The residents of Bon Temps are rocked by the news that Rene Lenier, a.k.a. Drew Marshall, killed Maudette Pickens and Dawn Green. Upon going to the home that Arlene had shared with Rene, the Bon Temps Police Department found other evidence linking him to the murders of dozens of women around the state of Louisiana. The discovery of this evidence forced the Louisiana State Police to intervene in the investigation. The state police held a press conference discussing the facts of the case and stating that it was through the heroism of the Bon Temps Police Department, particularly Detective Bellefleur, that these heinous crimes were at long last over.
Of course, the residents of Bon Temps rolled their eyes at this. Everyone knew it was due to the Stackhouse family that Rene/Drew was no longer a threat to women. Word spread like wildfire through the community about Rene/Drew calling the farmhouse, demanding Sookie exchange herself for Arlene and the kids. The gossips talked about how Fintan, Jason, and Sookie planned the ambush of the killer, and surprisingly it was Jason that suggested calling the Bon Temps Police Department so that they would be at both the Compton and Stackhouse properties in case something went wrong.
The community, spearheaded by Maxine Fortenberry, rallied together to aid Arlene and her kids. People brought food over to the house while she recovered from the injuries she had suffered at the hands of Rene/Drew. The churches in Bon Temps started up a collection for her to help with medical bills and other costs while she was out of work. Fortunately, Rene had done nothing to the children. He had sedated them while they slept, so they had no recollection of what had happened.
Sookie’s own superiors at The Authority were pleased the murderer was no longer a problem. They were even more pleased that it had been the human law enforcement that had ended the killer. Nan Flanagan was capitalizing on the notoriety of the case to go on several national news programs to call for ratification of the Vampire Rights Amendment (VRA), as well as push for legislation that would make actions against vampires or vampire supporters hate crimes.
Through it all, Sookie heard nothing from Eric. It had been several days since they parted, and she missed him. A flower arrangement arrived the day after Eric had left with a get well soon card that signed from her friends at Fangtasia. Pam had also called to let her know that the two vampires searching for Rene/Drew had met their True Death. Sookie felt extremely guilty that anyone died trying to help her.
But what bothered Sookie the most in all of this was that she still not heard from Godric. The day of the attack by Rene/Drew she had honestly expected Godric to show up at the Stackhouse property, at the very least call. But there was nothing. In all of their time together, she couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been able to get in touch with him. When she called his cell phone, the message now stated that his voicemail was full. Her texts and emails went unanswered. Sookie had tried contacting Isabel, but she was also not answering. Sookie was frustrated by the entire situation. In truth, she was starting to panic.
The sound of God Blessed Texas coming from Sookie’s cell phone broke Sookie out of her thoughts. She hurriedly answered the phone, for it was not very often when the King of Texas called her.
“Good evening Your Majesty,” Sookie says respectfully.
“Godric has gone missing,” Stan Davis says without preamble. Sookie’s heart drops to her feet, and she can’t breathe. Stan continues speaking, oblivious to the turmoil his words caused. “My plane is at the Shreveport airport. You need to be on it tonight.” Stan hangs up without saying anything else.
Sookie stands with the phone at her ear for several minutes. She is shocked. How could Godric have gone missing? He was always so careful with his safety.
Sookie quickly dials another number on her phone. It rings a few times before her brother picks up. “What’s up Sook?”
“I need you to come with me tonight. Godric has gone missing and I need to go to Dallas,” Sookie says hurriedly as she lifts her suitcase on her bed. She unzips it and begins throwing items in it, not really paying any attention to what she is taking with her.
“I’m on my way,” he says immediately. “What do I need to bring?”
“We’ll be meeting with the King of Texas, so you need a suit and tie. We can change on the plane. You might also want to bring that briefcase I gave you,” Sookie says distractedly.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes Sook. We’ll find him I promise.”
Sookie zips up her suitcase and hurries down the stairs. Fintan is waiting at the bottom of the stairs for her.
“I’ll go with you,” he offers.
Sookie shakes her head no. “You need to stay here with Gran.” Since that day in the cemetery, Gran had aged overnight. Her body looks frail where she once had been full of life. She tires easily and she can’t seem to focus.
Fintan looks torn. On one hand, he understands Sookie’s concerns about Adele. He can sense that her time in this realm is rapidly decreasing. He has loved Adele for almost sixty years; he doesn’t want to lose her. On the other hand, he owes Godric. What had started as a blood debt all those years ago turned to a mutual friendship between the two supernatural beings. Godric is family, and family sticks together.
Sookie, sensing Fintan’s dilemma, gives him a hug. “I will call you if I need you. I promise.”
“Be careful Princess,” Fintan says as he wraps her tightly in his arms.
The sound of tires on the driveway alerts the two that Jason is there. Sookie runs out of the house with her bag and hops in Jason’s truck. He waves at his grandfather and the two siblings take off for Shreveport.
