I must have dozed off in his arms, because the next thing I knew he was calling my name, I slowly opened my eyes to see him dress himself. It must have been near dawn.
“I have to go.”
“The cubby…” Was all I got out in my tired state.
“I wish I could, believe me. But I need to get back and square away some things, before tonight.”
Before they would come for him that is what he really meant.
“Are you sure you’ll be alright, I mean how will I even know?”
He looked sombre then, as he buttoned up his black shirt and tucked it into his pants, I knew his jacket was downstairs somewhere.
“If something final were to happen, Pam would sense it she will tell you.”
“She better damn well not sense anything then.” I said pulling myself out of the bed, I reached for my robe and threw it on, apparently my snow making skills extended to a freezing house now too. Well, that or I was too busy to light the fires when we came in, and I was keeping warm in other ways.
I moved to hug him with no hesitation, I didn’t care if it made me seem like a weak girl, I was scared for him even if he was being Mr Calm about everything. He hugged me back tightly before placing a sweet kiss to my forehead.
“You remember everything we talked about?”
“Good, I’ll go, if by some twist of fate they let us off with light punishments, I should see you in a few days, if not…”
“Don’t say it, don’t even think it!”
“All I’m thinking is even the shortest of times with you was better than none at all.”
“That sounds to me like a man giving up.” I pouted then, folding my arms.
He just shook his head.
“No, I’m not giving up, why would I when I know there is you in the world, a you that doesn’t hate me anymore.”
I wanted to say it, I wanted to say that I loved him and that if he asked me now I would be his, but I couldn’t. Something in me stopped the words and then he was gone, he was gone and I was kicking myself. Nevertheless, I promised myself the next time I saw him I wouldn’t allow myself to hold back out of fear of getting hurt again. Next time I would confess all, even if my voice shook in doing so.
I didn’t sleep at all that night, I couldn’t, I was going over and over all the information he had told me, making sure I knew my place in what was to come. I hoped it worked, for all our sakes, for his most of all. The next morning I was understandably sluggish but thanks to the Redbull that was Eric’s blood I knew I should have felt like hell. I was met by Lafayette in town for some breakfast and a lot of talk, he looks as bad as I should have felt.
“Sooks, full fried breakfast and a side of fruit, you know ‘cause we healthy an shit.” He said as I sat down in the little café off Main Street, he had already ordered for us, and I was thankful because I was starving!
“Thanks how are you?”
He just raised his brow at me then, as if I needed to ask.
“Well let’s see, I’ve been dealing with the ghost of my dead honey, my crazy ass momma showing up at my place again – no one takes security seriously anymore, oh and my cousin and my only real family in the world is a fuckin’ vampire who won’t talk to me. All in all Sook, not that great.”
I sighed for him, I knew things were deep in the shitter as they stood, but I had to hold on to hope that they would get better. We talked on all the things happening with him and it made me glad to be out of my own head for a little while, when we got around to Tara, I told him of her new job and he seemed surprised.
“She’s just workin’ there, like it’s no big deal all a sudden? Are you serious? I thought she was all vampcidal and shit!”
“She was, but according to Eric she and Pam have come to some kind of peace, I guess.”
“In a week, are you kidding me?”
“She seemed okay when I stopped by the bar last night, she was up and around, serving drinks and she even talked to me, well, she didn’t throw me up against a wall or nothing, so to me that’s progress.”
He pouted with a contemplative look on his face.
“That bitch, least she could do is pick up the damn phone, with her vamp speed an all it wouldn’t take her a second to dial.”
“Maybe you should go see her? I think this is a huge deal for her still, what we decided without her consent, and I get it, I hope she’s doing better, and it seems like they’re taking care of her…”
He shrugged then, “What if that’s not what she wants, I mean if her new ‘family’ don’t allow it, what then.”
“I don’t think they’d be like that.”
“You tight with Northman again, in every sense of that statement?”
I rolled my eyes.
“Girl I can see it in you and don’t think I didn’t notice that flash car you parked around the corner.”
“See what exactly?!” I had flashes of us the night before; I certainly hoped he could not see THAT.
“The glow, your hair, your skin, it’s all Vidal-SaNorthman.”
“Actually, maybe don’t go see her, maybe call her? There’s some stuff about to go down soon, vamp stuff, and I think maybe you might wanna keep away?”
His eyes widened.
“Ah, hell, what now? Not more witches? Please not more witches.”
