31 Welcome To The Fun House
Eric and I returned to the meeting place and waited for Tara in silence. I wasn't upset; I was disappointed with myself more than anything. I knew what I was getting myself into when I kissed Eric months ago, no one was to blame but my own choices.
Tara rushed towards us. "They took Pam," she said panicked. "The vamp cops got her, just now."
Eric and I pushed away from the wall. "They couldn't have gotten far, we could catch them," I said.
"We'd risk dying on the spot," Tara said.
"Then what do we do?"
"Something even more dangerous," Eric said. He ran and Tara and I followed. Not far from where Tara said Pam had been captured, there was a checkpoint. We all stopped and Eric looked at us.
"Are you sure about this?" Tara asked. In response he popped out his fangs, Tara did the same. They stepped towards the cops with their hands up and I reluctantly followed their lead.
"Vamps!" One cop yelled. They all had their guns on us in a second. "Stop right there, vampires!"
"No vampires out after curfew," Another cop told us. They surrounded us and held us in their crossfires. "Don't make any moves."
We were loaded into trucks and restrained with silver cuffs, I flinched when the metal burned into my wrists but it only made it worse. Bags were put over our heads, I guess to keep us from glamouring them. Or maybe they put bags over our heads so they wouldn't have to see how human we looked.
Eventually the truck came to a stop and we were pulled out and led into a building. I could read the thoughts of the men around me, some of them were angry, others were terrified, and a small few regretted what they were doing to us. I wanted to single out the last group and ask for their help, but I couldn't even see them.
They pushed Tara and I one direction and Eric another. "Find Pam," he mumbled as we were separated.
Before I knew it I had been separated from Tara too. The black bag was removed from my head and I stood in front of a sliding door. The door opened to reveal a white circular room.
Three other vampires joined me in the middle, each of them looking just as confused as I felt. The only man moved slowly, but purposefully, to one of four red Xs that I hadn't noticed. The rest of us did the same.
From the ceiling a few balls dropped, I reached out and caught one before it hit the ground and looked it over, half expecting it to explode in my hand. The other two balls bounced before the two other women picked them up. A gun popped out of a hole in the wall and shot the man.
And then there were three. This time when two balls fell from the ceiling we were prepared. In the minds of the other girls I could see them make the split second decision as to which ball they should go for, luckily for me it was the same one. I snatched up a ball and watched as the unlucky vampire was shot.
I wasn't prepared for the sliding doors to open, but thankfully neither was the remaining vampire. I reached the gun before she did and shot her. After a second another door opened and I found an outfit with a number 1 patch sewed onto it. I reluctantly changed into the scrubs and deposited my dirt-covered clothing into a bin.
When I exited the room I was reunited with Tara. From the expression on her face I could tell she'd gone through the same thing I just had. "Welcome to the fun house," I mumbled. "Enjoy your stay."
Tara and I were shoved into a common area with a bunch of other women. We both surveyed the room, I knew she hoped it would be easy to find Pam and we'd be able to spend most of our time figuring out how to get out of here. "She's not in here," I said.
"What does that mean?" I asked.
I looked around the room again, this time inspecting the room. Silver doors lined the walls, like drawers in a morgue; I assumed those were the sleeping arrangements. There were barely enough spots for the people who were currently sitting in this room. Either there were other holding rooms like this one, or we weren't expected to be around for very long. From what I had seen in the white room, I had a feeling it was the latter.
The door that we'd come through was like an airlock. But, instead of keeping oxygen in, it kept the vampires separated from the guards. That door opened and three vampires walked into the room, one I recognized immediately. "Jessica?"
The red head turned surprised and practically threw herself at me. "Lily, thank god." She hugged me tightly and I hugged her back. "They put me in a white room with racquet balls and shot at us."
I nodded. "Us too."
"I almost didn't make it." Jessica was twitching and running her fingers through her hair incessantly.
"Jess, are you ok?" I asked.
She shook her head. "I ate four fairy girls, I'm so fucked up." The other vampires were glancing at us, so Tara moved our conversation to the corner of the room. Jess pulled her knees to her chest and I rubbed her back. "Bill is trying to save us, to save all of the vampires. But what if we don't deserve to be saved?"
"Don't be talking crazy," Tara said.
"I didn't have to kill those girls, but I wanted to."
"Ok, maybe you did, but fairy blood is like a drug. I've seen it affect vampires first hand," I told her.
She shook her head fiercely. "I'm a horrible person. I deserve to die."
"Jessica, look at me," I instructed her. "Calm down."
She blinked and nodded. "Calm down," she mumbled. Her legs dropped to the floor and she leaned her head against the wall. I sighed in relief and turned to Tara, who nodded approvingly.
Vampires started to line up at a window and get their ration of TruBlood. Tara, Jessica, and I joined them. Tara and I slung ours back. It was watered down but it was better than nothing. "I don't want mine," Jess said, offering us her vial. Suddenly half a dozen vampires were surrounding us.
"Enough!" Someone commanded. The vampires backed down. A tall woman with straight brown hair approached us. "What's wrong with her?" She asked.
"She's fine," Tara and I said at the same time.
The woman shrugged. "I guess this means you owe me."
"Who was that?" Jessica asked when she walked away. Tara and I shrugged.
"I am so over this place," I mumbled.
"Willa?" Tara sprinted to the door. Willa was taken down the hall.
"Burrell's daughter is a VIP, she doesn't mix with the likes of you," the guard on the other side said.
"What the hell is she doing here?" Tara asked whirling on me.
I took a step back. "Eric turned her. He wanted to see if Governor Burrell would stop this madness because of Willa. Clearly he was just as delusional as I told him he was."
