Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
All mistakes are my own. Hold onto your hats! Tleel I hope this is what you had in mind!
GabbieAnnie, I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you sharing ideas with me. You’re creative and hilarious. Thanks for all the brainstorming!! ❤
Are you ready for the end? Because here it comes!
Sookie squeezed her eyes shut in an attempt to block out the sound of Daniel’s heart. Even from her position in the trunk of Marjorie’s car, his heart thrummed louder than anything else. Or maybe it was all of their heartbeats, three human employees from Blood Lust, all pounding together. Two in Marjorie’s car, one in Rebecca’s.
Sookie’s body rocked as they came to a stop, and so did Eric and Clancy, who sandwiched her. Pam grunted as her head hit something hard.
“The queen is expecting me,” Marjorie said in a sharp, clear voice. “Marjorie O’Quain.”
“Your name isn’t on the list,” the man at the gate replied. Papers rustled.
“She owes me an explanation,” Marjorie insisted. “Last night was a disaster! Rebecca and I demand answers.”
The intercom system beeped and then the vampire at the gate whispered, “Marjorie O’Quain is here to see the queen. Something about last night?”
Sookie strained to listen to the reply but it was too muffled.
“Okay.” He cleared his throat and spoke loudly again, addressing Marjorie. “She’s in a meeting, but someone will escort you to a room in the palace where you can wait.”
“You bet your sweet ass she will!” she huffed.
The car moved again and then came to a stop. Rebecca had a similar, but truncated conversation with the vampire at the gate and then her car pulled up along side them. Doors slammed.
“She has some nerve,” Marjorie said loud enough that everyone outside could hear her.
Rebecca grumbled her agreement.
“Come on, it’s time to get some answers.” The group of vampires and humans from the brothel stormed away from the cars.
Marjorie pushed a button on her keys as she walked away and the trunk popped open. Rebecca must’ve done the same because it clicked open next to them.
“This has gone on long enough!” Rebecca yelled as they walked away.
The New Orleans Vampire Tour Company bus pulled up, right on time. “On your left, you’ll see the spectacular home of our queen,” Patrick’s voice squalled over the intercom.
The four Shreveport vampires remained perfectly still. Sookie listened to the angry footsteps of Marjorie and her group ascending the front steps of the palace.
“I don’t care if she’s in a meeting!” Marjorie shouted. “Get your hands off me!” Someone screamed. The queen’s uniformed guards came running from all directions to the front of the palace. An all out brawl ensued and quickly moved inside as the furious group was subdued.
Sookie looked up at Eric and smiled. That had gone better than they anticipated. Patrick had told them all that the royal guards would do anything to avoid a scene in front of tourists, and he turned out to be right.
Pam pushed the trunk open a little more and peered into the silent night. She nodded and then slithered out.
“Clear,” she whispered and then motioned to Clancy, Sookie, and Eric to join her.
Thalia and three New Orleans vamps spilled out of Rebecca’s trunk. The plan had been that the stowaways would clear the parking lot so the others could ascent the walls without sounding the alarm, but Marjorie had caused such a ruckus that there was no need. All of the queen’s employees had moved inside. Except the unfortunate vamp guarding the gate.
Sookie had just gotten her feet on the ground when she saw the New Orleans Vampire Tour Company bus pull up alongside the palace wall. A horde of the vamps scaled the wall, including Frank, who popped up outside the booth at the gate. The vampire on duty didn’t stand a chance.
They clung to the shadows and moved silently through the deserted parking lot. Thalia nodded at Sookie and smiled her terrible smile as Thalia pulled two knives out.
Frank swung his battleax over his broad shoulders as soon as he dropped to the ground. Sookie was grateful he was on their side. Eric had armed himself with a long sword, and Pam chose a wicked, curved blade. Everyone was ready to fight, even Sookie, who clutched two small stakes in her shaking hands.
“It’s going to be okay,” Eric whispered and then kissed her before he joined the fray.
She nodded and followed. It had to be okay. If they didn’t win…
Well, she didn’t want to think about what would happen if they didn’t win.
She worked her way through the quickly moving crowd and pushed to the front. She closed her eyes and focused on the handful of active brains inside and the overwhelming quantity of blank spots. Two vamps were just inside, one on either side of the door. Even through that thick door, everyone could hear Marjorie’s complaints and someone crying.
Sookie turned and faced the waiting mob. She held up two fingers and motioned to where they were. Thalia grinned and crouched low by the door while Eric stormed inside.
Thalia rolled forward and moved with incredible grace and speed, her knives whirling around her body like deadly helicopter blades. One of the big ugly twins who had stormed into the brothel the night before fell to the floor as bits and pieces of his body slopped against the carpet and wall.
Eric gripped the other by the neck, squeezing with one hand and punching him in the face with the other. While the element of surprise had given Eric the initial advantage, the tables turned quickly and the hulking man managed to twist out of Eric’s grasp. Just as the man was about to throw a devastating blow, Thalia flung herself at him and plunged her blade straight into his heart, thrashing furiously.
A gaping hole appeared in the middle of his chest and blood streamed out, coating her face. His body began to collapse and his shout of surprise died on his lips.
Thalia removed her knife and wiped it clean on the disintegrating vampire’s soiled clothing. Sookie stood in horror as Thalia licked her lips and grinned.
Sookie cleared her head and made sure Eric was okay. She had only been in the palace once, but even so, she knew where everyone was. The loud argument still spilled into the hall. Rebecca took a turn screaming and yelling, creating the perfect diversion for their coup.
