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is an avid fan of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, so much so, that waiting for the next book was not an option! This Sookie Stackhouse Fanfiction fantasy picks up where CH's book 9 left off. Tune in weekly for the next installment of Back from the Dead. Disclaimer: J. Barrington does not own the characters of the Southern Vampire Series AKA Sookie Stackhouse Novels. All rights are reserved for Charlaine Harris.

Doin Good Bayou - I & II

My grandmother always told me “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” If the good Lord’s willing, and the creeks don’t rise, I will still be around to offer my own pearls of wisdom to future generations. Unfortunately, it will not be as poetic. I’m more likely to say “What doesn’t kill ya will still hurt like a son of a b*tch.” I’ll also tell the young'uns how fine I was back in the day: a beautiful buxom blonde who was told on several occasions that I looked prettier than a gob of butter on a stack of hotcakes. Right now, I probably looked like something the dog has been keeping under the porch. Screaming for hours, while being tortured by ruthless, supernatural creatures tends to have that effect on people.

The painful, unmitigated proof of my Fae kin going all Medieval on my ass, and every other stretch of skin on my person, was God awful. Thanks to many sutures, bandages, splints and medicinal vamp blood, my injuries weren’t life threatening, nor did I sustain any wound that time could not heal. My mind, however, was tossed back to my torture chamber with every twist, turn, blink, transporting me to a time when Neave and Lochlan cackled as I cried. My body, curls into the fetal position as the phantom pains of fresh fairy bites sting my thighs and jerks when a sharp blade punctures a hole my side over and over.

Suddenly, I'm sucked into a whirlwind of nightmarish images that shackle me: abduction, torture, orphaned. They'd drowned my parents. They'd killed my brother's estranged wife, Crystal. My heart aches for the unborn baby within her womb that would've been my niece or nephew. That precious addition to the Stackhouse clan would've brought our remaining descendants to a whopping total of four. I bit back the sob in my throat but my eyes, traitorous sonsaguns, revealed my calamity as hot tears streak down my cheeks. With a Herculean effort, I scurry back to present, refusing to be bound by the heinous acts of two psychotic fairies.  They are both dead now and that knowledge helps me to break free.  A slight smile tugged at the very edges of my mouth. I have a habit of smiling when I'm anxious or nervous but that's not the case now. I hate to seem heartless but their lack of pulse is the only thing that gives me solace.


The blood bath had ended well after sundown. It Was Brutal! As we sped away from the battlefield, I tried to reconcile the horrific day’s events in my mind. Tray Dawson, a werewolf; Claudine, a full-blood fairy and Clancy the vampire, represented the diverse group of Supes that had pledged to protect me from all hurt, harm and danger. All of them, and countless others, were casualties of the Fae War declared on yours truly.

How does a mere mortal end up in the middle of a violent Supe skirmish? It wasn’t easy. I am Sookie Stackhouse, telepath extraordinaire, friend to the Supes (cause I can’t read their minds) and a barmaid. Niall Briggant is an actual, real life, Fairy Prince. He is centuries old and like all Fae, he is stunningly beautiful. Quite recently, I learned that Niall is my great-grandfather. Seems we had a “Momma’s Baby – Daddy’s Maybe” skeleton hiding in the old chifferobe. My identity had been concealed by my half human grandfather, Fentan. He and my Gran were  secret lovers and had two children together, of which my brother and I descend. Anyway, there was an ongoing family feud between Niall and the only other living Fae prince, Breandon. It's a real, modern day, Hatfield and McCoy special. Breandon, also nephew to Niall, considered humans an abomination and consorting with them robbed Fae of their magic. Therefore, all mixed breeds (that means me) must be vanquished and the passages to the Fae realm sealed forever. Breandon learned of the whereabouts of his nemesis’ part-human descendant and my name moved to the top of the Fae watch list.


We hit Interstate 167 South like 40 going North. Maxwell Lee, a businessman, was driving while Pam, Eric’s second in command, rode shotgun. My honey, Eric Northman, sat just behind them in the center. All are vampires in Eric’s fiefdom known as Area 5, where he is the Sheriff. The trio were caught up in a discussion and very careful that I didn’t overhear. Eric put up a pretense of calm but I could feel his rage. The obvious breakdown of my security detail was of cataclysmic proportions. In the very near future, my Viking was sure to be kicking ass and taking names.

