A/N: Hi Everyone! OMG! Two chapters in one week can you believe it? LOL! I am so excited! I am trying to keep my promise to get caught up for you all. ;)
I want to thank everyone that reviewed, faved, and alerted. I Love You Guys! To Everyone else reading but still lurking in the shadows I want to say I Love You Too! :)
I want to thank VAlady for beta'ing this chapter for me. I also want to thank Cageyspice for allowing me to bounce the insanity from my mind off of her. You Ladies are Amazing!
Now on with the show!
Warning: This story is rated M for a reason. There will be adult language, adult themes, violence, blood, gore, (I mean vampires come on) Major Lemons, Fem-slash, Male-slash, and just in case I forgot anything that's rated M. ;D
Disclaimer: The only thing I own is my ideas and any characters that might be brave enough to invade the chaos of my mind. ;) Everything else belongs to the great Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball! I'm just borrowing their toys. (Do I have to give them back though?)
"Yes, we do, Pamela and I already know what it is," I hissed and turned to glare at my child.
"You do?" Pam asked a bit taken aback.
"The problem is you keep interrupting me," I said in a calm low tone that Pam knew all too well.
Pam rolled her eyes, crossed her arms over her chest and popped out a hip. "I am serious, Eric. I cannot find Chow anywhere," she said snidely.
"What do you mean you cannot find Chow? I ordered him to stay here," I bellowed turning towards her, narrowing my eyes and clenching my fists.
"Enough you two! There is an easy way to settle this," Sookie shouted and then turned to me. "Eric, how many…people…brains…vamp, human, and the like should be in this building?" she asked falling back into business mode.
"Including yourself and the three of us? There should be five vamps and one human," I stated and watched as Sookie's eyes slide closed.
Sookie stood there very at ease for a few moments and then her face scrunched up in confusion. Her expression turned to one of frustration as she turned her head and tilted it to the side. Suddenly her head snapped forward as her eyes popped open and widened. "Eric, Pam's right, we do have a problem. It is only the four of us in, above, below or around this building," she said, her voice a bit shaky.
I spun to face her and grabbed her shoulders. "Sookie, are you sure about this?" I asked as I fought to keep control of my rage.
"I would bet my life on it," she stated completely confident.
The realization finally hit me and I was off in a flash for the basement. The girls were right on my heels. When I reached the bottom of the stairs I roared so loudly that the concrete seemed to shake. The scene before me was un-fucking-believable! Compton was gone and there was a puddle of finally dead vampire on the floor in front of where he had been chained.
"Well, I think we found Chow," Pam deadpanned.
I was about to explode when a warm hand wrapped around mine. My head snapped to the side to find who dared to touch me and I locked eyes with Sookie. "We need you, Eric," and that was all she had to say to calm the raging beast within me. Only Godric had ever been able to calm me in such a way. How was she able to reach me? Yet another thing I will have to think about later. "Pam, what makes you think this is Chow and not Compton?" I asked gesturing at the pile of gore on the floor.
"That…" she stated pointing at something glittering in the pile of ooze. "The ring belonged to Chow's Maker. It was all he had left of him. He swore the only thing that would remove it from his finger was final death. I guess he was right," she said tartly with her hands on her hips and a bored look.
This was not good, not good at all. "Pam, go check the security footage and find out who is responsible for this," I commanded and she zipped up the stairs.
"Does that mean he's loose? Bill is out there?" Jessica gasped out and began to shake. "He can command me again. Oh God!" she exclaimed as her voice rose in panic and she began to back away.
"Jessica, calm down. He can -" was all I got out. 'What is with all of these women interrupting me?' I thought in exasperation.
"I can't do it! I can't go back to having to do whatever he says! Oh God! He is going to take me away from Sookie!" she screeched and began sobbing uncontrollably.
Before I could even move, Sookie was in front of her. Yet another thing to tell the Doctor but it was not worrisome to me. There was a good chance it was just the effects of all the vampire blood in her system.
"Jessica," Sookie said sternly, making Jessica snap to attention and lock eyes with her. "You listen to me and you listen good. You're not going back to him. He abused, neglected, and abandoned you. You're mine now and he can't have you back," she said with such power and confidence that it even sent a slight chill through me.
