Back to Normal: Chapter 25
I closed my eyes and reached through the bond. But it was no use. I felt Bill. At least that’s what it seemed like. Now I was going to have to figure out how to separate the two feelings. I wasn’t ready to accept that there was only one.
The ship wasn’t due in for a couple of hours, so I went back into the Queen Mary to wait with the others in the bar. My phone rang and I jumped out of my skin. I had forgotten that Lawrence had given it to me.
All eyes were on me as I answered. Two more vampires had awakened and were added to the list, but they weren’t my vampires. The list of the seven more recent rescues did not have Eric’s or Pam’s names on it.
As it got closer to the time for the ship’s arrival, we all went outside. The press was back and huge lights had been set up in the area around the Red Cross trucks. Dozens of Red Cross personnel were readying the trucks, waiting for their very specialized patients. Vampire security guards were there and several big human (maybe Were?) men were unloading silver nets from a truck. Police officers came over and told us we’d have to clear the area.
“No. My husband’s one of the survivors on that ship. I need to be here.”
“You must be mistaken, ma’am. Those people are vampires. Your husband can’t be on that ship.”
I leveled my eyes at his. “My husband is a vampire.”
“Oh, sorry, ma’am. But it’s still too dangerous for you all to be here.” We were escorted behind a string of yellow tape in front of the Queen Mary but I couldn’t see past the trucks from there. Finally Bill said, “I’ll go and find out what’s going on.”
I watched him speaking to Olivia who was herself far back from the trucks and she nodded and gestured for Bill to go and speak with a vampire in charge.
The ship docked and then everybody sprung into action. It was a madhouse. I could see several vampires wheeled into the trucks on gurneys. One walked into one on her own with two vampire escorts, but snapped wildly in the direction of the human police officers on the perimeter as she went by, eyes mad with hunger. I craned my neck, but couldn’t see everything. I closed my eyes. The bond was a jumbled mess. Was Bill upset? Angry? Happy? Yes, happy. That’s good. I saw him running towards us with a smile on his face.
“I found Pam.” I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I had been holding. “She’s unconscious and burned. They’re giving her blood now.” I just nodded and then he ran back to the trucks.
I closed my eyes. Where are you Eric? Then among the multitude of voices, I heard it. “Check again. Stackhouse. Northman. She’s got to be on one of the lists!”
I ducked under the yellow tape and started running. I heard my name. “Sookie!”
I ran around behind one of the trucks and there he was, limping towards me, face burned, but alive. I slammed into his body, sobbing into his chest. My arms were around him, clutching him to me. His head dropped to my shoulder and his body was racked with sobs. His voice was hoarse. “I couldn’t feel you. I couldn’t feel you. What happened? I thought I lost you.”
“I’m here. It’s okay now. I’m here, baby.”
I reached back and pulled my hair off of my neck, and he bit hard into the flesh I exposed. I stroked his hair and held him. “It’s okay now.” He took a few pulls and then gently licked the wound closed. We stood and held each other in silence until a vampire security guard came around the corner and said, “Ma’am, are you okay?”