21 Just When Things Are Looking Up
"Alcide!" I screamed. I ran after him down the hall not looking back once. The wolf that had grabbed Alcide was faster than me but I was gaining on him. Then Alcide shifted too and both the wolves began fighting each other and they became a blur of fur. The anger coming from both of them was tangible and it only pissed me off more. I jumped at the other wolf and tried to pull him off Alcide whose shoulder was bleeding pretty badly. The wolf turned on me and gashed my leg with his sharp claws. I cried out but continued to fight him off. Alcide bit the back of the other wolf's neck and threw him against the wall. I backed against the door frame and tried to catch my breath.
Then I had an idea. I could hear the fighting back in the room where my sister was and so I used the emotions of those wolves that were fighting and losing. It took a second to separate Alcide's anger from the other wolf but when I did I grabbed hold of the unknown wolf's emotion and twisted it into something else. Soon the wolf whimpered and took off running with its tail between its legs.
Alcide shifted back and stared at me. "Did you do that?" He asked.
"Yeah I think so." I reached down to grab Alcide's pants but the pain in my leg caused me to collapse.
"Are you ok?" He asked kneeling next to me.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Hurry up we need to get back in there."
He pulled his pants back on and then helped me up. I leaned against him and he wrapped his arm around my waist and helped me walk back down the hall.
"Alcide!" I heard Rachel scream. She took off after him and I could hear growling and fighting down the hall but before I knew what was happening two wolves had appeared out of nowhere and were fighting the vampires. One lunged sideways at me but I managed to get good footing and fend him off. Eric ripped the wolf off me and threw him hard into the wall with a snarl. The wolf collapsed on the ground and didn't move.
"Are you alright?" He asked snapping his fangs back in.
"Yeah, he didn't get me."
Eric stepped past me, something else catching his attention. I turned to see Russell lying against the wall. Eric raised a stake to his chest, before he could strike though Bill was at his back holding another stake against Eric. "He dies we die. I don't know about you but I am not ready to be killed. Even if you are ready to die do you really want to think about what they'll do to Lily without us here to protect her?"
"Nobody move!" Someone yelled from the doorway. A group of black-clad Authority soldiers moved in with guns pointed at Russell. Kibwe stepped in front of them and motioned for us to step away from Russell. Some of the men restrained Russell and led him towards the door, he pulled away from them and I was surprised how quickly he had recovered after a year of being starved. Russell was led down the hallway still screeching about how much he hated the Authority. Alcide appeared supporting Rachel whose leg was bleeding through a gash in her jeans. "JD put up a hell of a fight until Rach did her fairy thing and scared him off." The vampires and Sookie looked confused but I laughed. I guess that weird power she'd been ranting about turned out useful after all.
"The human and the wolf know too much," Kibwe said. "We will take the twins with us."
"Um no, Rachel stays," I said. "One of us is more than enough."
Kibwe smiled. "Fine, just you then. Glamour them," he said to Bill and Eric. I was surprised that Kibwe couldn't tell what Sookie was and that glamouring wouldn't work on her, but I guess her blood wasn't as strong as mine and Rachel's. Bill walked towards Sookie and Eric looked over at Alcide who was still holding up Rachel.
"You're bleeding," Eric said looking at Rachel's leg concerned. He reached out to bite his arm so she could drink.
"Heal him first," she said.
"Heal him!" She snapped. Eric cut his finger on his fang and rubbed blood into Alcide's cuts. When Rachel was sure Alcide was completely healed then she let Eric heal her. I couldn't help but smile, my sister was generally a pretty selfish person and the Rachel I'd always known would never have stayed injured a second longer than she had to. There must be something really special about Alcide; I knew I was right about the two of them from the start.
Eric sighed "Rachel, I have to glamour him."
"If I don't they'll kill him," Eric said reasonably.
"Fine do it," she said unhappily.
"This means you can't talk about what happened tonight."
"Right, cause I was planning to write my memoires," she said rolling her eyes.
Eric made Alcide look into his eyes. "You will not remember us showing up here tonight or anything that happened here. And you will always take care of Rachel-"
"Eric, stop," Rachel said. Eric backed away. It was then that I realized that Eric did care for her still; I guess I should have suspected it, I had expected it. But he wanted her to be happy as much as I did. It was a different kind of love, the kind where you're willing to let someone go because it's better for them.
