I do not own any of the characters. They belong to Charlaine Harris. Except for a couple that I threw in there.
I'd had about as much as I could take and I collapsed onto Eric's chest.
"Wow." I said for about the tenth time that night.
"Yeah." He agreed, kissing my lips.
"Vampires really don't exaggerate about sex, huh?"
"Not half as much as humans think we do." He smiled, almost looking worn out. He looked ready to die for the day, but dawn was an hour or two away and I couldn't possibly relax right now. I had to find Freyda. The anger was fueling me and my anger feels so much more potent than it had when I was human. Not to mention that vampires do not get nearly enough credit for mainstreaming. It is so hard. I'm driven by the need to hunt, to kill. It is all so much more potent than I could've ever imagined. I've spent a lot of time reminding myself that I had asked for this. I wasn't ready to die and Eric only did what I asked. If it weren't for him, I'd be worm food right now. And yet, there was a part of me, that almost hated him as much as I loved him.
I didn't really know what I was existing for. It was new for me. As a telepath, I've heard lots of thoughts like these from humans, but I'd never felt them before now. I know it sounds pathetic, everyone from my human life was still alive, but I was mourning them already. Mourning my life, I suppose. They surely thought me dead. I'd been gone nine nights, Pam had called paramedics. They had to have shown up and found blood everywhere.
I chewed the inside of my lip. I have to go home. Soon. This Freyda hunt was a bit pointless at the moment. Nine nights and I bet my rug in front of the door is completely ruined. Can't let Jason sell my house or have a funeral, I suppose. I was scared, though. My brother is a werepanter and I'm a vampire. What if he doesn't accept me? Twoeys don't usually get along with deaders. I fought back hot, bloody tears. Gross! I sure hope Gran isn't looking down in disappointment.
You stope that, Sookie Stackhouse! I told myself. Gran had gotten on just fine with Bill, and she certainly wouldn't blame Jason for something that had been done to him. She didn't have a judgmental bone in her body. Now, I was not six feet under, I was here, in Shreveport, with my head on Eric Northman's chest. Who is now my maker. Wow what a crazy thought. My point remained, however. Which was that I need to be grateful. So, I'll suck it up and enjoy the moment.
"Sookie, my Lover, you do realize that I can feel you?" I listened to his voice rumble pleasantly from the inside of his chest. "I can tell when you are unhappy. You are having trouble adjusting. I hope you know that you don't have to pretend to be okay all the time, I know what you're going through. Every one of us has done it. Tell me."
I wanted to lash out at him, but he was right and he did know what I was going through. When Eric was turned, he was younger than I am and he had five children that he was forced to leave behind. Who better to open up to?
"I feel like my whole life is gone." I heard myself as if someone else were speaking. "Except for you, of course, but I feel like there's nothing left to go back to. Like my friends and family will shun me. Maybe not all of them, but definitely the twoeys." Honestly is the best policy.
"You worry that your brother wants nothing to do with you?"
"Yes. I'm worried my only family will be disgusted by me. And I'm angry that it came to this. I'm angry we haven't found Freyda. I'm angry that I can't feed and that I have these feelings." My eyes leaked. Ugh!
"You're angry with me?"
"I'm sorry. I'm trying so hard not to be. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful. Being here with you definitely beats the hell out of being out in the cemetery with my family, I wasn't ready for that, but..."
"You still feel robbed of your life. You were. You should feel that way. I am also glad that you are here with me." He ran his fingers down the length of my jaw. "I hold no ill will towards you for any of your feelings. They are all natural thoughts. Freyda murdered you, Sookie and believe me, I am beyond livid. I'm just having a little trouble getting there myself. I will do everything to avenge you, even if it's just tying her up and letting you have her, but it is hard to feel so violent. Especially when I have you here in my arms when I thought I was going to have to leave you in the ground."
"Wait." I said, propping myself up on an elbow to look down at him. "You do wanna kill her, right? Because it almost sounded like you wanna shake her hand or something." I wasn't angry, but I was definitely poised to be.
"No, I do not want to shake her fucking hand. Try to remember through the blood lust coursing within you, that she destroyed my life, as well. She also tried to take half of everything I own, she took me away from you and she keeps trying to boss me around."
I laughed at that last bit, feeling giddy again. I was positively tired of it.
"I know, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. But, Eric, how long am I going to feel so unstable? It's almost like being a teenager again. I hate not having any control over my emtions."
"It depends on the vampire." He shrugged.
"How long did it last for you?" I asked, curious.
"I don't remember very well my earliest of vampire days." He scrunched up his brow. "It was so long ago and things were so different then. Moving place to place makes it difficult to account for where I was at a particular time or for how long or what I did while I was there." He seemed lost in his jumble of memories for a moment and I said nothing while he stared into the past.
"I remember the feeling, the anger and the clarity of it all and my own uncertainty about everyone around me. I knew nothing any longer; I did not know myself or what I was capable of. I trusted only Ocella, though I soon learned what a mistake that was. I remember a girl..though I don't remember where she was...Europe? She was young and beautiful. I was infatuated with her. Ocella saw me looking at her one night at a social gathering and it angered him. He wanted me for himself in those days. I was not allowed to know anything but him... I found him raping her behind a tavern. When I tried to confront him, he used his power as my maker over me. He made me kill the girl and submit to him. After that night, I never trusted him again and I tried to devoid myself of all human emotions."
