Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
[Context Reminder: As the following scene occurs, Sookie is feeling very guilty about her blood drawing a vampire to her parents. She is blaming her “fairy-ness” and herself for their deaths.]
After I’d been unceremoniously hauled down from my “vantage point” in the corner, Bill and I were taken to what the storm troopers called a “holding area.” With its silver bars and uncomfortable seats, it reminded me of the “detention area,” though the room was larger.
Obviously, Bill and I had moved up in the world.
Dieter had placed Molly into the holding cell next to Bill and my new digs. It looked like others were asking questions about the malfunctioning iStake too.
As Bill brooded, I leaned against the cool wall and tried to decipher what was coming through my bond with Sookie. She was clearly uncertain about something—trying to make a choice of some kind. But the major feelings coming from her were sorrow and guilt—even stronger than that which I’d felt from her earlier in the week.
Whatever was wounding her psyche ran deep—deeper than anything I’d ever felt from her before. I wanted to go to her—to hold her to me.
To find out what had injured her and eliminate it.
To let our bond comfort us both—instead of feeling it pulling at us.
I could understand why Molly wasn’t seeing the obvious. After all, she was “new.” And she was fixated on only one thing: Why had her iStake not worked? She was too tech-savvy for her own good. She was looking for the answer in her computer, but the answer could only be found by looking at those around her.
So—yes—I could forgive Molly for her shortsightedness, but Bill’s continued confusion confounded me.
He was just now catching up, and not all of his dots were connecting.
In my head, most of the dots had already connected, and I didn’t like the fucking picture!
I sighed. Thanks, Captain Obvious. That Bill was still not recognizing the “whoever” was the sad part. It was obviously Salome. Still, I didn’t want to help Bill figure things out too much. Watching him unravel the situation was just too much fun—especially since it involved his “crush.” Plus, we were likely being listened to; thus, it was best if I appeared even more clueless than my monarch.
So I acted the part of blond and clueless. Stereotypes could come in handy.
Still, I decided to give Captain Obvious an obvious clue—by drawing attention to the scapegoat in the story.
“Nora,” I said, trying to sound both certain and upset. Truthfully—the “upset” part wasn’t an act. “She must have broken Russell out. It had to have been her.”
“You swore you never told her,” Bill said in that accusatory tone of his.
Exactly! I wondered how long it would take Bill to realize that Nora had been a red herring to keep Roman distracted as Salome had put her pieces into position. I started a silent count in my head. “1, 2, 3 . . . .”
Maybe Bill was too fond of the idea that Salome liked him to see that he was just a “piece” to her.
A piece of ass.
And a piece on her chess board.
“4, 5, 6 . . . .” I sighed; he obviously needed a little more help.
“I didn’t,” I responded to his accusation. And then I decided to throw Bill another bone to see if it would help him to work out the problem. “But I was with her while you were attending Russell’s execution. She knew what was coming.”
“I don’t care how fucking old Russell Edgington is,” he mused. “Pure silver coursing through a vampire’s veins is still pure silver coursing through his veins. We both saw how fast he was on top of Roman.”
Atta boy. Almost there. “10, 11 . . . .”
“And on me. There wasn’t any silver,” I confirmed for Bill.
“And Nora was locked up the whole time,” Bill said, finally stumbling upon the salient point. “She must have had an accomplice. At least one.”
Eureka! Dots connected. However, it was obvious that Bill still didn’t know who’d been pulling Nora’s strings.
“Molly? Molly!” Bill yelled. Clearly, he was going to try to see if she knew who’d betrayed them.
I sighed. Amateur. That line of reasoning would take him back a few dots. Oh well. I would play along. After all, there wasn’t much else to do as Sherlock Compton worked to solve the case.
“Are you a Sanguinista?” he asked. More like accused.
I sighed. Did he really think she was acting like a Sanguinsta!? And, if she was that good of an actress, did he really think she’d just give up that information?
“No,” Molly responded angrily.
“Uh. Duh! That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” she intoned.
“Are you loyal to Roman Zimojic? Do you believe mainstreaming is the only path?” Bill asked as if he’d suddenly become an inquisitor.
“Of course!” she responded. “You guys are whacked.”
Whacked, indeed. Bill, that is.
It was a pity really. He had been so close to the answer, but he’d gotten himself sidetracked.
Interesting. That showed me what side he was on. Whether he’d been with Salome all along was immaterial. What mattered was that he was smart enough to be with her now.
But was I? I really wasn’t sure. Anyway, it was likely a moot point. After all, Salome’s side was Russell’s side. Thus, I’d likely be dead in a few minutes. Or maybe not. Russell had spared me in the meeting room. Obviously, he had been asked not to kill me.
And that meant that she had her own role in mind for me.
Fuck—I was tired of being wrapped up in the cloak-and-dagger machinations that the Authority seemed to thrive upon! I fucking hated vampire politics, which was why I’d been more than happy in my little niche of the world with my queen five hours away.
