I’m really nervous to know what Godric found in Bill’s mansion. At the same time, I can’t help but think that Bill is a fucking idiot for leaving evidence behind! I know if it were Eric, he wouldn’t have left a single clue about what his plans were. Then again, that’s just one of the many differences between Eric and Bill. Eric knew how to cover his tracks, where Bill didn’t seem to know the meaning of the word covert.
Eric had done his best to distract me when he rose for the evening. And I must admit that he was successful both times. But as we wait for Godric and Eric’s two progeny, my nerves are back with full force. Rather than pacing, I’ve cooked up a storm all day. I figured the guys would be hungry when they finally show up. Lafayette had let me know that Nicole and her mom were gonna take me up on their offer to stay at my place. It was definitely gonna be a tight squeeze for the next couple of days, but we’d make it work.
When Eric and I finally made our way downstairs, the sun had just set. I found Alcide, Lafayette, Nicole, and the woman who must be her mother gathered around my kitchen table having one of the pies I made earlier. I nodded my head at everyone and listened in to Nicole’s mom. No offense to her, but I didn’t know her and I wasn’t taking the risk of having someone who would be a danger to me or the vampires I cared about in my home. But the only thoughts running through her mind were centered on her daughter and making sure she was taken care of. Good, that’s how it should be
“Evenin’ y’all. Can I fix ya somethin’ more substantial to eat? I prepped country fried steak earlier with all the trimmings,” I say as I start pulling things out of the refrigerator. Even if they aren’t hungry, I am famished. What can I say? Eric gave me quite the workout earlier. When my eyes flick over to Eric, he is staring at me with a knowing smirk before licking his lips hungrily. My body shivers slightly; I’m blaming it on the coldness of the refrigerator and not the vampire sex god that knows how to play me like a fiddle.
“You need help hookah?” Lafayette gathers the empty dishes from the table to bring them to the sink.
“You wanna get the potatoes going while I work on the steak? The cornbread is already done and the collard greens just need to be reheated.” I know Gran is probably rolling in her grave when I pull the electric skillet down to cook the country fried steak instead of the cast iron. However, given the amount I need to make isn’t really doable with the cast iron skillet. Gran will just have to be satisfied knowing I used the cast iron to make the corn bread earlier.
“Lover, I’m going to find Godric and the girls. Perhaps we can do a more thorough search of Compton’s home while you cook dinner for your friends. Call me if you need me.” Eric presses a quick kiss to my lips before vamping out of our home. Four pairs of eyes are trained on me as I stare dreamily at the door and I blush a dull red color.
Alcide starts singing ‘Sookie and Eric kissing in a tree’. When it gets to the spelling part, Lafayette changes the letters to ‘F-U-C-K-I-N-G’.
“You guys,” I say utterly mortified in front of Nicole and her mother. “Knock it off! We have company.” I begin to mutter my apologies to Nicole and her mom, but they just wave me off.
“Sookie, it’s nice to laugh after everything I’ve been through in the last twenty-four hours,” Nicole reassured me with a sad smile on her face. “Sam would have wanted you to be happy. I know he worried about you. He may not have liked vampires, but I think even he would have been able to see how devoted that vampire is to you. Life is far too short and too precious to worry about what others think. You have to live life to make yourself happy.”
“Given all the noises we heard earlier, I’d say she’s more than happy,” Alcide says slyly.
Before I can retort, Nicole’s mother smacks Alcide against the back of his head. We all stare at Nicole’s mother in open-mouth shock. She merely shrugs in response as she picks up her coffee cup. “If my man looked as good as what just walked out that door, I’d be making damn sure everyone in the world knew just how ‘happy’ I was too!” Lafayette and I burst into laughter as Nicole admonishes her mom. It’s nice to have a normal evening cooking dinner and teasing each other.
I love being able to feel my Sookie again. Our bonding trip was intense. I wonder if she will let me record our next mutual exchange; I’m interested in knowing what we are actually doing. My guess is that we fuck a lot, not that we need a mutual blood exchange for that to happen. When I rose for the night, my beautiful Sookie was lying in bed beside me. She greeted me with a smile and a kiss, which soon turned into another round of lovemaking. Yes, I Eric Northman, badass vampire, said lovemaking. It was slow and tender; and when Sookie reached her release she sighed in ecstasy as my fangs sank into the soft flesh of her breast. My own release was accompanied by a contented moan as I sucked gently on my lover’s flesh. Sookie held my head in her hands as she continued to gently rock against my body. Once I’d healed her wounds, I carried her to our bathroom for a shower. We were very thorough in making certain our bodies were scrubbed clean, I’d even dropped down to my knees to do a thorough examination of my lover’s most delicate area to make sure her body was clean from the inside out. After all, my darling Sookie was raised a Christian; I know she believes cleanliness is next to godliness.