I stared at him, horrified all over again at Ocella and how low he was. "That's awful, Eric. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that."
"He made me the vampire that I am." He said practically.
"No, he made you a vampire and he taught you things, but you are responsible for who you become. And you've built a lot for yourself, Eric. The only thing he gave you was the title of king and even that he forced on you. Just like so many other things."
He sighed in frustration. "Come on, we have to go before dawn."
"Go?" I asked, confused. "Go where? Dawn is soon."
"Yes, but we have just enough time to get there." He said climbing out of bed and sadly, putting on clothes.
"Get where?" I asked feeling angry again. Grr!
"Bon Temps, of course."
When we pulled up to my house I almost felt my stomach drop. A ghost of an emotion I no longer felt. There was crime scene tape still up and I wasn't sure Jason had done anything with the place. I ripped down the tape, agitated as I approached. I remembered the blood gurgling in my mouth, the horrible ache in my chest, the cold look in her eyes as she snuffed me out without an ounce of remorse. I grabbed me hidden spare and when the door swung wide, the putrid smell assaulted my new heightened sense of smell. "Oh, God."
It looked like Jason or someone had begun cleaning, but it still smelled like death; decaying life. My life. If I were human, the offensive stench would have undoubtedly gagged me. I was momentarily thankful that I no longer had a regular stomach. Hot blood blurred my vision and reminded me of looking up at Eric while my blood turned my vision red then, as well. I stared at the stain on the floor where I had died.
Eric took my hand and I squeezed it, thankful that I wasn't alone. In any of it.
My vampire ears heard the tires on the gravel long before the vehicle came to a stop in the front, red and blue lights flashing.
"This is a crime scene, y'all need to clear out at once before I arrest you!" Andy Bellfluer shouted.
When I turned around, the shock knocked him off his feet and he landed on his backside with a thump.
"Holy Jesus fucking Christ! Sookie Stackhouse, is that you?!" He was whiter than me and I almost laughed at him.
"It's me, Andy."
"Do you have any idea how much trouble you're in?! The whole town, your brother thinks you're dead! We get a call that you're bleeding to death and when we get here there's no sign of you except a bunch of blood from a bunch of different people and two bullet casings! What the fuck happened?!"
"Well, Andy." I said, bracing myself for the world to see me for what I was. "I was bleeding to death. I got shot straight in the chest, and I died."
"Is this some kind of joke, Stackhouse? Cuz it ain't fucking funny."
"No, Andy. Not a joke." And I dropped fang.
His eyes grew wide in comprehension.
"Did you do this to her?! Did you fucking kill her, Fanger?!" He yelled at Eric, his hands on his weapons holster. I hoped Eric wouldn't kill him.
"No, Andy. I was murdered, but not by Eric. He only saved me. I didn't want to die."
He sighed. "Well, didn't you think to wait for help, Stupid?" I wasn't offended, because I wasn't the stupid one.
"Her help didn't make it in time." Eric said, coolly. "She died, right here in my arms and I was barely able to save her. She was so close to being completely gone. It was not easy to turn her. Even I am surprised at how well she came out." He smiled at me proudly.
"You make her sound like a cake rising in the oven." Andy chuckled.
At that, I had to smile and I looked out the corner of my eye to see Eric smiling as well.
"Well, Sometimes, Detective Bellfluer, when a vampire is turned at the last minute, they can wake up...wrong."
Andy straitened at being addressed as 'Detective' and hung his hands on his belt in an authoritative manner. "Wrong how?"
A cool voice answered before Eric could speak "Sometimes the vampire is simple or brain addled." Said Bill Compton, staring at me, wide eyed.
I knew what he meant. I had met a vampire like that before. You know him. His fans call him the King, but these days it's just Bubba. The vampires..Us. I corrected myself. We keep him hidden. He has one of the most recognizable faces in the world and it's always a PR nightmare whenever he gets seen. Mot to mention his affinity for cat blood. I love cats and the thought always makes me shudder.
"What did you do?" Bill was looking at me, but he wasn't asking me.
"What did I do?" Eric scoffed. "I did what I had to. Where were you?"
"Eric, let's not." He knew what I meant. And I knew he didn't care.
"No. I really want to know. I cannot wait to hear where you, her only neighbor was when she was being murdered in cold blood?" He was definitely angry.
"I had accepted our separate fates, but I would not have, if I had known that you were going to fail. You had one job, Bill! You were to watch over and protect Sookie at all times, with your life, if necessary. And I showed up in the nick of time to find her being eaten!"
"His job was what?" I asked loudly and Eric held up a finger for silence.
"Where were you?!" Eric shouted. "I accept that her being targeted was my fault, her death can even be laid at my feet, but I can't help but feel that it would have never come to this if you had just done your fucking job!" He didn't wait for Bill to answer. "Get out of my sight! Go home and stay there until I instruct you otherwise." Wow. I had never seen Eric ground anybody before and I laughed.
"I'm glad you're not dead, Sookie." Bill said politely and I smiled and gave a nod in thanks.
"Out!" Eric roared and I laughed again as Bill left.
