It felt really weird when Sookie stepped back onto the Prideux estate. It was so massive in its grandeur. The way she usually took was through the back--there was at least fifty acres of woodlands in the back of their property that gave way to the rolling hills and vineyards in the front. She doubted that that was a natural occurrence; more than likely they were magically induced. She’d seen these wards in this forest used once before and the sight of seeing tree branches wrap around and rip thirty people apart was extremely disturbing.
Sookie was wearing the same thing she always wore, loose fitting clothing that her small frame hardly fit. A black hoody that fell a few inches below her thigh, over a pair of university sweatpants she stole from somebody because--for the thirty fifth time that she would undoubtedly never hear the end of from Elizabeth--she lost her enchanted necklace that let her keep her clothes when she transformed. She had on a pair of grey and pink Nike sneakers with a blue Nike check mark.
She’d been trying to get here for nearly six months now. It wasn’t easy for her, especially considering that she was basically on foot the entire time and she started Canada. She was able to trade work for travel on a small trading boat that was crossing the Atlantic. Initially that was going to take her straight from--what was once Hallifax--to what is--and to some extent still is--France where it would have been a simple light jog for several days to the Prideux’s castle.
Things, however, always have a way of fucking up for her.
Somehow, they ended up in Norway for a quick stop that ended in her being kicked off the ship. Apparently a sarcastic werewolf didn’t sit tight with them. Especially with the lunar cycle approaching a full moon soon. Of course, though, they didn’t understand that she wouldn’t transform into an uncontrollable monster when that happened. The world has become significantly more tolerant of the supernatural, that much is for certain, however there are still stereotypes, like that one, going around. She trekked on foot--or paw more accurately--from Norway to France. The only stroke of good luck she got was when the remnants of the season adjustments caused by the fall and disarray of the fairies caused for the entire Baltic and North sea’s to be frozen over, making it so that she didn’t have to find a boat across and could just walk it.
The palpable feeling of generations of power and magic rushed into Sookie as she crossed the threshold of their property--the ancestral wards recognizing her as a dear friend and enveloping her in their protection. The closer she got to the castle, the more anxious she got.
“Three fuckin’ years,” She mumbled to herself, “Jesus Christ.” She sighed, “I do not feeling like dealing with her.” Sookie could already smell the familiar scents of the Prideux family. Elizabeth’s stuck out though, she had a strange smell--the smell of the atmosphere just after a serious thunderstorm, wet, calm, relaxing, relieving.
A vapid pounding rapped at the side door, “Gaah,” She said out loud, irritated. She was in the middle of cooking lunch. Eli, who usually did almost all the cooking, was out with Jinkama, something about a new cave in Marseille that Jinkama wanted to go diving in. Now she was stuck with Willow--the most worthless human being in the world, besides when it come to killing--to prepare lunch for all the children. Which meant boxed macaroni, because someone she found a way to burn water. “I’m not playing these games with you deviants anymore! Stop it, I’m trying to cook you guys lunch!”
Again the pounding continued and this time Elizabeth slammed the box of macaroni and cheese down and whipped open the door, “What?!”
The breath left her body and she was left gasping for words as she saw it was Sookie, “Sookie! Oh my god!” Sookie opened her mouth to say something, but Elizabeth continued, “You’re pregnant?! Like third trimester pregnant!”
“No, I’m just fat” Sookie said, walking through the door, bypassing the speechless Elizabeth. “ ‘You’re pregnant?’--”she imitated mockingly--”Yes of course I’m pregnant, dumby.” She paused, “And I’m hungry.” She went to the macaroni and cheese that was already prepared and grabbed a handful, downing it, “Jesus, did you burn the water?”
It had been about four years since Sookie came back to them. She realized the only logical thing to do would be to mooch off of her rich friends. Which is what she was planning on doing for a long, long while. And, in her defense, there’s literally an unlimited amount bedrooms in the Prideux castle. So she doesn’t consider it mooching, and also they are the ones mooching off her fantastic presence and sense of humour.
