AN: Thanks to all of you who decided to continue reading Eric/Sookie adventures.
"Family Business" is continuation of my other story - "Family Matters". Please, read FM first if you want to continue with this story. Otherwise catching up with the events in this and next chapter will be impossible.
Characters are slightly OOC.
Thanks to The Viking Trubie for fixing my mistakes.
DISCLAIMER: I DON'T OWN TRUE BLOOD OR SVM. MOST CHARACTERS WON'T BE MINE. THEY BELONG TO HBO AND CHARLAINE HARRIS
I growled at the fangbanger who approached me for the third time in the last hour. I was getting more and more irritated with every passing second and unfortunately there was no time tonight to drive to the warehouse to relieve my frustration.
I turned to Pam, who was sitting at the bar flirting with a short haired girl and nudged our bond. My progeny turned to me with an innocent expression, but our connection was pulsating with her satisfaction. She predicted that the article, in which had been published on a gossip website would turn my world upside down. Clearly, seeing a fearless, intimidating vampire in a Wal-Mart was making me less intimidating and more…accessible. Fangbangers were blunter and some even bugged me to have a chit-chat.
Fucking Nan Flanagan was making things even worse by announcing officially that I, Eric Northman, am a great supporter of the mainstreaming movement. The Spokesperson of the AVL was acting like a shark that smelled blood in the water. Since she has seen the article, my phone was ringing at least once a night. It took me a week to explain that my companion is unreachable and no, we can't appear in public. Nan Flanagan was a huge pain in the ass, deaf to my explanation that my Sookie is out of the reach. Few days ago she even dared to give an interview and mentioning my Sookie…by her name.
"His relationship with the human should not be a surprise for anyone," she informed with her fake smile. "Mr. Northman is very secretive. Both he and his partner would appreciate it if their lives are kept away from the public's eye."
Then why was she speaking about this?
My fury was only fueled when I learned that the girls behind the shelf, who took the pictures and sold them to that damn website, were in fact Desmond's nieces. Fucking Niall Brigant sent them and arranged the whole scene to create an appropriate image for him and Sookie. That was very a selfish and reckless move on his part, but under the layer of my anger I could see that this was a good strategic play. Now that Sookie's face was public, Sophie Ann couldn't just snatch her without any obstacles. Nan Flanagan was too deep into planning their public appearances to allow such a cluster-fuck to happen.
Sophie Ann was another issue. She did nothing to cause me further worry, but on the other hand there was Andre. One thing was obvious – Andre has been scheming. According to my spies in the court, Sophie Ann's progeny has been disappearing from time to time and no doubt, planning something shady. No one knew with whom and why, but every time I thought about it I felt a strange feeling in my chest. My instincts were warning me that it is something dangerous.
The king of fairies had something planned for Sophie as well, but whatever it was, it clearly needed more preparation. I didn't think much about this, but the dangerous glints in Niall's eyes when he was mentioning his surprise for the Queen of Louisiana, were giving me the creeps.
It has been 24 days since Sookie left the human realm. It meant Sookie has been gone for 240 days in her dimension, which is almost eight months. Every single one of these days was almost unbearable for me. It almost felt like time in this realm has been moving slowly just to anger me more.
In the three weeks passing, I learned more about fairies and fairy related issues. At first, I was shocked learning what powers they possess and eventually, it came to me that any kind of war with them would be devastating for vampires. Niall Brigant, in addition to his magic, has been connected with every important human organization, starting from the museums, through the pharmacy industry in the CIA.
The fairies have accomplished something that vampires haven't even tried…something that their diet and nocturnal routine made impossible: blending in the human community, cooperating with humans and treating them as equals. Though, such a rule applied only to half-fairies, and the full blood of their kind usually weren't connected with human reality. Things were really about to change soon.