"But…Sookie…what if…he commands me?" Jessica stammered out, wringing her hands, but never breaking from Sookie's gaze.
"No! You stop that right now!" Sookie ordered her and she did immediately.
I would have sworn that it was as if…but it could not be. There is no way for that to happen. Never had I seen or heard of anything like this. It is impossible. I did not understand what I was watching. 'Maybe Godric would know what is happening,' was my only thought.
Sookie pulled Jessica into her arms, guided her head down to her shoulder and began to sooth her. "Jess, I need you to calm down now and listen to Eric. Can you do that for me, Baby Girl?" she cooed to her in a low soft mothering tone as she rubbed her back and stroked her hair.
Jessica nodded her head yes while it was still buried in Sookie's shoulder but she seemed unwilling to speak.
"Now none of that, you answer me and answer me right. You know better," Sookie chided her with a stern but soft tone that I was all too familiar with.
"I'm sorry. I'm better now and I'll listen," Jessica answered her voice meek like a scolded child and she turned her head to look at me. Her face was streaked with bloody tears but her eyes held a look of safety and comfort that I also knew very well. She clung to Sookie like a life line without even a hint of being an uncontrolled baby vamp in the arms of the sweetest smelling human that I had ever known.
"That's my girl. I want you to pay attention Eric. He knows a lot more than we do and don't go interrupting him. We've all been doing that way too much and it's disrespectful. Gran would have kittens if she heard us cutting him off like we have been," Sookie said reproachfully. "I'm so sorry we've all been cutting you off like we have. It's not right and I feel horrible about it. Please continue, Eric," she said morosely.
"It is quite understandable. We have all gone through a lot in a very short amount of time," I said, trying to console her. "Now back to the matter at hand. Jessica, I was trying to tell you that Compton cannot command you right now. In order for a Maker's command to work the child in question must hear it," I stated but continued quickly. "I want you to think back to when I had Compton remove his commands from you. You were in the bar and we were down here but it still worked. I had made sure to leave the door open just a crack so that you could hear him with your vampire hearing. It was not noticeable to you because of how distressed you were at the time," I explained and I could feel my expression soften as I watched the realization hit her. "The only thing that Compton should be able to do right now is call you to him," I cautioned as a flash of déjà vu hit me. The memories of me having this conversation with Pam and Godric having it with me flooded my mind. Pain racked my chest as I realized that I had relived more memories of Godric in the last few hours than I had in a very, very long time. When I glanced at Sookie it was as if she sensed my pain. I did not recognize the emotion in her eyes but when she gave me a soft nod and a small smile I knew she understood.
"Well I don't have a phone so that shouldn't be a problem, right?" Jessica asked with a confused yet hopeful look on her face.
By the Gods! With every passing moment Compton is proving to be an even more worthless and pathetic vampire than I had originally thought. "No, Jessica it does not have anything to do with the phone. It is called a Maker's call and can have varying strengths," I said as I walked slowly towards them trying not to startle her. "If used lightly then you might get a flash of a place or even your Maker," I spoke softly trying to clarify things for her. "At its strongest you will have an overwhelming urge to go and it does not matter if you know where they are. You will find your Maker. You can fight it but it will be painful and the longer you fight it the more painful it will become. There will come a point when you have to go just to make the pain end," I disclosed and started stroking her hair as she began sobbing once again.
Anger, worry, fear, disgust, and many more emotions began to spin like a tornado inside of Sookie. "Eric, there has to be something we can do. We can't let him take her," she practically growled, gritting her teeth.
"For now there is only one thing that can be done. Jessica, if Compton uses his Maker's call do you want us to stop you from going to him?" I asked, looking into her eyes but continued before she could answer. "Think about this carefully before you answer, Jessica. This could become extremely painful. Not just the call but what we may have to do to stop you," I said as I stroked her hair trying to convey the seriousness of this but also my understanding. "Now that I know more about Compton I am sure that if he calls he will make it so the only way to stop you is to silver you. Even then he could still continue the call until the pain rises to the point of causing insanity," I cautioned her. "You must be sure this is what you want. Be very clear about what steps you wish us to take and when you want us to stop," I warned her even though I already knew what her answer would be.