Her original goal, which was to find her own species of wolf, was a complete failure. She spent two years running through the rural wilderness of Canada with another werewolf clan, fighting and defending their territory from other werewolf clans that were moving in and trying to take over. When she found out she was pregnant, she knew she didn’t have much choice on where to go.
The wolf clan that she associated with was in no way a stable home. Raising her children in the supernatural equivalent of a biker-gang isn’t something she was interested in doing, no matter how much she enjoyed the no rules life style. At the end of the day there was only one option, and that was back to France.
Sookie had six children. Basically a liter.
All six of them were completely out of control. They currently had very little control over their transformations. One minute a happy four year old would end up turning into an angry tiny werewolf because he had to go to bed. It was, needless to say, and extreme headache.
The hardest part for Sookie though, wasn’t managing the wild demon-spawn-wolf children she had, it was watching her foul mouth in front of children.
Currently, all the children were in their wolf form dashing across the country side with Sookie not far behind. They had to do this almost every day; three hours of heavy physical activity like running or else they’d destroy the house. Whatever omnipotent being mixed the angst, teeth, and claws of a puppy with a young child, clearly had a maid to clean up the messes.
This time, though, they were going a little farther out. Sookie instinctively extended her sense and put her guard up a little higher--a life of living on edge and fighting will do that to you. Also, if the tendencies of a young child and a wolf mixed together are bad; it’d be hard to imagine the tendencies of a protective mother wolf with that of a human mother.
A fox dashed out and Sookie cringed.
All six children dashed after it, throwing caution to the wind. Sookie did as well, a steady jog, she wasn’t in her wolf form but she could still keep up. Her special species of werewolf letting her wolf powers transcend into her human form. As they approached the property line she began to try and calm the kids down but she knew it was no use. They weren’t going to stop until they get the fox.
Weird, She thought, That thing's fast as fuck. She focused a little harder and realized that it didn’t have a scent, or a heartbeat, or blood. Ariel must be playing a trick on us or something Even as she said it she knew it didn’t make sense. They crossed the property line, and the wards faded, and her sense could fully expand, and she could fully sense the trap they’d walked into. The fox stopped cold and Arya, her daughter, the fastest of all the kids and with a thick, red coat. was centimeters away from her jaws catching it in the throat.
In an instant Sookie switched gears and dashed forward. She lunged and caught Arya, somersaulting with her tucked in her arms. The fake fox exploded, sending shrapnel in all directions. She heard some of her children whimper as the metal shards stuck into them. Fortunately she had caught Arya, even with their healing abilities a blow like that to the head would have killed her.
Sookie roared, “Go! Run back home!” Arya stood petrified for a moment, before Sookie threw her in the direction she needed to go, fight or flight taking over, and Arya took off. Getting back into the protection of the wards as quickly as she had left. Fortunately, they had enough werewolf in them to sense danger and react accordingly--to some extent. Sookie took in her surroundings while she ran towards her other kids, she could smell several different scents, nothing familiar, and heard seven different sets of foot steps.
They were fast too.
Almost before she could get there, there was an armored man with a large, two handed sword--wielding it much more capably than any normal human should be able to. The sword came down in a quick arc to catch one of her retreating kids. Sookie’s bare fist punched the edge of the blade and the metal broke on her knuckles, snapping clean off and stopping his advance. She whipped her hand back, throwing blood on the property line, alerting the wards--and hopefully everyone else--to danger.
Three kids left She thought, all the others were back inside the wards.
The next men had ropes and chains and scooped up her kids easily. They weren’t just regular chains and nets, they all had some form of silver laced in them--ending any fight they had to try and escape. Silver completely nullifies any healing abilities a werewolf has and essentially immobilises them. To a grown adult it’s torture, but to a child it’s worse.
Sookie’s rage was palpable. Her hand began to transform and her fingernails elongated, in an instant she was over to them and her hand grabbed a man by the throat and crushed it, a satisfying crack and flow of blood ensuing. The next man charged her, dropping his silver laced chains and netting and reaching for his sidearm--an exquisite revolver. Sookie closed the distance in an instant and had her clawed hand through his chest and out the other side--ripping his heart to shreds.
