Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
FairytaleAmber helped me with every step of this story, and for that, I am grateful. All remaining mistakes are my own.
Warning: Torture and stuff ahead… I apologize in advance for hurting Eric, but I promise I’m going to make it up to you!
A dull buzzing sound filled Eric’s head as faint light seeped through his eyelids. He squeezed his eyes shut, only intensifying the noise. White-hot pain shot across his temples. Chains rattled as he attempted to find the source of pain, and then the room filled with the aroma of burning flesh. His flesh.
Silver chains. Fuck.
“I wouldn’t move if I were you,” Bill said, his voice cold and oily.
Eric opened his eyes and tried to focus them. Slowly, the features of Bill’s face became clear. He turned toward him and a sharp spike gouged and burned the side of his head.
Bill clicked his tongue. “You just don’t listen, do you?”
Fresh blood oozed out of the side of Eric’s head. “What have you done to me?” He rolled his head the other direction, finding a matching spike.
“It took quite a bit to subdue you.” He began to walk around the table Eric was chained to.
Florescent lights hung from the dingy ceiling, illuminating the windowless concrete walls. “Where am I?” Pam, I need you!
“Somewhere safe and far away from Sookie.” A smile slid across Bill’s face and then it froze as he hovered over Eric. “She’s mine.”
“I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” Eric said as he arched his eyebrow.
“Do you like your bed? I had it custom made.” He walked toward Eric’s head, slipping on a pair of leather gloves. “This device is really wonderful.” Something clicked and then spikes enclosed his head.
Eric groaned and squeezed his eyes shut, but the pain became too much. He fought to remain conscious, but lost.
* * * *
“Are you sure he can’t get out?” A woman’s voice asked from the corner of the room.
“He’s surrounded by silver and bleeding heavily,” Bill answered.
“What about the blonde bitch, his progeny?” A gruff voice added.
Another voice chimed in, “She’s tasty.”
“Pam? We’ll be ready for her when she arrives. I’m sure he’s already called her.” With that, Bill closed the door.
Eric’s eyes flickered open for a moment, and then the pain forced them shut.
* * * *
The next time he surfaced, he ignored the pain. Pam! He knew he risked her life by calling her again, but he also knew Pam well enough to know she could handle herself. The sun would rise soon. He could feel it coming. Pam!
His eyes closed, but restful sleep did not claim him.
* * * *
“Good evening, star shine,” Bill sang.
Eric replied with a grunt and then winced when he tried to move and the spikes dug fresh holes in his scalp.
“She hasn’t come for you yet.” Bill hovered over his face again. “Maybe you’re not worth it. Maybe with you out of the way she can take over. I’ve always thought Pam could do better without you.”
“Shut up.” Pam, where are you?
Bill clicked his tongue. “Oo, did I hit a nerve?”
“Get out of my face,” Eric growled.
Bill smiled. “Or what? You’ll bleed on me?” He started pacing around the small room. “Did you sleep well?”
“It was delightful,” Eric lied, forcing a smile onto his face.
Bill stopped and turned to face him. “Perhaps I’ve made you too comfortable.” The leather gloves went on once again and then he ripped the front of Eric’s shirt open. He held a thin silver chain over Eric’s chest, dragging it back and forth, singeing his flesh with each pass.
Eric clenched his mouth shut, refusing to let the bastard know how much it hurt, and then Bill let go, dropping the piece of metal onto his body. He screamed as Bill laughed and left.
The smoke from his burning skin filled the room. How long have I been here? Why isn’t Pam here yet? Who is helping him? Eric rolled the questions around in his brain, distracting him from the agony. Hours passed, and eventually the smoking stopped. Enough blood had accumulated around the chains to insulate him from the searing metal.
The next time the door opened, Eric braced himself. A knife glinted in Bill’s hand.
He used the tip of the knife to lift the sticky chain off of Eric and onto the floor. “You’ve lost a lot of blood,” he said, and then he slid the knife into Eric’s bicep.
Eric growled and struggled against the chains binding him.
Bill turned the knife before removing it, scraping against the bone in Eric’s arm. “You’re not healing properly. Did she not feed you?”
Eric squeezed his eyes shut and then winced again as the knife slid into his other arm, and then between his ribs.
Bill stopped as abruptly as he had started, and walked out of the room.
Every time Bill visited that night, he used the knife repeatedly. As he cut Eric, Bill said, “At this rate, you won’t last much longer.”
As night came to a close, Eric struggled to hold onto his will to survive. The only thought that kept him going was that Bill would be asleep during the day too, so he would be able to heal a little. The pain kept him from deep sleep again, and then the door opened.
In a sleep-induced fog, Eric couldn’t understand how Bill would be up already. The sun had not set. And yet, there they were, quiet footfalls headed straight for him.
“Eric?” A whisper of his name as the chains came off his arms. “Oh god, what have they done to you?” The contraption around his head clicked and then released. Someone cradled his head and pulled the helmet off, letting it fall to the ground with a heavy thud. “Eric?”
His eyes fluttered open. “Sookie?” I must be dreaming.