Jessica straightened up and pulled back from Sookie a bit so that she could look at us both. Many things passed over her face but then a stillness washed over her and she gave a small nod. "I can't go back to him. I won't. I want ya'll to stop me, please? No matter what it takes or for however long. Don't stop no matter what. I would rather be finally dead then go back to that," she said with strength and conviction that made even me proud.
With the right training she was going to make a fine vampire someday.
Sookie gripped Jessica's shoulders and smiled. "That's my girl, you don't give up. We will find a way to fix this. Just remember no matter what I'm not going anywhere and neither are you," she said wrapping her in her arms and squeezing her. "Now you head on upstairs and get cleaned up and we'll meet you up there," she said shooing her with a light smack to her ass that made Jessica giggle and speed up the stairs.
Sookie turned to me frustrated and rubbing the back of her neck. "Eric, there has to be something we can do," she said a bit exasperated but still determined.
I walked closer to Sookie and gently brushed a few strands of hair out of her face. "I have a few ideas. Being Compton is still so young, the further away from him she is, the weaker the call should be. That being said, taking her to Dallas as soon as possible should help," I said as I churned contingency plans around in my head. "Compton is not only on the run from us but also the Queen. He has failed in his mission for her and has to find some way to fix it before she finds out. That could mean he will be too preoccupied to even think about Jessica but that is just a hope. I prefer not to rely on it," I suggested not giving it too much credence. "Other than bring him to his final death our best hope at finding a way to block a Maker's call is Godric. He is the only one that I know that could have the knowledge to do such a thing," I told her with all the conviction I had within me.
"Alright then, what are we still doing, standing around here yappin'?" she asked as she patted my chest. "Let's load up and get on up outta here. We have a Maker to find and a call to block," she said and began to giggle. As she headed up the stairs she mumbled "What's next vampire call waiting?"
I could only shake my head and chuckle. Even after everything that had happened in just two days she can still make jokes. I do not think she will ever stop amazing me.
When I entered the bar I saw Pam and Sookie whispering. As I started towards them Sookie turned to me looking concerned and Pam looked agitated. I knew that this could not be good. Just what we needed – more problems. The past couple of days had been as if someone had gone around and let everyone's skeletons out of their closets while they opened Pandora's Box all at the same time. "What did you find, Pam?" I asked as I reached them with a raised brow and crossed my arms.
"I checked, double checked, triple checked, and more all of the security footage. Master, everything was black for one hour, thirty-seven minutes and forty-two seconds," she stated but before she could go on I raised my hand stopping her.
"You mean that it was blank or that it was turned off for that long?" I asked trying to figure out why she used the word black.
"No I mean black and there was no sound," she said frustrated but continued quickly. "I watched Chow enter the basement and the second the door clicked shut everything went black and there was no sound. All of the equipment was running and it was recording fine. Then after one hour, thirty-seven minutes and forty-two seconds I could once again see and hear everything. I have never seen anything like it," she hissed crossing her arms and fidgeting with her necklace which was very unlike her. "I checked everything. Nothing was tampered with not the equipment, not the computer, not even the off site backups. I do not understand it and there are also no recent strange scents in the club," she said as she stared off into the distance trying to puzzle it out in her own mind.
"It's as if someone threw a soundproof blackout blanket over the club like a cloak," Sookie mumbled to no one in particular as she played with her bottom lip using the back of her forefinger and her thumb.
Shit! This was the last thing we needed. "Sookie, I think you may be on to something. This reeks of some kind of spell and that would also explain why there is no scent. Too many things are popping up too close together," I said rubbing my chin as I planned things out. "Pam, call the cleaners and have them take care of the mess. Then make the calls to have the club taken care of while we are gone. I am going to make our travel arrangements and then call Ruben. I need to have him get started. We need all the information we can get right now," I delegated, knowing that we needed to get to safety fast.
"Eric, I need to call Sam. I have to at least tell him I'm on indefinite medical leave so he can find someone to take my shifts. Also Jessica and I are going to need to go and pack," Sookie added but did not loose her temper.