Two more across the property line, Her heart started beating faster, and her thoughts became muffled into verbalizations, “Joshua. Where’s Joshua?” She scanned quickly and effectively and she saw him running towards the property line, relieved she began to as well.
Four arrows sped through the air towards Joshua. Sookie dashed forward, catching three and one digging deep into her thigh. She turned to see how Joshua was doing. He was so close. He had to be across the line now. She was devastated to see him in the hands of some strange man, unconscious. A knife to his throat.
She slowly reached down and ripped the arrow out of her leg. In the next few seconds of silence the bleeding slowed and almost stopped.
“Damn Sookie,” The man laughed, “We only got one. We were sure we could catch all of you with those guys. To bad I suppose.” The knife dug deeper.
“Wait!” Sookie yelled, “Don’t.” She was mad. Extremely so. “What do you--”
With a boom and clash of thunder Elizabeth was next to her; enchanted bow in hand, arrow nocked and ready to fly. Ariel a moment later. Most likely Willow would be hiding, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
“Damn, we weren’t fast enough.” The man said, “Listen Sookie, you really shouldn’t have pissed off our friends in Canada. Now we have to off you and all your filthy kids.”
Sookie didn’t respond. Instead she just shook with anger.
Elizabeth had never seen Sookie like this before. She was in a seemingly uncontrollable fit of rage. Fear was driving her emotions and sending her almost rabid. The most frustrating part was that she was completely conflicted, if she rushed him he would slice Joshua’s throat open and then by the time they handled him, Joshua would surely have bled out. Seeing her speechless from anxiety, seeing her eyes wide with terror, and seeing this wretched filth with his hands on Joshua, made Elizabeth mad irate.
Her enchanted bow quivered with power and sent surges of it throughout her arms, down her spine, fueling the already growing fire in her belly. She’d been practicing religiously with her magical weapon and getting to see some real world application was going to be fantastic. Ariel was standing to the left of Elizabeth, offset only a little. Elizabeth spoke to her in a careful and hushed tone, “When this starts I’m jumping back to get distance, about six hundred feet.” The electric bow line hissed with energy, as if anticipating what would happen next, “You won’t see it. Willow is in the shadows somewhere I beli--”
Fifteen arrows hissed through the air, cutting off Elizabeth. Ariel spoke fast and controlled in an indecipherable gibberish, the arrows stopped halfway, floating in the air. Through her peripheral vision, Ariel saw a brief flash of light--Elizabeth was gone, electricity coursing through her veins and charging her movements to almost untraceable speeds. Three of the goons came out of nowhere and rushed Ariel, one approaching her head on, and two others coming behind him in a V shape, most likely to flank her. She spoke something incoherent to normal ears--this time significantly louder--and the arrows that were frozen in place dashed forward as fast as if they were just shot out of the same bow and skewered all three men--five arrows striking each man direction in the back of the head.
She jumped to the side, towards Sookie and Ariel, who didn’t tend to show much emotion, was visibly shocked at to see that Sookie was still slumped over, silently watching her unconscious son. He was caught in an awkward transition halfway between wolf and man. She couldn’t move, her body physically refusing to move as the bastard held her son in iron grip, knife cutting into his throat and a small trickle of blood running down his neck.
The man holding Joshua whistled loudly,catching everyone’s attention. “A Namer! Good lord we haven’t seen one of your kind in generations, tens of generations.” The knife cut deeper into Joshua’s throat and he whimpered slightly, semiconscious. “You’re forgetting I’m in control, Bitch. And now here I am with a fuck load of dead men. Our requests weren’t terrible, either, Sookie if we could have had a moment to talk things out. Sad. Now I have to kill your kids, your friends, and drag you ba--”
Willow, as always, was a complete blur of motion. Her tight black leggings, black tank top, and black hair making her a complete blur of darkness that was all but invisible in the shadows of the trees around them. She was behind him, her one small hand digging deep into his thick tricep muscle, emanating a strange purple glow and the other angled upwards at the base of his skull--aimed at his brain stem--hand was completely sheathed in a cold, black aura.