Bill Compton didn't fare as well as me in the Fae War. And that was saying somethin'. He was alive. Well, of the undead variety but just barely. Like Kryptonite to Superman, silver poisoning is a nasty, nasty malady for a vampire to endure. The subsequent disorientation, forced the decision to rush him to the Supe hospital of a neighboring county, before heading home. This was one ailment that the resilient vamps couldn’t easily bounce back from. Dr. Ludwig, doc to the Supes, was on staff and agreed to be there when we arrived to personally triage the centenarian. He needed to start treatment right away, if he were to survive.

Bill and I lay huddled on the floor of the van atop a mattress. He was worsening by the minute, was my unprofessional opinion. The thought of an addition to my, chock-full, list of losses for the day seized my heart. I pressed my forehead to the coolness of his own. Maybe my closeness could, somehow, will him to hold on just a little while longer. “We’re nearly there.” I told him with tears in my voice.

He rattled on like a snake, going in and out of consciousness.  He spoke of the night we met, our many good times together, his failings and how sorry he was that hadn't saved me from my abductors sooner. He had the faint smell of Herbal Essence Shampoo and vampire, a scent distinctive to Bill. I placed a hand on his cool cheek that was wet with either perspiration or tears. It was probably the latter, since I couldn’t remember ever seeing the undead sweat. Come to think of it, I don't even think Bill has ever cried in my presence but I knew it was possible.

He held my hand and kissed my palm over and over as he poured his heart out in a whisper. His voice was so weak and filled with regret. During his moments of silence, I surreptitiously loosened my bandage and pressed the open wound on my arm to a tepid mouth that was too weak to even drop fang. It was the least that I could do. After receiving countless donations of medicinal vamp blood in the past few hours, Bill still looked sick as a dog. He lapped at my blood like a wounded animal that had been malnourished, dehydrated and left to die, which just broke my heart. What I wouldn’t give to hear that deep chuckle from him that affected me so greatly. That sound, though seldom heard, always assured me that he was so happy and content with his long existence. He did manage a little mewl of satisfaction. 

Eric’s gaze suddenly burned at the back of my head. I didn't need to be a mind reader to know that my Viking would like nothing more than to kill Bill, rip him to shreds, right here, right now. Of that, I was certain. His anger toward Bill baffles me but that riddle has to be set on the back burner for now. Sometimes my lover's possessiveness gives me a jolt of excitement.  Now was not the time to feed my own ego or to stroke Eric's. His hostility was nearly palpable but I didn’t move away. These words could have been the last words he ever spoke, so I let Bill release his entire confession. 

Deeply indebted was an understatement. I owed him my very life. In my darkest hour, he'd appeared like a dream. The vision paralleled the way he originally entered my life and would be ingrained in my memory for all eternity. My first love . . . my first vampire had come for me. He'd killed for me. He'd saved me. Although we had been apart for a long, long time, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that only Love would do a thing like that. I didn’t think that he would put his immortality on the line for me. What surprised me even more was realizing that a great part of me still loved him, too.  I mean, I didn't want to settle down and have his vampire babies or anything (not that vampires could sire biological children) but I appreciated the hell out of what he did for me this day.

I bit back a sob and decided then and there that I would gift my friend with only the most precious images of serenity to serve as a healing balm of memories after we parted ways. It was quite an effort since I looked like death warmed over and felt even worse. I would place an endearing kiss right on his cool lips. No tongue. Eric was understanding, but not that understanding. I would smile and urge him to get well soon, before saluting him with a Ms. America worthy wave goodbye as Eric and I drove off into the distance. I would be brave for him, just like Eric told me to, and not shed one single tear. It was a good plan, a selfless plan,  a solid plan. A famous prize fighter once said “Everybody’s gots plans… til you get hit.”