As we were getting dressed, Sookie told me of her conversation with Godric. I remain stoic but inside I’m seething with anger. What the fuck is Compton doing? I can’t figure out what his end game was in all this. Part of me wants to call Godric now, but Sookie’s rumbling stomach made me reign in the beast. My lover’s needs are and will always be my number one priority. Downstairs, I left her in the safety of the kitchen with her friends while I sought out the members of my bloodline. I found them coming out of the light-tight rooms Sookie had built further back from her home.
“Good evening ladies,” I say warmly as I place a kiss against the forehead of each of my girls. I may not have made either of my progeny under the best of circumstances, but I have been blessed with two strong, beautiful, intelligent, and devious women that I am proud to claim as mine. In time, I hope that Pam and Willa will be able to bond as sisters. I know Willa is slightly intimidated by Pam, as most people are. But once you get to know Pam, you will find a woman with a bawdy sense of humor that is fascinated by pop culture, with a particular emphasis on children’s cartoons and superheroes. It’s true my eldest child has an addiction to fashion, but it is rivaled by her addiction to comic books. There was a rule among vampires before the Great Revelation that we never turn someone who was considered famous as it could lead to problems when the people were recognized. But if that wouldn’t have been in place, I’m fairly confidant Pam would have turned Coco Chanel and Stan Lee. Hell, since the Great Revelation, Pam has often threatened to turn Stan Lee even though the man is past the prime of his life!
“Godric.” I dip my head low in respect to my maker. Having my maker back fills a void that has been inside me. Losing my vampire family had devastated me. I know I still had my progeny, but the loss of Godric, followed so soon by Nora, destroyed something inside of me. Godric had promised me eternity as a companion of death, but that was not entirely true. He gave me a life I could have never imagined with my limited human mind. Godric was my friend, maker, lover, father, brother, and son. There are no words to describe what I felt, and still feel for him. How can you put a thousand years of emotion into a few paltry words? You can’t.
“Good evening my son. I trust you had a pleasant evening when you returned here last night.” Godric’s eyes sparkle with endless mirth as his lips twitch with the need to smile. This is the Godric I have missed; he has always come off as a reserved, cerebral being, but at his core, he is still a teenage boy with a mischievous sense of humor. We have spent centuries playing pranks on each other, always trying to outdo the other.
My grin spreads slowly across my face, but I say nothing. In the past I have had no qualms going into explicit detail about my sexual encounters. Hell, two of the three vampires with me have experienced the extent of my sexual prowess. However, my time with Sookie is not something I wish to share with them. She will be my bonded mate, and deserves to be treated with respect.
“Our evening was quite pleasant, thank you.” As was our morning and let’s not forget about the early evening. What can I say? We are making up for lost time.
Pam snorts at my words. “It’s a wonder the house is still standing. And who knew Sookie was so vocal!”
“Pam,” I say in warning.
“I wish we still had our bond,” Pam says wistfully. “I’m sure that would have been a hell of an orgasm to experience,” she says with longing. “At the very least, I need to find a fuck buddy. Between you and Sookie, and my baby sister with her new chew toy,” Pam says with a smirk towards Willa who just smiles smugly, “it’s very lonely.” Pam pretends to pout which causes all of us to laugh.
The entire time we’ve talked we have made our way to the Compton home. I do not know how much of the house Godric searched last evening, but I know it wasn’t everything. That sneaky bastard probably had thousands of hiding places in that building that was homage to his lost human life that he was always whining about.
Willa looks at the door of the house with some trepidation. “Should we knock? I mean it’s still Jessica’s home too. It would be rude to just walk in unannounced.”
Pam rolls her eyes at her sister before knocking loudly on the door. “You need to toughen up or you won’t survive.”
“What do bad manners have to do with being a vampire? Besides, Jess is my friend. Her whole life had been turned upside down in the span of one night! She found out her maker has plotted to kill the people of Bon Temps and her boyfriend was staked. She must be devastated,” Willa finishes softly.
Godric and I share a sly look. Our enhanced hearing has picked up the sounds of two people fucking in the house. I can tell one is a vampire and the other is human. I have my suspicions on who the human is. Turning the knob I open the door to let everyone inside. “She sounds positively heartbroken,” I say sarcastically.
