Chapter 54: Trial, Part 2

ERIC POV, CONTINUED

“What do you mean?” Stan asked, responding to Sandy’s declaration that she knew about not only Felipe’s misdeeds toward me and Sookie, but also his reasons for allowing me to live after he’d killed Queen Sophie-Anne.

Sandy glanced again at me and then looked back at the camera. “Appius Livius Ocella, Eric’s maker, contacted Felipe more than a year ago—in early January 2005—to call in a favor.”

I felt myself go rigid at the mention of my maker’s name.

Sookie squeezed my hand, and I felt her instilling our bond with comfort and support. She was learning to use the bond, and—in so doing—she was showing both her acceptance and care of me.

“A favor?” Agnes asked.

Sandy nodded. “Appius had been sensing that his oldest surviving progeny, Eric, was happy. Jealous of what was causing that emotion in his child, he wanted to know why.”

I closed my eyes tightly. In early January 2005, the witch, Hallow, had taken away my memories and I was with Sookie. Yes—I had been so very happy then. And carefree.

“Jealous that Eric was happy?” Agnes asked.

“Yes,” Sandy informed. “Appius did not like that Eric felt contentment.”

“He did not want his own child’s happiness?” Russell frowned, even as I felt Sookie grip my hand more tightly.

“That was the time when Eric and I first loved each other,” Sookie proclaimed proudly. “It stands to reason that one so embittered and jaded as Appius would hate that love.”

“Love?” Michelina scorned. “Vampires don’t love, human.”

“I believe it has been established that I am not fully human,” Sookie said, her back straight and her eyes piercing the camera. “I am a mixture of Fae, Dae, and human, and I am the bonded, pledged mate of a vampire. Oh—and I dare any vampire who has a good relationship with his or her child or maker to claim that he or she cannot love!”

I squeezed my bonded’s hand in support of her and her words.

“You were not addressed, Miss Stackhouse. You ought to learn to keep your thoughts to yourself,” Michelina glared. “And stay in your place.”

“Why? Because you see me as a pet—at best?” Sookie shook her head. “I am no pet! And even if I was an ordinary human pet, y’all should consider joining the new century and gettin’ along with humans, or you’ll be the ones bitten in the ass! Meanwhile, I am a Fae princess! I am a telepath! I have saved the lives of vampires, fairies, the two-natured, and humans! And I claimed Eric Northman as mine—by love—before Appius visited Felipe!”

“Blood is the only claim that matters to a vampire,” Michelina said coldly.

“Apparently not—according to Appius’s actions,” Sookie said, jutting out her chin.

“What do you mean by that?” Agnes asked with interest.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Sookie explained. “The proof is in Appius’s need to punish his child for finding love! The proof is that Appius could never truly control Eric with his blood—not his mind—and that pissed him off to the point that he was willing to hurt Eric in any way he could!” she finished. “Appius, apparently, could not kill my bonded’s heart with his supposedly all-powerful blood, so he enlisted Felipe’s help!”

I could not stop myself from leaning down to kiss Sookie’s brow, even as I heard Nan scoff from behind me. Pity—I thought she’d decided to leave after her “sniffing” duty was completed.

“Finish your testimony, Miss Sechrest,” Nan intoned. “I’m tired of all this love and heart shit.”

Honestly, I did not need to hear Sandy’s answer to know what my maker had likely done.

Sandy gave Nan a threatening look, but nodded in agreement. “When Appius contacted Felipe, Appius had been moving from place to place rather quickly because of his unfortunate younger child, Alexei,” the vampiress relayed. “Appius asked for temporary sanctuary in Las Vegas. Even at that time, my former king had been putting together a plan to align Nevada with the states along the Mississippi to create a gambler’s paradise, but—back then—he didn’t intend to take those states over.

“And then Appius came. He looked over Felipe’s plans and—along with Victor Madden—began filling Felipe’s head with visions of ruling the whole central part of the United States through his control of gambling all along the Mississippi River! Other legal gambling zones, including Atlantic City and other coastline cities were to be targets of the second main phase of the plan.

Sandy looked guilty for a moment. “Appius was keen that Felipe begin in Louisiana. I had no idea of his purpose, but Felipe sent me—at Appius’s bidding—to collect a man named Julian Trout not long after Appius arrived at court.”

“The weather witch!” Sookie cried out.

