Hugo lunges off the couch, trying to get to Sookie. In a room filled with vampires, not one of them moved to stop Hugo. Sookie braces for the attack. Sookie is surprised that Jason is the one to stop Hugo. Jason hits Hugo with a right hook to his stomach and a jab to the face. Hugo lands on the floor in a groaning heap.
Jason stands over Hugo with his fists clenched. “Try and touch my sister again, and I’ll fuckin’ kill ya!” To emphasize his point, Jason kicks Hugo in the stomach.
Sookie looks at everyone else in the room. Isabel looks heartbroken with blood tears running down her face. She has not moved from the couch. Mrs. Ruiz moves to comfort Isabel. Eric is ready to attack Hugo; fangs down, body tense. He is leaning against the back of the couch Sookie had sat on. His hands are digging into the couch, piercing the leather. Sookie can feel the energy and power vibrating from him. Eric is like a powder keg; one spark and he will explode. She knows that they need to tread carefully with Hugo. Fortunately, Stan still looks to be functioning. He retrieved a pair of handcuffs from somewhere in the house. He pulls Hugo up from the floor by the arms, pulling his arms behind his back, and snapping the handcuffs on him. Stan throws Hugo into a chair.
“Now Hugo,” Stan drawls as he leans in front of him, “we have a dilemma here. You have information we want to know, and you are going to tell us everything. The dilemma is how we are going to get the information out of you. If I left it up to Eric, he would torture you until nothing remained. You see, Godric is Eric’s maker. A child will do anything for their maker. Perhaps you will find out the truth of that statement.” Eric gives a fangy grin at the thought, and Hugo shudders in fear.
Stan moves towards Isabel. “Perhaps I could let Isabel question you. A famous man once wrote, ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned’.” Stan glances at Isabel to see that she is expressionless now, although there are traces of the blood tears on her face. She sits as still as a statue. Hugo refuses to look at Isabel.
“Mr. Stackhouse,” Stan says drawing Hugo’s attention to Jason, “strikes me as being someone who would resort to physical violence to get the information out of you. Not that his techniques would be as severe as Mr. Northman’s, but you did just threaten his sister. I’m sure what he lacks in creativity he would make up for in exuberance.” Jason pounds his left fist into the palm of his right hand.
“And lastly, there is me,” Stan says with a flourish of his hands.
“What will you do?” Hugo asks warily.
“I just want to talk to you,” Stan says as he sits down across from Hugo. “I need answers and you can give them to me. I don’t want to hurt you. Hurting you will not get me what I ultimately want; Godric’s safe return. ”
Sookie is impressed with Stan’s performance. She knows Stan has a thing for cop movies. He is pulling off the ultimate good cop / bad cop routine.
“So tell me Hugo,” Stan says sitting back in his chair. “Why did you betray us?”
Hugo looks at Isabel with longing. “It was addictive, to be desired by something that powerful. The sex was amazing, the best I ever…well, you know.” Hugo says with a satisfied smile. But his smile fades as he continues, “I didn’t realize how much my life was changing. I couldn’t function during the day; I didn’t want to be without Isabel at night. I begged her to turn me, so we could be together as equals. But she wouldn’t, she didn’t want us to be equals. She’s just been using me,” Hugo spits out furiously. Isabel gives a strangled cry and flees the room. Mrs. Ruiz goes after her.
“So let me get this straight,” Stan says, “you betrayed us, you betrayed Isabel, out of spite?”
Before Hugo can respond, Eric blurs forward and punches Hugo in the ribs. Hugo howls in pain. Eric moves to strike Hugo again, but Stan stops him.
Stan tries to ask more questions, but Hugo is oblivious, his mind is clouded with pain. Sookie murmurs that she can’t hear anything from Hugo. Nodding in understanding, Stan moves in front of Hugo and glamours him to forget about the pain in his ribs. Stan releases his influence on Hugo and looks to Sookie; she nods to let him know Hugo’s mind is clear once again.