Godric's friendship with the fairy king was strange, but unexpectedly I, myself got attached to another fae, other than Sookie. Preston Pardloe had a sharp mind, a set of honorable rules he followed and he wasn't irritating typically in the fairy way. It was obvious that selfishness and deceitful actions were second nature for his kind, but Sookie's guard was decent. He was the one who explained to me what Sookie was going through, what powers the fae poses, and what their limitations and weaknesses are. All this information left me worried that the longer my Sookie will be a fae, the less Sookie-like she will behave.
Every wave of frustration I felt in the passing days has been unleashed onto Drew Marshall and Liam Flood. Both gentlemen were stored in one of my hidey holes paying for their crimes. As suspected, Liam was getting crazier with every passing day, and neither the witches nor fairies were able to break the curse someone had put upon him.
Doctor Ludwig was working very hard to find another brownie healer in the human realm, but so far her searches were fruitless. She enigmatically mentioned someone, who would be mad enough to plan such a horrible experiment, but she left the rest of the information for herself. No one was brave enough to push her.
The Lycan, whom young Flood created, had been killed three days after discovering her. The woman was in too much agony and Ludwig declined conducting any kind of examinations on her, claiming that such an action would be against her ethics. Something that started as an investigation, meant to reveal a little pervert, in the end showed the supernatural community that there are still many things unknown to them. The mystery of whom and why sustained Liam with the financial support was remaining a mystery, but the presence of fae, both embryos and adult ones, at the crime scene were putting their kind into the mix.
Tonight there were a meeting called at the request of Nawoja. At first I was surprised she was willing to travel across the world for a meeting concerning the matter of fairies and werewolves, but her demon has been involved in the affair as well. She wasn't known for being careless and avoiding responsibilities. Including my personal dislike of her, I couldn't fight the satisfaction that the proud queen will be on my territory having to be humble. Myself, Niall, Godric, Jackson Herveaux (who, much to my displeasure, has been informed about the existence of fae kind), doctor Ludwig, Desmond Cataliades, the witch Octavia Faint and Queen Nawoja, were about to discuss the events from a few weeks back.
Niall wasn't hiding his happiness that Nawoja was the one to ask for the meeting. It was a great opportunity to ask about handing them over the water fae living in her territory. From all the places in the world a fae, the only one who was creating protection charms, chose her territory to hide. But again, Islen was a water fairy married with a human woman. It didn't put him exactly in the good graces of his clan and there is probably no better place to seek shelter than Nawoja's lands.
I glared at another fangbanger who took advantage of me being deep in my thoughts. The human had a notepad in his hand, no doubt with an intention to ask about the autograph. Thank to Odin, the fairies were able to fake Drew's suicide, giving me easy access to him. As I swore before – the killer from Bon Temps will never see the sunlight again, not after his intentions of hurting Sookie and Adele had been revealed. Tomorrow, there will be an opportunity to try some new torture techniques on him.
I checked my watch realizing it was time for me to take my leave. It didn't matter that in my opinion it was a waste of time. They were gathering together many times to discuss the Lycan issues and everything was clear. But of course, there was some ass kissing required tonight. I smiled thinking that it's Niall's turn to be the ass-kisser.
Yes, this night might be quite entertaining.
I nodded shortly to Pam, who pursed her lips and turned her back to me. Things were strained between us, my child sensing that I've been keep secrets from her. I've been trying to persuade the fairies and my maker to put some faith in Pam, but they all declined. Godric even threatened me with a maker's command if I wouldn't drop the subject. I once more looked at my child who felt wounded and betrayed. I would not have it for much longer.
Half an hour later I was sitting next to Jackson Herveaux and Desmond, watching with shock the greeting between Nawoja and Niall. The fairy King clearly was on his best behavior tonight. He once again kissed Nawoja's knuckles, Ludwig made a gagging noise and the demon lawyer looked at her sharply. The little doctor only shrugged sighing dramatically again.