“Yes. I learned of his nature later when I was auditing the books and found that a huge payment was made to Mr. Trout right after Hurricane Katrina occurred,” Sandy informed.

“Who is this Mr. Trout?” Russell asked.

“A weatherman,” Stan informed. “Sophie-Anne informed the Vampire Council of him the night before the bombing in Rhodes. Miss Stackhouse told her that Trout had at least a cursory knowledge of Hurricane Katrina before it happened. He was, apparently, able to use that knowledge to get the Rhodes conference postponed until after Hurricane Katrina occurred, ensuring Sophie-Anne’s vulnerability. The Council was to investigate further, but Trout died in Rhodes.”

“He did?” Sookie asked.

“Yes,” Stan informed. “He and his wife both perished when the hotel collapsed.”

I could feel Sookie’s sadness.

“Mr. Trout did more than just predict Hurricane Katrina,” Sandy informed. “I learned only a few weeks ago that Appius threatened the weather witch’s wife. He coerced Mr. Trout to predict the next hurricane that would develop in the Caribbean and then to strengthen it before driving it right at New Orleans. Appius then glamoured Trout to forget all but the prediction element of the plot, for he had received intelligence—by that time—that Eric had a blood tie with a telepath.”

“Dead God,” Sookie gasped.

Sandy continued. “After Hurricane Katrina, Felipe became like a buzzard, circling an injured prey. He already had a spy in Sophie-Anne’s court.”

“And one in Area 5,” I observed.

Sandy nodded. “Yes. Felicia. She did not, however, begin as a spy. Her maker owed a lot of money to Felipe, and he threatened to call in the marker if Felicia did not cooperate. Felicia’s maker could not cover his losses, so Felicia complied. She informed Felipe about your businesses and power structure. She informed Appius about more,” she paused, “personal matters.”

Sandy looked at me apologetically. “I know that Felicia hated betraying you. About a month before her death, she contacted me, asking for my help, but there was nothing that I could do for her at the time. I did, however, learn that Felipe had begun using coercion over gambling debts more and more often in order to implant spies in a variety of states.” She looked back toward the camera. “After the takeover of Louisiana, Felipe decided Felicia had outlived her usefulness; she was killed by Appius’s child Alexei partly because of what she knew.”

I shook my head. Felicia—I had known—had been a spy. But she had also been a loyal soldier for most of her time with me.

Sandy continued her story. “One of the earliest things that Felicia told Felipe and Appius was that she felt Eric had found a true companion—at least potentially—in Sookie Stackhouse, the telepath. That was when John Quinn was deployed to figure out if Sookie’s affections matched the Viking’s affections. It was,” Sandy paused, “hoped by Appius that Quinn could steal Sookie’s affections away from Eric and leave him desolate.”

I heard Sookie gasp next to me and I squeezed her hand in support.

I was not surprised that Quinn’s involvement in her life was even more of a contrivance than we’d thought, but I regretted my bonded’s pain.

“Of course, Felipe also used Quinn to help gauge the weaknesses of Louisiana, even as the weretiger seemed to be in the state for work,” Sandy reported. “Appius was pleased to learn that Sookie—though tied to Eric by blood at the time—would,” she paused and continued as if reluctant, “form an attachment with Quinn.”

“Have you more to report?” Russell asked when Sandy paused.

The vampiress nodded. “Appius stayed in Las Vegas only a few months before Alexei got into trouble there. Felipe covered it up, of course. But it was thought that somewhere with fewer temptations would be best for the young one.”

“A stake would have been best,” Thalia muttered.

“Amen,” Maxwell Lee agreed.

Sandy continued. “Felipe was the one who suggested that Appius go to Oklahoma. At one point or another, Freyda had mentioned her interest in Eric. And Felipe and Appius thought it would be amusing if Eric was basically sold to Freyda. Both vampires knew that it would only be a matter of time before Alexei got himself into some kind of trouble or another. And that would offer Appius the perfect opportunity to broker a deal with Freyda that did not indicate his true motive.”

“His motive to hurt you,” Sookie said to me, her eyes now shining with tears.

I squeezed her hand and accepted her love through our bond with gratefulness.