The actual parting snap shots were of me embracing Bill’s emaciated frame for far too long, Eric pulling my struggling body back while I fought to cling to Bill as he was being carted away by a group of squat orderlies and then of me losing my last bit of sanity when Bill’s outstretched hand was wrestled out of mine. It was a pretty picture alright, pretty dang wild. I Lost It! Plain and simple. My mind just snapped and the whole, hellacious day came a crashing down around me. The next few moments slowed down to a crawl. Everyone was shouting things at me but I heard nothing as I was hauled to the vehicle and sat on the lip in the hopes of calming me. Of course, there would be none of that. Control and Calm were unfathomable

With vampiric speed, Pam’s (I assumed) iron fists shackled my arms and yanked me back into the van while Maxwell Lee, equally as fast, slammed the back doors shut to prevent my third attempt at launching myself out. I hate it when they move like that! The click of the lock mechanism engaging had me scrambling to find an alternate route of escape. I pleaded, cried, banged on the doors. Finally, I looked out the tiny rear window in defeat. I saw Eric giving orders and then saying some parting words to our friend. I could tell that it was not the typical “Get well soon, buddy” that should be expected. He was probably threatening the Hobbit-like doctor  with certain death if anything to happen to Bill and then threatening Bill if he dared meet his final death. I knew that Eric took the death of anyone under his charge personally. He, too, had taken a great loss this day. As he faced me he looked both sorrowful and mad as hell.

I rocked back and forth like a caged animal. Leaning my face into the small window, I noticed that, overall, Bill was looking better. That lifted my spirits a smidge. Dr. Ludwig had the two vamps engaged in a conversation. My vision was blurred by my tears. I could see that his skin, which had turned gray from the silver, looked pale blue in the moonlight. He had that vampire glow again that I found so alluring when we met. Bill's weary eyes, red and brimmed with tears searched the darkness for mine. After the copious amounts of Epic's blood that I'd ingested to heal, I should have been easy to spot because vamp blood causes a glow from within. The infinitesimal rise and fall of his broad chest revealed to me that he was taking breaths, breaths that vampires have no need for. That was meant to set me at ease, I knew. Fail! I heard a woeful sound echoing in the darkness of my confinement and was horrified when I realized pitiful wail was coming from me. 

I continued to rock . . . and rock . . . and rock on the mattress that suddenly felt hard as stone. When they finally rolled Bill away he caught my gaze, failed at an attempt to force a smile on his face, and then slowly placed trembling hands on his silent chest, over his heart. Well, that just dilled my pickle. I began to hyperventilate. My blood felt like it was boiling in my veins. “No! No! No! Bill! . . . Bill! . . . Bill! We can’t leave him, Eric. He will die!” My cries were hoarse, barely audible and had clearly fallen on deaf ears. 

Being an active participant of so many Supe scuffles, one would think that I’d have grown accustomed to handling such conflicts. However, this war was within me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it and was clearly losing the battle. 

I lost some time and then I found myself exhausted in the middle of the mattress, panting while three sets of lifeless eyes stared in astonishment, fangs fully extended. The smell of fresh blood soaking through my bandages was the why of it. “Soo - ie!” Pam mouthed with a gasp. Her body trembled as she struggled to maintain her composure. Maxwell's large hand bit into the leather upholstery of the seat. Then he actually started to drool.



I guess I should have been afraid of being viewed as some type of Supe happy meal. Frankly, I was sick and tired of being the victim. I would not be an easy win. No one was taking another dang thing from Sookie Stackhouse today! 

I stared them down so coldly it would have made Dirty Harry flinch. “Come on, make my day.” I stared each of them down. “You may walk over here but you’ll be limping back!” A pregnant silence stretch out for a long while. Then, Eric barked a wordless command that sounded like a hiss mixed with a growl. It must have been vamp code for “Slap a muzzle on it,” because Pam and Maxwell snapped their bodies toward the road instantaneously, fangs retracted. I idly wondered if vampires got whiplash. 

Eric gave me a dubious glare. He wasn’t sure if I needed an exorcism or to be shot and put out of my misery. After a long while he tried to coax me to lie down. When I wouldn't budge, he grabbed me to him, too fast to track and wrapped my legs around his waist while he sat in a similar position with his legs cradling me. I couldn't stand to be coddled, cuddled, or comforted in any way so I continued to protest. 

