“Mi sol, I’m so happy to see you!” Isabel exclaims after hugging Sookie. She looks questioningly at Jason who is holding on to the man in handcuffs. “And I see you brought friends?”
Sookie nods her head. Sookie starts speaking in Greek, “I need to speak with Stan. I think there is a traitor among you. This man was sent to abduct me.” Eric and Isabel both hiss in anger.
Isabel leads everyone to Stan’s office. The room has a high ceiling with floor to ceiling bookcases along two of the walls. The bookcases contain artifacts from Stan’s life; rare books, sculptures, paintings, and weapons. The door through which they entered is opposite a fireplace that is at least eight feet in length. Stan sits behind a large antique wooden desk. He rises from his chair when everyone enters the room.
Before Stan can speak, Sookie starts in Greek. “Let me explain, Your Majesty. I think you have been betrayed. Who have you spoken to about my arrival?” Stan points to Isabel and Eric. “Anyone else?” Sookie asks. Stan shakes his head negatively. “In what room did you speak about me?” He indicates the room they are standing in.
Sookie sighs. “I think the room is bugged.”
The vampires rapidly search the room for electronic listening devices. Isabel and Eric find nothing, but Stan finds one underneath his desk.
Speaking in English, Sookie says, “May I have a glass of water, Your Majesty? I’m very thirsty after the trip here.”
Stan is confused by Sookie’s request. She moves toward him and plucks the electronic listening device from his fingers. She walks over to a fresh flower arrangement on a table next to the door.
“Forgive me, Your Majesty, I didn’t mean to spill water on your desk,” Sookie says before dropping the bug in the vase of water. There is a sizzle as the device shorts out.
Stan chuckles with appreciation. “Clever as always Miss Stackhouse.”
“Yes,” Eric says disdainfully. “Miss Stackhouse is well schooled in the art of deception.”
Sookie’s eyes shoot to Eric’s, but he looks away from her. She can feel the anger rolling off him. She feels like crying.
Isabel, sensing that something has happened between Eric and Sookie, comes to Sookie’s defense. She snaps at Godric’s vampire progeny. “Deception is what has kept Sookie alive all these years! Or would you rather Godric let her die as a child?”
Stan interrupts before a fight can break out between the two vampires. “Enough! Sookie, who did you bring with you this evening?”
Sookie points to Jason, “This is my brother, Jason Stackhouse. I brought him with me if I need help during the day. As for him,” she points to the man in handcuffs, “he was posing as our driver. He was sent by the Fellowship of the Sun.” Three sets of fangs click down in displeasure, and the man shrinks back from them.
Eric moves in front of the man who is refusing to look at him. Eric blows air in the man’s face which forces him to open his eyes. Eric catches him in his glamour and begins questioning him.
“Who sent you?”
“Reverend Steve Newlin,” the man says in a monotone.
“What does he intend to do with the woman?”
“I don’t know. All I know is that they said there was going to be a woman on the plane that could help find the vampire Godric.”
“Do you know where he is?” Sookie steps closer to the man in excitement, thinking this could be their lucky break.
The man shifts his focus to her, “No, ma’am, I do not.”
Sookie leans back in disappointment. Eric glamours the man to think that the plane arrived in Dallas but there was no one on it. Jason walks the man out of the house back to the limo. He watches as the limo drives away. He returns to the office to find Eric pacing the room furiously, Isabel and Stan quietly discuss plans to find Godric. Sookie is sitting on the sofa watching Eric miserably. Jason moves to sit next to Sookie. He squeezes her hand in comfort and gives her a small smile.
“We could storm the church,” Stan suggests.
Isabel shakes her head no. “Think about it Stan; a vampire hating church attacked by vampires. Think of how the humans will react to that!”
Stan growls at Isabel. “I am your king! You would do well to remember that Isabel!”
Eric grabs the vase of flowers and throws it against the wall in frustration. “Godric is out there and you two squabble like children! We need a plan to get him back!”
“How did the bug get in here?” Jason asks out of the blue. All of the vampires turn to look at him in surprise. “What? For that church to know Sook was coming, it means someone close to y’all put it here.”
Isabel chuckles. “You have unexpected depth Jason.”
“Who has access to this room?” Sookie asks.
“In the last few days, Isabel, Eric, and I have been the only vampires in here,” Stan says.
Sookie questions, “What about humans? Any staff, pets, donors?”
Stan shakes his head, “I do not allow donors in here. As for staff, I do not know. All business is locked away when I am not in the room, but the room is open to the staff during the day.”
Eric asks, “Do you have security cameras in here?”
“No, but I shall be rectifying that soon,” Stan states.
Sookie questions, “How did they take Godric?”
Eric growls. “From a safe house during his daytime rest.”
Isabel continues. “Whoever took him had the codes to his security systems. They knew which house he would be staying in for the day, and they knew enough about his security system to keep their faces completely covered so that they could not be seen on any of the cameras.”
“Other than David or Mrs. Ruiz, who would have that kind of information about Godric?” Sookie cannot believe this; neither David nor Mrs. Ruiz would ever betray Godric.