“Thank god, our intel was correct, you’re here too.” He spoke, unphased by his seemingly imminent death, “Mommy and Daddy were really mad at you after--”
“Shut up.” Willow said, “You’re not in control anymore” Her eyes were distant, cold, “Who are you?” Her questions were simple, concise. She wasn’t one to mince words when fighting, she didn’t really care all that much about her opponent. As soon as she got answers they needed she would waste him and they’d begin a speedy retreat back into the safety of the Prideux castle where they could figure out what exactly is going on.
Seeing Sookie this off disturbed even Willow, one of the most callous of the group. Something was definitely off here about this man. During her Hiatus away Sookie became significantly stronger, stronger than her probably, and while Willow didn’t know a lot about wolves, she assumed that Sookie’s wolfish motherly instinct would have her ripping this man to shreds; but for some reason she was petrified.
The man laughed.
It became abundantly clear to Willow that nothing good was going to come out of this conversation. She was going to end it, quickly, she didn’t have time to torture the man as he deserved. Her hand was positioned in a spear roughly three inches from the base of his brain stem, in less than a second she could close the gap and end his life, then grab the boy, shake some sense into Sookie, and be on their way.
Even before she began to contract her muscles to begin the motion to jab her hand into his neck, she became completely enveloped in a sense of extreme vertigo. She couldn’t make sense of the world anymore, she stumbled over and fell to the ground--not from lack of muscle control or anything along those lines, but just from a complete confusion. Everything she told her body to do it did the opposite. Everything she perceived and heard, all her senses, were backwards to what was actually happening in the world.
When the equilibrium between the fluid in your ears and what your eyes physically portray aren’t in sync the human body can’t process what’s happening, causing an intense and disturbing motion sickness. She tried to recover and dashed backwards, which ended up being forwards and she completely collapsed, her legs doing the opposite. She laid on the ground, trying to make sense of things, hoping that the others weren’t experiencing the same effects.
Three seconds, She concentrated, I need to recover and move in three seconds, if everything is backwards this is but a simple hurdle I have to jump. She gagged and held down her vomit, Push motion sickness aside. You can fight while you're sick, you’ve fought while you’ve been poisoned worse than this before.
Whatever strange spell came over Willow, it actually ended up helping the situation as a whole.
Willow’s purple aura of power creates a complete simulation of pain and, since the man holding Joshua could see willows hand engulfing his left tricep--the arm holding Joshua--he didn’t realize that when Willow moved it would move her hand, thus beginning the effects of her ability. Her purple aura creates the illusion to the body of an injury that doesn’t exist, so it was as if the man had a complete severed tricep and a partially severed bicep--causing him to lose almost all control of left arm.
The arm holding Joshua.
The only thing stopping Sookie from smashing his face in.
The moment that Sookie’s bestial gaze saw him waver, like a wolf sensing the perfect moment to tackle its prey, Sookie had covered the distance in one massive leap--superman punching him square in the face. Her fist dug deep, smashing his nose straight back, flattening the bone and cartilage. Her fist dug deeper and deeper, snapping his head back and breaking his neck. He was dead before he hit the ground.
The next moment Sookie was in her wolf-form, flawless white, bigger than a horse and had her son by the nape of his neck. When his instincts sensed Sookie switching forms, and probably the danger of the whole situation, even though he was unconscious he transformed as well. Granted, he was not anywhere the size of Sookie. At the age of four, his wolf-form was merely the size of a small, sixty pound dog. Sookie had his unconscious form by the nape of his neck and in the next instant she had her four legs splayed over Willow, providing a shield while she got her bearings. Willow carefully got up and ungracefully--something not characteristic to her whatsoever--regained her footing. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face pale, she was swaying back and forth, her right arm grabbing a thick handful of Sookie’s fur for support.
The next few things happened very quickly, and it was impossible for Willow in her current state to follow them. Sharp and loud crackles of electricity boomed around them, sound following seconds after flashes. The forest was completely eviscerated--tree’s split in half, lit on fire, and huge craters in the ground. Elizabeth and Sookie were both seeings things she could not focus on, slowly she was regaining her senses, pushing the strange sickness in the back of her mind.
