As soon as he felt the sun set, Eric was digging his way out of his makeshift bed. He rose to Fintan standing over him with a bottle of Tru Blood in his hand.
Eric nodded in thanks, looking to see Nathaniel and Ailis digging their way out as well.
Fintan handed them a bottle each as well before taking a step back. “We are in luck as I have discovered another portal closer than the other,” he told them. “It was partially locked, but I was able to release it. I believe it’s an old one no longer in use. That will give us the advantage as no one will be guarding it.”
“Let’s go,” Eric said, not willing to be patient tonight.
It took barely an hour for them to arrive at the new portal just on the outskirts of Ohio. Jumping off Nathaniel’s back, Fintan marched toward the portal and held out his hand. “Get ready to jump.”
Eric grabbed his hand as Nathaniel grabbed the other and Ailis grabbed her brother’s.
“Jump!” Fintan ordered as he broke through the partial lock and opened the portal.
The vampires all jumped through the portal, and went through into Fairy.
“She’s definitely here,” Fintan said, noticing the darkness that blanketed the once beautiful land. “Can any of you feel her?” He had forgotten how beautiful Fairy could be. He hadn’t been there in over thirty years, and even that had been a fleeting visit. He had gotten in and out quickly before Niall could feel his presence.
“Yes, but it’s off. Is that because it’s different in Fae?” Nathaniel spoke for them.
“I am unsure,” Fintan admitted. He had no experience when it came to vampire bonds or how being in Fairy affected them. Until recently, it was unheard of for a vampire to step foot in Fairy. Niall’s desperation had him doing insane things. “It could be. Can you sense in which direction she’s being held?”
“This way,” Ailis said, pointing. Somehow, perhaps due to the recent exchange, she could still sense her Maker’s location.
Fintan frowned as he realized where the young vampire was pointing. “That is the direction where Niall’s palace is located. There is what looks like an old barn just a few miles behind it. During the war it was where he tortured his enemy.”
“We should check there,” Eric said, looking at him before unsheathing his sword.
“It is the most obvious location,” Fintan nodded.
“Then let’s get there,” Eric replied.
“If we stick to the side paths they will not see us coming until we are almost on top of them,” Fintan said, pointing the way. “Niall is arrogant when it comes to his self-perceived strength. He guards the obvious routes, but often forgets about the less travelled ones.”
They followed Fintans’ instructions quickly and silently. Ailis became tenser the nearer they came to her Maker. The closer she got, the more she felt of her Maker, and the pain was beginning to seep into her again. She could feel the burn of Nora’s wounds, and she swore she’d kill everyone who had dared to lay a finger on her Maker.
“There,” Fintan said, pointing to what looked like an old barn. “That is where Niall holds his prisoners.”
“She’s in there,” Nathaniel said. Ailis nodded in agreement. Their Maker was definitely in there. She was hurting, scared, and pissed.
“I can pop one of you into the room,” Fintan offered, knowing that they would have to get to Nora quickly. If the faeries torturing her heard them coming they would kill her straight away. Fintan was unsure what that would do to Nathaniel and Ailis. Would feeling their Makers’ death incapacitate them long enough for the faeries to get the drop on them? He wasn’t sure and didn’t want to risk it.
“I’ll go,” Eric volunteered.
Fintan nodded before turning to the others. “Once you get inside, head down the hallway until you reach the ugliest painting you have ever seen. It’s Niall standing on a battlefield with a severed head in his hand. If you press on the head, the doorway to the cells will open.”
They sped off, trying to be quiet as they broke into the building. Reaching for Eric’s arm, Fintan gripped it tightly before popping the thousand-year-old vampire into the cell area.
Eric stood ready with his sword. He let out a roar at what he saw as he approached the unsuspecting faeries.
Hearing the roar, Nathaniel and Ailis sped through the barn and practically punched a hole in the painting, desperate to get to their Maker.
Nora was bloody, lying on the floor while a naked Lochlan jumped up from where he had been fucking Neave. His silver-capped teeth reflected the light as he snarled at the vampires, protecting his sister.
“Traitor!” Neave hissed, jumping to her feet at seeing Fintan.
Eric ignored the others joining them and the female fairy, going straight for Lochlan. His broadsword was held with both hands as he quickly approached the fairy and swung at his neck.