It was a surprise seeing the affections between the fae and the vampire queen, but that would be an understatement. I was left with the impression they weren't particularly close, especially when Nawoja was refusing to give him Islen. Finally, after a few minutes of hugging, kissing each other's cheeks and making unnecessary small talk, everybody sat down. Niall nodded shortly to Desmond who stood up and cleared his throat.
"Thank you all for coming…" He stopped when the queen raised her small hand asking for a moment to speak. The lawyer moved uncomfortably, glanced at Niall, who nodded encouragingly. I looked at my maker in the corner of my eye, noticing how angry Godric is. I knew all too well he was holding a grudge against her. He has to. Godric could hate Nawoja or Nora. The choice was obvious.
"I apologize for the interruption, Desmond," Nawoja said with a gentle smile. It was as genuine and real as Pamela Anderson's boobs. "But I am the one, who should be thanking you. Let's be honest, it's my caprice, that which disturbed your evening." I mentally rolled my eyes and sent Godric my annoyance. My maker scolded me in our bond, but I was able to sense his amusement. Nawoja moved her green eyes over everybody. "We all are aware of the horrible things that have happened in this state a few weeks ago, I believe there is no need to repeat it. Why I asked for this meeting is that I found it to be a great opportunity to show us how interspecies interactions could look like."
Everyone glared at Niall accusingly – so far everyone was sure that our small gathering no one else knew of was about creating the Council. The idea was far too fresh and far too controversial to let it slip outside their small circle.
"The Ancient One asked me to travel here to inform you, King Niall, that the European vampires are finding such ideas favorable," she said smugly seeing everyone's outrage. Godric and I took a deep intake of breath hearing such a declaration.
"Excuse me," Octavia looked at Nawoja with suspiciousness visible on her face. "What about the King of Eastern Slavs? I heard that Russia isn't even into mainstreaming."
"As well as the Queen of Spain," added Godric grimly. Nawoja smiled broader.
"They shouldn't be a big concern. My husband, I and our families will take care of them. I assure you, they will understand that cooperation is the key to a peaceful future." Otherwise we will have their heads. "Maybe…" Nawoja looked straight at Godric, "It's the Vampire Authority and your monarchs who cause bigger problems."
I had to admit, bitterly, that there was some truth to her statement. The political structure of Europe and Asia were completely different than the one in the United States. Here, where the Authority has assigned a monarch to each state, everything was controlled by the Authority – a faceless figure that was pulling all the strings. I know one of the Chancellors pretty well and I understood very well how power hungry they could be.
In the Old World, vampires still believe in one rule – the strongest takes all. Their takeovers were brutal, fast and unexpected, but when a monarch wins the crown it's hard to win it back. I glanced at Nawoja who was sitting all relaxed and pleased with herself. She definitely had her back secured. "Please," she turned back to Cataliades interrupting my musings. "Now that I have added my input, by all means, continue."
"Very well." The demon stood up again clearing his throat. "Doctor Ludwig, would you like to tell us about your findings?" The brownie mumbled something, no doubt unpleasant, under her nose and stood up. Because of how short she was, it looked like she remained seated. I was laughing internally.
"The Lycan was put to sleep shortly after discovery. I was able to take all needed samples and tests that have been conducted. Results will be known soon. As for the fairy embryos, they all were miscarriages. Some of them were very old."
"Not all of them?" There was worry in Niall's voice. Ludwig shook her head.
"The newest was from over a year ago." Referring to the baby as a thing moved something in my chest. Though clearly not only in mine, because queen Nawoja growled softly. Ludwig glanced at her and sighed.
"The youngest," she corrected. "I would risk the statement that they were used to obtain some cells. My suspicious about using the hormones are probably correct, but even without further tests I can say it is all a lost cause."
"Then why did someone do it?" asked Octavia.
"Well," Ludwig turned to Niall "Maybe the fae will explain to us how fae think." The King glared at her but cleared his throat with the intention to explain. "If I were crazy and desperate, I would use it as an opportunity to gather some allies."
"To overthrow you," I told him quietly. Niall simply nodded.
