Feeling hesitant about what to do and not liking it a fucking bit, Pam looked down at Hunter.
For the second night in a row, he’d had trouble sleeping. Both his own thoughts and the concerned thoughts of the people around him had kept him awake, and when he had slept the night before, only nightmares had met him in his slumber. According to Jesus, it had been no different when he’d tried to nap earlier that day.
At midnight, she’d carried him into Eric and Sookie’s room where she and Duncan had told him hours of stories—the child-friendly versions, of course—about Eric getting into and—more importantly—out of trouble. They’d kept it light and had kept him laughing.
But he was still afraid to sleep.
Jesus had finally suggested making Hunter a special tea so that the child could rest more peacefully. According to Jesus, the brew contained ‘just a pinch of magic’—just enough so that Hunter wouldn’t dream. He’d gotten the “recipe” for the concoction during one of Claude’s many visits when they’d talked about Hunter’s nightmares, which—though very rare now—still concerned Eric. Claude had discussed the matter at length with Eric, informing him that it was not unusual for telepathic children in Faerie to suffer from vivid nightmares. It was a byproduct of hearing the thoughts of others and trying to process them before a child had reached the maturity-level needed to understand them. When insecurity—such as that Hunter had suffered—was thrown into the mix, the nightmares could get ugly indeed.
Even Pam—always suspicious of fairy magic—was thankful for the effects of the draught Jesus had made. Hunter was snoring his little snore and peacefully lounging between Odin and the cat. It was a fucking beautiful sight to Pam’s eyes.
She sighed as she thought about the effects of the spell that Jesus had finally convinced her to undergo at about 3:00 a.m. the night before. It had taken a lot of fucking convincing!
She shivered at the thought of the pain that she’d been in before she’d finally been persuaded to go along with Jesus and Lafayette’s idea to numb the bond she shared with Eric.
At first, she’d denied them and had tried to assure everyone that her ability to dampen down the bond would be enough to keep her from suffering too much. That was right before she collapsed right in front of Miranda!
Pam sighed. She hated feeling weak and hated looking weak even more, but the agony had become too much to bear, and she’d fallen. She closed her eyes. At least Hunter hadn’t seen that. In fact, only Miranda had been with her at the time, and she’d not told anyone or said anything about the fall. Pam was thankful for that.
However, after that, the Werelioness had been relentless in trying to persuade Pam to undergo the numbing spell. She’d even convinced Jessica to pull out the big ammunition—to remind Pam that she would not want her own child to feel that much pain. Pam had finally relented just so that everyone would shut the fuck up—well, that and because Jesus had assured her that she’d still be able to tell whether or not Eric was among the undead. She just wouldn’t be able to feel any of his emotions or pain.
It had upset Pam to disconnect from Eric that much, but Miranda was right. It had been becoming impossible for her to function, and Hunter needed her. According to Jesus, the spell would last for only one turn of the sun, so in a few hours, she would feel him fully again. After that, Jesus was ready to renew the spell if need be.
Pam had threatened to take Jesus’s balls as a trophy if something went wrong or if her bond with Eric was permanently damaged, but—though she hated to fucking admit it—she trusted that the brujo’s spell would work exactly as he said it would.
She closed her eyes. She could feel that Eric was still alive but that was all. Their bond felt empty, and for a moment, she wished that the excruciating pain was back. That way, she’d at least be sharing something with her maker; she’d understand what he was going through.
Pam ran her fingers through her hair and looked down at the sleeping boy.
She vowed to protect her human brother no matter what happened and no matter what it cost her, but she was going to fucking stake Sookie and her maker for putting her through this. That was for damned sure!
Quietly, Pam got out of the bed and left the room, thankful that Hunter didn’t stir. She nodded to Batanya and Duncan, who were stationed just outside the door. She couldn’t help but to smirk at the sight of the two holding hands. She rolled her eyes. “Better you than me,” she said snarkily.
“Yes,” Batanya agreed with a smirk of her own.
Pam chuckled and went into Eric’s office so that she would be close-by if Hunter woke up again. Next, she connected to her voicemail account for Fangtasia to see if there was any business she needed to take care of. Duncan and she had already decided to keep the club closed until after they got Eric back—if they got him back—especially since Russell was likely behind his abduction.
The service alerted her that she’d missed ten calls and received four voicemails, all from a number she didn’t recognize. As she played the first message, Pam immediately stiffened at the sound of Lillith’s voice.
She stood frozen in the middle of the room as she listened to all four messages that Lillith had left, cursing herself that she’d not checked the service before. Each was more detailed than the last; each was more desperate. Altogether, they took nine minutes to play. The final call had taken place only fifteen minutes before.
Pam quickly walked out of the office and gestured for Duncan to follow her. Once downstairs, she asked Miranda and Jessica to join them in the kitchen.
She motioned for them to be quiet and called Lillith’s number. She knew that every one of them would hear both sides of her conversation.
Bill’s vampire sister answered on the first ring. “Pam?”
“Yes,” Pam returned. “Where are you?”
Lillith answered, “About ten miles from you.”
“I will meet you in the graveyard between this house and the queen’s mansion in fifteen minutes.”
