Sookie wakes to find Jason sitting in the living room of the suite watching CNN with several room service trays on the coffee table. All the coverage concerned the Fellowship of the Sun hostage situation and the arrest of Steve Newlin. Protesters around the country are saying that Reverend Newlin was framed by vampire sympathizers. CNN acquired the security footage of Godric being taken from his daytime resting place, as well as footage from the Fellowship of the Sun church. Images showed Godric imprisoned in the silver cell. There is also footage showing Sookie’s attack by Gabe. Fortunately, Sookie’s face was concealed from the camera.
“How did they get all this footage?” Sookie watches images of Eric being silvered in the sanctuary. She pours herself a cup of coffee, and picks up a blueberry muffin to nibble on.
“Godric,” Jason states with a mouth full of food. Once he swallows, he continues, “He took Reverend Newlin’s laptop. Apparently Newlin didn’t believe in password protecting any of his stuff. There was security footage on there, documents on where all the money from the donations went, and a list of other vampires in the Dallas area that the church planned to abduct and send to the True Death.”
“And they call vampires monsters,” Sookie says as Sarah Newlin comes on the TV screen. She is giving an in-depth interview explaining that she had no idea of her husband’s plans about the kidnapping of Godric and his plans for him to meet the sun. She pleads with the news anchor saying that she is just as much a victim in all this as all the other followers of the church. Mrs. Newlin talks of how she put all her faith in her husband and he led her astray. Sookie had to give it to her; she put on a good show. Mrs. Newlin is wearing a conservative black dress, her hair is in a knot at the nape of her neck, and her mascara runs slightly as she cries on camera.
“What a bitch,” Sookie says disgustedly.
You don’t know the half of it.
Sookie hears that errant thought from Jason’s head and focuses on his thoughts. She sees images of Jason and Sarah Newlin in Reverend Newlin’s office. Sarah Newlin had returned to the office to find Jason alone. Jason tried to cover for Sookie, but Sarah had broken down in tears babbling about how she felt trapped by Reverend Newlin. Jason, always a sucker for tears, guided her to the couch and put his arm around her trying to comfort her. Before he knew it, Sarah Newlin was straddling his lap kissing him. Sookie quickly backs out of her brother’s thoughts.
“Jason Corbett Stackhouse, how could you?!?!?!?!”
Jason flushes and looks guilty. “I didn’t mean to, Sook. I felt sorry for her when she said she was trapped in her marriage by that guy. She said she wanted to get away from him because she didn’t love him, but he threatened her. She said he was only concerned with the church and revenge against vamps. When she kissed me, I just got lost. You know how I get,” Jason says with a grin.
“One of these days, your dick is going to lead you somewhere you can’t get out of,” Sookie says as she hits him in the face with one of the throw pillows. Jason dives on her tickling her sides, and she shrieks in laughter. A knock at the door ends the war between the siblings.
“I got it,” Jason says as he jumps off the couch. Once at the door, he looks to Sookie to confirm everything is alright. At her nod, he opens the door to see a hotel bellman. The bellman hands Jason two large boxes and an envelope before walking away. Jason kicks the door closed and brings everything over to the table.
“It’s for you,” Jason says as he gives the envelope to Sookie.
Sookie looks at the envelope; it has the official seal of the King of Texas. Sookie grabs a knife from one of the trays of food and opens the envelope. Inside is a piece of thick cream cardstock with red calligraphy writing:
His Royal Majesty, Stan Davis, the King of Texas,
Cordially invites you to a celebration this evening at
The Red Room.
Festivities begin at half past ten o’clock.
Attire is formal.
Sookie sets the invitation aside. She sees a note attached to the top box and picks it up. She recognizes Godric’s handwriting.
Little One, I have taken the liberty of providing proper attire this evening for you and Jason. If you have any issues, please contact David.
Sookie smiles with pleasure as she digs into the top box. Inside she finds a beautiful black lace Stella McCartney dress and Alexander McQueen black heels to match. There are several smaller boxes inside from Tiffany and Co. The largest of these boxes has another handwritten note attached.
Lover, consider this a peace offering for the abominable way I have behaved recently.