"Turn me loose, Eric!" I continued the pointless struggle. 

"Never" he vowed in a whisper. "Behave!" was more forceful. He tipped his head at an angle and blue eyes, clear as crystal, waited for me to look up. I did.  He wasn't trying to glamor me or anything 'cause that just doesn't work on me.  

"I could use some glamorin', right about now," I muttered a wish. 

He was trying to ground me, anchor me in my storm, I thought. He laced our fingers. "If you are going to expend such a great amount of energy, it should be pleasurable, Lover." A sage nod and the strategic positioning of our bodies clarified the innuendo, especially as strong thighs rose up to my back, sliding me into perfect position. This was bad timing for anything sexual but, hell, it's Eric.  Everything is sexual with Eric, six-feet of Viking sex god, cocked and fully loaded.  Despite our surroundings and the condition of my body, I felt an ache in my loins. I winced from the pain from various parts of my body and from the fear of being restrained, again. 

Refusing to break eye contact, he leaned into me. With just a hair's breadth between us, he whispered "Lie back for me, lover." We stared at each other for an eternity and then he slowly lowered his legs and spread them so that my back rested on the mattress. "More of my blood can calm you and ease the stress of the trauma." He said this as if saying that gargling with warm salt water would ease a sore throat. I wanted to scoff and continue the struggle but his clinical tone was so detached that it somehow threw me off.  

He set to examining my many wounds, lifting my clothes and loosening and replacing dressings. He added "It can help you rest now so that you . . .  we can fight the demons that are chasing you, later." And relive this? I questioned silently. No to more vamp blood. I shook my head. I'll take my chances and ride it out. Our close proximity soothed, as he knew that it would.  I felt like a wild, enraged beast that had been tamed. Soon, I was putty in his hands. I’d worn myself out and cried my eyes shut. He continued his inspection, silent and suspicious, paying close attention to my wrists and neck and mumbling curses along the way. He knew that my body was covered with cuts, bites and bruises but hated seeing the proof. My stitches had broken apart during my outburst and made a bloody mess of the delicate work that went into trying to put me back together. 

He'd tricked me! The old "distract the hysterical lady with sex" ploy. Works every time. Somewhere along the line, the fight just up and left me. Eric calmly instructed Maxwell to take the scenic route into my hometown. When I was set to rights, he slowly lifted my upper body to rest on his chest and wrapped a blanket around us.  This time I did let him comfort me simply because it felt so good and so right and I needed it. Eric was as tired as I felt, I reckoned, speaking with the thickest accent, that he seldom exposed. It sounded like he just got off the boat or the ship or whatever Viking vessels were called. Eric had hoped that the long drive would lull me to sleep, I guessed. A firm, cool peck was my pillow and within a few moments somebody turned out the lights. 

“Avkastning till mig, ä lakare. Nyss tillata samlad resa. Jag kommer att bära denna börda för oss båda. Avkastning min solen som lyser min eviga mörker.” I heard the words of his mother tongue as I slept. Each time I floated back up to consciousness I could hear him speaking low and methodical like a litany. I couldn’t translate nor can I read vamp minds. Miraculously, I received the sentiment that was like the lyrics of a love song: “Yield to me, lover. Just let it go. I will carry this burden for the both of us. Return to me the sunshine that illuminates my eternal darkness.” 


The cemetery that separated Compton and Stackhouse properties was the landmark that I awoke to sometime later. "SWEET HOME CEMETERY" in uneven iron letters, stretched across the entrance, supported by stacked stone pillars on either side. This could have been my funeral procession, I thought, as the wheels crept up the deserted country road. "Just like Gran," I thought to myself. Her life and that of most of my family was cut-off way too soon. My brother, Jason, would have given me a proper burial and put my remains in the Stackhouse family plot right next to the lady that raised us after our parents died. It was just a stone’s throw away from my farmhouse and my soul was sure to rest in peace. I felt a pang when I looked toward Bill’s house. This time I was able to keep it together. 