“Of course,” Sandy continued, “the motives of neither Appius nor Felipe were to be known. Appius wanted to punish Eric for his contentment. Felipe wanted to further weaken Louisiana after Katrina. And then Rhodes happened. Felipe saw his opportunity to take Louisiana, and he did just that, after promising Appius that Eric would be left alive. Felipe was happy to leave Eric in place, for he knew that it would be only a matter of time before Eric was dealt to Oklahoma anyway. And—in the meantime—Eric was a big money-maker. Felipe wanted to seize Sookie right after the takeover, but Victor sensed that Sookie had bonded with Eric—something that threw a wrench into Appius and Felipe’s plans. After Victor informed Felipe about the pledging, Felipe told Appius, who was incensed that Eric had not gotten his permission to pledge. Felipe, too, was frustrated, for Eric was working vigilantly and craftily to protect Sookie’s independence.”

Sookie leaned a little closer to my body, and I could feel her love ricocheting through our bond. I could also feel a little regret from her. I knew that she wished she’d doubted me less. I forcefully pushed love and acceptance her way.

I wanted her to know that I had no regrets and that she shouldn’t either. We had lessons to draw on, but we’d never fucked up to the point where we couldn’t salvage our relationship.

Thank the gods!

“As soon as the ink was dry on the contract with Oklahoma,” Sandy went on, “Appius decided to come to Area 5 and fuck things up for Eric in a more direct manner. He spoke with Felipe about his progress almost nightly. Appius was about to drop the bomb of the marriage contract when he and Alexei were killed. Right after that, Felipe contacted Freyda and instructed her to claim Eric as her consort. Meanwhile, Felipe let Victor know that he should make life as uncomfortable as possible in Area 5 for Eric. Felipe became more and more impatient for Miss Stackhouse to be in Las Vegas as his. I have no doubt that Felipe was ready to steal her tonight—no matter what he had to do to get her.”

“Even if all you say is true,” Michelina frowned, “that does not prove that Felipe intended to kill his sheriff tonight. And, though a maker treating one as old as Northman in such a way is unprecedented—disturbing even—that doesn’t negate the fact that Appius had the right to negotiate that contract with the Oklahoma queen.”

“But Miss Sechrest’s testimony does prove that Felipe has not been on the side of his sheriff,” Agnes argued. She shook her head. “I think upon those whom I have tasked with fulfilling the duty of sheriff for me. I rely on their loyalty. If they fail me, they are punished—but for just cause! There is no proof that Eric ever failed his king! Indeed, it was rumored that the profits from Area 5 ensured that Louisiana was kept solvent. And we all have heard the gossip about Victor’s interference. To learn that Felipe sanctioned—even encouraged that interference—is an outrage!”

“Northman’s effectiveness is not on trial here, nor is Felipe’s mismanagement of resources,” Michelina snarled. “Northman’s treason is inarguable!”

“Can there be treason against a monarch who has already broken the covenant of fealty?” Agnes challenged.

When Michelina seemed ready to argue, the California queen continued forcefully. “You are younger than me by 500 years, Micky! You know how much I admire you, but you and those of your generation seem to believe that the one in power is somehow less obliged to fulfill the covenant of fealty than the one in the more subservient role. But both leader and follower should be—must be—held to the same promise. Based on what I have heard tonight, it seems clear that Felipe was ultimately an illegitimate king to Northman long before the Viking executed him.”

The California queen glared at me. “You did make the death swift—yes? If you tortured Felipe, that would change my opinion on this matter.”

“His death was immediate,” I averred.

“You could prove that?” Agnes asked.

“Yes,” I confirmed.

“And you killed to protect yourself and ensure the safety of your bonded? Not for personal gain?” Agnes asked.

“Yes,” I answered one more time. “Felipe died because he threatened my bonded.”

“Bonded!” Michelina scorned. “Whatever! Eric Northman belongs to Freyda of Oklahoma—if he lives through the night. We all know this!”

“Eric is mine!” Sookie snarled from next to me. “I claimed him and bonded with him before Appius finalized his contract with Freyda! Eric Northman is my bonded and pledged mate! He. Is. Mine! And I am prepared to fight for him!”

In my pride, I could not help but to grip my beloved’s hand more tightly than was likely comfortable. Still, she squeezed back.

“She’ll have help in her fight,” Nargal said from behind us. I heard several other affirmations from around the room as well.

“Again with the threats!” Michelina charged.

“Sookie has filed an official challenge against Freyda’s claim of her bonded,” Desmond piped in. “My goddaughter’s own heritage is also on record as of,” he glanced at his watch, “two minutes ago.”

