“Are you two ready?” Claude asked us.
It was 11:30 p.m., and we were to meet the others near Authority headquarters.
Sookie and I both nodded. Claude was going to teleport us directly to Jason, which he could do since Jason shared his bloodline. Jason was in his truck, and Jessica, Pam, Tara, and Nora were waiting about a mile away from him. After all, there was no need putting a fairy in front of four vampires. As a precaution, Claude was wearing a potion to cover his scent so that Sookie and I wouldn’t smell like him either. However, there was no need to tempt fate. Luckily, according to Claude, Sookie’s scent wouldn’t change significantly, despite her pregnancy.
The children had each started to develop a slight scent of their own, but their scents were similar to Sookie’s: enticing, but nothing like a full-blooded fairy would smell like. I hoped they stayed that way.
As soon as we were at our destination, I—once again—doubled over in pain. Teleporting was a bitch! Sookie was right next to me, already trying to comfort me.
“What’s wrong with him?” Jason asked.
“Teleportation was not meant for vampires,” Claude responded before looking at Sookie. “Call when you are ready to go back. And try not to get into trouble tonight,” he added wryly right before he “popped” away.
“Cool!” Jason said, staring at where Claude had been.
I had just gotten my bearings when the other vampires in our group zipped up to join us.
I noted that Jessica’s cheeks were stained with dried tears.
“Bill?” she asked.
“Dead,” Sookie confirmed. “He was not,” she paused, “himself in the end.”
“I know,” Jessica whispered.
Nora took a deep breath, even as Pam did the same. Both of their sets of fangs came down at once, eliciting similar reactions from Jessica and Tara. For his part, Jason seemed ready to shoot everyone with fang.
“What. The. Fuck. Eric?” Nora and Pam asked simultaneously.
It was Sookie who responded to them.
“A lot has happened today, so I’m gonna say this once, and then that’s it!” she said firmly. I could see that her hands were already glowing.
“Eric?” Pam asked me.
“I would like to introduce you to Sookie; in case you didn’t notice, she is something of a badass. I’d listen to her if I were you,” I said honestly.
Sookie turned to smile up at me. “Thank you.”
Sookie looked back at the others, though she targeted Nora more than the rest. “First of all—know this! Eric. Is. Mine!”
My vampire sister cringed visibly under the scrutiny of my wife. I’d had enough self-preservation skills to tell Sookie about the sex between Nora and me once we’d established who currently had dominion in our relationship.
My pregnant fairy wife with the lit-up hands!
The last thing I needed was any surprises being hurled by a jealous Nora, and I’d seen my sister do worse in the past. So—an hour before—I’d told Sookie, making it clear to her why I’d taken comfort with Nora through sex.
She’d taken it pretty well. Of course, she’d shot me with her light, which had flung me across the room from her. But then she’d fucked me almost unconscious again.
And then she’d ordered me not to ever do it again.
I’d considered myself lucky—very lucky actually—and I’d decided that she didn’t need to know about Salome. After all, anyone who could tell her was already dead. Moreover, I’d decided not to bring up the situation between Alcide and Sookie. All were non-issues as far as I was concerned.
“Best not to rock the boat,” I muttered.
“Exactly!” Sookie said, obviously not understanding the context of my statement.
“We have bonded—permanently,” I said, looking at Pamela, who was glaring back at me. “Sookie and I are one.”
“And we’re gettin’ married too—in Vermont,” Sookie added.
As Tara and Jessica’s mouths gaped open, Pam’s face contorted almost comically.
Okay—there was nothing “almost” about it.
“Careful—you’ll get stuck that way,” I snarked.
“What the fuck?” Jason asked his sister. “You can’t marry a vamper!”
“I’m having his kids,” Sookie said to her brother. “So—yeah—I can marry him.”
“A vampire cannot father children,” Nora glared.
“I nested with him,” Sookie returned, glaring back at Nora.
For a moment, the two were locked in a staring contest that I worried might go on for hours.
My sister looked away first and then looked at me.
“Sookie is a fairy,” I said. “Normal rules don’t apply.”
“No they don’t,” Sookie said, looking up at me lovingly. “We’re makin’ our own ‘normal,’ and y’all can either support that—or leave.
“Goddammit, Sook!” Jason cried out. “Momma and Daddy are here and they’re tellin’ me that vampires are against God!”
Sookie glared at her brother. “Go home, Jase. I’ll talk to you later.”
“But . . . ,” he started.