"That's why the two of you weren't talking when I found you last night." I nodded. "That piece of shit." I wasn't sure if she was talking about Governor Burrell, Eric, or both.
A few hours later the doors opened again and this time only one vampire came in, Willa. Tara rushed to her immediately and I stood up more reluctantly. "Are you ok?" Tara asked her.
Willa nodded. "I'm fine, they haven't hurt me. What about you guys?"
"Nothing yet," Tara told her. She led Willa back to our table. "They have games in here, might as well do something to pass the time. And maybe it'll help us feel like things are normal again." Tara left Willa and I alone.
"Things will never be normal again," I mumbled.
"Lily, are you upset with me?" Willa asked after a moment.
I sighed. "No, Willa, I am not upset with you. I am upset with myself for dragging you into this. If it weren't for me you would have stayed in your room that night and Eric never would have turned you."
"I don't mind being a vampire."
"I'm not upset with myself because I feel bad you're a vampire," I snapped. "If we'd never brought you to Fangtasia, none of this would have happened. But guess what, thanks to you, we're all going to die."
Tara sat down with Connect Four. "This was all that was left. Lost a fight over Life, ironic." She laughed.
"That's fine, I'm going to take a nap, I think the sun is coming up soon anyway," I said, standing up. I didn't get far when there was a sudden churning in my stomach, I turned around and Willa had the same nauseated expression. "That would be our maker summoning us," I said. "What an asshole."
"How do we get to him?" Willa asked.
"Watch and learn, little sis." I walked to the door, the same guard who'd told us about Willa's imprisonment was there.
I leaned against the door and he turned. "Can I help you?"
"I just couldn't help noticing how handsome you are and I'm sure you've helped tons of girls out before. Maybe we could just talk, alone?"
"I'm really not supposed to do this."
"Oh come on." I smiled. "I bet my friend Willa would come along for the ride too, if you know what I mean."
He sighed. "Ok, hold on." He buzzed us out and as soon as we were down the hall I ripped his contacts out before he realized what I was doing. "We're looking for Eric Northman and you are going to help us get to him without getting caught. You'll do whatever it takes to keep us safe. Got it?" He nodded.
"That was so badass!" Willa said.
"Oh, one more lesson. Willa, I'm going to need you to stop thinking about how great it would be to fuck Eric. In fact, the idea doesn't even sound that appealing to you. He's your maker and that's it." She responded with the blank look and double blink I'd become accustom to.
Then she was back, like nothing had ever happened. She covered her mouth and leaned forward. "Let's find Eric before I puke." We walked down the hall, trusting that our gut would lead us to Eric. The guard kept us away from cameras and other guards until we reached a testing room.
"He's in there," I said. Willa nodded. The guard unlocked the door and knocked out the doctor. Eric was in a silver cage with his hands cuffed and hanging above him. Nora was strapped to a slab facing him; it took me a second to recognize her. "Nora? Oh my god, you look like hell."
She tried to laugh but it sounded like she was choking. "I feel like it too."
"What happened to you? What are they doing?"
"Hep V, Hep D's fatal counterpart," Eric informed me as the guard released him from his cage. "They're killing her as punishment for me turning Willa." For the first time I felt actual hatred for the girl, not just jealously or annoyance but full blown loathing. Quickly followed by hatred for myself, I should never have dragged her along with us.
"There has to be a cure or something," I protested.
"If there is one we'll find it. I'll talk to my dad, he'll have to listen to me," Willa said standing up. She had blood on her mouth from where she'd bitten the doctor. The metallic smell of blood made my stomach churn again.
"Don't you think you've done enough?" I asked. I undid the shackles holding Nora onto the slab and she collapsed into my arms. It took her a moment to get her legs back under her. Eric put the doctors coat on her and then changed into our guard friend's uniform.
We headed down the hall. When we passed another person, Eric would point the gun at Willa and me to make it look like we were being taken to testing. "I don't know how much farther I can go," Nora said.
"I'll carry you if I have to," Eric told her.
"We're going to get you out of here," I said.
She smiled at me sadly. "I wish that we had gotten to know each other better when we still had the chance." Nora used the doctor's hand to get through a locked door.
"We're getting out of here as soon as we find Pam," Eric said.
"And Tara and Jessica," Willa and I said. Eric sighed but nodded. We walked through a series of locked doors. Nora leaned on me to stay on her feet.
Eric looked through the window on the next door. "Wait here," he instructed us before disappearing on the other side.
"I'm sorry," I told Nora. "I never apologized for being such a bitch to you. I guess I've always been a little jealous."
"Jealous of me? Oh please, you never needed to be. I can tell there's some tension between you and Eric right now but when this is all over you're going to work things out, promise me." I nodded. "When we were driving back to the Authority after Eric drained you, he was just holding your body and he looked so lost. He told me he would never make another vampire after you."
"That was a lie."
She glanced at Willa. "He would not have made a third vampire unless it was for a damn good reason, I know my brother. And I know you love him enough to forgive him."
The door opened and Eric came back in. "They're putting Hep V in the TruBlood."
"They want to poison all the vampires," Willa said.
"They're sending it to the gen pop vampires right now, you need to go back and tell Pam and Tara not to drink the TruBlood," Eric instructed Willa. He picked up Nora and nodded for me to follow him. "We'll come back for you," he told Willa before we left her.
The three of us walked through the TruBlood factory and out to where they were loading the trucks. We slid under one of the trucks. "Hold up, we need to do a sweep, a vamp escaped," someone called. Eric and I tensed up as someone ran a mirror under the truck.
I reached out and grabbed the man by the ankles and twisted his neck. "All clear!" Eric called out, imitating the man's voice perfectly. The truck driver started the engine and Eric and I latched on to the bottom of the truck. Just like that we were free, but only for the time being.