“Why did you pick Godric?” Stan resumes his questioning.
“I couldn’t bring myself to hurt Isabel; I love her. I thought that if Godric were out-of-the-way, then Isabel could be sheriff. I could be her second.” Sookie rolls her eyes in disgust. Hugo is delusional. Hugo continues speaking, oblivious to Sookie’s reaction. “Plus, the Fellowship of the Sun wanted an older vampire; someone with authority. Reverend Newlin felt that it would be more dramatic to show that a human with no extraordinary ability would be able to overcome such a strong supernatural being. He said it would be a modern-day version of David and Goliath.”
Eric demands, “How did they take Godric?”
“Godric updated the security in that house right after he purchased it. I was the one present during the installation. Isabel had offered my services to Godric, like I was a slave.” Hugo’s voice fills with bitterness and hatred.
Stan asks, “What do they plan to do with Godric?”
“I don’t know.” Hugo’s facial expression alters slightly, his eyes shift from side to side, and he is blinking rapidly.
“My bullshit meter reads that as false. You know exactly what they have planned and when. Tell me,” Eric growls with his fangs on display.
Eric reacts quickly to Hugo’s outburst, physically taking his frustrations out on Hugo. Eric stomps down on Hugo’s foot, crushing the bones. Hugo screams in agony; Stan’s glamour only covered the pain in his ribs. It did not include any other pain. Eric kicks Hugo in the knee, dislocating it and tearing some of the muscles judging by how quickly the area swells. Hugo’s body cannot handle the amount of pain he is in and he faints. Eric moves to strike him again, but Stan stops him.
“Leave him be for now. There is no point in doing further injury to him when he cannot feel the pain you are inflicting.” Stan turns to Sookie. “Did you get anything else from him?”
Sookie stands and paces the room. “His mind is seriously fucked up! He both loves and despises Isabel. He wants to see her destroyed so that he can swoop in and save her. He approached the Fellowship of the Sun about two months ago. He told them everything he knows; who the vampires are, where they rest, businesses, donors….everything. He wants to see you all die!” The male vampires growling fills the room and they both look at the unconscious man with apathy.
“As much as I understand your need for vengeance, we need him alive.” Both vampires look to argue with her, but she rushes on to explain. “He has an arrangement with someone at the church…Gabe…Hugo will call him every night to give him an update about our plans. If Hugo doesn’t call tonight, it may prompt the Fellowship to act rashly.”
“What else did you learn Sookie?” Stan sits down on one of the couches and the others do the same.
“Hugo has actually seen where they are holding Godric. It’s in the basement of the church; he is in a cage.” Eric hisses in displeasure. Sookie ignores him and continues, “I’m assuming the cage is silver. From what I could see in Hugo’s memories, Godric is unharmed…for now. That is how I knew Hugo was the traitor. He was thinking about what the Fellowship plans to do to Godric.”
“To celebrate the anniversary of his parents’ death, Reverend Newlin is hosting a leadership conference this week. The closing ceremony is to be at sunrise Sunday morning. They are planning what they call a “holy bonfire”. Reverend Newlin plans to have Godric meet the sun.”
Reverend and Mrs. Newlin walk to his office at the Fellowship of the Sun. They are returning from a television appearance where Reverend Newlin had an on-air debate with Nan Flanagan, that vampire she-devil. For the past several months, they have debated the validity of the Vampire Rights Amendment, a piece of legislation that will give vampires the same rights as humans. Why did those hell spawn deserve any rights? They are an abomination; their existence defied logic; they are an affront to God.
“You did real good tonight, honey,” Sarah Newlin says to her husband. She wore a white jacket over a white and yellow floral sheath dress. Her bottle-blonde hair is full and styled like she was in a pageant. “You’re gettin’ real good at bein’ on TV. You had her cornered tonight. I thought her fangs were gonna pop out any second.”