Interesting. "Sookie, with Compton loose I do not think it will be safe for you or Jessica to go back to Bon Temps right now. Pam and I will not have time to pack either. When we reach Dallas I will purchase whatever we need then. It will be safer for all of us in the long run that way," I explained and waited for her to erupt.
"Well Hell! We can't go home and pack but I don't feel right letting you pay for everything, Eric," she said, frustrated as she ran her fingers through her hair.
"Oh for goodness sake, Sookie," Pam huffed and threw her hands in the air. "Sookie, is Jessica yours?" Pam asked her raising a brow and putting her hands on her hips.
"You bet your pink pumps she is," Sookie sassed and crossed her arms.
"Well then it is all settled," Pam said and waved her hand in the air brushing it all off.
"What?" Sookie asked exasperated and looked at Pam as if she had said she was Tinker Bell.
"It is a business expense," Pam said with a shrug, proving to me once again how brilliant she was.
"Now how in the world do you figure that and what about Jessica?" Sookie dropped her hands to her hips and asked in annoyance.
"It is quite simple really. You are working for Eric and this trip is mandatory for the job. Jessica is yours and being a baby vampire she cannot be left alone. This means she must go with you. Due to circumstances beyond any of our control and for safety reason we must all leave immediately. That makes it the employer's responsibility to incur the costs of any and all necessities for however long the job takes. Hence making it a business expense," Pam said as she crossed her arms, popped her hip and cocked her head to the side. "Oh and by the way, did you know about the outrageous tax rates the government is charging vampires now? This will be a tax write off so you are helping Eric by spending his money," she said with a smirk, turned and began walking towards my office. "I am going to make my phone calls now," she called back with a bit of a chuckle.
"Well I'll be damned! She used my own math against me," Sookie exclaimed with a look of utter disbelief.
I roared out laughing at Sookie's disbelief and my child's brilliance. Pam had not only given a completely logical explanation of why I should buy things for Sookie and Jessica but also showed that instead of them being charity or a burden they would be helping me. Pam would definitely be getting a bonus for this. I would have to find out when the new Chanel line is coming out and be sure to order it for her.
"That's it, laugh it up, chuckles. We'll see how you like it when she does it to you," Sookie sassed with a raised brow and a smirk.
In a blur Jessica was standing next to us with a look of confusion on her face. "What'd I miss?" she asked tilting her head to the side and biting her lip. A habit she must have picked up from Sookie.
I calmed myself down enough to speak again but I could not wipe the smile from my face. "Sookie, I know you need to speak to the Shifter and with everything that's going on we don't know who to trust at the moment. It might be better that he does not know where you are so I will go get you a disposable cell phone from my office. While I do that why don't you catch Jessica up on what we are doing," I said as I watched her eyes slide closed and a look of distress come across her face.
"Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Eric, we have company coming," Sookie said in an eerily quiet voice even to me. Her eyes drifted open and had almost a trance-like appearance but her body looked as if she were preparing for battle.
Without having to look, I knew Pam was instantly at my side and the air began to fill with tension. "Sookie, what are you talking about? What company?" I asked her as I laid my hands on her shoulders and looked into her eyes.
Sookie was not looking at any of us. It was like she was seeing something or somewhere else. "He has them all riled up. We have fifteen minutes and they'll be here," she aid in a breathy voice as her body tensed under my hands.
"Sookie, it is going to be fine but I need to know who they are? Who has them all riled up?" I asked as I brushed a few strands of hair out of her face. My fingers drifted to the back of her neck and head as my thumb stroked her cheek. Something was different about this. Fifteen minutes out at the legal speed limit would make them about fifteen miles out. As far as I knew that was beyond the scope of Sookie's telepathy.
"There are several of them and they got my brother Jason with them. I can't tell how many. They are all so angry. I don't know who did this but it's bad," she breathed and then her eyes flashed bright blue. "I need a cell phone and we have to get out. Now!" she yelled grabbing my biceps as fear gripped her.