"Indeed, but as Kit…" he stopped midsentence when Ludwig hissed. "Doctor Ludwig said to us before – it's a lost cause."
"But there is a chance it was used to lure someone to your enemy's side," added Nawoja calmly. "Do you happen to know a fae who would be tempted by miraculous medicine?" Niall's face didn't change, but I couldn't ignore the feeling that he knows something already.
"I am not aware, but my people are searching. Whoever is trying to play with me will be found and taught a lesson," The King's voice was smooth and even. There was no doubt in his tone, he was completely confident.
"And the so called scientist who worked on them?" Nawoja questioned, leaning in the chair, her eyes icily cold.
"I think its Igor," murmured Ludwig very quietly.
The Ancient vampiress' fangs ran down. Everyone froze in place, watching Nawoja wondering what her next move was. Her temper was well known. One second she was smiling and the next, she was sinking her fangs in your neck. She was vicious, unpredictable and was choosing her allies carefully. Her ability to pick the right battles put her where she is now – as the Queen of Western Slavs. Since the day she was made a vampire (I didn't know her real age), Nawoja has selected people, weres, vampires and fairies, who she had been keeping close. She was considered one of the strongest and oldest vampire in Europe, even older than Russell's Hungarian maker. I looked at Godric and my maker nodded his head gently moving slightly closer to Ludwig.
A few centuries ago, my bloodline learnt how peculiar Nawoja can be with her dealings with vampires and humans. One day, when we foolishly wandered over her territory, with newborn Nora in tow, my maker and I made a mistake of allowing Nora to go wild. She went wild on one of Nawoja's favorite humans unfortunately. Sensing my train of thought, she turned to me slowly and smiled gently.
"You look like I'm about to attack poor doctor Ludwig!" she exclaimed shaking her head. Everybody relaxed instantly. "You were there, sheriff Northman," she said in a chatty like way, winking at me. "Did you smell some brownies over there? And I don't mean cookies."
"The stench of death and lycan dimmed everything else, I'm afraid," I answered her simply.
"I am really ashamed that one of my demons has been used as a guard in this…hideous activity. I would have never allowed him to be sent to your area if I had known," Nawoja said unexpectedly, bowing to me and taking me completely by surprise. I glanced in Godric's direction and my maker sent me urgency in the bond. I hurriedly bowed back.
"We are all aware it was not your fault, your Majesty," I told her, mentally patting my back.
"Oh please!" She looked at everyone sitting at the table. "Of course it's my fault. My people sent him and my people are my responsibility. You all are leaders," Her gaze stopped at Niall "We are responsible for our people's doings."
"Maybe you're right," I said ignoring Godric's warning in our bond. Suddenly, I felt pretty bold and looked at Nawoja in a challenging way. "You fucked up by not checking who were renting your demons out, you," I looked at Herveaux. "fucked up because your pack has been letting Liam make lycans for many years. You, your majesty…" When I stopped at Niall, fairy king smiled at me with proud "fucked up because you haven't kept an eye on hostile fairies. And finally, I, fucked up because I allowed it to happen in my area." My little speech left everyone quiet.
"Damn, we are so fucked…" murmured Niall in a humorous way and Octavia gasped.
"Can't you be serious for a moment?" The witch scolded him, but he had nothing of this.
"We already know everything," Niall said waving his hand.
"Not exactly," told him Nawoja raising her eyebrows. "I want that brownie. He is mine," she looked at him with deadly glint in her eyes. I wasn't familiar with her and Igor's history, but the brownie was known for his experiments conducted on captives of every possible war. Whatever experiments he designed during the Second World War influenced all of supernatural society in the continent, especially those living on Nawoja's territory. For some reason the queen was taking it very personally. "Swear. Swear to me that if you find him he will be given to me."