"Could you maybe not laugh while I am belittling?" He asked me, but he looked amused, his face lingering closely to mine. It always seemed to these days and I didn't mind one single bit. I tried to look chargrined and I batted my lashes innocently.
"You're his boss?" Andy asked, clearly confused by the dramatic scene that had just played out before him.
"Unfortunately." Eric sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and closing his eyes.
"And just how the hell does that work?" Andy's voice had an interrogation tone to it.
"None of your business. Now, are you going to arrest Sookie for being in her own home?"
"Well, I don't wanna, but it is a crime scene...eh, what the hell? I don't have a vampire accomadating cell, anyway. I'm just glad you're not rotting in the woods somewhere or something."
"That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me. Thanks, Andy. Besides, I'll let you in on a little secret; all this crime scene tape in unnecessary. I know who killed me."
His eyes lit up. "Tell me."
"It was a vampire named Freyda and you will never find her."
He snorted. "And why is that?"
"Because I'm gonna find her first." I smiled wickedly.
He looked at me cautiously then and I realized he was afraid of me. That didn't feel too good. "I'm not gonna hurt you, Andy."
"Well, hell, I know that, Sookie." He smiled sheepishly. "Well, I guess we'd better call that thick headed brother of yours." He pulled out his phone and Eric came to my side and held me while my nerves jangled at Andy's every word.
I could hear Jason on the other end. "My sister is a fucking fanger?!"
My anger got the better of me and before Andy could blink, I'd snatched his phone from his hand and smashed it against the wall. Andy put his hand out in front of him.
"Sookie, back up." He said firmly. It reminded me of how Eric had spoken to Freyda when he wanted Pam back and that made me feel even worse.
"I'm so sorry." I mumbled, embarrassed and hurt.
"She doesn't mean any harm." Eric said agreeably. "Her emotions are really rattling around inside her right now. It's like that for every newborn. She's been so afraid that Jason would not accept her for who and what she is now. It's why we waited so long to come back. And I will be more than happy to replace your phone with the latest model."
I was already tired of him talking about me like I wasn't right there.
"I'm going to Merlotte's." I said, strolling out the door. As much as I shouldn't want to, I needed to see Sam. We'd been close for so many years. Things have been strained between us lately and I bet he was feeling something awful for leaving it on that note.
You see, Sam and I dated for a while. Maybe a couple months. It was nice. He was warm both physically and in demeanor, but we spent so long as friends that it felt odd. It felt like I was betraying our friendship. Not to mention his need to be alpha border collie. Through almost all the years I've known him, he has spent way too much time acting like my life coach or a parent or something. Not to mention that he was my boss on top of all that. He's always telling me that I shouldn't be doing things or that I should be doing them differently somehow. It was worse when we were a couple, but I owed him more than bloody rugs and no explanation.
Eric muttered something to Andy and followed after me to the car.
I felt anxiety and fear building up inside me as we pulled into the parking lot. A lot of that going around tonight. The place was fairly busy for a Thursday night and the parking lot spoke to that.
"Sookie, your brother was on his way to your house." Eric said gently.
I puffed up my chest. "I don't care. Why should I? I'm just some fanger." Blood made its gooey way down my cheeks. Eugh! Eric handed me a handkerchief and I dabbed and mopped the best I could to remove the horror show from my face. He turned me toward him and kissed me sweetly.
"Your brother will come around. He's just surprised, but he loves you. You're his only family. I know he isn't very smart, but he couldn't possibly be that dumb."
"Thank you." I kissed him and reminded myself once more to stop throwing a pity party. "Let's go." I took an unnecessary deep breath before stepping out of the Corvette.
Before the door had even swung shut behind us, the place had fallen silent and all eyes were on us. I locked eyes with Sam who was behind the bar, serving beer from the tap into a now overflowing mug. He looked terrible. He had very dark circles under his eyes, he looked like he hadn't shaved all week and don't even get me started on his hair.
Somebody in the back of the bar screamed. Maybe cuz I'm supposed to be dead? I turned and looked at the perpetrator who turned out to be Selah Pumphrey. Ugh! What was that bitch doing here? Though I got straight from her brain and every other brain in the room that they were all wondering the same thing about me. Good to know I still have my 'gift.'
"Really?" I asked Selah and she stared at me in silent horror, wide eyed and pale.
"Sookie!" Sam came around the bar to stand in front of me. He just looked at me for a long minute. He took a second to acknowledge Eric's presence and then invited us back to his office.
I sat across from him at his desk as we just stared at each other. I had no idea what to say and I was sure he didn't, either. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that he knew exactly what I was, though. He took a sharp breath as though he were going to speak and then closed his mouth again. Another sharp breath.
"What the hell happened?" He was exhausted and still grieving, even with me right in front of him; I could see it in his face. Maybe I should keep it simple.
"The Queen of Oklahoma killed me to spite Eric."
"Because he killed her progeny."
"Because she was draining me dry."
"To get Eric to cooperate."
"I'm sorry." He sighed, trying to breath steadily. I could tell by how ragged he sounded. Being a vampire is crazy. Not only could I hear his heart beat, but I could hear the blood pumping throughout his body. Cool, huh? Also, so creepy.
"Freyda was trying to control Eric's every move because apparently, she wanted a puppet with strings, not a partner. When Eric acted very much like Eric, she decided a show of force would be best and during their wedding reception of all things, she had her bff who was also her progeny slip out the back to come take care of me."
