I wasn’t afraid to admit—at least to myself—that I was confused by the events of the night. With that in mind, I was hoping to get more information before I made my nightly report to Victor.
After all, the Louisiana regent wasn’t exactly known for being forgiving when he was disappointed.
The fact was that I was frightened of Victor. Of course, I was frightened of Eric Northman too. And, once the fighting broke out between them—and, let’s face it, a fight of some kind was inevitable—I didn’t want to be anywhere near the action.
I shook my head a little. I’d never wanted to be a fucking spy! But my maker had owed Victor a favor.
And I was that favor—for as long as Victor found use for me.
Two fangbangers at the end of the bar caught my attention, and—since they were tolerable looking and smelling—I hurried over to them and then set about charming them. It was all too easy to convince them to join me for a “private drink” after the bar closed for the night.
At least there was that to look forward to—though I knew I’d have to phone in my report to Victor before I “played.”
As I looked toward the back of the club, I wondered what was going on in Eric’s office. Unfortunately, the Viking swept his private office for surveillance equipment every night—not that I could go into that space without him knowing that I’d been there and giving my “true work” away.
As I listened to the gossip among the fangbangers, I went over the details of the night in my mind—mentally constructing my report for Victor.
The evening had started out normally enough. Given the fact that Pam was on some kind of extended “leave” because of the dissention between herself and Eric, I’d been charged with opening Fangtasia. Eventually, Eric had made his way to the bar, but—as was his custom—he’d stayed in his office for a while before taking his place on his ridiculous throne.
Once there, he’d been aloof—as always—though the few fangbangers at Fangtasia had certainly tried to get his attention.
He’d received a phone call, which had seemed to brighten his mood—at least momentarily. Unfortunately, from my position behind the bar, I’d been unable to pick up the voice of the caller, though it seemed clear from the way that Eric had begun watching the door that the individual intended to come to Fangtasia.
I’d posited that the caller was Pam and that Eric was pleased because his child was prepared to “grovel” to get back into his good graces.
About ninety minutes later, however, I was proven wrong when Eric’s bonded and pledged human came in with two witches. One of them was Amelia Broadway, whom I’d known about from the dossier that Victor had given me on Sookie Stackhouse. The other witch was named Bob, and he was clearly romantically involved with Amelia.
Strangely enough, Sookie had seemed quite reluctant to be at Fangtasia.
After Amelia had been granted a private meeting with Eric in his office, Sookie had bellied up to the bar and downed two stiff drinks as if she were dying of thirst. She’d called the beverages “liquid courage”—as if she needed “courage” to visit with her bonded.
During the ten minutes that Amelia was alone with Eric, Sookie must have looked at the exit of the club about a hundred times. In fact, if the male witch hadn’t been sitting next to her, I was quite sure that Sookie would have bolted from Fangtasia like a scared rabbit! I tried using my well-practiced charm to get some information from her about why she seemed so nervous; unfortunately, she wasn’t forthcoming.
Though she wasn’t talking, Sookie’s mouth did stay quite busy. If she wasn’t taking a drink, she was chewing her nails nervously. Indeed, by the time Amelia returned from the office area, there seemed to be nothing left of Sookie’s manicure to destroy!
And then the female witch had to practically blackmail Sookie to get her to go to Northman’s office!
Yes—after that display, it was safe to say that I was quite at a loss as to what was going on!
Unfortunately, during the 83 minutes that Eric and Sookie were alone in Eric’s office, the picture didn’t become clearer. Neither witch was forthcoming about why they’d come to Fangtasia—no matter how much I tried to draw information out of them with my “friendly bartender” persona. Sadly, there had been no opportunity to glamour them, and witches could be tricky anyway. Even if they could be glamoured, they would often remember that they’d been taken over, or they would sense that they had “lost time.”
And that fact would cause the kinds of problems I wasn’t ready to deal with!
Of course, I was frustrated by my inability to draw out the information I needed! Generally, people opened up to me as if I were a fucking priest in a confessional! And that was why I was generally a good spy for Victor. But that night I was batting .000.
To make matters even more indecipherable, Eric had ordered the witches to his office—using the tone of voice that he generally reserved for only those who were about to be tortured.
Eric, Sookie, and the witches had been in the back for a while now, so I was in a holding pattern. Because of the cameras he had in place outside of the club, Victor likely already knew that Sookie was at Fangtasia, so it was only a matter of time before he contacted me for my report. And he wasn’t known for his patience!
But I still had no fucking clue what the fuck was going on!
Just as I was contemplating creating a problem in the club just so that I would have an excuse to knock on Eric’s office door, I heard a commotion from the back. And then a distraught-looking Sookie Stackhouse emerged into the club. She was dressed differently from before—a sure sign that the sheriff had fucked her at some point during the night. I quick inhalation confirmed that hypothesis.