“Here’s a threat for you, New York Queen. Fuck with Sookie and her bonded, and you will have the Dae at your gates,” Nargal warned.

“And all others who hold faith with these two,” Octavia added.

“You threaten us! Was that your strategy all along, Northman? To coerce us into making you king?” Michelina challenged me.

I shook my head. “No. If this Council decides that I am to die for Felipe’s death, I will accept that, and there will be no retaliation. However, my bonded will not willingly give me up. Should I live through this night by your mercy, I will be hers and no other’s. For that, we will all fight with all that we are.”

“Your love for her is that strong,” Agnes said with some awe in her tone.

“Yes,” I responded.

“Then you are lucky,” the California queen smiled.

“Whether Northman loves or not is not the question,” Michelina said, sounding a little tired. “The question is whether Felipe’s crimes outweigh his. Tell me, Viking,” she challenged. “What kind of king would you be?”

I was somewhat surprised by her question, but answered quickly and honestly. “I want to take Louisiana into the next generation with honor—in remembrance of Queen Sophie-Anne and in remembrance of my own human father, who once taught me that to rule was the most fearsome, humbling, and grand responsibility one could have. I will honor the Vampire Council as I have attempted to honor all the monarchs I have served.”

“And what of Freyda’s claim to you?” Michelina asked. “You could align with Oklahoma as an equal! Indeed, the wisest choice you could make—if you live through the night—is to accept Freyda as your wife and queen!”

She sat back in her chair. “Indeed, if you agreed to that stipulation, I’d be willing to vote that you are not guilty of de Castro’s death right now,” she added with a smirk.


A/N: I hope you are still enjoying the vampire politics.  I promise that the council’s resolution is coming.  🙂  I hope you will leave a comment if you are inclined and have time.

Best,

Kat


Many thanks to Seph and Kleannhouse!!!



 

 

38 thoughts on “Chapter 54: Trial, Part 2

  1. Bless you for continuing to write and post when you are dealing with health issues. That is true selflessness. Great chapter, I knew Appius was a gigantic bastard. How can one entity be so evil and cruel. Makes you wonder who made him vampire and what his newborn experience was. Amazing that Eric ever managed to survive 1000 years. Yay for Sookie standing up for their bond and flaunting her supernatural status.

    1. Dealing with my own health issues and having trouble stringing two thoughts together. If Appius and FDC were behind anything that worsened Katrina and interfered with response to that disaster either before or after landfall, they are guilty of mass murder. Anyone who supports that regime or anything it did is aiding and abetting mass murder. How would the vampire council like it if it got out that vampires helped make that disaster worse? It would be credible for there to be not just tremendous outrage but also huge lawsuits. Anything that was dreamed up by that evil duo including selling Eric to Oklahoma should be denounced wholesale, or they are complicit. The attitude about humans is really making me angry. If that is the attitude of vampires in power, then they need their asses handed to them by humans and other supes. Vampires would not exist without humans, both because they were once human themselves and as their food source. This is not the Dark Ages, this is the 21st century. How many vampires developed technology that they now enjoy? Television, computers, the Internet, smartphones. Hell, even this videoconference they are having. They have no right to talk down to humans. But, like I said, living in NYS all my life, doesn’t surprise me the queen of NY is a huge entitled bitch. Downstate treats all of upstate like we are a bunch of toothless rednecks who don’t deserve any decent treatment because we are stupid enough to live in the country. Even when I first started in private practice in 1987, the state department of health was trying to shut down all the smaller hospitals and succeeded in many cases, so people have to drive an hour or more for medical care. There is no public transportation out here for those who can’t drive or afford a car to get to the doctor. The taxes on property even in our rural county are among the highest in the country. And workman’s compensation here is the worst in the nation. Despite having a spinal injury that left me completely disabled 14 years ago, and was classified as permanently disabled, the WCB has decided they will only cover curative care, so my lawyer and I are fighting a losing battle to cover my meds and supportive care and equipment. Just my meds are over $1000 a month, but I need special equipment and monitoring. My husband had to quit his full time job to take care of me, since I can’t eat, wash, dress or even take meds without help. My wheelchair is so rusty it is a battle to put it together to move me anywhere but we can’t get it replaced. Even moving out of state, I will be forever bound to NYS policies in regards to WC. Just because I am a physician, the attitude is that I have lots of money. How many people who worked only 16 years before they were severely injured at age 42 and have not worked in 14 years have any money? Our governor is planning to run for president next election, if he gets voted into office he will make Trump look like a saint. So yeah, no surprise the vampire queen is so condescending about humans. I think all the administration in this state are vampires, it would explain how and why they are sucking the life blood out of the residents of this state. Wow, I don’t sound bitter at all, and I am way off topic.
      Anyway, this author rocks. I don’t have much that I can do or afford to do to stay occupied in this life, but I anxiously await updates. Sorry for the rant again.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with health issues Kat! I hope you’re feeling better soon. Thanks so much for posting this lovely chapter despite not feeling well.

