The woman that informed me that World War One had just been announced as over and done, we’d even won she said. Her name was Holly, and she was married store owner, and she thankfully had her own motor car, she even drove! She offered me a ride, one that I would be forever thankful for, for without her, I was sure I’d just drop down dead. I couldn’t move anymore, much less run. I gave her Pam’s address, in the hopes that she’d be back, but if not I knew someone would be around, the house was never left empty. I just needed that safe haven, to figure things out. Holly questioned me, but I gave away nothing, even if I had wanted to, I wasn’t so sure I could have conversed with her on the short car ride to the front of Pam’s home. A home that felt like the gates of heaven in my beaten state. I thanked Holly for her generous offer, and for her kindness, I needed her to know that she probably saved my life, after I’d saved it myself that is.
I waited until she drove away before I knocked on the front door, my knock that was once steadfast and sure, was now weak and pathetic.
My head felt light, my body had all but given up. I vaguely remembered someone opening the door, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in a dimly lit room, with Pam at my side.
“Oh thank God. Thank God!” She cried as she leaned over me, mopping my brow. “Sookie, it’s Pam. Can you hear me?”
“Good, great…. Good.” She took a deep breath, “Eric will be back soon, he’s been out all day looking for you, for days even, God what happened to you?”
“No.” I said, my throat dry, “No I don’t want him to see me like this. Please.” I begged.
“But Sookie he’s been here for days and days, looking all over the city, he has everyone looking for you… I don’t understand.”
“I can’t let him see me like this, please.”
“Need I ask who did this to you? I had a doctor check you out, just so you know… you’ve got a broken rib, finger and wrist… so many bruises my love…” She stroked my face, and I could still only see out of one eye.
“How long have I been here?”
“A few hours…”
I looked and saw my hand was bandaged.
“Bill, he’s still… out there. He’s still… Oh God. Oh God! He’ll come after me again, I know he will.” I cried, and she held me tighter, I think I might have scared her but I suddenly started to panic again.
“Where did he have you? Where were you?!”
“I don’t… it was a street there were homes, but all abandoned or something, old, empty… I could hear the clock… I just can’t…” I remembered a street sign near, when I left, but it was blurry to me now. “It had a green door, all broken and old, I… just can’t…”
She ‘shh’d’ me then, easing me back down onto my pillow.
“It’s okay, trust me Sookie, everything is going to be fine, I promise. I need you to rest now, okay? Just rest.”
I laid back down, my body more tired than I think I’d ever felt in my life. But I would rest, I needed to. What other choice did I have when my body was failing me as it was?
Rest. It sounded so nice, so simple, but my brain was still racing when she left the room.
What if he found me again?
It had been over a week since my arrival in London, and nothing at all. I had spent my days with Detective Bellefleur in search of either John Quinn or Bill Compton, in the hopes of them leading me to Sookie. I knew him to be annoyed with me, poking my nose into his job, as it were. But the sheer frustration of sitting around and waiting for something to happen was just too much for me. We had found Quinn on the fifteenth and I had let my fists do the talking, he on the other hand swore up and down that he knew nothing about nothing, but did let slip that Bill was staying ‘in town’ though he didn’t know where, and that they’d been doing some business together. Both things sounded shaded and suspicious to me, as well as to Andy Bellefleur, so Quinn took a little trip the police station where I was assured Andy would attempt to ‘get it out of him’. I hadn’t heard back since, so I took to the streets once more, using Niall’s contacts, which were decidedly less above board than my own. Two brothers from the East End who specialized in providing a delicate service to those who needed it. That service varied from person to person, but considering where I met them, what they carried on their person, and just how terrifying they were as men, even to me, it was safe to say that service was an illegal one.
“We find ‘im, we own him, do we agree on that, Mr Northman?” Thomas, the elder of The Brothers Grimm, as I nicknamed them in my head spoke. “Do we agree that if we find the bastard that took your woman, we get to … play.” He smiled.
“I don’t care. Do what you like, I really don’t care. I just want her found, safe.”
“Ex with a grudge, chances are she’s a bit … roughed up at this point, Mate.” Barry, the younger, though much more bald brother spoke. “Not that I know for sure though…”
“Does it happen a lot then? Ex husbands…?”
They shrugged. Before Barry spoke again.
“We tend to steer clear of the more… domestic side of disputes if you know what a’ mean.” He held up his hands, as his East London accent framed his words. “It’s none of our business most of the time what ‘appens between a man and his woman, unless she’s one of our own. But, you’re a friend of Niall… and so… we make the exception.”
I had wondered since I had met them why two gangsters like The Brother’s Grimm were friendly with Niall, but, in all honesty, I was almost too intimidated to ask.
“If you do… end up ending Compton, it won’t be tied back to her, will it?”