“I wish they had. The world needs to see her for what she is,” Reverend Newlin says as he moves around the desk. He takes his suit jacket off and hangs it over the back of the chair. He sits down at his desk and starts looking through the papers that had been left there for him.
“Oh darlin’, it’s only a matter of time before people realize that all those fangers and their sympathizers deserve to die.” Sarah moves around her husband’s desk and sits down on the corner. She crosses her legs and slides the skirt of her dress up, showing the tops of her stockings and garters.
Steve looks away and pushes out of his chair. “Not now, Sarah; I have work to do.” Steve walks out of the office. Sarah Newlin watches her husband leave the office with a look of fury on her face.
Godric heard the entire exchange between the Newlins. During his nights at the Fellowship, he has heard many conversations between the Newlins and their supporters. The Newlins portray themselves as a happy, loving, God-fearing couple that is trying to save the human race. The truth of the matter is that they are two of the most bigoted, hypocritical, narcissistic people in existence. They had delusions of grandeur; Sarah Newlin hopes her husband will use this exposure to propel them into the world of politics, with the reverend as the next Governor of Texas.
The Fellowship of the Sun is merely a front to extort money out of people. Reverend Newlin preaches that they need donations to spread the word that vampires are evil, and humans need saving. In actuality, the money is to buy weapons to outfit what Newlin thinks of as his army, his Light of Day soldiers. The Newlins host Leadership Conferences which are to empower people and train them to spread the word of God. What they fail to tell you up front is that the Leadership Conference costs twelve hundred dollars per person, not including the cost of any classes or workshops that an individual wishes to sign up for during their stay.
Steve Newlin enters the basement to find Godric lying on his cot. Godric does not move. He has learned that Reverend Newlin likes the sound of his own voice and will talk for hours if encouraged.
“Have you been enjoying your stay with us so far?” Reverend Newlin looks cheerfully around the room as if it is a five-star resort.
Godric sits up slowly and looks around the room carefully. “I have stayed in worse conditions.”
Reverend Newlin smirks. “Yes, I suppose you have. Tell me, does human life mean anything to you?”
Godric is unsure of the Newlin’s line of questioning. “All life has meaning,” he says softly.
Newlin’s face lights up. “I’m glad to hear we agree on that! You see, when death has no meaning then life has no meaning.”
Godric stares at Newlin without blinking. “And your point would be, Mr. Newlin?”
“Well you see, if all life has meaning, then it will be very meaningful when we end your life. Your death will be an example to the world that you Creatures of the Night are an outrage to God. His holy light will shine down upon us to deliver us from evil,” Reverend Newlin says with great joy.
Godric cocks his head to the side and looks curiously at the self-righteous man. “And I suppose my True Death will have nothing to do with you seeking vengeance for the death of your parents? An event that I had no part in.”
Newlin slams his hands against the cage. “You and your kind deserve to burn in Hell for what you’ve done! There will be a reckoning! God will smite you down, and I will have my vengeance!” Newlin’s face is a dark shade of red with the veins bulging in his neck. Godric stares hungrily at the man. He has not fed at all while he has been held captive.
Godric raises his eyes to Newlin’s and pushes his influence towards him. Newlin at first fights the effects of Godric’s glamour, but Godric’s will is stronger than that of Newlin. Steve Newlin is expressionless, his eyes unfocused as he waits for Godric’s commands.
“Who has the keys to the cage?” Godric asks.
“Gabe. He did not think I could be trusted with them.” Godric agrees with the military man’s assessment.
“When do you plan for me to meet the sun?”
“Sunday at dawn; it will be a glorious beginning to our closing services for the Leadership Conference,” Newlin says serenely.
Less than two days, Godric thinks. “I know you are working with Hugo from my nest. You will tell Gabe that you wish to speak to Hugo privately when he calls tonight. Once you are alone, you will tell him all that I am about to tell you.”
AN: Stan’s quote is from Act III Scene VIII of The Mourning Bride by William Congreve.