Exactly five minutes later, Jessica knocked on the door of the workshop; she’d been monitoring the listening devices installed in Bill’s house from the downstairs bedroom. Jason was with her and looked ready to spit nails. He was holding Jessica’s hand tightly in his own.
“What is it?” Eric asked, trying to make his voice sound calm. He’d used the previous five minutes to attempt to regain his composure. Given the looks on Jessica’s and Jason’s faces, Eric was certain he was about to need it.
Jason was the one who spoke up. “That fucker put a camera on my fuckin’ truck as well as one on Laf’s car. He’s been spyin’ on us, and today those cameras picked up on Hunter playin’ on the front porch!”
Jessica nodded solemnly. “Bill has just confirmed that it’s Hunter by using some pictures his P.I. stole from Remy Savoy’s home. Jason wanted to rip the camera off his truck, but I knew you wouldn’t want to let Bill know what we’ve found out.”
“That’s good, Jessica,” Pam said proudly.
Jessica gave her maker a little smile and then continued, “The cameras on the cars also transmit sound, and Bill―um―heard Lafayette and Jesus talking in their car about how you haven’t been yourself. He’s also heard them talking about the fairies a little, so he knows that both Sookie and Hadley are in the fairy realm. From what I heard, it doesn’t seem like he knows you’re better, probably ‘cause Laf and Jesus drove in separately today.”
Eric nodded for her to continue, “What else did you hear, Jessica?”
The redhead went on, “He does know from Jesus’s and Lala’s talk that you have been sick in the cubby for almost a while now, so he thinks you are vulnerable there. He thinks that the phone conversation he had with you yesterday actually confirms your illness since you,” she paused and her voice got quieter, “apparently didn’t sound like yourself.”
Jessica hurried on, “So Bill’s decided to attack here tomorrow night with Simon Brown, Lillith, and two other vampires he’s hired. He’s also got thirty humans, and they will all be carryin’ guns with wooden bullets.” She paused for a second as Jason gently squeezed her hand and kissed her hair. “Bill doesn’t care who gets killed in the crossfire as long as he gets Hunter. In fact, he prefers if everyone here were killed—everyone.”
Jason spoke quietly, though his voice was filled with anger, “That bastard said it would be best if Jessica died too.” Jason closed his eyes tightly before continuing, “And he talked about doin’ some real bad things to Hunter.”
“I am aware of his plans for Hunter,” Eric seethed, his hands drawn into tight fists.
Jessica continued, “He has a plan to get into the house too.”
“What?” Eric asked, even as his mind was already forming a plan of his own with the new information he’d been given.
“Me!” Jason said angrily. “He’s gonna send that vampire chick Lillith to seduce me at work first thing tomorrow night. Then, they are gonna glamour me and get me to invite them into the house while his human and vampire people kill everyone else. He thinks that he’ll find Hunter hidin’ inside. He plans to kill you in the cubby since you’re supposedly so weak, and then he’s gonna take Hunter.”
Jessica picked up where Jason left off. Her voice was halfway between sorrow and anger. “And then he’s gonna bite Jason to see if he tastes anything like a fairy. If he doesn’t,” she stopped and let out a sob.
“If I don’t,” Jason continued for her, “he’s gonna kill me to tie up loose ends. He wants to make it look like you went crazy here and killed everyone—Lafayette, Jesus, Miranda, Jarod, me. He’s gonna pretend to be the hero—like he had to come over here and save the fuckin’ day. He’s gonna say that Hunter was some kind of prisoner here. Then he plans to glamour Remy Savoy into coming here and basically giving him all rights to Hunter.” Jason scoffed, “Bill thinks that raising Hunter ‘as his own’ in the public eye will be good P.R. for him and get him in even better with the AVL. He also thinks that it will cover up what he really plans for Hunter.” Jason kicked his foot against Eric’s work table in anger.