“Not witches, I swear.”
He breathed a sigh of relief at that.
“Fine, I’ll call but if her uppity ass doesn’t speak to me this time I may have to slap that bitch, even if she kills me.”
It was just after sunset, and I found myself waiting with baited breath as if something was going to happen to me, even though it was, Eric that was going to be taken by these other vampires to God knows where and having God knows what done to him.
Him and Bill.
I wondered if Bill would form an alliance in there to keep himself safe, it was the kind of thing I imagined he would do, I just hoped that he did not throw Eric under the stake-filled bus in the process. Loyalty really wasn’t Bill’s strong suit, the Queen, Russell, and his maker, and I all knew that too well. It was funny, mere weeks before I would have never thought such a thing, but it was as if I had dark glasses on for my whole life and since my return from Fairy, it has felt as if I slipped them off. Things were clearer to me now, not everything, but some things and I was beginning to understand more choices and more actions better every day.
I had made myself some dinner and sat down to watch a movie that was starting, mid-way through there was knock to the door, and my heart hoped for it to be Eric, even if common sense told me there was no way that was possible. Instead, it was Pam, closely followed by Tara, both of them in jeans and shirts, Tara’s was purple plaid, and Pam’s was black, she was dripping in gold jewellery whereas Tara was casual.
“Oh, hi. Hi.”
“Hi.” She all but snarled at me, Tara looked from her maker before she spoke.
“Sookie… invite us in, this is your home again, remember?”
“Oh, right, sorry. Pam, Tara, please won’t you come in?”
They both followed me through to the living room and I shut off my new TV so I wouldn’t be rude.
“I’m sure you know that Eric was … picked up this evening.” Pam said, looking around the room, anything other than focusing on me.
“I… Yes. I knew that.”
“Great, and so you know that he asked me to continue with your ‘training’. I have also returned your extremely small, extremely old little car per his request.”
“Right… Great, thank you.” I couldn’t really drive around in his fancy car, as cool as it was, it wasn’t me.
“Fine, so what am I now some test monkey for Tinkerbell gymnastic class?”
Tara smirked at her words, and then straightened her face quickly.
“Um, I guess, I mean I wouldn’t really hurt you, mostly I have to work on my powers of intent, so whatever I intend to happen, for you to feel, you feel.”
She quirked a brow at me in reply.
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to…”I trailed off.
“No, Eric asked me to do this and I’ll obey. What do we do?”
“Well, find a wide open space where no one is around and start target practice I guess.”
I had to admit, the idea of tossing Pam on her ass a few times was mighty appealing
“Alright, let’s get it over with.” She said and I turned to Tara then.
“Are you –“
“No, I’m going to call on Lafayette, we need to discuss a few… a lot of stuff.”
I nodded and fighting the urge to hug my best friend was just not something I could keep up. So at the risk of angering her, I did just that, I leaned over and hugged her. She didn’t hug back, and I didn’t expect her to, but still, she didn’t bite me, so that was progress I guess.
“I’m just real glad you’re here.” I spoke when I pulled back she just nodded.
Ten minutes later by car and Pam and I found an abandoned field a few miles outside of town, no one drove past there at night, it was farm land and used mostly during the day.
“Okay so what do we do?”
“Usually Eric would tell me to focus on an emotion and blast him, we’d been working on mostly negative ones up until now, I think I want to try other kinds, and maybe longer distance shooting. So run and I’ll try and blast you, basically.”
She sighed, but agreed and took her shoes off before we began.
“What? They were fucking expensive!”
Twenty something minutes later, and a dishevelled Pamela was one mighty pissed vampire. I had managed to tear a lot of skin this time; I ruined her ‘fucking Prada’ jacket, and managed to fry some of her hair. If she didn’t like me before, I was sure as hell she hated me now.
“You said something about non negative blasts; let’s try some of those please.” She asked almost nicely as she dusted herself off.
I shook out my hands, mostly to recharge – as if that helped, and mostly to keep myself warm. I really had messed with the weather, it was still snowing, not heavily, but it had laid overnight, and most of it was still hanging around. There had been freak weather warnings on the news all day, it had made me chuckle.
“Okay, what about this.”
I closed my eyes real tight and thought of Eric, and I, and all the naughty things we had gotten up to the night before. I was attempting to channel lust. My light blasted and it hit Pam, and then something weird happened. She lit up like usual, but instead of pain, this time she was moaning with unquestionable pleasure, if I wasn’t so sure I would say she was coming around to my powers quite nicely. .
