Disclaimers: I own nothing. They all belong to someone else.
A/N: Hard to believe I started this story 10 months ago and it's just now coming to a close. It's been fun!
Escorting the magister into the sitting room, Thomas was curious to see the vampire's reaction to the crowd assembled within. Although he'd expected Alcide to stick around after the trial, the butler was quite surprised when Eric gave the okay for the entire contingent to stay at the house for a few days.
Stepping through the doors, he announced their guest. "Master Northman, the magister has arrived."
Rolling his eyes at his butler's insistence on formal address, he nodded. "Thank you, Thomas. There should be no other arrivals tonight, so you may relax."
The man stepped to the side, allowing the magister to enter and taking in the slight widening of his eyes as he took in the group.
"Might I assume that this is the reason you were able to capture the Queen's guards last night?" The vampire gestured to the collection of weres scattered around the room.
Exchanging a quick look with Alcide, the Viking grinned at the lawman. "Indeed, they may have tipped the scales in our favor. If you'd care to take a seat I can introduce everyone, though I believe you already know a fair number of us."
Moving to the empty seat indicated between Isabelle and Alec, the magister appeared perfectly relaxed.
"Well, I'll save you some of the trouble. Obviously, I know you, Godric, Ms. Stackhouse, your two progeny, Isabelle, Alec, Claudine, Amelia, Alcide, and Chris." Turning to the were, he simply stated. "Now I understand why you weren't at the security desk this evening."
Nodding in the direction of one of the other weres, he grinned. "Lucas, my cousin, invited me this morning." His grin faded, concern over whether the magister would be displeased he'd had someone else cover his shift to attend this meeting settling in.
"Relax, given that I'm not in the office tonight I really don't care which trained monkey is at the desk. I'll wager you'll be more useful with this crowd than watching a bank of monitors."
Eric snickered at the magister's comments. "Well, you know over half the crowd. The others are part of Alcide's crew." Seeing the pointed looks from several of the pack, he corrected. "Or perhaps I should say part of Sookie's volunteer security detail."
The amended explanation drew a loud and unexpected laugh from the magister. Looking right at the fae, he smiled. "I had a feeling after our last meeting that you'd be attracting lots of friends."
Blushing slight, the young blonde shrugged her shoulders. "I guess so. Anyway, let's get the introductions out of the way so we can get started." Pointing to the various men seated around the room she quickly listed them off. "Micah, Trey, Ben, Jared, Lucas, Wes, and Charlie."
All giving a quick nod or tip of their hat, the weres acknowledged the magister.
"It's a pleasure, gentlemen. Now as Ms. Stackhouse suggested, why don't we get down to business. First, I have a few questions for you." Directing his gaze at the couch where the three mates sat, he started. "Who were our unexpected guests, and what did they want?"
Eric's gaze shifted to Pam and the magister's followed. Taking her cue, she spoke up. "We haven't had an opportunity to spend much time with them; however, I believe you know who Sigebert and Wybert are. As for the purpose, I believe the two oafs intended to kill off my dear maker and grandmaker and make off with their lovely little mate."
Her teasing tone hid the fury she felt at their attempt on her family. Those that knew her well understood her reaction.
"Are they still in your custody?"
"Yes, I paid them a visit late last night. I'm reasonably certain they'll be enjoying our hospitality for a day or two before they feel up to traveling." The Viking had enjoyed a rather interactive session with the pair.
"You realize, based on the edict I issued last night, you are within your rights to execute them?" The lawman was somewhat surprised they hadn't.
Godric decided to answer the implied question. "Yes, sir, but knowing that would see you tonight and will soon be meeting with The Authority we thought it wise not to act too hastily. We also thought you might be interested in getting additional information from them."
Resting his chin on his fist, the magister thought for a moment. "You have a good point regarding the information. For the first issue, you have nothing to fear in that regard. The Authority fully backs the protection of Ms. Stackhouse."
Too anxious to wait for the magister to bring it up, the Viking decided to ask about the meeting. "Do you know why they want to meet with us? It's unheard of for them to meet with non-vampires, and we don't want to put our Sookie in jeopardy. Do they know of her family ties and gifts?"
The telepath's mates both moved to increase the physical contact with her, as if maintaining contact helped remind them she was safe.
"I do not know the full reason for the meeting. What I can tell you is that they have a great deal of respect for both you and Godric. I would bet my existence they mean you no harm. As for Ms. Stackhouse, they do not know of her gifts or her family. Based on my over five hundred years with them, I would advise you tell them sooner rather than later. Keeping secrets like that makes it look like you're trying to pull something."
"Duly noted," the oldest vampire replied. They would have to consider how best to handle the meeting.
The next two hours were spent recounting various parts of the previous night. Even though most had participated in the debrief the prior night, some of Bill's antics were just as amusing during the second retelling.
Noticing that Sookie appeared on the verge of falling asleep, the magister suggested it was time to depart.
"I can bring the equipment here for the video conference, so you don't have to come back out to the office. It has been a pleasure this evening."
Godric, Eric, and Sookie all rose with him to escort him to the door.
"Ms. Stackhouse, I'm relieved to see things working out for you. No one deserves to deal with Compton for a lifetime."
Leaning into Eric's chest, as she the exhaustion was truly setting in, she smiled at his comment. "Please, call me Sookie. There's no need to be so formal."
"In that case, you must call me Demetri." Winking at the young fae, he added quickly. "Just not in front of The Authority." With that, he disappeared out the door.
- THE END -
A/N: If you've enjoyed the story, please take a moment to review. I hope you all enjoyed.