For once, Eric allowed himself to feel all of his rage. He took out his phone and called Jesus. “I need you and Lafayette here―now. Drive Lafayette’s car. I need you to ‘talk’ about me on the drive over. Say that you have to come over because I’m near death and Pam wants you to try some magic to stop me from bleeding out. Say that my speaking to Bill on the phone last night drained practically all of my remaining energy. Be sad. And be convincing. Lafayette’s car is bugged.”
Eric hung up before Jesus could say anything and looked at Jason. “Your truck is in the front yard—correct?”
“Yeah,” Jason confirmed.
“Good, Bill would not have seen me this evening then. Pam,” he turned to his child, “how are those acting skills of yours?”
His child smiled wickedly, “Excellent―as always.”
Eric nodded, “Meet Lafayette and Jesus when they get here. And make it seem like I’m near death.”
“No problem,” Pam returned gleefully.
“A tear would be a nice touch, Pamela,” Eric added with a raised brow.
“Oh goody,” the vampiress clapped, “I’ve never gotten to cry on stage before.”
“Once Lafayette and Jesus are inside, I will speak to everyone, including Bubba,” Eric said.
“I assume that Bill is gonna finally meet his maker?” Pam said, her eyes glinting. She continued with a chuckle, “And I—for one—hope he has to spend eternity in hell with that bitch, Lorena.”
Eric met his child’s gaze. She looked glorious with her eyes shining and ready for battle. She’d stood her ground with him, she’d done well with Jessica, and she was now ready to fight by his side. He was proud of her. Her answering pleasure through their bond told him that she’d reopened their connection and that she could feel his pride and his love for her—even if she never wanted him to talk about it out loud. “Yes,” he thought to himself, “I have two magnificent children—one vampire and one human―and nothing is going to harm either of them.”
Pam, Jessica and Jason left, but Eric stayed in the workshop for a few more minutes.
All of the anger that had been accumulating inside of him since the night Sookie had been taken to the fairy realm flowed through him in waves and he embraced it. He was angry at the A.P., who continuously failed to return his fucking emails and who hadn’t even fucking bothered to warn him about Sookie being taken. He was angry at Godric for leaving him as well as for appearing to him just to fucking preach about what he ought to do. He was angry at himself for not being able to fucking protect Sookie better. He was angry that he had no way to get to his beloved wife and that he might never see her again. He was angry that he was fucking powerless―yet again―when it came to saving the person that meant the most to him. He was angry that the gods or goddesses or fates―or whoever had allowed him to find Sookie―would take her away from him. He was angry that his pain might be just a cruel twist in a higher being’s fucked up plotline.
And his rage boiled over for fucking Bill Compton. Compton had manipulated his bonded mate; he had wanted to control her and make her into his puppet. Compton had lied to Sookie and put his blood into her again and again. Compton had tried to keep Sookie and him apart. And now he had turned his sick plans toward Hunter since Sookie was gone. Compton wanted to feed from the boy. He wanted to train the boy as a sex slave and tie the boy to him. He wanted to take away Hunter’s will and freedom―just as he’d wanted to do with Sookie.
Yes—Eric allowed himself to feel all of his anger. And he had the perfect outlet for that anger—the perfect fucking outlet! Compton.
Eric wanted to rip Bill apart right then, but he scented that his majesty was safely tucked into his mansion. Eric smiled, however. Bill would come straight to him the next night; the Viking felt like a hunter getting ready to stalk his long-sought prey. He felt a surge of excitement about the impending fight. He just wished that Sookie was there to fight by his side.
Eric walked over to Hunter’s new bedframe and began to cover it meticulously with the tarp. Then he systematically and quickly piled all of his ready-to-be-used wood―except for a few stray pieces―into one corner. To the pile, he added most of his own tools and all of the tools he’d gotten for Hunter. Then he covered that pile with other tarps, making sure that nothing was exposed. Finally, he covered his work table with a huge piece of plastic and spread drop cloths down on the floor.
Yes—the Viking felt the nudge of impending battle. The vampire felt the desire to bathe in his enemy’s blood. The husband felt the need to take revenge for all the wrongs done against his wife. And the father was ready to rip out the heart of the one who threatened his son.