They shook their heads in unison, Thomas spoke next.
“Nah, we’ll make it a clean break from your Lady, that’s for sure. We have some contacts in the city, I know you’ve gone the legal route, but there’s just some things that can’t be done the right way and need to be handled the real right way, if you know what I mean.”
“I do, now I do. As far as payment… I can give you -”
“No. Niall contacted us…” Thomas said, “And we own ‘im, so we’re settling a little debt by doin’ this, so your money is ain’t no good to us in this instance, Mr Northman.”
I nodded. I really would need to call Niall when I got back to Pam’s. The Brother’s Grimm had set off that morning, and by the time I was making my way back through the city, on foot I had decided was best to clear my head or tire myself out, I wasn’t sure which motive I had for it. But, by the time I reached the centre of the city, something astounding had happened.
The war on the world, was over.
I caught the bus, the only bus that seemed to be moving at the time through the city of now celebrating people, and instead of going straight to Pamela’s to see if she’d heard the news of the war, I detoured back to Bellefleur, much to his annoyance, again.
“Eric I’ve told you, I have my men on it. We do take missing persons seriously, and I’ve informed you of that too, a million times now.”
“Well, make it a million and one. Andy, he could have her anywhere by now, we’re going on the word of a man who is hardly known for his honesty, and we’re to believe he’s just… kept her here, hidden?”
“He swears by it. They’ve been working deals by the docks taking shifts.”
“What kind of deals?”
“He tells me ‘sales’, but just what exactly he’s been selling, that he won’t budge on. I’ve sent someone to take a look around his place now, see what I can find.”
“Eric, you look like death warmed over, you’ll be no good to your Lady when we find her if you’re dying on your feet now will you?”
I ran my hand over my two week old beard, he was right, I most likely looked like shit, not that I’d bothered with a mirror in a while.
“I’m going for an early dinner at the Horse & Pond, come with me.”
“I can’t. I should be back…”
“Son, we’ve just won the bloody war and I want to celebrate, food and ale and possibly some company. Say you’ll agree, you look like you could use a good meal.”
And so I stayed, I ate though the food had little to no taste, and the ale tasted sour in my mouth. The war was over for the world, but for me, inside my heart it still raged on. I knew I wouldn’t find much peace until I saw her save again.
I woke up, the lamp was lit by my bedside and the curtains drawn, I knew where I was, in one of Pamela’s guest rooms, but I had no idea of the time. I heard voices though, loud arguing voices from downstairs, one in particular I recognised.
My heart both soared and broke at the same time. I so desperately wanted to see him, but on the other hand did not wish for him to see me like this, so humiliated and broken.
Apparently Pam was telling him my wish not for him to see me, but apparently I forgot what a stubborn man Eric Northman was, as he came bursting through the door with pale concern on his rather hairy face.
He said nothing, as he stood there, grasping onto the door handle for dear life. And I said nothing either, laying there unsure if I was even alive or simply dreaming.
“Sookie, I’m sorry… he insisted.” Pam said coming up behind him, giving him the stink-eye from behind. He just ignored her, instead stared at me.
“It’s… alright.” I whispered, apparently my thoughts were much louder than my voice at that point. “If he’ll stop staring at me like I’m a ghost, it’ll be alright.” I attempted a smile, but knew just how strange I looked. He finally let go of the door handle, and took some steps softly into the room. He closed the door, with Pam still standing on the other side of it. It actually made me chuckled, I never thought anything would again.
“That was rude,” I said, trying to sit up, but failing. As soon as I took my eyes off him, the next thing I knew, he was by my side, his big blue eyes curious and terrified.
“He… She… She said you… That he…” He reached out to touch my face, but pulled himself back. “He did this to you?”
I looked away from him, the shame that I felt over-taking me. Instead of speaking, I just nodded.
“I told Pam of his whereabouts, though I am unsure of his state.”
“What do you mean?” He asked, sitting gently on the bed below my feet.
“I… had to escape. There was no way he was letting me go, not ever. There were… there was a fight, if you could call it that, I left him rather incapacitated.” I managed to say before I had to rest my head again, I was so tired.
Eric looked at me for a few seconds more. He was studying my face so closely that I wanted nothing more than to hide myself from him, under the covers if I must, just to stop his gaze – his thinking of what I looked like now. I thought how it, how I must have horrified him now. Then he did something I was not expecting, he leaned over the bed and kissed me on the forehead, his thumb brushing my cheek. He simply uttered the word ‘No’, got up, and left the room.
It wasn’t until Pam came in some minutes later, a ashen look on her face that I knew where he went.
He went to find Bill.
Okay loves. I have more written but this felt like the natural end for this chapter, if I manage to get shit done tonight I might have another update tomorrow night! Hit the little button of love! How else will I know what you’re all thinking otherwise, right?! 😉