“I do not know,” Isabel hisses. She looks at Sookie and sees the fatigue shadowing her face. Jason is struggling to stay awake. “It is late mi sol. We shall continue this conversation tomorrow night.”
“Your Majesty,” Sookie says as she rises. “May I have permission to speak with your staff tomorrow? It would give me the opportunity to go through their minds to see if they have anything to hide?”
Stan nods his head in agreement. “Of course. I have arranged a suite for you at the Hotel Carmilla. Given the circumstances, I do not trust the security at Godric’s houses. You will be safe at the hotel.”
Isabel, Sookie, and Jason bid good-night to the King of Texas. Sookie tries to speak to Eric but he turns his back on her. Sookie walks out of the room as tears begin to fall down her face. Isabel wraps an arm around her shoulders and squeezes in sympathy. The three of them walk out of the mansion and the front door closes quietly.
Stan looks at Eric in disgust. “What on earth do you have against Sookie Stackhouse?”
“She lied to me,” Eric snarled.
Stan raises an eyebrow at him. “What exactly did she lie about?” Stan sits at his desk and places his hands in front of him.
Stan smirks. “Somehow I doubt that. Let me guess, she told you the story” Stan uses air quotations about the word story, “of her life. Her parents died when she was five, she went to boarding school, then went to college and graduated. She’s been traveling the world ever since.” Seeing Eric’s nod, Stan laughs. “She did not technically lie to you, Viking. That is just an extremely simple way of looking at her life. Fewer details given, the better protected she is.”
Eric regards Stan coolly. “What is it she needs protection from?”
“Everything, but it is not my place to say. If you want the story, you need to ask both your maker and Miss Stackhouse. I do not hold many humans in my regard, but that woman has my utmost respect and admiration. She is under my protection, Viking. I will protect her with my life!” Stan walks out of his office, leaving Eric in a state of confusion.
Meanwhile, Godric is lying on the cot in his cell. He senses that both Eric and Sookie are nearby. He pushes caution through the bond towards Eric. Godric knows his child is hot-tempered and will act irrationally when it comes to him. He also pushes calm through the bond sensing his child’s agitation. Godric cannot begin to imagine what the interaction between Sookie and Eric has been, but he is fairly certain that Eric will react badly when he finds out he has been kept in the dark. Godric sighs needlessly. It was not his wish to keep Eric from Sookie, but he had no choice; his maker had forbidden it. This is one of those times he wished his maker did not speak in riddles. The Ancient Pythoness never told him why Eric and Sookie were to be kept from each other; she had only said they would meet when they were ready to.
The door to the basement swings open and Godric and can tell that Reverend Newlin and Gabe are making their way down the stairs. Gabe assumes his usual protective stance near the stairway, but Reverend Newlin approaches the cage in a rage, spittle flying from his mouth as he barks questions at Godric.
“Where is she?”
“I have no idea whom you speak of. You have kept me in this cage for over a week,” Godric states quietly.
Newlin snarls with rage and bangs against the cage. “I’m talking about that whore of Satan they sent for that was to help find you. She never arrived tonight! Who is she?”
Godric remains expressionless, but he has the overwhelming urge to drain the false prophet that stands in front of him. Blood begins to trickle out of his mouth because his fangs have pierced his lip.
Reverend Newlin looks at Godric in disgust. “It doesn’t matter whether you tell me or not. I’ll find her. And when I do, she’ll have the same fate as you. Judgment Day is coming for you and your kind.”
At the Hotel Carmilla, Isabel escorts Sookie and Jason to their room. It is a two-bedroom suite that is completely light tight. Jason bids the two women goodnight and heads to bed. Isabel sits down on the couch as Sookie paces around the living room.
“Why didn’t you answer my calls Isabel?” Sookie is hurt and angry that her friend did not call her when Godric first disappeared. “I’d have been here days ago to help find Godric if I had known.”
“I didn’t want to put you in danger. We had no idea what we were dealing with. We didn’t know who had arranged to take Godric. It was only once Eric arrived that we knew Godric was still in Dallas. Once we realized the Fellowship of the Sun was involved, that is when Stan called you,” Isabel explains gently.
Sookie sighs and sits down dejectedly. “I’m scared. What if something happens to Godric? He’s the only father I know.” Her lower lip quivers as she tries not to cry.
Isabel moves to comfort her. “Shhh, mi sol; everything will be fine. You know that Godric is a fierce fighter. Nothing will happen to him. Eric will not allow it.”
Sookie barks out a laugh. “What am I going to do Is?”
Isabel knows Sookie is referring to Eric. She holds Sookie’s face between her hands and gives her a reassuring smile. “He’s just being a man. He’s upset because he feels he was left out. I’ve known Godric and Eric a long time, and their relationship was always very close, closer than most maker/child relationships. He will come around. Now, it is time for you to get some sleep, mi sol. You have a busy day ahead of you.” Isabel kisses Sookie on the cheek and leaves the hotel room.