“No!” she yelled. “Ever since you hit your head, you’ve been acting like an idiot—a different kind of idiot than usual—and I don’t want you here. I’ll talk to you later!”
“Well fine!” he said angrily as he climbed into his truck and slammed the door. “I didn’t wanna help no vampers anyway.”
We all watched until his tail lights were out of the area.
“Anyone else?” I asked brusquely. “Sookie and I can do this alone, but we’d much rather have your help.”
“Then you have it. At least, you have mine,” Pam responded, looking at Sookie’s belly with awe. “I’m not gonna pretend to understand why you’ve picked her and how it is that she’s carrying your kids, but I hear two little heartbeats inside of her.” She smiled at Eric. “Two babies?”
“Two sons,” I corrected, looking at my progeny proudly.
I could tell that she was holding back tears. Of everyone there, Pamela knew me the best in many ways; I’d even told her about how much I’d regretted leaving my human children behind when I’d become a vampire.
I could see from their faces that Jessica and Tara would also be joining us as we took over the Authority.
“Nora?” I asked. “I want you with me. Hell—the Authority needs you if it is to remain in existence.”
She sighed and nodded. “Fine, but I’m still suspicious of how much has changed with you during the last 24 hours!”
“Are you?” I asked, eyebrow raised. “I told you before that I’d bonded with Sookie once, and you saw her in action. How can you doubt?”
Nora looked away for a moment and then smirked as she looked back at Sookie and me. “Well—your wife smells fucking delicious,” she smiled. “Leave it to you to bond with a fairy who can spawn with you.” Her expression became sincere. “Godric would be happy—as long as you are happy.”
“I am,” I said.
“Well—then—let’s get going,” Nora said, suddenly all business. She pulled a phone out of her pocket and dialed the Authority.
“Rollins,” said the voice that picked up.
“This is Chancellor Gainesborough. What is your status?” she asked.
“Chancellor?” Rollins asked with surprise. Obviously, he’d thought all the Chancellors were dead.
“Yes,” she responded. “I am with Chancellor Northman. What is your status?”
“Level two lockdown,” he responded. “There were fires last night, but they were extinguished. Last night Chancellor—um,” he paused, “Compton took control, but we cannot find him tonight.”
“He is gone; he’s met the true death,” Nora stated flatly. “Now—I need you to go to terminal B and type in my access code so that the lockdown can be cancelled and we can get inside.”
“I have to announce this over the intercom—give any remaining Chancellors the opportunity to contradict this directive,” Rollins said almost apologetically.
“Knock yourself out,” Nora replied. “Call this number back in five minutes to receive the codes.” She hung up.
“So—uh—what’s gonna happen?” Jessica asked. It was clear that neither Tara nor she had been privy to Sookie’s earlier conversation with Jason. Clearly, Stackhouse had taken Sookie’s request literally and had told only Nora about the call.
Sookie seemed to pick up this probability at the same time as I did.
“There are humans in the Authority headquarters. They were to be donors—sacrifices,” she said scathingly. “We need to let them go.”
“We also need to try to reconcile with the U.S. government before all hell breaks loose,” I added. “To get Nora and me out of the Authority the other night so that I could take care of Russell, I had to kill the general who had worked with the Guardian of the Authority in the past. Atonements must be made.”
“Ass kissing must be done,” Nora added.
Nora’s phone rang.
“Have you done your sweep, Rollins?” Nora asked. She didn’t need to give a greeting.
“Yes,” I heard him say. “You are the ranking Chancellor. And permission has been granted for you to enter.”
Nora hung up after giving the head of the “storm troopers” her code.
“Show time,” she said as she dialed her phone again. After a few moments, I heard a human male answer.
“General Michaels,” she greeted pleasantly. “This is Nora Gainesborough, ranking member of the Vampire Authority. I would like to meet with you concerning some disturbing developments that I have just been made privy to.”
There was a pause as the general questioned her.
“Yes, this is about General Cavanaugh—and many other things. I’m afraid General Cavanaugh is dead, as is Roman and most of the previous Authority members. We are re-forming the group even now,” she said, looking at me.
There was another pause.
“Yes, General. The unrest has been put down, but we need your aid,” she entreated, sounding contrite.
“Two hours before dawn would be perfect.” She hung up.
I nodded, pleased that the general had agreed.
“Well?” she asked me. “What now?”
“Now we form a new vampire government in the next few hours—one that will satisfy the U.S. government and one that will leave them feeling as secure as they were when Roman was in charge,” I returned.
