Disclaimer: All errors are my own.
The characters are the property of Charlaine Harris and Allan Ball, but the plot and story are all my own imaginings. I am grateful to play with their toys in my sandbox and return them slightly used.
A/N: Just what will our triad have to deal with when they face the notorious King of Mississippi?
"Worry does not mean fear, but readiness for the confrontation."-Bashar al-Assad
"All lives are filled with confrontations ... how we handle those confrontations, determines the quality of our day and ultimately the quality of our lives."-Tony Blauer
It was noon on Sunday when I woke, and I could feel Sookie struggling to wiggle out from between Eric and myself. She had already gotten halfway away when I pushed Eric off of her, causing her to release a startled yip of surprise.
"Oh my gosh, you about gave me a heart attack. Did I wake you up? I'm sorry if I did, but I really have to pee." She declared as she scrambled from the bed and hurriedly slipped on a pair of panties from her bag. She looked around in confusion.
"Um, where is the bathroom?" She asked, wiggling tantalizingly as she fought to control her body's need.
"I regret to say that Eric's quarters do not contain the facilities that you require Mo ghrá." I stated, slipping on some jeans so that I could take her to the nearest human accommodations. I lifted her into my arms and sped out of the generously proportioned apartment and into the common areas where there were several restrooms for humans.
"I can walk you know." Sookie protested mildly.
"Yes I know, but I am quicker, and I want to hold you. I find it comforting when I am holding you within my arms." She shook her head in mild exasperation of my reasoning, but capitulated.
"Fine, but I'm going to the restroom by myself." She huffed softly, laying her head against my shoulder and snuggling into me.
We reached the lavatory momentarily and Sookie gave me quick peck on the cheek mumbling her thanks as she squirmed out of my arms, heading to perform her morning ablutions. I stood outside the room as I waited for her to complete her morning ritual. I felt Eric rise as I waited for Sookie to finish. Itwas several minutes later when she walked back out looking slightly refreshed and considerably more alert.
Her face was still damp from the water she had used to wash it when I stroked a finger down the velvety soft flesh of her cheek. I was entranced by her natural beauty free of any artifice as she looked at me guilelessly. Her golden curls fluttered softly around her head, reflecting the light in a golden halo, giving her an angelic appearance. Even without her power upon her she glowed with vitality this morning.
She smiled shyly at me as I looked at her with such fervor, her cheek color darkening as she flushed with embarrassment from my scrutiny. As her blood rose under her skin her scent increased and diverted my attention. Her sweet aroma had a new intensity to it that caught me by surprise.
"Why are you looking at me like that, honey?" She asked self consciously.
"Your scent has altered." I informed her as I closely studied my own reactions to her new tantalizing aroma.
I was relieved to find that I had no compulsion to drain her as she stood before me. If anything, I would say that I felt even more connected to her than before and perhaps dare I say more protective. I was curious as to what had caused this new change. I could not recall her performing any further magic, after her grandfather had left us, which might have altered her fae essence further, although there was the odd colored light she emitted this morning during our sexual escapades. Perhaps a new ability had manifested and altered her scent. We would need to discuss this further with her Grandfather when we had a chance to talk with him again.
"Is it too fae now, is it bothering you?" She fretted needlessly.
"Calm yourself, Mo ghrá. Although your aroma is even more inviting, I find that I have no uncontrollable urge to consume you." I enlightened her.
"Oh, well that's good. What about Eric do you think my new smell will disturb him?" She questioned becoming concerned once more.
"Why do we not ask him? He has already risen and is patiently waiting on our return." I stated, hooking her hand through my arm and escorting her back to Eric's rooms.
As it was mid day we happened to come upon two female weres that were in the midst of their cleaning routines. Sookie tensed slightly but forced a cheery smile to her face and greeted the two individuals with a gracious demeanor. As she was exchanging introductions with the new people in front of us, Eric came striding up behind them looking like an avenging angel in nothing but a pair of low slung black denims. His purposeful strides had his long golden hair fluttering around his shadowed face in mockery of a nimbus halo. Sookie let out a gasp alerting the other two to his presence behind them. They twirled around to face Eric, just as Sookie's energy flared around her causing her sweet aroma to spike.
"Good afternoon Sheriff." The weres Samantha and Veronica greeted before noticing the light that had suddenly seemed to intensify around us.
The two weres looked between us and Eric with wide eyes. I suspected that they now realized what Sookie is and were wondering what one of the fae was doing with two vampires such as us. Sookie gave a short nod to me confirming that the weres in front of us were now aware of Sookie's supe status
"I'm so sorry, I couldn't control it. I didn't mean for them to find out about me." Sookie fretted, looking contritely between me and Eric.