“Oh my … fucking hell Stackhouse what was that.” She asked walking closer to me, and for a second I thought she was going to jump me, she was horny as hell, I could see it in her face as she stared at me.
“Oh, nothing, just trying something.”
I tried something else, this was my attempt at channelling fear, pain, and flight. I wanted Pam to go a fairly far distance this time, I wanted to see if I could do it in case I was ever in need of getting away, or getting someone away from me as quickly as possible.
Pam lit up again, and this time she went flying, literally, across the field and into the one next door.
It took something out of me that is for sure, and I felt suddenly drained, tired, and sleepy, but I did it. I made a mental note to keep that for only when necessary.
Pam zipped back to me, her face still healing at vamp speed.
“I think that’s enough for tonight, Pam. I don’t think your ‘fucking Prada’ can take much more.”
She glared, and if looks could kill.
“Fine.” She drawled. “You drive, I’ll run, I need to work off all this aggression and tingly pain before I pick Tara up.”
I nodded and picked up my jacket from the ground, happy to have it back and wrapped it around me quickly. I was thinking of home, my nice big warm bed, and then suddenly I heard Pam call my name. Something felt fuzzy.
Her eyes were wide.
“You… fucking flickered. Like a TV on the blink, you flickered!”
Bill and I were ‘escorted’ as predicted, to New Orleans where we were taken into custody officially. We were then brought to the main room, according to Nora, for questioning. It had taken two nights to get everything on the record, and then they lowered the boom on us both. It seemed that during Bill’s rein he had been monitored closely, no surprise there. What was surprising is that I was left alone, how I liked it, until the Sophie-Anne blood mess, that caught their attentions, and from then on in it was a spy game. They were able to tell me of my nightly dealings, how many hours I spent at my bar, who with, where I went, who I conversed with, and of course earning me a side-eye from Compton, who I then spent my nights with until dawn. Everything was trudged up including the mess with the witches, there had been a few cocky smirks from a couple of members on my ‘condition’ after the witch was through with me, but all it took was me reminding them of the harm she caused our kind and it put paid to any sarcasm. Thankfully, my training time with Sookie seemed to remain a mystery to them.
“You’ve been seen leaving the girl’s home, Northman, and yet you say there is nothing going on?”
“I never said that. I said she is just that, a girl, the idea that this backwoods waitress would be Fairy, is just insanity. A fairy living in Bon Temps? Please.” I chuckled.
“I agree, it is ridiculous,” Bill chimed in, but he looked shifty so they probably didn’t buy what we were selling.
The members before us were the Guardian, Roman Zimojic and his Chancellor’s that included Nora, Dieter Bran and Rosalyn Harris.
“Nan Flanagan before her rather untimely demise at your hands, Gentlemen, swore on her blood that this girl is special, that she showed serious signs of Fae. Russell too, was quite adamant that she was unusual that her scent was something other worldly, and her blood… it gave him the ability to day walk.” Nora began, keeping her eyes on the pages before her. We barely acknowledged each other within the walls; it was how it was meant to be to keep our personal relationship secret for all our sakes. If they thought for one second that I had someone on the inside, we would all be mush.
“No offense but Nan Flanagan had been in charge during one of the biggest cluster-fucks in our public history, and she would have said or done anything to cling onto her position here, we all know how power hungry she was… As for Russell, he had clearly gone mad before his imprisonment, a year in chains and buried underground, I wager he hasn’t found that string of sanity he might have had left.” I said wondering if they were believing me, for some reason I couldn’t get a handle on what they were thinking at all. “Not forgetting that Russell was singlehandedly responsible for unearthing the war between vampire’s and just about everyone else on this planet with his little TV stunt, are we all really in a position to take anything he has to say, seriously?” I continued this was the third time I had gone over this. We had been taken for questioning separately, silver was involved, and it was far from pleasant. Now it was the turn of all of them to hear the stories once again.
Such a bore, such a tiresome terrifying bore.
“Regardless,” Roman began, “This is the first such sighting of a potential in over six hundred years, and it can’t go unnoticed and ignored by us.”
“Bill, you were Sophie-Anne’s procurer, sent for this girl in particular…”
Shifty Bill looked shifty.
“Yes, she was under the same crazed impression that this girl was Fae, she was not. I have tasted her, she is just a girl.”