Lillith sounded doubtful. “How do I know you will be alone? “
“Because that was one of your requirements and because I am saying that I will be,” Pam said vehemently. “So that means I will be.”
“You are really going to do this?” Lillith asked uncertainly.
“Of course,” Pam said. “You have obviously spoken to Eric, and this is obviously his wish as well. I will do what I must for my maker and my brother.”
Lillith was silent for a moment. “Swords?”
“Fine,” Pam said flatly.
“Fifteen minutes and alone,” Lillith said almost as a question.
“Yes, yes,” Pam said irritably. “And as long as you keep your word to my maker, there will be no reprisals against you if you succeed. I give you my word.”
“I’ll keep my promise,” Lillith said before hanging up.
By this time, Pam’s tone had brought Lafayette, Jesus, Tara, Jarod, and Jason into the kitchen as well. Pam rolled her eyes as she looked at all the expectant faces of her audience.
“I didn’t realize I’d invited everyone,” she drawled.
“Spill,” Miranda said.
Pam looked around the room before focusing on the Werelioness. “That was Lillith―as I’m sure many of you heard or guessed. She has been leaving me some rather informative messages.” She handed her phone to Duncan so that he could hear them as well. Then she turned her attention to the others in the room.
“As we thought, Eric is being held by Russell Edgington.” Her tone lowered. “He was tortured last night. Lillith said it was bad, but,” she paused and took an unnecessary breath, “she said that he finished the night yesterday healed and unbroken.”
Jarod spoke up, even as he bounced a wide-awake Godric on his hip. “Why did Lillith tell you all this?”
She looked at baby Godric and rolled her eyes. “Apparently,” Pam informed, “the C-U-N-T regrets letting Russell out. And now, he has apparently threatened to kill her if she doesn’t kill me first, so I’m going to fight her—alone.”
“Pam!” Jessica exclaimed. “You don’t have to fight her. Let Russell just kill the,” she paused, “B-I-T-C-H. Why should we care?”
“We have to care,” Pam said in a low tone, “because Lillith knows about Hunter—was told by Bill about his telepathy. She also knows that he’s part,” she paused and sighed irritably, “fairy. But―as of yet―she has not told anyone that information. Apparently, she was ordered by Russell to make sure Eric lived through last night, and he convinced her that Russell will kill her whether she gives him the information about Hunter or not. Her only way to survive Russell’s wrath is if I am dead by morning. So Eric suggested a trade: If I fight her one-on-one—no tricks—she will not tell anyone about Hunter no matter the outcome of the fight.”
Duncan had been listening to Pam and the messages at the same time. “You believe her?”
“Yes,” Pam said. “There are things in the messages that only Eric could have told her.”
“But you don’t have to face her alone,” Jessica insisted. “We could come to you after a few minutes.”
Pam scoffed. “My maker taught me honor, as I have tried to teach you, Jessica. Plus,” she smirked, “what makes you think that Lillith is gonna last more than a few minutes?”
Miranda looked at Pam closely. “Still—it could be a trap, Pam.”
“I know,” Pam said, “but that is a chance I must take for Hunter, and Eric obviously trusted in what she had to say. But it is because it could be a trap, that I want for you all to remain here. If I am gone, Hunter will need you more than ever.”
“Pam,” Jessica squeaked, “don’t leave me.”
Pam walked over to her child, the child that she felt like she had turned. “Jessica, Lillith is younger than I am, and I do not fear her.” Pam leaned upwards and kissed her child’s forehead gently. “Plus, you are much more able than I was at your age. You are a wonderful vampire, Jessica. You are strong, brave, fast, and loyal. You have stood your ground with vampires ten times your age―as well as fairies and Weres. And if something happens to me, Jason will need you to help him take care of Hunter.”
With a great deal of effort, Jessica kept her tears from falling and nodded. “You’ll be fine,” Jessica said. “I’d just feel better if I had your back.”
Pam smiled at her proudly. “Keep an eye on Hunter’s back.” She looked at Miranda. “If the worst happens, Eric would want you to be in charge until he and Sookie come back—if they come back.”
“They will come back. And I’m always in charge,” Miranda said with a little smirk.
Pam went into the first floor bedroom and opened the small panel that concealed her sword. She quickly attached it to her back and then zipped up the stairs to speak to Batanya.
The Britlingen seemed to have been waiting for her. “If Russell Edgington learns of Hunter and decides that he wants him,” Pam began.
“It would be difficult for even me to keep him safe from Edgington if the protection spell falls,” Batanya finished.
Batanya spoke, “Trust me—before he could get close, I would take Hunter from this realm, and if it remains unsafe for him here, I will take him to Claude in the fairy world.”
“If Eric doesn’t return, would you renew your contract with me―or with Jason? There will be plenty of money,” Pam said.
“A new contract was written between the Norseman and me a fortnight ago. I will remain with Hunter through his lifetime.”
Pam nodded in relief, “Good. And I’m certain that Duncan will be glad to help you.”
“I’m certain he will,” she agreed.
Batanya turned and went back to her charge as Pam descended the stairs.