My gut was telling me she was right. "Alright, Pam, go downstairs, grab our things and the keys to the SUV. Sookie, you and Jessica wait right here for me," I directed and made a beeline for my office. I went to the wardrobe, opened the doors and lifted up the false bottom. Pulling out the two cases from there I closed everything up and turned to my desk. Kneeling down I slid the bottom left-hand drawer completely out and retrieved the smaller case from there. Placing everything back, I grabbed the three cases and headed back out to the bar. I reached Sookie and Jessica at the same time as Pam who was carrying two soft-sided briefcases.
"What's all that?" Sookie asked curiously while gesturing at the cases.
"Backup," I said with a smile and slid my free hand around to the small of Sookie's back. I led us out the back and over to the SUV. After loading everything into the back except for the small cases in my hand I helped Sookie into the front passenger seat. "Hold on to this for me," I said with a wink, handed her the case and closed her door. At vamp speed I moved around the car, jumped into the driver's side, started it up and decided to take the long way to Shreveport Regional Airport. Anubis Air did emergency flights out of there all the time and the flight to Dallas would be less than thirty minutes.
"Eric, I really need a phone," Sookie said with a bit of impatience while ringing her hands.
"I know, Sookie. Open that case and in the top part you will find several disposable cell phones. Use one to make your call and when you're done we will dismantle and toss it," I told her with a bit of a chuckle.
"Why would you do that?" she asked crinkling her nose and furrowing her brow in confusion.
"It is just a precaution so that the phone cannot be tracked by the signal, Sim card, or GPS," I explained with a smirk as she nodded her head that she understood.
Sookie opened the case quickly; yanked out the first phone she saw and then closed it with a snap. "Ya'll cross your fingers this works," she said as she turned on the phone and waited for it to power up. In moments her fingers were flying over the pad, keying in the number and then holding it to her ear.
Thanks to our enhanced hearing we all heard the ringing and then an answering machine pick up playing the Shifter's voice. 'You have reached Merlotte's Bar and Grill. We can't come to the phone right now but if you leave your name, number, and the time you called, after the beep, we'll get back to you as quick as we can.' followed by that God-awful beep.
"Hey Sam, its Sookie, ya'll must be swamped if you're not answering the phone. I'm so sorry to leave you hanging like this. I just called to see if you got the doctor's fax and tell you what's going on. The medicine they gave me has me awful sleepy so I'll call ya back tomorrow. Night, Sam," she said in a sleepy voice and then hung up. "One down, one to go," she said as she looked at me, winked and began dialing another number.
We could all hear the ringing and just before the line was picked up Sookie placed her finger against her lips with a grin, shushing us. "What up Bitch?" snapped a deep voice over the phone and we would have all growled if not for Sookie still shushing us while trying to stifle a giggle.
"Hey, Lala," she answered using that sleepy tone once again.
"Sooks, is that you baby girl?" this Lala person asked, sounding confused and excited at the same time. All of a sudden there were several voices all shouting at once. "Are you outcho damn mind, shut the fuck up and drive? Jason Stackhouse, if you ain't gots both yo' hands on dat wheel in the next ten seconds, I is gonna make you my bitch. Now is you gonna let me talk ta Sook or what? Sooks, you still there hookah?" he asked in exasperation.
"Yeah, Lala I'm still here. Did I hear you right that you're driving with Jason? I thought you were working tonight?" she asked still keeping that sleepy sound to her voice but adding confusion to it and rolled her eyes.
"I was til these rednecks went bat shit crazy on my fine black ass," he said, irritation clear in his voice.
"Lala, what are you talking about? Who went crazy on you?" she asked her voice dripping with concern even though her face was showing aggravation.
"I swear, Sook, white folk just all fucked up. Bout an hour ago the Boss Man gets this call and once he done hung up all hell broke loose. He hopped his white ass on board da crazy train and gave all these crazy motherfuckers a free ride. Only reason I is in this truck is he got your brother all riled up. I know you'd never forgive yourself if somethin' happened to his dumb ass," he explained seeming irked by the whole situation.
"You're telling me that Sam started all this?" Sookie nearly growled and we could all feel the vibrations of her anger resonate through the car.
A/N: Oh My! Well I guess we know at least part of what happened to Chow. Hehehe! You know it seems for our group the old adage 'When it rains it pours.' is more then true. :) See you all soon.