Sookie’s two witch friends were following closely behind the openly weeping telepath. Both Amelia and Bob looked fearful as the trio quickly crossed the dance floor. However, right before they got to the front door, Eric breezed across the room at vampire speed, causing the few patrons in Fangtasia to gasp.
The Viking blocked Sookie’s path, and—from the look on his face—it seemed as if he was ready to drain her.
“You have not yet confirmed that you understand the instructions you were given, pet!” he said in a steely tone.
“We are done here!” she replied, her own voice stormy.
“Yes. We are. For now. However, if you allow the witches to break the bond, I will kill them! And your brother!” Northman seethed. “Tell me you understand, pet!”
“You made yourself perfectly clear, master!” Sookie said sarcastically.
Northman exposed his fangs, even as his bonded sank to the floor, wailing in pain. I had seen many a vampire punish a pet before, but I’d never known of Northman to do such a thing with Sookie—let alone use their blood bond to do it.
Though I’d not seen Eric and Sookie together often, rumor had it that the Viking treated his bonded with a lot of latitude.
Apparently, that rumor was incorrect.
“The pain you feel now is nothing compared to what your witches will feel if you defy me,” Eric growled.
“Go to hell,” Sookie gasped.
“They’ll leave this plane of existence before I do!” he yelled, pointing toward the now cowering witches. “Unless you fucking do as you are told!”
“I didn’t want to believe it before, but Bill is right. You are a monster,” the telepath sobbed.
“Oh yes,” Eric agreed unnervingly. “I am most definitely a monster.”
“No wonder Pam did what she did to get away from you,” Sookie whimpered.
Northman had Amelia by the neck in the next moment.
“That reminds me, witch! How long will your little potion last?” he growled.
“She can’t answer! You’re choking her! Killing her!” Sookie yelled out, though she was clearly still in pain too.
“Seven turns of the sun,” Bob answered for his girlfriend, even as Eric practically threw Amelia toward him, sending them both into a crumple on the floor.
“If I ever see either of you in Area 5 again after tonight, I will kill you,” the vampire said to the two witches.
“You bastard,” Sookie whispered.
“Bastard? Do not forget that I’ve spared them up to this point out of generosity—as a gift to you, my bonded,” he said, his tone ice cold and deadly. “But if they ever again interfere in my life or with my wishes, even your begging will not stay my hand!”
“I hate you!” Sookie cried out as Eric seemed to release her from the pain he’d been causing her through their bond.
“Hate me all you want, pet,” he hissed at a low enough volume that it couldn’t be heard by anyone in the room other than Sookie and the handful of vampires who were enthralled by the scene. “But you will obey me. And your betrayal will be punished. In fact, you will return here at 10:00 p.m. tomorrow night so that your punishment can be witnessed by all of the vampires in my retinue.”
“But I work tomorrow night!” she said insistently.
“No. Before this night is over, you will quit your job,” he said, still at a low volume. “I have indulged you in that area for long enough. But you have proven to me tonight that you deserve no such indulgences from me.”
“No!” she yelled, a contrast to his own quiet voice. “I won’t quit on Sam!”
“Do you want the shifter to die?” he asked grimly. “I’d be willing to make that happen if you continue to disobey.” He shook his head. “I have been a fool for treating you well, but I have no tolerance for betrayals.”
“But I didn’t betray you!” she cried.
“Yes. You. Did,” he said firmly. “And the fact that you don’t recognize that simply means that I will need to shorten your leash and train you more firmly. I’d thought to avoid that, but my forbearance is done because of your behavior, Sookie.”
“You don’t own me!” she defied.
I could tell that he was punishing her through their bond again as she doubled over in pain.
“That is exactly what I do, Sookie. I. Own. You. And you would be well-served to remember that.”
“My grandfather won’t stand for this,” she returned as forcefully as she could.
“You and I both know that he’s out of the picture.” He smiled evilly. “There is no one to keep me from you, Sookie. Nowhere to hide.” He stood to his full height—a sight that was intimidating as hell. “Be here tomorrow night, or face the consequences,” he barked.
With that, the vampire stormed toward me. “Find me the two least offensive humans in here. Bring them to me!” he ordered before zipping back toward his office.
I was shocked to say the least! In all my time at Fangtasia, Eric had never fed on fangbangers. I’d heard that he was experimenting with fidelity with the telepath, a piece of information which Victor had gotten much amusement from.
As Sookie and her friends limped their way out of the club, I targeted the buxom brunette and the skinny redhead at the bar to be Eric’s “victims.” Yes—I’d been intending to make them my meal, but Eric would already be keenly-aware that they were the best-smelling among the fangbangers. And I wasn’t about to disappoint him by selecting inferior products for him—not when he was in such a murderous mood!
Indeed, giving up the tastiest morsels in the club and settling for the leftovers were small prices to pay for passing a small test of “loyalty.”