Sookie opens the box to find a gold olive branch pendent inside. Opening the other boxes reveals a matching bracelet and earrings.
“Oh boys, you do spoil me,” Sookie murmurs in appreciation.
Sookie is alone in the suite later that evening. Godric had stopped by earlier to collect Jason. They said they would meet Sookie at The Red Room. Sookie is applying the finishing touches to her makeup when there is a knock at the door. She senses that it is a vampire on the other side of the door. Looking through the peep-hole her heart starts beating rapidly; it’s Eric. She wrenches the door open and they stand staring at each other. Eric leans against the door frame and growls softly as he takes in Sookie’s appearance. She is wearing everything that he and Godric sent her and she looks like a vision. She has pulled the hair back from her face so that her earrings are on display. Her hair is in loose curls down her back. Her face is brushed lightly with makeup; her eyes are smoky and her lips are a luscious pink.
“Mmmmm, such a strange sensation when the real thing pictures what you’ve imagined so precisely,” Eric says and then licks his lips in appreciation.
Sookie blushes as her own eyes rake over Eric’s appearance. He is wearing a form-fitting charcoal gray suit with a black button down shirt. The top three buttons of the shirt are undone. His blonde hair is styled back from his face, and his blue eyes are dark and stormy.
“Don’t you clean up nicely,” she says with a smile. She gestures for him to enter.
Eric grabs her hand and pulls her in his arms. His lips skim her temple as he buries his nose in her hair. He inhales deeply, her scent both calming and exciting him. Sookie wraps her arms tightly around his waist. She presses her face to his chest and sighs.
“Forgive me Lover?” Eric murmurs into her hair.
Sookie pulls back from Eric and sits on the couch. She pats the seat next to her and he vamps to her side. “Eric, what is there to forgive?”
Eric touches the bracelet on her wrist, his fingers tracing the olive branch pattern. “For how I reacted seeing you with Godric. I was jealous seeing how close the two of you are. I thought you and he…I thought you were his.” Eric’s voice trails off as he shifts uncomfortably on the couch.
Sookie smiles gently at Eric, “Eric, Godric is has been the only father I can remember. He and Isabel raised me. I love them both so much. But me and Godric….gross!” Sookie shudders at the thought, and Eric chuckles at her reaction.
“You have to understand, makers and their children almost always engage in a sexual relationship. I thought the same applied to the two of you.
Sookie shifts on the seat uncomfortably, “Did…did the two of you…ummm, last night…” her voice trails off in embarrassment and heat spreads across her cheeks. She lowers her eyes to her lap and her hands pluck at the material of her skirt. It really isn’t any of her business. She knows that Godric had a sexual relationship in the past with Eric. She cannot be upset if they had sex last night, but the idea of it still hurts her deeply.
“Sookie look at me.” She peeks up at him through her lashes. “Godric is my maker. He will always be important to me, and I am fiercely loyal to him. But that part of our relationship ended a long time ago. Even if we still had that type of relationship, neither one of us would ever want to hurt you like that. Lover you are all I want,” Eric says emphatically. Sookie’s heart swells with happiness at Eric’s words and she leans up to kiss him passionately.
“There is something I want to ask you,” Eric says after he pulls away from Sookie’s lips. “Have you ever met The Ancient Pythoness?”
Sookie smiles impishly. “I call her Aunt Katie. I know she has been very influential at some of the key moments in my life, but I didn’t actually meet her until a few years ago. After graduating from Ole Miss, I spent a few months with her. I learned many things from her.” Sookie gets up from the couch and moves over to a mirror to check her lipstick. She turns back to Eric and smiles. “Come on, my Viking; we have a party to get to.”
The Red Room is just as Sookie remembers. There are crowds of people on the dance floor and around the bars. Sookie guides Eric up to the VIP level. Tonight, all the VIP room doors are open as vampires and humans mingle together. Inside Stan’s room, she finds Godric sitting in a chair with vampires from the area coming forward to pay their respects. Jason is mingling with Isabel.
Sookie turns to Eric and gestures towards Godric, “You should go be with your maker. I’m going to mingle with Isabel and Jason.” Eric nods his head and kisses her cheek. Sookie moves over to Isabel and Jason, and hugs Isabel tightly.
