“I don’t know how to live through this hell, Woken up, I’m still locked in this shell” -Metallica
There was chaos around me. I could hear the wails of betrayal and the muttered curses that flew through the air, slicing like the sharpest dagger through the acrid smell of burning flesh. I felt warmth surrounding me, so out of place as coldness seeped into my body, clawing it’s way outward toward my limbs.
Then I recognized a voice. Eric’s…his low, gravelly voice, so thick with disuse…was still so beautiful. But he sounded…sad. I wondered absently why I couldn’t lift my arms to comfort him. I always held him when he needed it, and from the sound of it, he definitely needed it now.
I felt small droplets of liquid falling onto my body, heating those tiny spots from the pervasive cold that was settling into me. And when I was popped into the ether, still clutched tightly by that warm body, I just sank into the darkness.
x . x . x . x . x
Pain. My entire world was pain. It bloomed from the back of my shoulder blade into the rest of my body, pervasive and poisonous in it’s intensity.
But I was crushed under the weight of my inability to do anything. I couldn’t yell. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t twitch in defiance as I tried to conquer the weakness washing through me.
I could hear vague sounds surrounding me. Armor clanged against the Carrera Marble floor Niall had taken special pains to collect from the human world. The hollow, tinny sounds were distinctive and I longed to wince at the clamor like I normally did. But my body wouldn’t obey.
The voices started filtering into my brain then. I heard Grandfather and Father shouting over the din and I suddenly felt strong arms cradling me. Whoever it was was continually murmuring softly into my hair, unintelligible words designed more for comfort than comprehension. Jason’s voice rang out as I heard a door slam.
I recognized the slightly spicy air as we descended the stairs into my private chambers. The hustle and bustle, however, was not a normality here. I was set down, presumably on my bed since I could feel the plush cover underneath my body.
With the exception of a slight pressure on my right hand, I was left alone. Those soft whispers still pervaded my subconscious, but I still couldn’t understand any of it.
I did feel it when the bed dipped to my left and I was unceremoniously rolled to my side. Gruff mutterings reached my ears right before a rush of agony burst over me and I passed into blissful unconsciousness once more.
x . x . x . x . x
I drifted back to myself, bracing myself for pain. However, there was none. Thank the Gods! However, I was still incapacitated and incapable of even the slightest movement. Trapped in my frozen body, I concentrated on my surroundings. It took all my years as a warrior princess, but I finally felt the hand still gripping mine. I smelled the incense I routinely burned that saturated every surface around me. I heard the soft whimpers of whomever sat to my right.
My mind called out without actively thinking about it. But there was no response.So I listened, straining to hear any snippets of news, knowing that my life may very well depend on what I possibly heard.
Please, please…just wake up. Why did you rescue me if you’re just going to leave me? I need you Angel!
Eric! The rescue mission, his choice, the fight with the vampire…it all came rushing back in an instant. But-what happened? I was poised to strike him down-he was defenseless and about to die by my sword-but I was stopped. That’s when the pain exploded through my body, taking me by surprise. Someone scooped up the crippled vampire and…popped! A fairy! A traitor!
But who? My mind skimmed rapidly through our subjects, cataloging those who were less than happy with our rule. But none of them knew of our mission. There was a small contingent of our personal guards who had any knowledge of it, and I was positive that none of them would betray us. In fact, it was an impossibility. They’d taken a pledge, bound with blood, to protect our family and all it’s endeavours.
The only other possibility was a member of our household. But-I just couldn’t accept that.
Putting the thought out of my mind for the time being, I concentrated on figuring out why I couldn’t move. Why I seemed to be trapped in my own body.
Finally! But-that doesn’t make sense…
Dr. Ludwig? Well, that would explain a bit. At least I knew I was being treated for whatever was wrong. It didn’t make me feel any better, but at least it was progress.
Please, Angel. I need you…Sookie…
I felt the soft brush of Eric’s hair on my hand as he squeezed it gently, begging me in his thoughts to come back to him. I struggled and fought with myself, trying to do as he asked, lamenting my failure to comfort him. Eventually I had to concede defeat, if only for the time being. As I drifted back into the darkness of oblivion, I prayed to whatever Gods would listen that Eric wouldn’t give up on me.
x . x . x . x . x
Two weeks after the mission-two weeks since I’d been trapped inside myself and I swear I was about to lose my mind. They knew what was wrong. I’d been stabbed with a small iron rod, small enough that the wound wasn’t immediately noticed. They saw the blood immediately, but it took a few hours to find the source. It was a lucky turn of events that I wasn’t fatally allergic to iron like the rest of my full blooded kin. I’d never been more thankful for the smidge of human in my blood. But even after healing my wound, they couldn’t get me to wake up.