Sookie, Alcide and I left Lily with Bill and Eric. I wasn't too thrilled to watch my sister get carted off by that strange vampire but for some reason she seemed to like him. A few weeks ago I would have laughed if someone had told me Lily could ever like or trust a vampire besides Bill. So much had changed in our lives in such a short amount of time. Even though I knew that there was nothing I could do to change where I was right now, and even though I wouldn't give up Alcide if I could, I wished that Lily and I could go back to the way we were before our lives got screwed up by all this supernatural stuff.
I tried to relax into the seat between Alcide and Sookie but Sookie was bawling her eyes out and the seat wasn't very comfortable anyways. I leaned against Alcide's arm and sighed. Alcide looked down at me and his eyes widened when he saw my bloody leg. "Are you alright? What happened?"
"I'm ok," I said quietly. I wanted to tell him but I knew that Eric was right, the Authority didn't mess around.
"How did we even get out here?"
"It's a long story; we all had a lot to drink. Let's just get home." We drove in silence the rest of the way to Sookie's, the only noise being Sookie sobbing next to me.
Kibwe loaded us into an armored truck. He took my arm and helped me climb into the back. I couldn't really say why I liked him but I did. He was much nicer than any of the other Authority members I'd met, well except for Salome but who knows what she's really up to half the time. "No one expected you three to actually succeed; telling us about Russell was like signing your death warrant."
"See I told you!" I said to Bill.
"The Guardian will be extremely pleased to know you have succeeded," Kibwe told us. Bill gave me a look like; I told you it'd work. Kibwe closed the door and I sighed.
"I still think you're an idiot," I said. The car started and Eric pulled me next to him and put his arm around me. "If we die tonight, I love you." He kissed the top of my head.
"Jag älskar dig," he whispered. I smiled; Eric didn't speak Swedish too many people besides Pam.
When I woke up I was in my old room at Sookie's house next to Alcide. He was twisted in my lavender printed sheets and I laughed quietly. I slipped out of bed and began getting dressed. I could almost pretend that we had just made it up stairs after our make out session on the couch instead of ending up out hunting Russell. But I couldn't quite forget it all. Alcide woke up a little bit after me and we both went down stairs. Sookie was sitting at the dining room table, she looked up when we walked in. "There's some coffee over there."
"How are you handling…you know?" I asked
"Stuff has been messed up for so long I'm used to it by now," Sookie said. I grabbed a cup and started to pour my coffee without looking some splashed my hand and burned. Alcide grabbed the pot quickly and inspected my hand.
"Are you ok?" He asked.
"It was like two drops I'm fine. Sookie, can you fix him?" I asked whirling around.
"When Eric glamoured him he emphasized that Alcide needed to protect me and now," I motioned at Alcide and the coffee pot.
"Wait Eric glamoured me?" Alcide asked. Sookie stood up and grabbed his hand.
"Close your eyes," she ordered.
"Fucking JD!" Alcide said a few seconds later.
"Thank you," I said to Sookie.
"Russell Edgington? Weres on V again? It's fucking Jackson all over again!" Alcide said. Alcide grabbed his coat and I grabbed my suitcase from the living room and we both went out the door.
"Thank god that's over with. I'm shit at keeping secrets."
"You let them glamour me?" Alcide asked.
"I didn't really have much of a choice. You saw those guys, they're big and scary, and they would've killed you if they thought you'd remember what happened last night. I was trying to protect you, and anyways you agreed to it."
"We need to get to the pack. I don't want what happened in Jackson to happen here."
"Are you sure you want me to come with you?" I asked.
"You got rid of JD last time, I might need you again."
"Ah, how much better it feels when we are mutually protecting each other, as opposed to you freaking out over me spilling coffee on my hand. Eric really over did that."
"You know I'll always protect you with or without some fanger telling me to."
"Of course I know that, I just like knowing you're doing it because you want to."
When we reached the barn the weres were using as head quarters Alcide barged in and walked straight up to JD. I stood near the door next to a few other weres who didn't seem to like JD any more than Alcide did. "I knew you all looked like the trashy V weres from Jackson," I mumbled. A women near me looked up.
"Not all of us are V addicts, some of us don't approve of what JD is doing," she said.
"I didn't mean to lump you all into one category but it seems that the more weres I meet the more they're all the same."
"I know what you mean. I'm Rikki by the way," she introduced herself.
"Rachel," I said.
"Your boy is going to get himself into a fight if he's not careful," Rikki said.
"I think that's what he's hoping for."