"Of course," Niall told her. "I will swear as soon as you promise to give up Islen. As you can imagine," he raised an eyebrow. "We need his goddamn charms for Eric and Godric. You know," he leaned closer to her. "Eric and my great-granddaughter…You know…" Suddenly he made a few noises of squeaking matters and I closed my eyes. It wasn't the first time when Niall did it. He did it when we met with Octavia, with Desmond, and with old Herveaux.
Clearly, the fact that Sookie and I are in an intimate relationship was reason for the fairy king to be proud. He was bragging about it all the time. The room went quiet for a moment. Finally the silence was broken by Nawoja's chuckles.
"Oh! How adorable! Like Romeo and Juliet!" She turned to me wiggling her eyebrows. "You got it, Viking boy! And I will contact Islen. You should have told me sooner Eric is so close with your family!" she scolded Niall lightly. "But of course, someone else has to visit." Nawoja looked at me with a mischievous glint in her eyes. "You and your adorable maker," She winked at Godric and he glared back at her "are still banished from my territory." They were watching each other for a moment and finally Godric nodded.
She clasped her hands. "Niall, maybe your granddaughter will visit me! I'm so excited!" There was a huge smile on her face. "Your tracker got all information I had send, didn't he?" she frowned asking Niall, who nodded in confirmation.
"Unfortunately, one bank account is leading us to another… It can take a while."
"I can't wait for the results - I have to get back to my people. As you know I'm in the middle of negotiations with the King of Scandinavia. And, of course, I'm terrified Sophie Ann will learn of my visit." There was suddenly a panic on her face. "You know, this time I will just kill the bitch. And this Authority of yours can be such a pain the..." She rolled her eyes showing us all what she thinks about our ruling system. I had to agree with her that it was leaking on many levels.
"I'm grateful for your willingness to spend the time and the travel here to meet with us in person." The fairy king was on a roll tonight. Nawoja smiled at him when he kissed her hand gently.
"You don't discuss matters of such importance by phone."
Desmond waited patiently for their little show of affection to end and turned to Octavia.
"Mrs. Fant, have you made progress with Liam Flood?" The Witch sighs sadly.
"No, honestly, I have never crossed magic like that before. Fairies are helpless and even doctor Ludwig couldn't break it."
"If I may," Jackson Herveaux actually raised his hand like a child in school. Clearly, the werewolf was intimidated by the presence of all these powerful creatures. "I would like him being moved somewhere else. Torture," he glared at me, I made sure to keep my face expressionless. "is not helping and the fanger," Niall hissed in warning and the wolf jumped, a little startled. "Sheriff Northman," he reflected himself, "is taking too much pleasure in torturing him."
All eyes turned to me and I sat up straighter. "I understand that you don't want one of your weres being treated badly, but surely you understand he is a murderer. Liam was taking part in kidnapping and killing in total, twelve human women. Don't forget about the bodies we found buried behind the cabin." I waited for a moment to allow everyone take my statement in. "Yes, I am torturing him. Yes, I find it satisfying. Yes, I believe he truly deserve it."
Herveaux gritted his teeth and Niall raised his hands in a calming manner. "Either way Eric, we believe Sookie will be home soon. Maybe we should give the young werewolf a break? It will be easier for her to read his mind not clouded by a ghost of pain." Mentioning Sookie's soon arrival moved something inside me, but I snipped that bud fast. Niall has been telling such lies for over a week.
"Very well," I admitted. "Changing his location may be a good idea. Pack master, you will see to this. I would insist though, to have a vampire at night and fairy during the day to guard him."
"That's acceptable Sheriff," told the old wolf and Niall smiled broadly. I hated this, he was watching me like a proud parent would.
"Wonderful!" The fairy king was so excited he was barely sitting still. "It's all so moving, so touching seeing all of us here, speaking in a civil manner!" He looked at all of us with happiness. "That's the future!"
"I have to agree." Nawoja smiled as well, and I was getting worried they will be presenting another wave of coziness performed by her and Niall. Thankfully, they spared us.
"Well," Desmond looked at us. "Are there any questions?" All of us shook our heads and the lawyer actually sighs with happiness.