"Yes, luckily, Freyda and I had a spat at the reception and she tipped her hand. I showed up only just in time. When Freyda felt Serena meet the true death, she knew it was me and came looking for me." Eric chimed in. "Of course, she knew exactly where to look."
"Yeah, with a gun." I added.
"I knew it." Sam said.
"Sorry?" I asked.
"I always knew they would get you killed!" He spat angrily. Eric's nostrils flared.
"You know what?" Eric shot back.
"You were right. I hate it, but you were and I do not feel good about any of this."
"Oh, Please, this is exactly what you wanted!" Sam accused him.
"Not like this. I wanted Sookie to become a vampire by choice."
"You did this to her against her will?!"
"No! She asked me to!"
"And you listened!"
"It was her dying wish! What would you have me do?"
Sam left his mouth closed for a minute after that. "Can I have a moment with Sookie?"
"Ha! I do not need you trying to fill my progeny's mind with the same crap you always have. Your anti-vampire agenda. She has enough internal conflict about who she is already." I was touched by how much he cared about my feelings.
"Your progeny? Do you even hear yourself?" Sam snapped.
"Don't get in my way, Dog." Eric warned him with a dark tone.
"It's ok, Sam." I interrupted before he got himself in too deep. "Eric is my maker now. Eric, please, we need a minute."
He glared at me unhappily, but got up and left the room, nonetheless.
"Sam." I said once Eric was gone.
"Sookie, how could you be so stupid? Letting that freak turn you?" The judgement in his voice about left me speechless.
"Sam Merlotte, how dare you judge me. I did what I had to to survive. I didn't want to die, I wasn't ready to give all of this up." I held my hands up, motioning to the world around me. "I came back so soon, because I wanted to know if I still had friends."
He softened then and grew to look understanding.
"I'm sorry, Chérie." He said softly, taking my hand. Relief flooded through me. Good. We were gonna get past this. "Maybe we can still fix this."
Fix this? He meant kill me. I withdrew my hand quickly. "Excuse me?! Would you rather I were in the ground out by the house with my Gran and my parents?!"
He stared at me in silence. As though he wanted to dispute what I'd said, but couldn't. Human Sookie would've probably burst into tears, but vampire Sookie wanted to rip him to pieces.
"Well, I guess I have my answer about friends." I said in the coldest tone to ever leave my mouth. I wasn't sure that the voice was even my own, but I stood and left his office without another word.
This was exactly the type of behavior that had broken the camel's back in our relationship. Sam always 'knew best' for me and would take actions to 'better me' without my consent. Crazy behavior for a boyfriend, right? Well, this was before we were a couple. Can you imagine what it was like once we were an item? Not to say that I was guilt free in our break up, but I just want it to be clear that my not being able to get over Eric was not the fatal factor of our fling. I was done calling it a relationship. It was more like a joke. My one last stab at normal, and look how it had turned out. I scoffed to myself.
When I walked back into the bar area, I saw Eric talking to my best friend from high school, Tara DuRone who was with her husband, the beautiful yet simple JB. They each had a twin hoisted on a hip. When our eyes locked, I really did feel then like I might cry.
"Sookie, are you okay?" She asked. "You look like you're gonna cry."
"Are you okay?" She repeated and then smiled. "Come here and hug me. What's wrong with you?"
Red tears of relief filled my eyes as I wrapped my arms around her and the toddler. She trusted me. Not just enough to touch me, but enough to let me touch her child.
I hadn't expected this level of acceptance from her, of all people. Tara was once kidnapped and put through a harrowing ordeal at the hands of a merciless and crazed vampire. She had told me after that that she didn't want anything to do with vampires ever again and I hadn't blamed her one tiny bit. I still wouldn't, even if that had expanded to me. As of now, it didn't seem to.
"Hi." I smiled at the baby and touched her cheek. She returned it with a drooly grin.
When we pulled apart, Tara slapped at my arm.
"Next time you turn into a vampire, you had better call or text me so that I know you aren't dead dead."
"I promise." I smiled, overjoyed to be accepted by at least one human that I loved.
Just then, Jason walked in. My only living relative other than the boy, Hunter, who's existence is a secret. We looked at each other and Eric, who I had almost forgotten was there, motioned to an empty booth.
Once again, I found myself seated opposite someone who's approval I had never really needed before now, but desperately wanted.
"I went by your place." Jason said, looking a little shaky.
"Yeah." I said, testily. I didn't know if I was going to be able to hold my temper back. "I didn't really wanna stick around after I heard you call me a fanger."
"Oh, jeez, Sook. I'm sorry. I didn't mean you... That's just how I refer to them." He said sheepishly throwing his Thumb in Eric's direction. Eric raised a brow.
"Yes, but Jason, I am them." I threw a finger towards Eric as well, earning me the same look he'd given Jason.
"I know. I'm sorry, I won't do it again." My brother promised.
"Until you're mad." I mumbled and Jason actually smiled at me. Wow. This might go better than I thought it would.
"Well, Sook. What are your plans?" He asked. "I sure am glad you aren't dead. Or, well, you know what I mean, anyway." He waved a hand at me. "But where are you going to go from here?"