Pam rolls her eyes while Willa’s goes round her as we hear Jessica scream with her climax. “Fuck!” Pam looks seriously pissed off now. “Am I the only person in this fucked up town that isn’t getting laid? How the hell is that possible?!?!?!” Her tirade is cut off by a loud shout of triumph and another moan of ecstasy before things go quiet.
Enjoying my child’s sexual frustration, I speak loud enough for the two upstairs to hear me. “If you two are finished we have business matters to discuss.” Muffled curses can be heard from the upstairs bedroom as well as the sounds of two people hurrying to get dressed. In less than two minutes, Jessica and Jason Stackhouse are walking down the stairs towards us, both with sheepish expressions on their faces.
“I hope we weren’t interrupting anything,” I say as innocently as possible. If I can’t spend my night buried between Sookie’s thighs, then nobody else gets to enjoy their evening either.
“What can I do for y’all?” Jessica fidgets as she looks nervously at the four of us. Part of me does feel bad for the girl. She should never have been made a vampire the way she was; at the very least, I should have stepped up and offered to turn her instead of letting Compton do it. He has been a worthless maker and hasn’t bothered to properly train his progeny. Most of what she learned about being a vampire I think came from the time she spent with Pam and me. Perhaps when this is all over I will see to properly training Jessica and Willa together.
“We wish to look through your home to find out why Bill was helping the Hep V vamps at Fangtasia.” Godric’s voice is polite, as if he is making a request. Whether Bill’s progeny agrees to let us search is irrelevant; we will be tearing this place apart tonight.
“I don’t mind,” Jessica says while wrapping her arms around her torso. She looks about ready to cry. “I can’t believe Bill was responsible for the Hep V vamps attacking Bellefleur’s and that he killed Sam. What could he have been thinkin’?” Jessica hunches her shoulders as she drops her head. Jason Stackhouse looks back and forth between all of us with confusion as he pulls the weepy girl in his arms for a hug. He rubs her back with his hand and she clutches at the material of his shirt.
None of us say anything to comfort the girl. Honestly, what is there to say? Bill Compton has always been a self-centered asshole. He has done more depraved acts in his two hundred plus years as a vampire than I have in my entire existence. If someone ever invents time travel, I’m going back in time to that fateful night in San Francisco so I can stake him and his psychotic bitch of a maker. I’d be doing the world a favor if I did. The four of us split up to search the building; the girls head upstairs while Godric and I search the main floor.
“What did you find last night?” We could use vampire speed to search the rooms, but we may miss something in our haste. It is better to do this search slow and methodical, that way no stone is left unturned. I know that Sookie is able to detect glamour and to reverse its effects on the human mind. I hate to ask it of her, but we need her to find out what exactly Compton had the witch doing for him.
Godric spares a glance in my direction before resuming his search of the bookshelf in Compton’s office. “I searched the basement last evening after I settled Compton’s progeny in her room. I was curious about the girl so I talked with her for some time. Why would Compton have turned the girl and then taught her nothing of being a vampire?”
“Jessica was Compton’s punishment from the Magister,” I say with disgust. “Compton staked a vampire in front of witnesses to protect Sookie.” My voice falters and I look at my maker expecting his disapproval over my next words. “I reported the incident to the Magister in the hopes that he would be silvered and confined to a coffin for some time. I was hoping it would give me a clear path to Sookie. Instead, the Magister forced Bill to turn Jessica. She was an innocent human, begging for us to let her go home to her parents, praying to her God. It was the first time she defied her parents, and she lost her mortal life because of it.” I sigh before continuing the story. “Compton asked me to raise Jessica, saying he could not control her, but really I knew it was because he wanted to keep it hidden from Sookie. In the beginning, Jessica was . . . petulant, obnoxious, wild, and difficult. In addition to being a newborn vampire she was drunk on the freedom that came from being released from her human family. She was with Pam and me for about two weeks before I returned her to Compton. It was around this time that Isabel called me to let me know you were missing.”
Godric stops what he is doing to come to my side. I couldn’t keep the melancholia out of my voice as I thought about the time my maker chose to meet the sun. I know by some miracle I have him here with me now, but the time without him will forever be a scar on my psyche. “I am sorry for hurting you my son. If I could go back in time, I would do things differently,” he says softly as he puts his hand on my shoulder, it is a gesture that has always comforted me. “I had no idea how foolish and disastrous my decision would be. My actions were selfish and put those I love in danger. I only hope that with time, you will be able to forgive me.” Godric moves back to his earlier position, resuming his search of the contents of the bookshelf for clues about Compton’s nefarious plans.