    Wow. Michelena is a bitch. She’s another like Appius. Eric didn’t want her, so she can’t stand for him to be happy and in love with someone else. Ugh. Obviously, Eric won’t accept her “compromise”, but she’s so obvious.

  3. *stamps foot*
    Quit! You’re dragging things out! lol
    I’ve followed you since part way through Come Back To Me: I know how you work (at least to some extent). I know I should curb my impatience, but dammit woman!
    Then again, there is a reason you are one of the few fanfiction authors whom I still read, and who can still get a rise out of me with a few well chosen words :D.
    I hope you get things in your personal sphere under control again soon.
    Well done, as always, if my reaction is anything to go by, and we’ll see you again next weekend.

  4. I am loving this story, as with every thing you writer just drags me in happily. Sorry to hear your under the weather, many bright blessings. Cannot wait for the next update.

  5. Bless you on your health issues –i hope you are faring better as I write. Oh my, so the queen of New York is trying to force Eric into the marriage with Freya. She still can’t get past her preconceived notion that Sookie is only human. She’s a princess born –she didn’t take a throne like Freya because of an overthrow. She’s truly above Freya. Her claim proceeds Freya. Can’t wait to hear the conclusion!
    Best –take care of yourself first and foremost!

  6. So sorry you are having health issues and yet you continue to give us your wonderful stories. Excellent chapter. As always waiting for the next update . Take care

  7. Well for one Sookie would not allow for Fredja to marry Eric and 2 Eric wouldn’t marry her any way. Also I’m with Peppermntbark I to wonder what New York has to gain by this. I also wonder if you Kat have the A.P. in the back ground waiting to step in and stomp on both Oklahoma and New York. Sookie is in no way giving up Eric or sharing him for that matter.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  8. Hope you are able to get your health issues under control. Thank you for still giving us a chapter! I personally love all the politics and am glad Sookie is standing up for what is hers. Hopefully Micky takes Nargal’s threat seriously…

  9. It would seem as though Michelina has her own agenda with wanting Eric to align with Freyda. She made it a bit obvious at the end there or maybe I’m reading too much into that last line!
    I hope you’re feeling better soon. Thank you for updating even though it’s been difficult for you. We all appreciate it and you!

  10. Mesmerizing, the way you weave the threads of all these plots into a wonderful fabric. You have a fertile imagination and we all benefit from it. I think Eric has won over the panel (Michellna seems to now clearly be in the minority)..
    I am sorry to hear about your personal health struggles. Hope you find some relief soon.

  11. Wow what does NY have to gain by all of this. Or is she just a bitter bitch and doesn’t want Eric to be happy? I can’t wait to find out what happens. For a split second I was thinking if Bill was still among the undead to get him to talk of FDC’s plan to take Sookie. But that’s just crazy talk, Bill isn’t in his right mind and who knows what he would do.

  12. Meow! There’s a scent of blackmail in the air! Michelena seems to have overplayed her hand and revealed she has a dog in this race.
    Legally (lol, vamp court) both Sookie and Eric have good reason to “appeal” any negative decision this council makes since there is a member with absolutely no objectivity. How embarrassing for the rest of the members! I get vamps do things differently – but NY’s actions are shameful to them all as a unit. Someone so jealous and bitter should never have held such an important sacred role in their justice system to begin with. From past chapter we know the AP is the tie breaker and can save this mess, but still how can Agnes, Stan and Russell condone their co-council’s actions?
    Michelenas proved multiple time she is not there to 1) listen or take appropriate action to anything she is told – as in ecognizing Sookie is a Princess with loyal & vicious allies, Sookie & Eric bond/pledge is Still in place and strong and 2) be objective. Her entire base of action is predicated on Eric spurning her years ago! smh
    With Michelenas final line, I’m beginning to wonder if she was involved in some of Felipe’s or Appius’ machinations – or at the very least knew of Andy cheered them on. Or is she a carbon copy of a sadistic Appius whose only mission in life was to ensure Erics life be miserable because he was *jealous*?!
    I’m not sure which motive stokes her, but right now I just think she’s a bitter bitch who is EXACTLY like Appius and all because Eric didn’t want her he should pay for by having his love ripped from him and be sold into slavery…or off with his head!