Kibwe handed us off to some innocuous storm troopers, giving me a significant look as he did so. It was the kind of look that one weathered warrior gave to another. It was a look that let me know that he was the kind of general who really didn’t give a fuck what kind of political mechanism ruled him—as long as he was left to command the “troops” and to keep his existence.
I steeled myself as I mentally prepared for what was to come. I was not surprised at all to see that Nora was with Salome—though Bill was. He gasped as dots connected before his eyes.
Nora was Salome’s creature.
“Gentlemen,” Salome greeted.
Ever the diplomatic, Bill returned her greeting. “Chancellor Agrippa.”
“Come in,” Salome beckoned.
Oh—hell no! I wasn’t ready to deal with her explanations. I knew they wouldn’t satisfy me! Moreover, she’d not felt the need to offer them to me before—when I’d visited her in her cell. She’d been too busy rambling on about Lilith.
Was I bitter about that? And about her betrayal of me—and of Godric? Yeah.
“Go fuck yourself, Nora,” I said, cutting her off. In that moment, I really wanted to cut her out of my fucking life!
Of course, that was when Russell decided to make a dramatic entrance.
Bill’s and my fangs came clicking down automatically. Even though I was expecting Russell to be at this gathering, some things just couldn’t be helped.
“Fangs!” Russell laughed merrily. “You’re such boys. I’m not gonna hurt you. I just want to make an entrance, is all!”
I sighed. Did I mention that I was tired of Russell fucking Edgington? I should have killed him in the haunted hospital.
Scooby Doo—where the fuck are you?
Nora spoke to the ancient vampire as if frustrated with him. “Russell, enough.”
Interesting. From Nora’s tone, it was clear that the two had some familiarity with each other. It was also clear that Nora and Salome felt as if they had some modicum of control over Russell.
I sincerely doubted that would last long—even if Russell was grateful to them.
“Put your fangs away,” Salome instructed Bill and me. “We’re all friends here.”
“Like fuck we are!” Bill seethed, taking the words right out of my mouth.
“Oh, I think we can be,” Russell practically purred. “I’ve changed my tune.” He looked at me, his eyes enigmatic—mad, jolly, and rage-filled all at once. “You killed my Talbot, but I forgive you. Now you go,” he instructed.
Forgiveness might be divine. I was, however, not.
“You slaughtered my entire family,” I reminded.
“Bygones,” Russell said flippantly. “It’s olive branch time.”
My hatred for Russell boiled within me. However, I knew that if I tried to attack him, I’d be killed. More importantly, Russell had yet to mention Sookie. Whatever machinations Salome had planned, I knew that it would be best to go along with them—for the moment—so that Russell would stay distracted from what I truly cared about.
“I’m making an effort here,” Russell said, halfway between a pout and a warning. “It would behoove you to respond in kind.”
Asshole! Our putting our fangs away was our making an effort.
“Why should we believe you when no more than an hour ago . . . ,” Bill started.
“Tell me, Northman,” Russell said, ignoring Bill and turning his attention toward me, “when you were hanging up there on one of those very proud unhoned Turkish marble columns, did you ever stop to wonder why I didn’t kill you when I could have so easily?”
“I’m still wondering, actually,” I responded instead.
“Your ‘new maker.’ Of course,” I said sarcastically, looking at Nora.
“Oh, no, brother I would never . . . ,” she started.
“Stop calling me that!” I yelled at her, not willing to hear her explanations now that it was too late to do anything about them. I walked toward her, using my height to make her cower. “You rescuing us from the Authority, our getting caught. Everything was a fucking lie!”
“Yes, I knew about Russell,” Nora explained, her tone fiery, but also begging me to understand. “But that’s why I tried to save you. Because I didn’t trust he wouldn’t come after you.”
Well—that was the first reasonable thing she’d said all fucking night!
“Oh—ye of little faith. Not nice,” Russell chided Nora. “Very disrespectful.”
“I dug Russell up,” Salome confessed.
I closed my eyes for a moment. Finally! I would finally get an answer to the question that was still plaguing me. How had Salome known where Russell was buried? The answer to that question would lay to rest any lingering doubts I had about Herveaux betraying my trust.
And that would make me feel a lot better about the Were’s friendship with my bonded.
“And how did you know where he was?” I asked Salome.
And there was the answer I’d been waiting for—hoping for. The last fucking dot!
The picture was still ugly, but it wouldn’t compromise Sookie.
At least—not for the moment.
A/N: Hi! Thanks for continuing to read this. I hope you are still enjoying hearing Eric’s inner thoughts. I always thought it was ridiculous that the show creators were trying to make us think that Eric hadn’t figured things out yet. I think that’s quite unrealistic! So I wrote this scene to show my opinion that Eric was kind of “playing dumb” so that he didn’t reveal too much. The only mystery left for Eric to solve at this point was HOW they’d known where Russell was. And, of course, since I’m an Eric/Sookie shipper, I figured that he was curious mostly because he wanted to be sure that he wasn’t betrayed by someone close to Sookie. Anyway, that’s just my interpretation.