I nod my head because I do not think I can speak calmly. There is a large lump in my throat that seems intent on suffocating me if such an action were possible and my chest is tight as the emotions swirl inside me. One day, I know Godric and I will need to speak in great detail about how I felt because of his decision to meet the sun and everything that happened while he was gone. On some level, I hold him responsible for Nora’s demise; if Godric had still been around, I believe my vampire sister would still be with us.
“To answer your question from earlier,” Godric says drawing my attention back to the situation we find ourselves in. “I found a great many things in the basement that were of interest. I am curious about why there are research notes by Dr. Takahasi in the basement.” I opened my mouth to explain what I knew but Godric continued oblivious to my attempted intervention. “But that is not what I found most disturbing. There was a room set up for surveillance . . . and all the cameras were placed within Sookie’s home.”
The object in my hands shatters with Godric’s words and shards of glass slice through my skin, but I am oblivious to the pain and the blood dripping from my wounds. All I can focus on is the fury that has risen inside me, rattling the chains of the beast that lies within. I cannot form rational thought; I cannot speak. I have been reduced to a savage beast that functions on instinct alone. My fangs have elongated and a vicious growl sounds from deep within my chest. There are three words that are repeating inside my head like the pounding of a drum, increasing with both speed and intensity until it is all I can focus on.
Maim. Kill. Compton.
The other vampires in the house have come to investigate why I am in attack mode. Jessica and Willa shrink back in fear while Pam merely stands with an eyebrow raised and her hands on her hips. Godric is speaking to me, but I cannot process what he is saying over the pounding in my head.
Maim. Kill. Compton.
A tiny tug in the area around my heart breaks through my murderous rage. My bond with Sookie, which has been a constant hum in the back of my mind, suddenly flares to life. She is worried about me and wanting to know if I am ok. I hear the ringing of a telephone then Willa speaking rapidly explaining my sudden state. Sookie must have been the one calling because I am instantly flooded with calm, a sense of safety, and most importantly love. I gasp in surprise because it’s like she has taken our bond and wrapped it around me like an embrace, stroking the savage beast inside me until the beast has been replaced by a purring kitten. After having been wound so tightly with rage, my body sags back in a chair like a boneless blob. Sookie continues to send me love and affection until my rage is under control.
“Well that’s a handy trick,” Pam draws out. “Remind me to have her around when you receive your next credit card statement.”
I glare at my wayward progeny as I gesture to my younger progeny for her to give me the phone. Willa scampers to give me her phone and I put it up to my ear. Sookie’s breathing on the other end is very soothing. “Hello lover,” I purr into the phone.
“Eric, are you OK? I was sittin’ here chattin’ with Lala and then it felt like I got hit by a freight train! What happened?” Sookie’s voice is full of concern. I hate what I am about to tell her.
“Last night when Godric searched Compton’s home, he found evidence that Bill has had surveillance on your home for several months. He placed several cameras inside your home.”
I expected fireworks, yelling, something to indicate Sookie is angry over my revelation. Instead I am met with utter silence; I cannot even hear her breathing. I move the phone away from my ear to make certain that the call was not dropped. We are in the middle of nowhere after all so I would not be surprised if we lost our connection. But the call is still connected. Probing our bond, I find that silent too.
While Sookie remains silent, I take the opportunity to continue my search of Compton’s desk. Searching the drawers reveals nothing of interest. Cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder, I run my fingers along the edges of the furniture. Everything else in this room is modern; clean lines, dark colors, very monochromatic. But this desk is out-of-place; it’s an antique that has been refinished a dark color. Pam would pitch a bitch if she looked at it closely, because there is something she hates more than cheap, knock-off imitation clothing, it’s destroying antiques and items of value to make them look modern. She has often said humans wouldn’t know something of value even if it kicked them in the cooch. As my fingers slide underneath the edge of the desk, I press a button revealing a drawer hidden under the top of the desk. Smiling grimly with satisfaction, I pull the few documents out of the drawer and peruse them as I feel the bond with Sookie flare back to life with her irritation.
“How the FUCK did that asshole get surveillance inside my house?!?!?! I rescinded his invitation after all the shit went down with Warlow! More importantly, why the hell did he want to know what was going on here?”
“Because he has Hepatitis V,” I say in wonder. “He thought your fairy light would be able to cure him.”