“How are you doing?” Sookie looks at the vampire that has been like a mother to her.
“I feel…empty. I thought I loved him,” Isabel says forlornly. She takes in a deep shuddering breath and continues. “I suppose some part of me knew there was something wrong with our relationship. That is why I never bonded with him, why I never thought of turning him.” Isabel has tears in her eyes. She excuses herself from Sookie, and vamps out of the room.
Sookie and Jason look at each other and shrug. Jason moves off in search of another beer, while Sookie mingles with the vampires of Area Nine. Many of the vampires in the area she knows from growing up here, so she is enjoying catching up with them. She and Eric have been sharing heated stares all night. She shivers anticipating what will happen later. She moves down to the dance floor for a bit, putting on a show for Eric. Once she tires, she makes her back upstairs to the VIP area. She enters Stan’s room and moves over to the bar to get a drink when a vampire she has never seen approaches her.
“So, you’re what all the fuss is about? Well, aren’t you the morsel.” Sookie stares at the vampire. She is tall and slender wearing a hideous orange evening dress that does nothing to flatter her figure. Her brunette hair is piled on top of her head, and her makeup is so overdone it reminds Sookie of Tammy Faye Baker.
“Excuse me, who are you?” Sookie tries to be polite, not wanting to cause problems for Godric or the King of Texas.
“You might say we have a common acquaintance in Bon Temps; Bill Compton.” The brunette says while staring at Sookie intently. Sookie can feel the vampire trying to glamour her. This bitch has another thing coming, Sookie thinks.
“Oh, how do you know Bill?” Sookie can tell that Godric and Eric are both watching her interaction with this vampire. Both of her vampires are moving closer to her, ready if she needs help.
“You could say that I practically made him the man he is today,” the vampire says with a smirk on her face.
“You’re his maker. How nice for you,” Sookie says with disinterest. She moves to walk away, but the female vampire grabs her arm roughly. Before Sookie can respond, Godric grips the brunette by the throat. All action in the room stops as the vampires and humans watch the scene unfold.
“Release her,” Godric commands. The female vampire struggles against Godric’s hold. Once she realizes she cannot break free, she releases Sookie’s arm. Eric moves in front of Sookie to protect her. Jason moves to stand behind her.
“You dare touch my daughter?” Godric demands from the brunette.
“She provoked me,” the female vampire spits out.
Godric bares his fangs and says menacingly, “And you provoke me. You’re an older vampire, I can tell, but you have not evolved. I fear for our kind if we stay like you,” Godric says with contempt. He continues on with authority, “I neither know nor care why you are here tonight, but I want you out of my area before dawn. Isabel,” Godric calls his second forward, “escort her out of the building. If you are seen in my area again, you will meet your True Death.” Isabel grabs the brunette by the arms and forces her from the room. The occupants of the room return to their earlier activities.
Eric looks at Godric. “Why is Lorena in the area?”
Godric shakes his head. “I do not know my child.” He turns to Sookie, “Who is this Compton she spoke of?”
Sookie shrugs. “Bill Compton. He is a vampire that lives in the house across the cemetery from my grandparents.”
Eric growls. “He has shown an interest in Sookie, even though I have claimed her as mine. He moved to the area as part of his punishment from Sophie-Anne. He drained the Queen’s favorite pet, Hadley, forcing Sophie-Anne to turn her.”
Sookie pales. Hadley is not that common a name. “What does Hadley look like?”
“Petite, blonde, curvy. I do not remember her eye color. She had been Sophie-Anne’s pet for several years. I think Sophie-Anne found her while Hadley was attending Tulane.”
Godric moves to Sookie’s side. He knows what she is thinking. “Eric, do you know Hadley’s last name?”
Sookie’s eyes widen and she pales. Godric moves to her side, but she is frozen. Eric looks at them quizzically. Godric shakes his head and murmurs, “Not here. I think it is time we leave.”
Godric and Eric flank Sookie as they quickly move downstairs. They are trying to maneuver their way through the crowds on the first floor when Sookie screams out, “EVERYONE DOWN!!!!!!!!”