“That’s it?” Tara asked with her normal level of sarcasm.
“No,” Nora returned. “We also need to figure out a scapegoat. The humans will need something—someone to take the blame,” she added.
“Newlin,” Sookie said.
I smiled at my bonded. “Brilliant!”
I looked at Pam. “Up for a hunt?”
My progeny smirked. “Always.”
“Find Newlin, and bring him back here as soon as you can.”
“Come on, Tara,” Pam drawled. “We’ve got scum to collect.”
Tara looked as anxious as Pam as they took off into the night.
Nora looked at me, Sookie, and then Jessica. “Come. We have much to clean up.”
It turned out that it had been a good thing that we’d left the storm troopers alive. They really did blindly follow whoever was in charge. And that person was now Nora.
Plus, they were very good at cleaning.
Though now as proficient as Claude.
The shifter, Luna, had opened a huge can of worms the night before by “being Newlin” and then shifting into herself and saying that humans were being held against their will in New Orleans. Luckily, before any reporters had found their way to the Authority headquarters, all of the captive humans had been glamoured and set free—along with a thousand dollars apiece. Sookie’s idea.
Lost wages and all.
I hadn’t argued with her.
Pregnant fairy and all.
Many piles of vampire remains had been cleaned up, and three hours before dawn, the building looked presentable again. Nora had called in support staff, and Jessica agreed to fill the role of receptionist for the night.
Nora and I had also been busy contacting vampires whom we hoped would become the members of the “New Authority.” Fake Lilith blood had been collected and put into the “sacred vessel,” and Nora was to be the new Guardian. I had—much to my chagrin—been given the role of interim King of Louisiana since I was the oldest vampire left in the state. I refused, however, to take the role permanently, and—after that night—I wasn’t going to function in any capacity with the Authority, which would be moving their headquarters to somewhere in California.
I didn’t want to know where.
Yes—there was a part of me that would miss Nora, but most of me was relieved that she’d be further away and busy with her own work. She’d already tried to draw me into a private conversation several times, and I could only imagine what she wanted to say—or do. Likely, Nora wouldn’t be able to understand why I had chosen to stay faithful to Sookie now that she was truly mine.
I sighed and went back to typing the “official report” that would explain how the Authority had been decimated.
Luckily, out of the ten vampires we called to join the Authority, seven had accepted. And four of the seven were quite visible in the mainstreaming movement. All of them were flying in at that very moment, and several of them were due to arrive before General Michaels.
“Hello, Northman,” Isabel said, her accent as charming as ever.
“Isabel,” I greeted in return.
“Hi!” Sookie exclaimed, excited to see someone she thought of as a friend.
I looked on warily as Isabel approached us. I knew that she’d sense our bond. But would she be able to pick up on Sookie’s pregnancy? I was hoping not.
“You look well, Sookie Stackhouse.”
My wife beamed. “I’m feeling well too!”
Isabel chuckled and looked at me. “I see you have finally taken her.”
“She took me,” I intoned evenly.
Isabel chuckled and then approached Sookie, extending her hand—a major sign of trust and affection for a vampire. Sookie, of course, hugged her as I stood tensely by.
Sookie grinned at me and rolled her eyes.
“Down boy,” she mouthed.
I settled down a bit. My children’s heartbeats were faint, and I knew from Nora and Jessica that they couldn’t hear them. At more than 1,000 years old, I could make them out—but just barely. I was hoping that no one else would be able to. From the look on Isabel’s face, I knew that she couldn’t hear them. Thank the gods.
“So,” Isabel asked, “I am to be an Authority member?”
“Why not?” Sookie asked. “You were my idea. I like you.”
Isabel laughed. “Well—it is good to be liked.”
A/N: Hello all! I hope that you are having a good week. Now that I am in control [insert evil laugh here], I decided to let Pam become a more “book-like” version of herself; there might be a few skips in the road, given that she has just been released by her maker and now he seems to be moving into a life that won’t be as tied to her. But my favorite versions of Pams might react badly at first but then deal. In fact, I think—at heart—Pam wants Eric to be happy. I didn’t like how she was often too driven by jealousy in the show. And I’m going to try to do something “better” with vampire Tara than was done to her on the show. (Her role in S7 was horrible; thanks for ruining her potential to “redeem” a mother who’d been an abuser for years.) As for Nora and Jason? We’ll have to wait to see.
Until next week,