"You're really going to challenge me for pack leader?" JD asked Alcide. "No one wants you here."
"We'll see about that," Alcide said turning away from JD.
"What about your second? Every pack master needs a second," JD said.
"I'll be his second," Rikki said standing up. The group of wolves she was sitting with murmured their approval.
"Yeah? I always knew you were just a stupid as you were pretty," JD said.
"Come on, Rachel," Alcide said. He looked over his shoulder at JD, "Just tell me when you're ready to work this out."
I nodded at Rikki as I walked out. Maybe there were more good wolves around here besides Alcide. We got in Alcide's truck and I was quiet until we got out on the highway. "Are you sure you're ready to be packmaster?"
"I don't know, but I can't let JD ruin any more lives than he already has. He got two wolves killed last night defending Russell."
"So what does it take to become packmaster?"
We were taken back to the Authority. Guards escorted us into the meeting room where Bill and Eric's trial had taken place before. When we walked in the chancellors sat on couches drinking. Salome stood up to greet us. "Roman is very impressed with you three." She hugged me and smoothed down my hair. "You can tell you were in a fight, we'll get you a change of clothes in a moment. For now let's celebrate!"
Molly stood up and walked over. She undid the stakes from Bill and Eric and then pulled another needle out. "Another needle?" I asked.
"It'll counteract the first one and give you an extra boost. I had some time to study your blood while you were gone; I think I've created the ultimate fairy energy kick, of course you're my first trial so…"
"So you don't really know what will happen, great." I sighed as she stuck the needle in my arm. But she was right, within moments I felt a little more alert and energized. Salome motioned me over to sit on the couch next to Kibwe.
"Here, we had to find this especially for you." Kibwe offered me a bottle of champagne and a glass. I poured some and inspected it; well it wasn't tinted red like all the others so it must be human approved. "You might as well keep the whole bottle; no one here is going to drink it."
"Ah there are my boys!" Roman said coming in. He squeezed both of their shoulders before taking a bottle he was carrying over to the others. He sat it down and turned to face me. "Oh and Lily, how could I forget you." He took my hand and kissed it. "You're going to be very helpful to us in our fight against the Sanquinist. We'll start your training tomorrow."
"My training?" I asked.
"I know that your powers work minimally on vampires but if we're going to have you fighting against them we need you at the height of your abilities."
I glanced at Bill and Eric. "I think we might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves," Eric said.
"Oh you're right; you only just got back from bringing down the most wanted vampire in the world. You're probably feeling a little overwhelmed," Roman said to me. There was a shuffling of seats and Eric and Bill sat on either side of me protectively. "Many lives have been saved by what you've done tonight and I'm glad to know we can count on you being on our side. You do believe in mainstreaming don't you?"
"Whole heartedly," Bill said. Roman shifted his gazed to Eric.
"There are certain humans I feel protective towards." His hand grazed my knee. I tried to give Roman a reassuring look as I kicked Eric in the leg hopefully conveying something along the lines of: Behave yourself before you get yourself killed.
"Right," Roman said standing up. Salome tried to excuse herself for the second time and I glared at Eric who just shrugged. "What's the point in interrogating Russell? He's not going to tell us the truth. Besides I want him executed tonight."
Salome looked surprised but she tried to cover it up. "Would you like me to silver him again and bring him to you?"
"The sooner the better," Roman said. He returned back to his seat next to Eric.
"I request your permission to visit Chancellor Gainsborough," Eric said to Roman.
"Why?" Roman asked.
"She's…she's my sister."
"You will be at the execution?" Roman asked him.
"Wouldn't miss it," Eric said.
"And you?" Roman asked Bill.
"Oh I love a good execution."
"I um, yeah it sounds like quite the party," I said, though in reality the thought of having more vampire guts sprayed on me hardly sounded appealing.
I stayed with Bill and the others while Eric went to visit Nora. "So finally Russell is going to meet the true death. He should've died months ago."
"We aren't arguing over this again," Bill said.
"I still don't understand why you did that," I said.
"We had our reasons."
Then Russell was dragged into the room by some of the guards. He was pushed to his knees in front of us. Roman began his speech about Lilith and Russell, never one to go out without a fight, had to argue to his very last breathe. It all went by much quicker than I had expected it would and then before I knew it a vampire was turned into mush on the table in front of me.
Except it wasn't who I'd expected. Russell was standing over the splat with a stake and Roman was dead in less than a second. I didn't know what else to do but scream.