“Ma!” Ailis cried as she broke into the room, and white-hot fury smashed into her when she saw the condition of her beloved Maker; she lunged at the fairy nearest to her, slamming into her before she had a chance to react.
As Ailis attacked Neave and Eric swung at Lochlan, Nathaniel went to Nora, and pulled her away from the fighting. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be ripping apart a fairy piece by piece, as his sister was doing, or slashing another fairy across the torso letting his intestines fall on the floor before breaking his teeth, and slowly slicing his head off as Eric was, but there was more wrong with Nora than just slashes and bite marks.
Fintan crouched by him, eyes wide at the damage the torture twins had caused. “I didn’t even know they were alive, let alone helping Niall.” He couldn’t believe his father would allow those two to live after all the terror they had caused in the war. They had killed his human mother, tearing her apart, and leaving her remains for him to find.
Once she had finished ripping Neave apart, Ailis sped to Nora’s side. “Ma?” she said softly, stroking her hair. “What’s wrong with her?” she asked, seeing the gray pallor of her skin.
“Silver poisoning,” Fintan told her, knowing Lochlan’s particular amusement with Weres and vampires.
“Eric,” Ailis called. “We need to get Ma outta here now.”
Eric finished off Lochlan with a quick slash before stepping over and gently lifting up his sister. “You’ll need to go across the portal and come back for us,” he told Fintan, “to make sure it’s still night there. Your time here can be fucked.” They were making a swift exit, leaving through the path Ailis and Nathaniel had made before quickly and silently once more rushing back to the portal.
Fintan nodded in understanding before popping away to check it out. He was gone just seconds, and when he returned, he informed them, “It’s night, but two months have passed since we arrived here.”
Eric growled, holding Nora with one hand and grabbing Fintans’ with the other. Two months! Two months where his lover had to fight without him by her side. He swore that once they got back, he’d tear Alcide apart for betraying them… That’s if Roman and Russell hadn’t already.
Once he was sure they were all holding on to him, Fintan opened the portal and jumped back into the human realm.
“Fly or plane?” Eric asked them, setting Nora on the ground as he knelt over her. He bit into his wrist, trying to get her to take some blood.
“I can pop her back to the house,” Fintan offered, “while you fly. Ludwig could be treating her within minutes.”
“Do it,” he said. “Tell her to call me if one of us needs to land for you to pop us there to donate blood.” Eric watched Fintan lift Nora up gently while Eric pulled out his cell phone to contact the doctor. It was possible the two could arrive at the house simultaneously.
“I give you my word,” Fintan promised before popping away with the poisoned Nora.
When they got back to the house, it was full of commotion, almost in a full out panic.
“What the feck?!” Ailis cried, seeing everyone running around.
Roman met them at the door. “Oh good. You’re back and none of you are dead.” He looked weary. “At least not yet. Nora’s in her room.”
Needing to know nothing else, Ailis sped through the house toward her Maker’s room. She burst through the room and moved to Nora’s side.
Eric was beside her, and Ludwig was still there, ready for the vampires return. “She needs to have her blood filtered,” Ludwig barked, getting straight to it. “Then she’ll need the blood of her blood.”
“How does it get filtered? Dialysis or some other technique?” Eric asked.
“Dialysis, the magical version,” Ludwig replied gruffly. “It’ll be painful, but she’s suffering worse now. I take it you all share the same blood?”
“Ailis, me, Nathaniel, and Pam,” Eric told her.
“How?” Ludwig asked shortly, knowing they would understand her meaning.
“Nora and I share a Maker. Pam is my child. Ailis and Nathaniel are Nora’s,” Eric explained.
“You’re the oldest, Viking,” Ludwig said, but it wasn’t a question. “Your child’s blood will be too diluted to help her, but her children’s will work best with a chaser of yours.”
“That’s fine,” Nathaniel replied, stepping into the room. He ran his eyes over his Maker quickly, hating to see her so weak. It didn’t look right on her. He looked at Eric and quickly spoke to him. “There’s another problem.”
Eric let out a frustrated growl. Of course, there was another problem. He couldn’t even have five minutes peace to help heal his sister. “What?!”
“Sookie’s been missing for almost two weeks.”