Drained: Chapter 2
After I’d knocked on the door to Fangtasia, I looked around the empty parking lot and tried to suppress the wave of dread that came over me. The sign on the door said the bar was closed for repairs, but I somehow knew that was unlikely.
I held the mace that I kept on my keychain and turned the little cap to the “on” position. Bill had talked me into getting the mace since I left work so late some nights.
I closed my eyes and felt for a brain inside as I knocked on the door again. I “heard” a man inside thinking of a pastrami sandwich and hoping I was Saundra. He also thought of a pale Eric Northman lying on a floor unable to move.
“Who is it?” he called out.
He opened the door and I sprayed him in the face.
He screamed and covered his eyes with his hands as he backed up. I stepped into the room, closing the door behind me as I watched him trip and fall backwards onto a table and chair, hitting his head, and then finally landing on the floor with a loud thud.
I crouched down and looked at him. I could feel his brain sleeping and knew he wasn’t dead, but I was glad he seemed to be unconscious.
I followed the void down a hallway and opened a door to reveal a small office. Eric Northman was lying on the floor on his back and looked completely dead.
He was wearing a black tank top and dark jeans and his face was paler than even a vampire’s should be. His arms were outstretched to his sides and one of them had a small needle and a plastic tube protruding from the bend of his inner arm. The tubing was a couple of feet in length and capped with a light blue plastic cap. The tube itself was blood red. He was being drained.
I had to act quickly since I knew Saundra was expected back and I had no idea how long her friend would be unconscious.
I knelt and pulled the needle out of Eric’s arm and watched the tiny hole close almost instantly. Then I shook Eric hard by the shoulders.
“Eric! Wake up!”
His eyes fluttered open, but then closed again.
“Eric! Help me! It’s Sookie Stackhouse. We’ve got to get out of here!”
I yanked on his arms, pulling him into a sitting position. His eyes were still closed, but he pushed himself onto his knees and tried to stand. I got under his arm and helped as best I could, and amazingly, he was on his feet and we were stumbling for the front door in no time.
I unlocked the car and opened the rear door and Eric kind of tumbled onto the back seat. I pushed his legs in and he curled into a fetal position as I closed the door. I tried to drive slowly as I exited the parking lot so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. My hands were shaking and I didn’t even realize I was crying until I was getting onto the ramp of Interstate 20, heading east.
I tried to focus my thoughts as I drove. I had obviously stepped into a mess. There was some sort of conspiracy to kill vampires by poisoning them and then draining them. I imagined that the sale of the vampire blood might be financing the addition of the silver nitrate into True Blood, which made perfect sense.
I wondered who exactly was in on the conspiracy—obviously agents of the BVA and the D.A. of Shreveport. How high did this go, I wondered. As my adrenaline rush subsided, I realized my immediate need was to get my car off the interstate and find a safe place for Eric to rest for the day.
I figured if the authorities were at my house waiting for me, chances were they were also looking for my car. I saw a sign for a town called Rayville and took the exit.
I couldn’t think of anyone who might be able to help me. My bright idea was getting Eric Northman to help, and he was now quite helpless in my back seat. I kept turning off of the main streets onto smaller and smaller roads until I was quite lost.
I saw a battered old mailbox and turned into a dirt driveway, heading through a wooded area. As I came to a small clearing, I could see by the moonlight an old ramshackle house, clearly abandoned. One side of the house was slightly caved in where the roof had collapsed.
I parked and got out of the car and marched up to the door. There were three little windows on the front door and the glass panes in all three were missing. I reached into one and unlocked the door.
It was too dark inside to see what I was doing, so I went back to the car and found my flashlight in the glove compartment. I left my purse and half-dead vampire in the car.
I stepped inside the house and followed the hallway to a kitchen. Once inside the kitchen, I found the door to the basement and started down a staircase right out of a horror movie. I knew no one was inside the house after “listening” for brains, but still, I was scared to death as I descended the stairs.
Just as I’d hoped, I found a windowless basement—a perfect place to stash a vampire for the day.
I went back to the car and opened the back door. It felt too loud to yell at Eric like I had at Fangtasia, so I climbed on top of him and put my mouth to his ear.
“Eric!” I whispered.
He groaned in response.
“I found a place for you to rest safely, but you have to help me.”
He stirred and I climbed off of him and pulled his arms until he was sitting up. As I pulled him from the car, I got underneath an arm and he leaned on me as we walked up to the front porch.
I stood him against the wall beside the door and said, “Stand here.” I stepped over the threshold, just inside the door and said, “Eric, please come inside.”
He seemed to sense me when I took his arm again and we went inside. As we headed down the steps to the basement, I said, “Grab the handrail,” and he and I slowly and carefully made our way down the steps. I pointed the flashlight towards an old sofa and he stumbled over to it and fell onto it, lying on his back.
“That was good. I’ll be right back,” I said, but got no response.
I went back upstairs and retrieved my purse and locked my car even though there was clearly no one around. Then I went back down to the basement, closing the door behind me. I set my purse on an old washing machine and scanned the room with my flashlight to make sure there were no windows or other doors in the room before I climbed onto Eric’s body and collapsed.