket, revealing a number of silver daggers, throwing stars, and other weaponry that truly looked foreign. “I for one fear none of you.” He had been calculating. Nora obviously gravitated towards the tall blonde. His Sookie had demonstrated she would fight for the human. And the oldest vampire would be the first one he would take out.
“We do not even know where the girl is,” Niall hissed.
Warlow laughed at the foolish Prince. “Of course we do. She’s in the house, mostly watching from the window.”
“Is she?” Sookie challenged, arching a brow.
“Yes,” Warlow replied.
Taking a step to the side, Sookie waved her arm around in invitation, “Then go and check,” she said.
“Pet, you cannot bluff without knowing generally well, what’s in your opponent’s hand,” Warlow replied.
“I am not your pet,” Sookie snarled. “And who said I was bluffing?”
“You’re not wondering where Claudine is, Niall?” Eric asked.
“She is…” Niall started, but trailed off as he realized he didn’t know where she was.
“Dead,” Warlow supplied, viewing the satisfied look on the vampire who would be his mate.
“That is impossible,” Niall said. “Claudine is my heir. She is too good to die.”
Warlow growled at Niall for his idiocy. “And that’s not her dust on my future mate. Your former heir’s scent was all over her. Or are you suggesting my future mate is not powerful?” The threat was implicit in the way his deep voice became gravely at even the idea that Niall believed Sookie less than she could be.
“She is not Claudine,” Niall replied foolishly.
Niall could see Warlow was beginning to lose his temper. “No, you fool. My Sookie ATE Claudine.” He fingered one of his throwing stars as he forcibly calmed himself down.
“I am not yours,” Sookie growled. “That contract means nothing to me. To us.”
“Your opinion does not matter,” Niall snapped.
Warlow grunted. His future mate’s opinion DID matter. Just not the one that keeps them apart or that kept the other half fae he wanted away. He eyeballed Niall before asking, “Was Claudine tasty, Sookie?”
“She tasted better than Claudette,” Sookie replied, her lips curling into a smirk.
Warlow smirked. She had spunk. And he wanted her. Niall was an idiot; he had no clue what he was truly giving up. With his help, Sookie would grow and by his side, she would help lead his people. She just needed to heel for now. “So, Sookie, you will come with me, not your fairy ancestor and lead my people.”
“Fuck no!” Sookie spat, hiding none of her disgust.
Warlow only smirked. He was before her faster than even her eyes could follow. A lone finger stroked this side of her face. “Exquisite.”
Sookie pressed her hand to his chest and pushed him back as she glared at him. “Don’t touch me.”
Niall eyed the pair cautiously, things were not turning out like he suspected, and he was at a loss of what to do. Stepping forward, he threw a bolt of light towards the elder vampires as he tried to make his way towards Sookie and Warlow. “Grab her.”
“What are you –” Warlow turned to Niall, rage the only emotion on his face. Yes. Just attack her friends and her maker and grab her. That was not how Warlow did things.
“Grab her,” Niall repeated, his voice containing a hint of panic, as he threw another bolt of light at the vampires.
Taking a step back, Sookie pulled the light in around her and once again disappeared from view. No one was taking her, not again.
Warlow let out a roar as he wrapped a hand around Niall’s neck, squeezing slightly, as both of them disappeared. The old fool had ruined it.