"Wonderful. I believe we will take our leave then," he once more looked at Niall for permission. The highest position was his by age and power. The fairy king nodded and smiled once more.
"Yes, thank you all for coming. I hope our next meeting will be under more pleasant circumstances."
I stand up waiting for my maker, but I noticed him standing in the corner and speaking with Nawoja. I gritted my teeth in anger listening to them, but not knowing what they were speaking about. I wasn't familiar with this language and their voices were very quiet, too quiet for even me, to hear.
Whatever Nawoja told him made our bond vibrate with worry. My maker looked at the queen and nodded his head shortly. Both of them looked in my direction and walked closer. I sent curiosity through our bond, but my maker shook his head very gently.
"Viking!" Now, when she was standing next to me, once again I was in wonder of how innocent she looked. Just like my Sookie. The Queen raised her head looking me right in the eyes. "Stay vigilant. There is always trouble where fairies are," she warned me ominously.
All I could do was nod. It was no secret that fairies were a trouble magnet. After bidding all of them good night, Nawoja left. The second she was outside Ludwig cursed putting her hand on her hips.
"Seriously? I had to reschedule all my patient's appointments, because of that bitch and she was here only a few minutes!"
"Calm down Kitty…" murmured Niall.
"Don't call me that. Not when he's around!" She pointed at me while I was grinning like a fool.
"Doctor Kitty, you are so irritable," I teased.
"Fuck you, you overgrown fucktard!" she spat at me walking outside with Desmond on her heels. Octavia was talking to Niall about charging our protection spell in two nights. So far that was the best shield my maker and I had against fairy magic. It was far from perfect but thankfully, when Nawoja stopped her delaying, the real charms will be given to us. After all we swore a blood oath. We fucking deserve them.
"What was that?" I asked Godric, referring to his conversation with Nawoja. My maker's gaze was slightly hooded when he was looking off in the distance.
"Preparations to create the Council are far more advanced than we suspected."
I waited for him to continue feeling a cold grip in my chest. "And?"
"Nawoja told me that there is no future for our Authority when the new order of things will be established." I knew what that meant. Nora.
"What would you do?"
"I have never released her. It's my right to call her back to my side. She has to follow."
"She will be furious with you…" I said slowly. Godric looked at me with sadness.
"She already hates me. She may despise me even but at least she will be alive." Niall walked to us slowly, a small smile on his lips.
"Don't linger," he warned my maker softly. "If Pythia sent Nawoja to us with such a message, then they will make their move soon."
"Did you know?" questioned Godric with barely contained anger.
"I was promised by the Ancient One that the vampires of the New World will be taken care of. I did not know about the details." All three of us stand there in strained silence for a moment when suddenly, I felt a jolt of new emotions in my bond. It was there, gentle, quiet, like a whisper. It was Sookie's presence. We've been separated long enough that our connection was fading, I could not tell what her emotions were but I knew she was here, in this realm and somewhere in Shreveport. I turned my head to Niall who was chuckling softly.
"Don't wait, son. I'm sure my granddaughter missed you horribly." That little sneaky, old…
"You knew she will be back tonight," I rather stated than asked. The old fae only shrugged.
"Go Eric," added my maker smiling gently.
"But Nora's matter…"
"Oh, for heaven's sake!" Niall raised his hand in the air dramatically. "He really thinks us to be some old grumpy pricks! We will deal with it!"
"Go!" the fairy and Godric said in unison when I opened my mouth to argue. The Fairy even dared to push me a little in the direction of the doors. I growled quietly but didn't fight him. I have been waiting for Sookie for over three weeks. Finally she was home and she deserved a nice welcome.
AN: I wanted to map out to main issues in the story. First, fairy villain. Next, how troublesome creating the council can be and how some chancellors will react. You know who I mean, right?
Next time – Sookie is back and chapter two will be more humorous.
Please, leave a review and let me know what you think.