I smiled at him. "Well, I don't really know." I turned and looked at Sam who was back behind the bar and staring unhappily in our general direction. Sam didn't know I was with Eric and Eric didn't know I had briefly been with Sam. There was gonna need to be a conversation. "I'm not so sure I still have a job."
"What? Are you kidding me?" He actually looked angry on my behalf, which made my heart swell.
"Some people are having a rough time of it." I told him, proud of my maturity level. For some reason, I felt that being a vampire meant that I had to be mysterious and wise. Don't ask.
"It's alright. He can take all the time he needs. Look, Jason. I need to ask you for a favor."
"Sure, Sis. What's up?"
"Can you oversee a cleaner that I'm gonna send out to the house? I'll give you money, of course."
"Oh, cuz they're open during the day?"
"Maybe." I answered. "Good question, but I'm actually going to be gone for a little while."
"For how long?" He asked.
"I don't know." I told him honestly.
"Are you in some sort of trouble?"
I was glad that he hadn't asked what happened to me. I supposed eventually he would. For now, I didn't think honesty was the best policy.
"Not really." I lied smoothly. "I just want to go away with Eric for a while. Learn who Vampire Sookie is and what I want out of my afterlife."
"Yeah, no, I guess I can understand that." Said the half panther.
"Yeah, you of all people should be able to. And Jason, thank you so much for being so understanding about all of this. I love you, big brother."
He smiled. "I love you, too, sis. Go on ahead and go find yourself."
For once in his life, my brother was putting his best foot forward. I hugged him as we said our goodbyes. Hopefully not goodbye forever. No. I told myself. Freyda would not kill me twice.
We crashed in Eric's old cubby at my house for the day. After sunset the next night, I packed a bag and off we went, giving my house one last look since I didn't know how long I would be gone. About halfway through the peaceful drive back to Shreveport Eric approached me with a thought.
"You know what you told your brother, Lover?"
"About going away for a spiritual journey?" I asked.
"Yes. What if after we take care of Freyda we really did go somewhere? Just the two of us."
"Like where?" I tilted my head.
"Maybe Rome. Many people feel a sort of connection to God in Rome. Maybe you would, too. Or perhaps Tibet, if it's a spiritual journey you are looking for. Or an island. Somewhere tropical. I will make love to you on sandy beaches with the bluest waters under a full moon." He eyed me seductively.
"Ooh. Keep talking." I said, intrigued.
"Have you ever swam at midnight?"
"No." I said getting really excited at the prospect. Hold on, Sookie. I told myself.
"Well, we've got to get Freyda first." I told him practically.
"Of course." He agreed. "And then we can go somewhere and renew our bond." He entwined his fingers through mine and kissed the back of my hand.
"Eric?" My thoughts went back to the way Sam had looked at me in the bar.
"There's some things I wanted to talk to you about. From when you were gone and you aren't going to like all of it."
"What's on your mind?" He looked at me, meaningfully.
"I sort of...dated Sam Merlotte." I waited silently after getting it out and didn't make eye contact.
"I see." He replied evenly. "And were you dating when I came back? Does he think he has a vampire for a girlfriend?" He asked me evenly.
"Oh. No, we broke up a while back. I just wanted you to know why there was so much tension between him and I."
"How long was I gone before you started dating him?" He gave me a long side glance.
"Eric Northman, that is none of your business."
"Well, as your maker, I could always make you." He said, playfully.
"Why? Why would you do that?" I asked. The thought had always freaked me out. Someone having complete control over you? No, thanks.
"I hope you know that I won't do that to you. Like Ocella did to me. I won't use my power over you as your maker to force you to kill or rape or anything else that you don't want to do. I know the helplessness of it and I will not subject you to that, Lover. However, it might be fun in the bedroom." He winked and I imagined it on the drive back to Shreveport. Maybe it could be fun.
Eric parked the sleek red Corvette in the garage and we entered through the door leading to the tiny kitchen. A lot of well to do vamps had homes built without a kitchen. I mean, we don't really need them. A refrigerator and a microwave for our True Blood will get us by. Eric used to keep a few things here for me, though. There was almost always coffee. I smiled to myself. He really is sweeter than I used to give him credit for.
"Pam." I called, setting my bag on the counter. Eric entered behind me with the other. She appeared before us in a flash, wide eyed and crazy.
"I found her."
"Where is she?" I asked, good mood vanished. It was time for work. Well, revenge, but you gotta work for it.
"Come." She waved a hand at us to follow her to the computer desk. We locked eyes with each other before following her lead. We both peeked over her shoulders at some sort of map program I had never seen before as she typed away.
"What's that?" Asked Eric, pointing to a pinging red dot.
"That's Freyda." Pam rolled her eyes at him.
"Okay." I said. "When exactly did you plant a tracking device on her?"
"I didn't have to." She smiled cleverly. "She's been carrying one around voluntarily for some time now."
"Her cellphone." Eric said and received a nod of confirmation from Pam. "Of course." He grabbed her head and kissed the top of it.
"Wait, how did you get access to this?" I asked.
She shrugged. "I glamoured a couple people and fucked a third."
"you fucked someone for this?" I asked dubiously and pointed to the monitor.
"Hey, don't you judge me. I did this for you, little sister, for which you will owe me until the end of time." I gulped at the very real possibility of it.
