I woke up feeling hazy, there was dry mud and crisp, dead grass under my finger anils. I opened my eyes a little, grateful for the black sky and the small amount of light the moon gave out. I felt like I had a hangover with no memory of how I had come to be here or why. I stood up and looked over the horizon.
In front of me spanned a huge labyrinth with decaying brick walls. There were blue lights dotted all around the walls and a tall foreboding castle at the very centre. Where was I?
I stood up and turned around, ready to assess the situation, except there was a tall man standing behind me. He was breathtakingly handsome with pale skin and blonde hair that was slicked back. He wore nothing but black; black pants, black shoes and a black shirt with a few buttons undone to reveal a smooth hard chest. The contrast made him glow and he looked like a god, a sex god.
"You're him aren't you?" The words were out of my mouth before I even realised. "You're the Vampire King." He smirked at my words enjoying the fear and reverence in them. "I want to go home."
"We have a deal Sookie, what's said is said."
"I don't know what deal we made." He completely ignored this and walked close to me.
"You have thirteen hours to reach my castle beyond the Vampire City." he whispered in my ear; his breath cold on my cheek sent shivers down my spine and warmth sparked in my stomach.
I looked over the expanse of walls that stretched into the distance. "I can't, don't you understand that I can't?" What had I done to end up in this situation?
"Time is short Sookie." He stepped back and faded into the darkness behind him, I could tell he was completely gone.
Looking down at myself I thanked my lucky stars I was wearing my Merlotte's uniform; a white t-shirt with the bar logo, green shorts and white sneakers. I put my hands into my apron pocket and found my notepad with a pen. It was simple and all I had, so it would have to do.
"Come on feet." With that I left the small hill, with its long dead trees, and walked down to the outlining wall of the labyrinth. I walked in the light of the moon and the stars; the sky above me was clear and the night was warm and still.
After a short time I came across another figure; his back was facing me and he stood before a still pond, watching whatever creatures swam about or thinking to himself.
From what I could see, he had dark brown hair and wore a simple grey shirt with black pants. It appeared the dress code for the labyrinth was smart casual; I gave myself a once over and felt inadequately dressed.
"Excuse me?" I must have caught him off guard, not easy thing to do to a vampire. He stiffened and turned.
"I do apologise. I-" His pleasant attitude faded as he caught sight of me.
"Oh. It's you." His southern drawl had turned sour and he began to walk away, wanting nothing to do with me.
I frowned at the rude welcome and my voice took on a sour tone to match his. "Excuse me, but do I know you?"
"No you do not. But I know you Sookie Stackhouse, the telepathic barmaid." He had stopped walking away and turned to face me. He seemed to resent me and spoke with a slightly mocking tone. "I have been following you for the past few months, observing you."
"What? Why?" I could remember who I was, what I did, and what I could do but how I got here eluded me. I had never seen this man before and the thought of being followed scared me.
"It seems King Northman would like a telepath in his service. I was to make sure you were the real deal and bring you back here, but it looks like Eric has made that move before me." In an instant, he was before me, holding my arms and looking me fiercely in the eyes. "How did you get here Sookie? You shouldn't be here, it's too dangerous."
"I don't know how I got here but the Vampire King says I have to make it to his castle in thirteen hours. He says we have a deal." I felt his hands tighten before he let go and walked away from me. When he turned I could see the anger in his eyes as he started shouting at me.
"How could you make a deal with him Sookie, he's dangerous. What could he possibly offer you that would make you want to bargain with him? You stupid girl, he doesn't play fair!"
"I don't know what happened, I just woke up here. Now I have thirteen hours to get to that castle." I pointed to the spire in the far distance. "Now you can either shut up and help me or shut up and get out of my way because it seems I don't have a choice in the matter. I have to solve the labyrinth."
He stopped and thought for a moment before walking to a crank that was connected to stone cogs. He began to turn it with ease and a heavy looking stone slab was dragged to the side revealing the entrance to the labyrinth.
"Thank you." I felt bad for shouting at him now, so I smiled. He looked grim, but gave me a weak smile in return.
"You're really going in there aren't you?" He stood next to me looking through the entryway.
"Yes. I'm afraid I have to." I started walking in but he caught my wrist.
"Sookie, don't take anything for granted in there and don't trust Eric."
"Oh believe me. I won't."
"I'm Bill Compton... by the way." He smiled at me in a sad manner.
"Well thanks for everything Bill." I walked in and before I could turn to say goodbye, the stone slab had slammed back into place, making me jump.
I looked around and saw no turns, just a straight never ending path lit by torches with blue flames mounted in brackets on the stone walls.
Left or right? Right or left?
I started walking to the right. No turns. Nothing coming up ahead from what I could see. How much time did I have left? I started to jog and then broke out into a run; by the time I stopped for breath, I had still seen no sign of any turns.
"This isn't a labyrinth. There are no turns, or corners, or anything! It just goes on and on!" I shouted this up to the sky cursing the Vampire King and his stupid 'labyrinth'.
I screamed and spun around. An ethereally beautiful woman stood there, but she wasn't a vampire; her skin didn't glow and she wasn't pale like they were. She laughed; it was a sweet light one that made me smile brightly at her.
"Finished screaming at the sky Sookie?"
"Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea! You scared the living daylight out of me!" My hand was on my heart and I could feel it still beating pretty fast.
"Sorry about that. I'm Claudine." She smiled that brilliant smile at me and I couldn't help but forgive her instantly.
"Do you know the way through this labyrinth?"
"Sort of, but I can't help you Sookie."
I didn't know how to take this, disappointed seemed like the right way to go. "Oh... right."
"Oh Sookie, don't be disheartened! I would if I could, but if I get too close to the vampires in there I will die." She knew my question before I even asked it. "I'm a fairy. Vampires love fairy blood, and are on it like bee's on honey. I'd be drained on sight if they can't restrain themselves right. I can show you an opening, but then you're on your own from there. But be careful Sookie, there are a lot of dangerous vampires in there that will bleed you dry faster than you can think." She pulled something out of what seemed like nowhere, grabbed my hand and wrapped my fingers around it. "Keep this safe Sookie, it's silver. Vampires don't like silver, so if one gets too close you just put that on him and run." I looked in my hand to see a silver necklace with a Celtic intricate knot
"Thank you." I placed the necklace over my head and tucked it under my t-shirt so it couldn't be seen.
"Oh don't thank me Sookie. You just owe me your first born." Her face was serious but then she burst out laughing. "Oh the look on your face! I'm sorry I couldn't help it." She took a deep breath and wiped a tear from her eye. "Well let's get you moving." She gestured to the wall behind us.
"It's a wall..."
"Try walking through it." She said this like a patient mother pointing out the obvious to her child.
I tentatively put my hand out, expecting to meet cold wall put instead it was like the wall had never been there and I could finally see the next path I could take.
"Don't take anything for granted Sookie." I turned to ask which way I should go when I found that Claudine had disappeared.
I shrugged and continued on, taking the right path, which was hopefully not the wrong one.
"In twelve hours and seventeen minutes, she will be mine."
A/N: Thanks s meadows for being an amazing beta. I don't own the Labyrinth or SVM. The link to the necklace is in my profile. Celtic designs are too crazy to describe.