Needless to say, both fangbangers at the bar had been frightened by the Viking’s violent display, but the pathetic creatures hadn’t tried to leave after he’d stormed off. In fact, both were excited to be chosen as Eric’s “fuck-n-feeds.”
Still, I glamoured them to follow me quietly.
As the humans and I approached Eric’s office, I slowed us down and then stopped us so that I could overhear a call that the sheriff was making.
Generally, he closed his door when on the phone, but he’d obviously left it open since he was expecting me.
“Yes, your majesty,” he said. “You heard me right. My child, Pamela Ravenscroft, is hereby banished from Area 5—under threat of death!”
I had to force myself not to gasp at that information.
Eric and Pam might have quarreled often—more like sparred as siblings did—but I’d always admired their relationship. Not many children enjoyed such enjoyable relationships with their makers!
I know I hadn’t.
Eric explained the situation to the king, giving me the information that I would be sharing with Victor, too.
“The witch, Amelia Broadway, has developed a potion that temporarily hinders a maker’s bond with his or her child,” Eric said gruffly. “Pamela took the potion this evening—about forty minutes ago. The witch manipulated Sookie into coming here tonight so that she would know if the potion was working. Sookie was,” he paused, “distracting me with sex when my connection with Pamela was muted.”
There was a pause.
“Yes, your majesty. Sookie did know about the scheme—and went along with it out of misguided sympathy for my child. Regardless, Sookie will face punishment tomorrow night,” he growled.
“I will ensure that no permanent harm comes to the telepath, Your Majesty; however, she needs to be taught her place. As you know, I’ve allowed her some leeway because of her service to me and other vampires, especially yourself, but she has gone too far this time.”
“Thank you. Victor’s consultation in the matter would be welcome. You may tell him that the punishment will begin at 10:00 p.m.—unless you prefer that I call him.”
“Yes, your majesty. As I said, Sookie has an emotional attachment to my child,” he said. “She considers Pamela a friend.”
“Pamela has been wanting to make a child of her own; her lover has terminal cancer. Victor made clear that she was forbidden from turning Miriam, and I confirmed the regent’s orders by issuing a maker’s command. The witch’s spell has been used to allow Pamela the freedom to escape my influence.”
“No—I cannot feel Pamela at all. It is as if she is dead. However, in one week’s time—once the potion wears off—she will feel my wrath,” he growled.
The sound of that growl was the scariest thing I’d ever heard.
“With your leave, I plan to track her, Your Majesty,” he said. “And then I will arrange for her punishment.”
“The witches have been banished from Area 5. And they have been warned about interfering with any bonds in the future,” he said, emphasizing the word “any.”
“Those were my thoughts exactly, your majesty. The last thing we want is a war with witches strong enough to fuck with vampire bonds! But I will be informing Victor about them so that he can keep a close watch on them since they generally reside in Area 1. If it is decided that they should be banished from the entire state, Victor will have my support.”
“Very well. I will send you an official report tomorrow after Sookie’s punishment is done, Your Majesty.”
Hearing Eric end the call, I recommenced my progress to his office with the two glamoured fangbangers in tow.
Eric’s fangs clicked down immediately when he saw them.
“Release them!” he ordered.
Immediately, I did just that.
“Close the door on your way out,” he said, even as he wiggled his finger at the brunette.
I bowed and left his office; then, I sent a quick text to Victor, promising him a very interesting report as soon as I was able to leave the bar and call him.
I looked around the bedroom where I was currently taking up residence. I was tired of having to hide, and I knew whom to blame for my predicament.
She’d killed my sister and had then convinced my parents that Debbie was the one to blame! But I knew better.
Alcide Herveaux had offered up the details of what had really happened easily enough—once we were in bed.
Once he’d learned that Sookie was one of my preferred topics of discussion, he’d spilled. Of course, I’d told him that I just needed to “know about Debbie so that I could get closure.”
He’d eaten it up—hook, line, and sinker.
Of course, Alcide seemed to be the kind of man who would talk openly about any topic with someone he wanted more sex with. That made him a disloyal bastard, but he was—at least—a completely predictable one.
A/N: Yes-Eric and Sookie are putting on a show for Victor’s spy, so don’t get all nervous and think that Eric suddenly turned on Sookie for some reason. You might remember that-at the end of the last chapter (I know it was a long time ago)-Eric, Sookie, Bob, and Amelia were working on a plan to defeat Victor and Felipe. Let’s call this phase one. As for Sandra? Well-I struggled w/ the idea of whether to have Alcide “agree” to an affair with her. But Alcide became a pretty shady character in my eyes in the books, especially the one within which this story is set. So I went with that idea.
As always, I have to thank Kleannhouse and Sephrenia for their contributions to this story!!!!
I have “collected” the new or “re-cast” cast for this story on a separate page. Along with Seph’s amazing banners, you can read about some of my reasoning behind choosing certain actors/actresses for certain roles–if you are interested in that kind of thing, but I hope you’ll leave a comment first–if you have time. 🙂