"Was it a man or a woman?" I asked.
"A man." She replied.
"I'm sorry." I put a hand on her shoulder.
"It's okay, he likes to use his tongue." She winked at me.
"Okay, and on that note, I am gonna go change before we go after the red dot." I sure hoped we were more successful than cats are at catching the red dot. The computer binged loudly.
"Wait. She's moving." Eric said.
"Pam typed something into the computer and it zoomed in on the map.
"Yes." She agreed. " straight towards Fangtasia."
"She's in town?" I gasped. "That must mean that she thinks I'm dead and you two are okay." I told Eric and we smiled at each other mischievously.
"That certainly gives us the element of surprise." He replied. "Change quickly. Into something more practical." He eyed my trademark shorts and tank top. I nodded in agreement.
When we pulled into the Fangtasia employee parking area, I just knew that the vehicle next to us belonged to my lover's current wife.
"Holy shit!" I practically yelled.
"What?" Pam asked, agitated from the small back seat.
"I'm the other woman." Shame burned my cheeks. I wasn't blushing, of course. That wasn't possible, but I felt as though I'd abandoned all of my morals. There were circumstances, I defended myself. Did the circumstances really matter? My morals at that moment where saying no.
"So? I've been the other woman tons of times." Pam stated very matter of factly.
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" I asked incredulously.
She only shrugged. "Eh. Take it how you want."
"She did kill you." Eric said, apparently the only one actually on my side. "And you won't be for long." He gave me a dark smile.
"Yes, yes. Very good. Let me out of this tiny seat!" I couldn't get out of the car quick enough and Pam practically ran me over.
"Claustrophobic, much?" I asked her.
"Yes. Ever since I first woke up in a coffin."
"You always wake up in a coffin." I pointed out.
"So you can see my problem?" She asked and I rolled my eyes.
We entered through the employee door and proceeded past Eric's office and the bathrooms into the bar area. Just like any good bar, there was music blaring and there were a couple dozen over sexed bodies thrusting against one another on the dance floor. The whole scene assaulted my senses in a way I had never known. If you think raging hormones smell bad when you're alive, then you've got another thing coming. The whole bar reeked! Not to mention the brightness of the lights and the music was so loud I thought my eardrums would bleed.
It didn't take long to find Freyda. She was where no one should be. Perched on Eric's throne, hands clasped, staring out at the bar goers with a happy smile on her face. Her smiled widened when she saw Eric. Then she saw me and her expression fell. Eric glared at her.
"Fangtasia is closing at this time." He said in a booming voice. The music cut off curtesy or a nearby waitress. Varying degrees of disappointment could be heard spreading through the bar. Eric beckoned the same waitress to stand at the exit.
"I apologize for the inconvenience." Eric continued in his friendliest business like tone. "Please, see Tina on your way out. She will be handing out complimentary drink coupons good for your next visit." He smiled pleasantly, but the crowd stared back rather than dispersed.
"He said get out!" Pam yelled at them and that really lit a fire under their asses. "You, too." She told the staff. "Drop everything and go home. Now." They didn't need telling twice.
"I killed you." Freyda squinted at me, finger raised with an amused expression playing on her lips.
"Yeah, you did." I felt my fangs extend and my body began to shake with rage. "I'm here to return the favor."
"You turned her?!" Freyda shrieked at Eric.
"Here's one thing I can't figure out." He said waving his index finger in the air. He lazily reached out an arm to stop me from charging her. "If you only married me to kill me and absorb my assets, then why would you need me under your thumb? Why be jealous of Sookie?"
"Kill you?" She laughed coyly. "Why would I want to kill you? You're so yummy." She bit at the air playfully eliciting my first ever growl. It felt weird but powerful.
"To absorb his assets." Pam rolled her eyes and sounded inpatient.
"Oh, right. Yeah, no, I was gonna, but like I said, you're so yummy, so I changed my mind. I figured I could make you fall in love with me and we could have a few good years before I 'absorb your assets'." She made air quotes with her fingers. I could see why she and Serena had been close. Freyda had the same chipper attitude and she was clearly insane. Not to mention annoying. Ugh!
"By then, I could play your death off as some sort of assassination or a tragic accident perhaps. I haven't decided which." She put a perfectly manicured finger to her pursed lips thoughtfully. "Then I fall under no scrutiny and receive condolences as the heartbroken widow." She made a pouty face and batted her perfect lashes.
Oh, she's good! You almost have to admire her kind of crazy. Instead I scoffed. "Oh, I am so gonna kill you!" I told her. I'd killed for a lot less and that was human Sookie.
"Oh, please." She laughed at my face. "I am so much stronger than you, Newbie. Get a grip."
"Not if I hold you down for her." Eric added nonchalantly. Vampires get stronger as they age, making older vamps stronger than the younger ones. So Pam could beat me and Freyda could beat Pam, but Eric could beat Freyda. Blah blah. The smile slid right off her smug face. Like spaghetti off a plate.
"You wouldn't." She said, less amused now. Eric raised his brows as if to say 'try me.'
"You'll get caught." She stared to sound worried as the three of us advanced on her and she rose to her feet, backing behind the throne.
"Maybe, maybe not." Pam shrugged innocently.