Sookie focused on her surroundings and pointed toward the staircase. Most of the humans who lived at the palace were upstairs. She touched the side of her neck. That was their code for humans.
Frank nodded and stalked silently down the hall. Three other vamps joined him and crept up the stairs while the nine remaining Shreveport and New Orleans vamps crowded around the room where Marjorie’s group had been moved.
Sookie held up her hand and listened for Daniel. He was going to draw attention away from the door and then give her a signal. While she waited for his thoughts she counted blank spots on the other side of the door. There were thirty. Marjorie and Rebecca had come with three of their vampire colleagues and three human employees, which meant five of those blank spots were allies. The other twenty-five were enemies. Her shoulders sagged. She knew they would be outnumbered, but she didn’t realize it would be by so much.
I don’t know if you can hear me, Goldilocks, but now is as good a chance as ever. I’m restrained with zip ties, and so are the other humans. Heather’s been hurt, she’s bleeding badly and they won’t let Marjorie heal her. The vamps are being held at stake-point by three guards.
Sookie conveyed the message in a series of charades, which hopefully everyone understood. She wished she had brought a pad of paper and a pen! She made a note for the next time they would overthrow the ruling body.
She stood to the side and nodded and then Eric kicked the door in. The angry mob spilled into the room, deafening her with their war cries. When there was a gap between swinging weapons, she dove for Daniel, knocking into the queen’s guard who held him. She gripped her stake and plunged it into the heart of the guard and shouted, “Get your hands off my friend!” She recoiled as his body turned to sludge, overflowing his shoes.
Chaos surrounded her. The invading army had clearly surprised everyone in the room because the queen’s entourage barely had time to draw their weapons before they met their true deaths. One after another the vampires toppled to the ground, but there were so many!
“Are you okay?” she asked. Daniel nodded and hopped toward the wall so he was out of the way. She turned toward the nearest guard, yanked his feet out from under him, stole his stake, and threw it to Rebecca.
Rebecca spun to the other guards and took them out one after another before turning on Marjorie’s guards. As the sentinels fell to the ground, they dropped the swords they had been holding. Swords meant to protect the queen would now be used to defeat her. They stood side-by-side and faced the vampires closest to the queen.
Thalia screamed as someone cut off one of her arms, but she continued to whirl through the room, leaving a path of destruction and blood in her wake.
The army of revolt worked together to take out the remaining guards.
Eric fought his way toward the queen and Andre, who stood back-to-back with fear in their eyes. “Surrender!” Eric shouted.
“Never!” Andre returned, stepping in front of his queen.
Marjorie lunged forward and sliced him in half.
Tears filled the queen’s eyes. “You must kill me. I will never forgive you for as long as I live.”
“That won’t be very long,” Eric replied before plunging his blade into her heart, twisting it until it found the perfect spot.
Her beautiful face crumpled and then the rest of her body followed suit, leaving a sludgy pile of remains and ruined silk.
“The queen is dead!” Thalia screeched as she picked up her detached arm and held it against her body. “My arm needs help,” she stated matter-of-fact, as if she were trying get something on a shelf and couldn’t quite reach it.
Pam tore a strip of fabric off one of the curtains and wrapped it around Thalia’s shoulder holding her dangling limb in place like a makeshift sling.
A chorus of cheers went up around them, but Sookie didn’t want to celebrate. She had just been a part of a massacre. Countless vampires had been killed, along with Heather, who hadn’t survived long enough to be rescued. Her pale eyes stared blankly at the wall.
She died because of me. They all did. I’m responsible. The contents of Sookie’s stomach vacated, adding to the bloody mess on the floor. She fell to her knees as tears streamed down her face and sobs wracked her body.
Eric wrapped his arms around her and surrounded her with love.
Marjorie put her hand on Sookie’s shoulder. “I will make sure her family is taken care of.”
A moment of silence fell over the room but it didn’t last long.
“Bunny?” Hadley’s voice called out, frantic with worry.
The group from upstairs pushed into the room. Frank held Hadley’s shoulders tightly, impeding her progress into the bloody room.
Sookie pulled out of Eric’s embrace and stood to face her cousin. “She’s dead.”
Hadley’s chin quivered. “Dead?” she echoed in a whisper.
“You shouldn’t have told her about me. I died because of the actions you set into motion.” And then it dawned on her. She wasn’t guilty. Hadley was. “You are responsible for all of this. You and your greedy queen,” Sookie spat.
“It wasn’t your secret to tell,” Sookie interrupted. “You won’t remember her or what happened here tonight,” she said, forcing her thoughts into Hadley’s head. “You’re going to leave tonight, but you’re not going home. You don’t have a home. You don’t have a family. You betrayed your family and you will carry that sorrow for the rest of your life.”
Hadley nodded numbly and cried as she was escorted outside with the rest of the queen’s humans.
“All hail king Eric!” Pam shouted.
Eric puffed out his chest and held his head high as he said, “All hail queen Sookie!”
Sookie frowned and shook her head. “No. I don’t want to be in charge.”
Eric picked up her hand. “We’ll rule together.” He pressed his lips to her hand and flooded her with love. “Together we’re unstoppable.”
Okay, okay. I know you want a sequel. Sookie and Eric as the queen and king of Louisiana? That’s one hell of a story, right? Don’t worry. I’m working on it. 🙂 Please let me know if you have any ideas that might spark my imagination!