“What do you suggest, Roman that we bring the girl in to be sure?”
I was going to stake Nora for suggesting that, even though I knew it was where he was probably going with this mess anyway. Roman stood and began to pace.
“Is it wise, Guardian, to risk the Authorities exposure for such a girl?” Bill began, “Both Eric and I have had dealings with her, and she is not the best at keeping her mouth shut about important things. The last thing we need –“
“I will decided, Mr Compton, what we need or do not need, kindly keep your mouth shut.” Roman bellowed, his voice echoed across the large marble room. Bill just pouted in that stupid way he did sometimes, whatever the hell did Sookie see in him, I would never know.
We were locked back up while the decision was made, not that we even had to guess what they were deciding. Placed in the silver lined cell next to Bill wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences either, truth be told, I would have rather had the torture.
“So you’ve been with Sookie again, apparently.” He asked from the small bed that matched mine where he sat.
“Apparently,” I deadpanned.
“If you think that by manipulating her into becoming yours is going to work –“
“You mean like you manipulated her? Please don’t try the righteous act with me, Bill. You forget I know the real you.”
I was of course referring to my first encounter with him, it was during Pam’s human days, and he had devoured half of her working girls, it was never something she forgave him for, it played a huge part in her distain for him.
He simply rolled his eyes.
“A man can change, Eric.”
“Is that so… A man may, a vampire … not so much with the change, we are who we are when we are turned Bill, you know that you just have always failed to see the authentic version of yourself.”
“And what would that be?”
I looked at him then.
“A man who blames his short comings on everyone else, all the while trying to convince everyone – including himself – that you are noble and honourable, when the opposite is closer to the truth.”
“And you think that you are a better choice for Sookie, you yourself have tricked her with your blood remember.”
“I remember a few drops to see what she was really all about; call it intense curiosity on my part perhaps. Yours was a little more than a few drops, a few gallons perhaps.”
He puffed air in mocking, I was getting to him.
“I mean I may have taken advantage of the situation put in front of me, but hey, at least I never had to resort to arranging two assholes beat the living day lights out of her, so I could sweep in and be the hero, right Bill? You’d already been there, done that.”
“Seriously? You think I’m going to believe you, my sources are impeachable, Bill, stop trying.”
“You think she will love you? She will never love you, and even if she does eventually when you win her over with your toys and your money, she will never love you as she loved me. That love was pure.”
He really did not know her at all, did he.
“Oh on her part I have no doubt that that love was pure, you see that’s what she is, Bill. She is pure hearted, unlike you or even I, she holds her heart out for everyone to see, and it is pure as the driven snow. I do not doubt that she will never love me like that, you were her first everything in case you forgot. While you grew to love her, she was still your mission. This poor, virginal, backwoods gullible girl… it must have been like picking low hanging fruit for you.”
His jaw was so clenched I swore I would hear his teeth smash at any moment, they did not, instead Nora came to us.
I stood to talk with her; I knew we were being watched so we all had to be careful with what we said.
“Verdict?” I asked.
She sighed, opening the cells. We exited quietly.
“Undecided on what to do as suitable punishment for the Nan mess, however they are pushing for a temporary release. We dispatched vamps to … fetch Sookie Stackhouse some hours ago.”
Every bone in my body tensed. She wasn’t serious.
“Nora.” I said warning in my voice and in my face.
“It is what they wanted, I could not argue.”
If looks could kill my baby sister would be no more.
“However,” she motioned for us to follow her, we did so, even Bill managed to look worried – then again that could just be his regular constipated face, I wasn’t sure. “However, she managed to elude six vampire guards, how, we’re not sure. One moment she was in her home the next, gone, as if she vanished.”
“The vampires would have been unable to enter her home anyway, I don’t see –“
“Glamoured several wares to fetch like good little dogs.” Nora provided the unforeseen in my plan. We were led into a room where a short brunette in a rock band’s t-shirt stood with two devices in her hands.
This did not bode well.
“The gist of this, is you go, you find the girl and you bring her back here.”
“And if we do not?” Bill asked Nora.
“Then Roman hits a little button and you both go splat. I would seriously consider not letting it get to that point, if she is after all as you say just this human girl there should be no issue.” Nora stood behind me, I felt her slip something into my back pocket. It better have been her sanity because as things stood she was lying a little too well for my liking.
I just hoped Sookie understood her part in all this, if not, we were all dead.