"Someone definity needs to kill you." I told her callously. "Hey, what do you know, I vote for me."
"Hello, yes, Authorities?" Eric said to his hand, the pretend telephone. "Call the Ancient Pythoness right away. My wife is missing, I can't seem to get in touch with her body guards. I fear for her safety." He smiled at Freyda malevolently.
"Ohh, that's good." I said, Pam and I laughing.
"Please." She said when I grabbed her hands roughly behind her back and secured them with a zip tie. "Ow." She protested.
"Would it have made a difference if I had said please?" I whispered in her ear. Her silence was my answer. "I didn't think so. Move it!" I shoved her toward the stairs leading down.
"Where are you taking me?" She sounded panicked now.
"Congratulations." Pam told her. "You've won yourself a free visit to the dark and dank Fangtasia dungeon!"
"No!" She tried twisting out of my grip and I bent her wrist. She screamed at me. "Ah! You broke my wrist!"
"You shot me! It'll heal." I forced her down into the blackness. One step at a time.
"Don't move." Pam warned Freyda as I sat her down and pulled on some gloves.
"What are those for?" She asked, horrified. We didin't answer.
Once my gloves were on, I pulled out the silver chains.
"No, please! Eric, stop this, please! You have to stop." She screamed as I started wrapping them around her. I wrinkled my nose as the smell of her burning flesh assaulted my nostrils.
"We can still forget about all of this! I'm still your wife, Eric. Let's just go on vacation and I won't ever tell anyone that you murdered my progeny!" She begged for all she was worth.
"And you murdered mine." He told matter of factly.
"No, I didn't! Pam is fine!"
"Ah, yes, she is. I was not refering to Pam, though. Sookie is also my progeny now and you most definitely did murder her. She was also my second wife until you came around. She is also the first time I have fallen in love in a thousand years! The first time since I was human." He leaned in very close and his intense sapphire eyes bore into her dark submissive ones. "And you saw fit to kill her. You speak rather avengingly of your precious Serena for the one responsible for her death. Why is she dead? Oh, yes, you sent her after Sookie because of your limitless greed." She hung her head in what I assumed was shame. "You don't deserve mercy and I have none to give you."
I continued wrapping the chains, securing her wrists. "No, you can't do this! I'm a Queen!" She shrieked at the silver with every touch. When I finished we all stood back and admired my work. It was almost serene.
"I have actually been wondering something, as well." I said to our captive.
"Why I killed you?" She asked looking uncomfortable. Good.
"No, I get that." I waved my hand to dismiss her comment. "I was obviously a threat. Or at lease, I am now." Eric's arm snaked around my waist. "How did you end up making arrangements with Ocella? How did all of this happen?" I asked her, but she only glared at me.
"My Lover is giving you one final opportuntiy to tell your story. Explain." Eric ordered her.
"Well, when you put it that way." She said solemnly. "Okay." She rolled her eyes. "That. Ocella and I actually met by happenstance at a "social gathering". These gatherings where vampires can meet up and talk over a real meal are rapidly becoming harder and harder to find. Mainstreaming may be a new era, but it is also killing off many of our customs. Anyhoo, we ate a couple people together and got to talking. Our conversation was soon oriented around our kids. I had met Alexi, of course, but then he told me how how they don't make vampires like me anymore and how he wished his eldest progeny would be with someone more like me." She smiled. Twisted. How everything she said was so parallel to normal.
"I inquired about who his eldest was and you can imagine my surprise when he threw down the name 'Eric Northman'! Eric Northman and a Romonav! What a prestigious blood line, am I right? Wow! He went on to say that Eric was wasting time being bonded to a worthless human and what a disappointment it was."
I tried to not be too offended by what she was saying. After all, it had come from Appius Livius, whom I had despised and he had reciprocated the feeling.
Freyda continued her story. "So, naturally, I jumped at the opprtunity to snatch up a single Eric Northman and make Ocella just a bit wealthier." She smiled off in the distance nostalgically.
"Yeah! Only he wasn't single! He was married to me!" I yelled at her. Eric stared at me in amazement. You see, I wasn't so quick to claim the title of his 'wife' when I actually could claim it. Something I've secretly regretted ever since. Maybe if I hadn't gone out of my way to show how much I wasn't his, then maybe he would've felt more loved. I mean, what if he felt unwanted? What if that's why he didn't fight harder? Maybe he never would've left. Maybe I hadn't cherished him enough. These are the thoughts that kept me awake at night when I was alive.
When a telepath like me has a shot at true love, she shouldn't squander it. It's so rare for normal people and it's next to unthought of where I was concerned. I'm confident those thoughts were damaging to my relationship with Sam. I mean, have you ever seen anyone get over Eric? Cuz, I haven't.
Freyda shrugged at me. "And I'd do it again."
"Okay! That's it!" I looked around until I found somethingg sharp. Why is there an ax down here? Do I really want to know? I shrugged and lifted the tool turned weapon.
I stopped abruptly when we heard doors slamming upstairs and the four of us stared at the ceiling above us.
"Oh, Dear Husband, you got in touch with my body guards after all!" Freyda smiled at Eric brightly.
The three of us passed panicked glances between us. "Fuck!" Came from Pam. She wasn't wrong.
"Andy! Keir! I'm downstairs!" Freyda shouted.