My door banged open suddenly as Ludwig raced into my room as fast as her stubby legs could carry her. I heard the tell tale ‘fwap fwap fwap’ of her odd little slippers on the marble floor.
“Poison! She’s been poisoned!”
I could hear the dull roar of the men in the room, fighting to be heard over one another as Ludwig tried to speak.
“Silence!” Niall’s voice rang out above the din, effectively quieting my family. “Now, Dr. Ludwig, please proceed.”
I heard her cross the room and felt her hop up lightly onto the bed next to me. Her finger trailed over my slightly exposed collarbone.
“This bluish haze here? It’s the effects of the poison. I haven’t been able to identify it as of yet. It’s what’s keeping her immobilized. But I believe she can hear and feel. You may want to bring in the demon to try to communicate with her,” her gruff voice held a tinge of sadness as she hopped down once more. “Until I can identify the source of the poison, I won’t be able to help her. I’ll do the best I can, your majesties.”
I heard my father thank her and Niall escorted her out.
“Is there nothing else we can do? What if she can’t figure out the poison?” Eric’s voice, so deep and smooth despite the years of nonuse, cut through my subconscious.
“We can only wait and hope. Sookie is exceptionally strong. She’ll beat this. And we will figure out who betrayed us,” my father’s voice took on a dangerous edge and I felt Eric’s hand squeeze mine slightly.
“It’s good to have you back, brother. You’ve been missed,” Jason’s voice, shaky with suppressed tears, retreated slightly before I heard the door closing softly.
“He’s right you know. She’s been planning this rescue for the last twenty years. We just needed to find you,” my father told Eric.
“But what good is being back if I never get to be with her? She’s my reason for living. The reason I survived that hell. And now-it just doesn’t seem worth it.”
My heart ached and nearly broke at the desolation in his voice. Didn’t he realize that he was worth everything to me? With that last thought, I lost the battle with consciousness and sunk into darkness once more.
x . x . x . x . x
Three moons. It had been three moons that Eric had been with us. Three moons since I nearly defeated the vampire who’d tried to ruin our lives. And three moons that I’d been stuck in this infernal bed, unable to move even the slightest bit.
Jason and my father sat in my room more often than not, just speaking to each other or Eric. They began educating him on the ways of our people, refreshing his memory of things long forgotten. He wept when he found out that the vampire had killed his family. My heart ached for him, but I could do nothing to comfort him.
But when they’d leave-those were the times I cherished. Because even if I couldn’t comfort him, Eric knew how to comfort me. I learned the first day, after I’d succumbed to oblivion and pain, every time I woke Eric was with me. Sometimes he would just be running his fingers gently through my hair. Sometimes he’d talk to me about what he’d learned while I’d been asleep, crawling into my bed and curling himself around me. And sometimes he’d hum. He’d hum the same songs I used to sing to him in our dreams. Those were the times I cherished. Because even if I couldn’t comfort him, he still comforted me. And that in turn, gave us both hope.
x . x . x . x . x
After that fateful day when we’d learned that I’d been poisoned, Niall summoned my godfather to the palace. Desmond Cataliades, a demon and one of my father’s closest friends, arrived in a haze of red, just as he always did.
His voice, that rich baritone that I’d become so accustomed to translated almost identically to his thoughts, giving me the feeling of a warm blanket being drawn around me.
Uncle? Can you hear me?
His sharp intake of breath assured me that finally something had gone our way.
His declaration was met with gasps and sighs of relief.
Sookie, are you alright? What happened?
I beamed internally, thankful that I finally had a way to communicate.
I am fine. I just can’t move. The pain is gone. I tried calling to Jason and father, but they couldn’t hear me.
“She’s fine. She’s just paralyzed, as the humans say. She’s been trying to call to you two,” I assume he motioned to my father and brother.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Jason sounded morose, as if he was the broken one instead of me.
Tell him I’ll punch him in the cock if he keeps up the Sad Sue routine, please.
Desmond laughed heartily before relaying my message to Jason.
“I’d like to see you try, little sister.”
Uncle, could you please tell Eric that he is more than worth it? I’d rescue him a hundred times over because when-and it is WHEN-we find a cure for whatever this is, we’ll have the life we always dreamed of.
I felt his hand on my brow as he laid a gentle kiss on my forehead. “Of course, my dove.”
Eric’s hand left mine as Desmond took him aside and I was immediately cold and bereft.
A moment later I heard a sniff and my hand was picked up gently once more. He laid a kiss gently on my cheek as he leaned over me, his lips brushing my ear as he whispered, “Just come back to me Sookie. I love you.”