And then she kissed him, warm and sweet.
“We couldn’t find you, and then when we did, we had to wait.” She looked at the door. “I’m not very good at waiting.”
“Where’s Pam?” He couldn’t sit up, so Sookie helped him.
“Sleeping nearby. She told me to wait, but I couldn’t. Even in sleep, I could feel your pain.”
He frowned. “How?”
She shook her head. “I’ll tell you later. Right now, we need to get you out of here.”
“I can’t move. I’m not healing.”
“Then eat.” She stood between his legs and tilted her head to the side.
“It’s going to hurt. It always does, unless we’re…” His eyes lingered on the swell of her breasts and then down to the junction between her legs.
“Now. We don’t have much time.”
Eric’s fangs snicked into place and then he buried them in her neck. She cried out, so he held her body gently, caressing her back as her blood flowed into his mouth. The throbbing in his head subsided first, and then the wounds on his arms and torso began to heal. He resisted the urge to drink his fill and pulled away from her gently. The pink flush of her skin had waned, but she smiled at him.
He nodded. “Thank you.” The sun set, freeing his body completely.
Eric got to his feet and then stooped to pick up the helmet of spikes, keeping the sharp silver away from his hand. Sookie slung a pair of bolt cutters over her shoulder and tucked a small box under her arm.
“How did you get in here?”
Sookie tapped on the small box. “I picked the lock. Everyone’s sleeping.”
“You broke into a house of vampires, alone, to save me?”
She shrugged. “Well … yeah.” She started up the stairs, encouraging him to follow. They got almost half way up, nearly reaching the landing where the stairs turned, when a clatter of noise came from upstairs.
“Take care of Pam, I’m going down!” Bill shouted.
Eric moved in front of Sookie, forcing her back down the stairs a couple of steps. He crouched just below the landing, waiting for the moment Bill came around the corner.
He didn’t have to wait long.
Bill snarled when Eric’s fist landed squarely in his face. Eric lunged for him, but jerked back as the vicious knife in Bill’s hand plunged into his chest. As Eric pulled away, a smile spread across his face. The wound closed, healing almost instantly.
“How did you get out?” Bill screamed.
At that moment, Sookie ducked around Eric and swung the bolt cutters at Bill’s feet, knocking him backward onto the stairs. “Me,” she said triumphantly.
And then Eric clamped the torturous helmet on Bill’s face, and began ratcheting it down. Bill’s body coiled and his screams echoed inside the metal mask as blood gushed from the seams. The knife clattered on the stairs as Bill scrambled to pull off the helmet. Eric picked up the knife, carefully avoiding the silver blade, and then he pushed it into Bill’s throat. Blood bubbled out of the hole, covering the handle and Eric’s hand.
“At this rate, you won’t last much longer,” Eric said as he twisted the knife from side to side. With one last scream, Bill’s head detached, and then his body coated the stairs with a layer of bloody sludge.
Sookie gasped, her eyes glued to the oozing pile of remains getting closer to her feet.
Eric wrapped his arm around her body and lifted her up and over the mess. “Let’s get out of here.” He carried her to the top of the stairs and then put her down. He turned his face toward the back of the house. Pam needs help. Now.
He glanced at Sookie. “Don’t move, okay?” She nodded before he took off.
On his way down the hall he encountered two piles of what remained of vampires. He threw the door open just as a stringy vamp lunged at Pam. Eric’s entrance interrupted the attack, giving Pam the advantage. She gripped the stake in his hand and turned it onto his own chest, letting his momentum finish the job. He exploded, splattering Pam’s clothes.
“I’m glad I’m not wearing white.” She scrunched up her nose. “Where’s Bill?”
“Dead.” Eric smiled.
“Waiting at the top of the stairs.”
“Waiting?” Pam arched her eyebrow. “Are you sure about that?” she asked, and then she rushed toward the stairs where Sookie gripped the railing. “We had a plan. What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“Pam!” Eric scolded, coming up next to Sookie, wrapping an arm around her waist.
“Why did you come here alone? You were supposed to wait.”
Sookie blinked back tears. “I couldn’t. He was in pain. I had to help him.”
Pam rolled her eyes. “You can tell me all about it later, but for now, I want to get out of here. Just in case someone else comes back.”
“There were only four of them,” Sookie answered.
“I still want to leave, and I’m sure you do too.” Pam walked toward the splintered front door, but stopped when she passed a box of matches. “I do not want to explain this to anyone.”
Eric nodded. “I’ll get Sookie outside.”
Her wide eyes questioned him, but she didn’t say anything. Once they were standing in front of the house, Sookie pulled away from him and threw up in the bushes next to the front door. She wiped her mouth and stared up into his face. “They’re all dead.”
Pam emerged from the house just as flames jumped onto the door, forcing them farther away. From the safety of Pam’s car, they watched the house burn until they were sure there would be no trace of the bodies inside. On their way back to Shreveport, Eric turned to Sookie and said, “Now, why don’t you explain how you could feel me.”
One chapter left…now tell me how you liked Bill’s last scene…
On to Worth It: Chapter 7