Due Diligence

'You're not wearing your seat belt,' says Pam.

Eric, in the middle of damage control, shuts the cellular phone on his conversation with their unflappable human lawyer. Turning to Pam from the driver's seat, he snaps: 'What?'

'We could be pulled over, especially in this car,' she drawls, referring to Eric's red Corvette. She smiles unconcernedly. 'There are laws against it.'

He snorts, not deigning that idea with a response, and abruptly changes the subject. 'What did you think back there?'

The impromptu visit from the police aside, it was a thoroughly dull and unremarkable night. Except for one thing.

'Bill's hiding something,' she says after a moment's careful pause. Bill has never been any good at concealing his emotions. 'Could be unimportant.' Her tone tells Eric how unlikely she thinks this is.

'I agree,' is his clipped retort. 'However, it was his curious companion that I was referring to.'

'The unusually well-informed Miss Stackhouse?' asks Pam. The details surface: twenty-five, 5'5". Bon Temps, Louisiana address. Her license had her down as an organ donor. She smelt delicious.

'Indeed. Look into her, would you?' Eric pulls up next to the old factory building where Pam sleeps. A few more hours yet before dawn. 'I'll get on it,' she says, getting out of the car.

She looks back, and adds, almost as an afterthought: 'What about Bill?'

'Take no action,' Eric throws back. 'I will look in on Bill.'


1 October 2008