As clarity returned Willow read into a pretty disconcerting site. There was certainly a lot of something coming towards them, now what exactly that something was she couldn’t be to sure of. And also, whatever it was, there was a lot of it. A man shaped blob was running through the forest, as it got closer it’s features became more defined. It was a pinkish red, and it looked like a wax, partially melted, figure. Elizabeth’s arrows--which have an incredible destructive power, were simply passing through these things, then exploding into whatever was behind them. Leaving gaping holes in the creatures and then doing the brunt of their damage to the landscape behind them.
Willow concentrated when she spoke to Sookie, who was just as confused about the situation as she was, “I’m going to climb on top of you, I can’t run as is. And that thing out there isn’t what did this to me, there’s a lot more going on here than we’re aware of.”
The ground quivered and shook, separating in front of them and forming a gaping gash in the earth eight feet wide and ten feet deep. The brow of Ariel’s head had trickled sweat on it and she spoke to them, “Sookie what she said, Elizabeth and I will catch up to you two. Take care of your son. Elijah and Jinkama already have the rest back inside the castle by now.
Sookie growled her agreement and under the cover fire of Elizabeth they dashed back towards the Prideux property line--probably about fifteen miles away. As they got closer they could still here the pounding thunder of Elizabeth’s blows. Crossing the property line was a relieving feeling; as soon as they did so the protective wards completely enveloped them with a palpable feeling of safety and security. Willow’s symptoms completely disappeared--balance and proper motor function returning to her in an instant.
As they cleared through the forests bordering the property line and came upon the rolling hills and vineyards that were more iconic to the estate, Sookie picked up speed. The wind whistled by them and once Willow was completely sure she whatever curse was put on her had passed she jumped off Sookie and again was a blur--dashing forward faster than her, to the castle, providing an invisible and unnecessary escort. Just in case.
Sookie Burst through the doors now in human form, sweatpants and a hoody on thanks to Elizabeth’s handy-dandy-form changing charm. Joshua was in her hands, terrified but alive. He had his face burrowed into her shoulder and she tried to remain calm, for his sake, as she looked for her other children. She could sense they were all here--she could smell and hear them.
“There all in the west wing of the building, in the wine cellar. Elijah is with them.” Willow was next to Sookie now, walking down the stairs with her as she went towards the sounds of children. “Cern is on the roof, Jinkama is at the main entrance. I’m going to go to the back entrance to watch for Ariel and Elizabeth.” And at that Willow was gone, as silently as she appeared. It never ceased to amaze Sookie how she could evade every one of her sharp senses--even her sense of smell. Sookie came through the doors and tried to smile for her kids, but when she saw them all she wanted to do was cry. She had never felt as much terror as she did right then at that moment.
Elijah stood up, “I’m going outside, Sookie, stay here.” Elijah was barely wearing clothes. He had been jerked awake in bed, presumably. He had on a pair of basketball shorts and combat boots that were untied. His well muscled chest and arms completely exposed. He had his sword in hand and in an instant he gated away from her.
Cern was with Elijah when he appeared next to Jinkama. They were at the main entrance. Elijah spoke, anger in his voice, “They went south, we’re gonna track them down. Elizabeth and Ariel are already back as well.”
Jinkama smiled, “Damn right we are! It’s Bull shit that they saw all the fighting and we got none of it!”
Cern nodded and then snapped his head. Two figures walked towards them. “What the fuck?” He said, baffled, “How are they not incinerated by the wards.”
Elijah’s eyes widened, “They’re nobody we know.”
“Well then, they’re going to die,” in an instant a bow and an arrow materialized in his hands and Cern dashed forward, firing off arrows at the figures. Elijah in an instant was behind him his sword sending lances of emerald green energy all around them.
Worse yet, more figures approached from the west side of the estate. Nothing familiar to any of them. “How are they getting through the wards?” Jinkama cursed and dashed off.