The journey from Bon Temps to Dallas is a silent one between Sookie and Jason. Sookie can’t help but remember the first time that she had made this trip with Godric. She had drowned in her emotions then, and he had been her anchor. He kept her safe. Sookie worries that she will be too late to keep Godric safe this time.
Flashback to 21-year old Sookie
Sookie is waiting for Godric in his office; it is one of the evenings that he attended to vampire business. His office is protected by witches so that no one other than himself, Sookie, or Isabel can enter. Tonight, Godric asked her to come with him because he is finalizing a business deal to build a new hotel in the Dallas area. The hotel is going to be entirely vampire-friendly although it will serve all walks of life. Godric and his lawyers had reviewed the proposals several times and could find nothing wrong. However, Godric had a feeling that something was “off” about the proposal.
Godric is in the conference room with the other investors. There are five investors total, three vampires and two Weres. One of the vampires brought their “pet” with them for the evening. The pet is sitting on the couch, looking bored with the entire procedure. The five businessmen are signing the contracts the lawyers passed back and forth. Once all the contracts are signed, the lawyers bow towards the occupants of the room and left. The Weres also stood up, nod their heads in respect, and leave the room. That leaves the vampires remaining in the conference room. One of the vampires suggests that they all celebrate with a drink. He gestures for his pet to come forward. The pet is a beautiful Latino man with smooth tan skin, curly thick black hair, and velvety brown eyes. He is wearing black dress pants and a red button down shirt unbuttoned halfway down his chest. The man lowers himself to his knees in front of his master, and offers his neck. The vampire licks along the man’s neck before biting, and draws a mouthful of blood before offering his pet to the others in the room. As Godric is moving to the donor, Sookie hears something from the donor’s thoughts that makes her skin crawl.
Sookie screams Godric’s name, and he vamps in the office with his fangs down. “What is it Little One?”
“The donor has Hep-D,” she says quietly. However, the two other vampires hear what she said, and they quickly grab the donor that is screaming at her. The donor calls her a filthy bitch before the vampire that did not drink snaps his neck. The donor’s body falls to the ground with a sickening thud. Godric instructs the infected vampire to report to the lower level of the compound. The office complex where Godric conducts vampire business has an underground hospital wing for vampires recovering from injuries and Hep-D. The infected vampire will stay there while the virus works its way out of his system. The other vampire is to dispose of the body.
Godric pulls Sookie into his arms and places a kiss on her forehead before hugging her tightly. “Thank you Little One.”
Sookie nods in his arms. “His former lover, Jerry, was the one to infect him. Jerry had a fondness for partying with vampires, and ultimately left him for a vampire.” Sookie feels sorry for the dead donor, but at the same time, she is glad Godric is safe.
“Did you learn anything else?” Godric asks pulling back from her.
She nods. “One of the Weres intends to over invoice for the materials they will be using and he intends to pocket the extra money. He has a deal worked out with a supplier.”
Godric laughs without humor. “What would I ever do without you Little One?”
End of flashback
The airplane touches down at the Dallas airport. As Sookie and Jason deplane, they find a limousine waiting for them in the hanger. The limousine driver is waiting next to the car, pacing nervously. Sookie does not recognize the limo driver. She dips into his thoughts to make sure everything is ok.
Shit, there aren’t supposed to be two of them! They told me that only a woman was on the plane.
Sookie places a hand on Jason’s arm in warning. He nods his understanding and moves forward to block Sookie from the driver.
Jason moves in front of the driver and grins. “Hiya, Stackhouse party of two. You here to pick us up?”
“I’m sorry, Sir, but I was only told that I would be picking up Miss Stackhouse,” the man says uncomfortably.
Shit, what am I supposed to do with this guy? I’m supposed to grab the girl and take her to Reverend Newlin.
Sookie retrieves the gun from her purse and points it at the driver. His eyes widen and he gulps in fear.
“Hands up, down on the ground,” Sookie instructs. The man slowly does as she asks. “Jason, the briefcase.”
Jason unlocks the briefcase. He whistles when he sees the contents; handcuffs, guns, ammunition, daggers, and silver spray. “You ain’t fuckin’ around are ya?” Jason grabs the handcuffs and snaps them around the wrists of the driver.
Sookie shrugs. “Survival 101. Put him in the trunk. I don’t want him causing any trouble.” Jason retrieves the keys from the driver and does as Sookie asks. He then stows their bags in the passenger area.
Jason asks, “You know how to drive one of these things?”
“Nope. You can drive,” Sookie says as she moves to the front of the vehicle.
Sookie directs Jason to the compound for the King of Texas, on the outskirts of Dallas in one of the more affluent neighborhoods. They pass through the security gates after she shows the night watchman her identification. They pull up to the sprawling mansion and leave the limo in front of the house. Jason retrieves the driver from the trunk. They make their way to the door which opens before Sookie can ring the bell. Jason and Sookie walk inside with the driver to find three vampires waiting for them. Isabel comes forward to embrace Sookie. As she pulls away from her quasi-mother, Sookie’s heart sinks.
Eric is standing in the doorway of the living room staring at Sookie in anger.