    Just for shits and giggles, Sookie should let Michelena know she’s behaving like a *human* when they lose the man/woman they have their eye set on to someone else – trying to make both the guy and girl pay – as if that will make them suddenly realize they’re with the wrong person!

    Enjoying! I know I rarely review but everyone in a while I have word vomit,

      1. You make some great observations. I think in many ways, Michelina is acting exactly like a human politician. Human politicians often have their own agendas and are disdainful of the average citizen. I would love to have someone point out to Michelina that she is acting like a spurned woman. But I also agree with the comments made that she seems to be pushing too hard to force Eric to marry Oklahoma. Her initial outbursts that Eric should be immediately executed may have been calculated to push Eric to take the less severe outcome of marrying Oklahoma. I suspect that she may have had some alliance with Appius and/or FDC. She may have been scheming to help with the takeover of NJ that Sandy revealed. I wonder who now gets the money that first Appius then FDC would have gotten for the completed contract of Eric marrying Oklahoma. Perhaps NY secretly married FDC? Maybe the money would go to the council? Appius wanted Eric to suffer, if Eric’s progeny also suffered, that would be a bonus. If Karin Slaughterer knew her killing Michelina’s maker led to Eric either being executed for treason or being forced to leave his beloved bonded to enter a loveless marriage, she would suffer too, that would be a bonus. I think there are layers upon layers of motives, just like human politics.

        1. It would make sense if somehow Michelina is bankrupt and would benefit monetarily by Eric going to Oklahoma. The human government of NYS has bankrupted the state. Why not the vampire queen?

  13. I am so sorry for your I’ll health. It’s hard to keep sometimes when you don’t feel well. Thank you for continuing to write anyway. Michelina sounds like she is more deeply involved in this than she wants people to know. I wonder what she expects to get out of it. I think she would enjoy knowing Eric is miserable. She might ought to watch her back. Great chapter.

  14. Too bad vampires don’t leave any remains when they meet the true death so Appius could be dug up and his remains desecrated. Maybe a medium could call up his spirit and he could be tortured? Eric and Sookie being happy and together would be the biggest torture.

  15. So sorry to hear about your health, love your writing. As usual you have left us hanging * shaking a frying pan 😂😂* NY, is trying to interfere with a bonded pair.
    (Look out Bitch NY) That will come back and Bite ya. In more ways than one.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  16. ummmm Nargal please kill Michelina, i beseech you ….. grr that woman. loved the chapter, i think they have gotten a crack in everyone stances on what should happen to Eric by what Sandy said. KY

  17. Michelina is a royal bitch and i have to wonder what she has at stake to be so vehemently against Eric. Love that Sookie is fighting so hard for Eric!

  18. Michelina has proven that she doesn’t understand Eric by making that offer. He’ll never accept, even if it means his final death. Sorry you’re having health issues and hope things improve for you soon.

  19. Thank you so much for updating even when you are not well. I will be thinking good thoughts for you.
    Maybe NY needs to be overthrown!! Very nasty little vampire. Look forward to seeing if the AP is going to have to make her opinions known.

  20. Wow……You got a lot of people talking with this chapter. It is great to see. I too think that NY is up to no good. There has to be something in it for her. I think that maybe Freyda will share the Viking with NY sexually. She seems like some one who will get off on that kind of humiliation. I am sorry you are not feeling well. Yeah workers comp sucks.

  21. I’m hoping you’re feeling better as I write. Michelina has a nerve coming up with what amounts to bribery. You marry Freyda and I’ll vote for your acquittal! Hopefully the other council members will see that statement for what it is. I’m sure Eric will scoff at that proposal and Sookie will have something to say about it as well.

  22. I’m sorry to hear about your health struggles, sending healing and strength your way.

    Could Michelina be Freyda’s child or vampire sibling perhaps? Thanks for the gripping chapter.

    Joyce

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