"Andy and Keir?" I chuckled despite myself and our serious situation, but they just sounded like idiots.
They came charging down the stairs to assess the situation and grew rather confused when they saw Freyda chained while Eric wandered around of his own free will. Their expressions held stupidity in them and I only laughed harder, earning me stares from all around.
"I'm sorry." I told Eric and Pam. "But I mean, come on! It's like the beginning of a bad joke!"
The taller one was meatier and simple looking. Like he'd drank away every brain cell he ever had when he was alive. The shorter one was skinny and didn't look to be much smarter, but he carried himself with a sense of misplaced self-importance. I didn't know which moron belonged to which dumb name.
"Don't just stand there! Get them, you Morons!" Freyda yelled at them, but they only continued to stare and I began snickering again.
"I almost feel bad that Serena is dead! Is this really all you have left to work with now?" Freyda glared at me as her thick headed cronieds finally attempted to charge Eric, but they quickly halted.
"If I may." Eric's held up finger stopped them in their tracks. "I can make you both very rich." He said enticingly. They both looked at him in awe. Freyda scoffed and their eyes switched to her.
"I am wealthier than he is and I will pay you handsomely."
"Yes, true." Eric's words recaptured their gazes once again. "But, soon she will be dead and I will have both of our incomes. I will make you rich rich." Their mouths fell open and he signaled Pam and I to make a move as he engaged Freyda in childish banter while her joke of a royal guard stood and watched.
I mouthed my intentions to Pam and I handed her the other end of the ax and we both bent the wooden handle until it gave a sharp snapping noise. All heads whipped around to us.
"Oopsie." I chuckled clumsily and held my hands up as if to say 'oh, well.'
"Now!" Pam yelled and we both lunged forward, sinking our stakes into the unsuspecting chests of Keir and Andy.
"You stupid fucking cunt!" The thicker one yelled at me as he met the true death. I doubled over with laughter and everyone stared at me. Freyda's mouth was wide open and that made me laugh harder. Apparently anger and sex and depression were not the only feelings that were multiplied as a new vampire. I felt as though I'd done nothing but emote since Eric turned me. Which I was suddenly no longer angry about. Something about that laughing fit felt so healing that I hung onto it as long as I could while they all looked on in confusion. I felt my heart let go of the anger towards Eric. My friend, my Lover, my Maker and I thought my chest would burst.
After a couple minutes Eric and Pam both started chuckling, too. "Is something funny, Lover?" He asked, but I was laughing too hard to answer, but it was all suddenly funny. Why had I been so afraid to be turned? Why had I been carrying to much hate? Why did I give a single fuck what Sam Merlotte thought of me? I would long past out live him now. I started feeling stupid and I wrapped it up.
Once I'd chuckled it out, I opened my eyes wide and told Eric. "Yeah, okay, I'm the stupid one!" I laughed again and this time he joined me. I suddenly wanted out of the basement. I wanted to go somewhere quiet with Eric and not share him with the rest of the world for a very long time. I wanted to show him once and for all that I was so proud to be his and that I was his and that he was mine...but we still had Freyda to deal with. I was so tired of giving her my energy.
"Go ahead, Sookie." Eric beckoned me forward to kill the pathetic and chained Vampire.
"Nah, you go ahead." I pressed the makeshift stake into his hand. "There's been enough bad blood. I don't need revenge." The truth of my words rang in my head once I'd said them out loud and I felt a sense of clarity wash through me; a sense of peace. Eric's confusion wrinkled his brow adorably. It wasn't something I saw often and I locked it into my memory.
"Why not?" He asked simply.
"If I killed her, it would mean that I hate my life and what I've become, wouldn't it? I loved my old life and I'm going to miss it, but look what I have now. What my life is gonna be. I still have Jason and Tara and her family and Pam...and I have you back now. I'm gonna be okay." He bent down and kissed me gently making my head swim. I was overjoyed that he still made me feel that way. That the butterflies didn't die with my human body. "My whole future is waiting for me and I can't wait to see what it holds. So, you kill the bitch, Eric. I wanna watch."
He smiled and handed me back the broken ax handle as he stalked forward and Freyda begged all the while
"That's kind of beautiful, Sookie." Pam said.
"Thanks." I smiled.
Freyda screamed a blood curdling scream when Eric tore her throat out in a bloody spray, right up until he ripped her head off. He tossed it and it rolled to the edge of the room with red sluggishly staining the concrete floor.
"Have I told you how glad I am that you're one of us?" Pam asked me. "I've always wanted a sister."
Eric joined us, his face drenched in blood. "No, you havent." He countered as he wiped some blood off the corner of his mouth with his thumb. He placed it in my mouth for me to taste and I sucked his thumb greedliy, still disgusted with my own blood lust. I guess I still had a ways to go for self acceptance. He smiled down at me, clearly aroused.
"No, I haven't." Pam laughed in agreement. "But, if I have to have a sister, I'm glad it's you."
"Thank you, I feel very welcome." I replied.
Eric leaned in to kiss me and I returned it with vigor. Soon there would be questions. A Queen is dead, a new vampire has been turned without permission (me) and nobody was running the state of Oklahoma. I moaned into Eric's mouth and lost my train of thought. I guess those are questions for another night.