“Welcome home, lover.” Eric almost sang in a hushed tone. He maneuvered my body to sit in front of him and wrapped himself around me. We took in the sight of the dense wooded acres and farmland that was, somehow, too beautiful to behold. I greedily inhaled the humid scent of swampland, wild vegetation and woodlands that I grew up with. The barren branches extended over the road ahead of us, waving in the night breeze like friendly neighbors. It was a welcome worthy of the charming Southern hospitality that my grandmother was proud to show to whomever or whatever dawned on her stoop. 

“They did so many horrible things to me.” I stared out the window and tears flowed, again. “All I could think about was getting back to this place, back home.” My foot had actually been on the first step of my porch, when I was snatched away, so close. I had been so close. Seeing this place again was but a fantasy in my mind. 

“Shhh. Hush now. Sookie. You made it” Eric sounded like he was about to cry. “We made it.” My night vision had improved with my recent blood donation and I turned my head to look in the face of my benefactor. Pale skin, red lips and blue eyes that were clear as crystal, were the colors that made up the canvas of my, um, gracious plenty. His long hair was tied back and looked much darker in color that the actual sun-kissed wheat that it was. I was so thankful that he was safe, that he wasn't poisoned by silver or killed. He held me close and looked on me with love and adoration. 

The moment was pure heaven. I melted into him and he pressed a cool kiss to my warm lips. It started out as a little innocent peck but grew more intense as I responded. He didn’t think we would ever see this place again either. The fact that my mind had returned from the brief hiatus in Looneyville was a boon, as well, and added to his excitement. How did I know all of this? I'd had so much of his blood this night that we were literally of the same mind, our emotions intertwined. 

Pam and Maxwell slapped each other with a high-five as we turned down Hummingbird Road. I was just about to join in the celebration when I sensed that we had company. I questioned, “Part of your entourage?” 

“No." Pam responded with a smile in her voice. "Part of yours.”  I looked incredulous for a moment and searched the low foliage. There were eyes, many, looking back at me.  One set of eyes gave me pause, ethereally beautiful silver grays, sparkling in the dark like diamonds. I blinked and they were gone. Searching again, my gazed locked on a pair of emerald greens that peered through the darkness. Alcide Herveaux! I giggled. I actually giggled. Werewolf and pack master of the Longtooth Pack. A few feet farther, just beyond the Weeping Willow tree, golden-green eyes glowed, Calvin Norris, werepanther, pack-master of the Hot Shot community of Shifters. 

I heard a familiar chuffing noise and turned to the opposite side. My eyes searched wildly. Amongst the nandinas were purple pansy eyes surrounded by multi colored fur? “Quinn!” Instinctively, my hands reach out toward him. He’s a rare weretiger. That put a big lump in my throat. Maxwell paused in the road to allow a stray dog to pass in front of the van. It was Sam Merlotte the shape shifter, in his favorite Collie guise. Sam was my boss and one of my best friends. He looked straight at me and winked before disappearing into the brush. 

“Talk about animal magnetism,” Maxwell teased. “Or should I say Alpha-magnetism? They’ve been following us the whole time.”  

“That's my Sookie.” Eric chimed in with pride. “Your friends insisted on ensuring a safe passage home.”

“’Magine that” was all I was able to get out. I was so overwhelmed. I had spent so much of my night raising sand about my losses that I missed what I still had. Not many could summon their own band of guardian angels to escort her home. 

As we closed out the last mile of the way, I thought of a quote that I could pass on from my grandmother. “When life hands you lemons… squeeze them into a tall, cool pitcher of sweet iced tea.”

Overjoyed with being back on my own stomping grounds, surrounded by my friends and in Eric’s comforting embrace, I tried to shove my traumatic ordeal in the tiniest compartment of my brain. Besides, I have my work cut out for me with Amelia just around the bend.   
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  1. What a homecoming! And I love that all her alpha's followed her home...Brilliant!
    March 16, 2010

  2. JB you done done it again! LOL! Wow! Imagine me a regular reader of paranormal fan fiction. Hmmm... We won't tell anybody. OK?
    March 22, 2010