One would think that I would have trouble falling asleep after that ordeal. On the contrary. I fell into deep sleep as soon as my head met the pillow.
The sun woke me up the next morning and my head was pounding as if I had been drinking heavily the night before. Distant nightmares screamed in the back of my head, but I couldn`t remember what I had been dreaming of. Vaguely, I felt it was a dream about Sam. My nightmares often were, sadly enough.
The Dream Gods, or whoever made up peoples` dreams, should have given me nice dreams about Sam. Dreams of love and happiness, maybe even the odd sex dream. But no, my dreams of Sam almost always ended up as nightmares. Go figure. I was glad to be awake and out of bed, even if my body needed a few more hours of sleep.
This morning was a morning for fresh air and bread right out of the oven. Not my oven, but the oven of my local baker. I got dressed, put on my jacket, my hat and my mittens and went out to get my bicycle.
Going by bicycle wouldn`t get me the bread as fast as if I had taken my car, but I felt that I needed a bike ride more than I needed instant bread.
I liked riding my bike. My car was just a means of transportation, but my bike was something more. It had been my grandmother`s, but I`m sure I would have loved it even if it hadn`t been. It was an old model, heavy to pedal uphill and fast going down. Not that Falster had that many hills.
One of the few hills was right outside my door – going up. That hill would probably add five years to my life because of the great cardiovascular workout it gave me. Or it might kill me from a heart attack. The heart attack didn`t strike this time and I reached my baker in no time.
My bicycle had soul. That`s the only way I can explain it. It also had a basket for my shopping. Which is where I put the bread I had bought. I also bought some extra bottles of blood for Erik, just to be on the safe side, and some orange juice and butter for me. There was nothing better than lukewarm bread with a heavy layer of butter – and a glass of orange juice.
My mood was much lighter going home and I`m sure I had a smile on my face when I almost ran into a couple of weres at the end of the hill down to my farm. As I said, my bike was fast downhill.
The weres were bent over their motorbikes. I looked at the license plates and recognized the white D in the yellow stars on the blue background. Deutchland, Deutchland über alles.
All cars are supposed to carry a sign with the initials of the country it`s registered in. In some countries, as in Germany, it was on the license plate. Germany had a big fat D for Deutchland – Denmark had to settle for DK since the D was taken.
So these weres were German, which was kind of odd. Nykøbing, Marielyst and the rest of the island of Falster were invaded by German tourists every summer. The long beaches and cheap summerhouses were like magnets to the German population. But only in the summer, though. We rarely saw any tourists here after September, and none after October.
These weres couldn`t be passing through here since my farm was on a dead end road. They could have been visiting some of my neighbors, so I figured I would take a peek into their brains to make sure.
Were brains are hard to read and German were brains are even worse. These brains sent a lot of unreadable signals and words, but none of it sounded too friendly. And I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard “eric northman eric northman eric northman”. This was no social call.
Better take the bull by the horns, I thought, and asked: “Brauchen Sie Hilfe?” – “Do you need help?” That would, after all, be the normal thing to ask if you run into people, who look like they are in trouble.
They glanced at me and at each other and then asked me if I knew a Sookie Stakhus. I grew cold inside, but kept my smile in place.
“Ja, ich kenne sie, aber sie ist in Kopenhagen. Ich glaube sie ist zurück nächste Woche” – “Yes, I know her, but she`s in Copenhagen. I think she`ll be back next week.” I hoped they believed me.
My German may not be the perfect, but they understood what I was saying. Never mind that my German teacher would be rotating in his grave.
These were had been trying to make it look like they had problems with their motorbikes, but my question seemed to work magic, because the engines suddenly started and the weres were off.
I hopped back on my bike and pedaled as fast as I could over to my nearest neighbor. I couldn`t go back to my farm. I wouldn`t want the weres to see that I was in fact Sookie Stakhus, just in case they were standing somewhere with a pair of binoculars looking for movements around my farm.
In my neighbor`s yard, I picked up my cell phone and looked for a number on my phone-register. I called it and waited. The leader of the local were pack would know what to do. I had acquired a “friend of the pack” status some years ago from services I had done, services that had saved a few were lives and helped the pack-leader into his current position. I hoped he would also help me as a friend. He and I go way back. From even before the weres came out of the doghouse, so to speak.
“Axel,” he answered. He was a man of action, not words.
“Hi Axel, Sookie here. ” Before he started making pleasantries, I said, “Look, I`m in a bit of trouble and it concerns weres. Some German biker weres were here looking for someone staying in my place. And they knew my name as well. I`m not really comfortable having them around and their brains didn`t exactly send out the most comforting signals.”
Axel was one of few who knew about my telepathy. He had also been one of my reasons for not telling everyone about it. He had used it a little too often to get ahead in his world. Still, I counted him as a friend and I knew he wouldn`t seriously break my trust.
“So I was wondering if you knew more about them and why they are here. I`m sorry to be bothering you with my problems, but I am a bit worried and I also figured you would want to know if foreign weres were intruding on your turf.”
He went quiet on the other end of the line. After a few moments he said: “OK Sookie, I`ll be over as fast as possible. I`m working in Rødby right now, so it might take an hour.” I sighed in relief and mentally patted myself on my shoulder for having called Axel.
My neighbor was surprised to see me when I rang her doorbell, but we always keep an open door where I live, and she seemed pleased that I had brought fresh bread.
We ate and talked until I was close to overstaying my welcome. She had things to do and her brain was sending me a list of all the things I was keeping her from. And I had to be home before Alex came.
I went back to my farm using the little path linking my neighbor`s stables to my garden. I looked around and saw no one. Figuring I was safe, I stuck my key in the lock and was just about to open the door when I was knocked down by a severe kick in the knees.
“Wo ist er?” someone shouted. “Where is he?” The German weres were back and I hadn`t even heard them coming.
They kicked me in my stomach and back, they kicked me all over my legs and even in my face. I felt my nose break and I can tell you that the sound of a nose breaking, is terrifying, especially when it`s you own. They kept at it with their kicks and shouts. Again the “Wo ist er? Wo ist er?” I had always been fond of the German language, but I hated it right now.
Suddenly they stopped and I heard a familiar voice shout “What the hell are you doing?” I didn`t exactly see what was going on, because my eyes seemed to be glued in closed position, but I welcomed the fact that the boots had stopped kicking me. I also welcomed the punches I could hear Axel throw. I had seen Axel in fights before and knew that he was not someone you wanted have a serious disagreement with. Apparently the German were realized what they were up against.
I heard motorbikes driving off and Axel came over to me. “Oh honey. I`m so sorry I didn`t get here sooner”. He lifted me up and carried me carefully into my house and laid me on my couch. I was in pain, but apart from my nose, I didn`t think anything was broken or severely damaged.
“Let me take you to the hospital,” Axel offered. Hospital was probably where I should have been, at least for a check-up, but I just didn`t like the smell there. “I`ll take a shower first and see how bad it is,” I said, hoping that a shower would magically fix all my damages.
Axel stayed for another hour, but had to get back to work. He didn`t leave before he had given me a thorough check up. He also got a very thorough description of my assailants. When he was satisfied with both my mental and physical health, he told me to call him if I needed anything.
“And I`ll make a call to the German packleaders and ask them what the hell is going on here. I`ll start in one end and I`m not going to stop until someone gives me an answer.” He was mad and that was actually comforting.