"Nonsense, Mo ghrá, there is no reason for you to be upset with yourself. You should not have to shield yourself when we are at home." I stated trying to appease her as she looked at Eric for signs of dissatisfaction.
"Lover, my master is correct. Besides, it is better we find out that you cannot control yourself around me now, when we are here in relative safety, than when we are in the midst of our enemies." He stated with knowing smirk as he walked forward the last few feet separating us. He curled into her inhaling deeply, before pulling her into a bone melting kiss that left her panting.
"Eric!" Sookie gasped out, flushing a deep crimson, as he pulled away.
"Mmmm… Lover you smell absolutely enticing. I think it is time we retired our apartment and continue where we left off this morning." He stated as his fangs extended and pupils dilated, further announcing his arousal.
"Mo ghrá, perhaps, it would be best if we went somewhere more private." I concluded as the weres looked at Sookie in alarm.
"Please don't worry, they won't harm me." She informed the previously forgotten females as she grasped my hand and led us passed the bewildered weres looking at her as if she had a death wish.
"She speaks the truth. We will not harm her. She is ours, as we are hers." I confirmed to the weres as I picked her up and sped back to the compartments we had just recently vacated, with Eric right beside us.
Sookie's joyous laughter trailed behind us like tinkling bells as we left the weres behind us. It took mere moments before we were once more ensconced in the bedroom and wrapped around each other's nude bodies in the bed. I reclined against the headboard as Sookie straddled my hips with Eric perched just behind her. Her hands were braced against my chest for balance as Eric rubbed up against her heart shaped bottom and plucked nimbly at her taut rosy peaks.
I felt her moisture ease the friction as her nether lips split to slide up and down my shaft as her hips ground against me inciting my ardor. Sookie's lush, pliant lips pressed firmly against my neck as she gently nibbled the tendon running the length of the column down to where my shoulder joined. Jerking her hips down I swiftly entered her already dripping core and I threw my head back in agonizing pleasure as she struck suddenly drinking deeply of my essence.
Unable to hold back I bent my head forward and delicately slid my fangs into the tender flesh of her shoulder. I took several sips before I pulled away and reveled in the ambrosia as I swirled it I my mouth. As I swallowed her sweet ichor I could feel her vitality flowing through me like lightning discharges throughout my body.
When I opened my eyes, I saw Eric looking longingly at the two perfect perforations welling up crimson rivulets that pulsed rhythmically to her frantic heart beat. He leaned forward sweeping along the trail and resumed where I had left off. He took two strong draws before healing the small wound and withdrawing.
As I retreated from her sopping folds, leaving only the head of my throbbing column inside Sookie's tight channel I paused when Eric abruptly angled her hips forward. Unexpectedly I felt his firm long shaft rub against mine and I knew instantly what he wanted. Although I was intrigued, I worried slightly that we might injure Sookie with this daring new position. The choice was taken out of my hands, however, when Sookie looked over her shoulder and nodded at Eric.
"Do it Eric, I want you to do this too. Just be as gentle as you can. I understand that it may hurt a little at first, but I trust that you will make me enjoy this as well." Sookie's voice trembled with unbridled passion and a small amount of trepidation, but the overriding emotions I could feel emanating from our bond were love and trust.
"Just relax, Lover! I promise you, we will make feel so very good." Eric affirmed and I could see the awe in his face at the belief she had in him.
"Perhaps a little lubrication, first, would be a good idea Eric." I hinted with my eyebrow cocked suggestively as Sookie turned back to face me.
Eric bit into his palm and soon I felt his well slathered organ slide against mine as he gently nudged against Sookie's already filled entrance. I pulled her face down to mine and kissed her with passion as my left hand worked down from her hip and manipulated the sensitive pearl at the apex of her folds. She mewled gently in discomfort as Eric insistently worked himself inside, stretching her quivering passage. Once Eric's flared head finally breached the opening she tensed slightly causing her to clench around us and drawing a whimper from her taut mouth.
"Relax, Mo ghrá, just relax and you feel like you never have before." I said soothingly as I continued to rub light circles around her nub.
She released a shaky breath and I felt her become boneless between us. At this sign of consent Eric and I pushed forward through her tight channel in a slow but steady pace until we could reach no further. Once we were as firmly imbedded as we could be we stilled and allowed Sookie to become used to this new stretching.
"I…I never imagined! I feel so full!" She exclaimed unsteadily, her voice barely a breathy whisper.
As one we withdrew from her soaking core as her silky flesh dragged against us and she moaned loudly from the new sensations we were providing. Eric and I plowed forward into her welcoming heat repeatedly, gathering momentum as we went. Each time the wet velvet of her core parted and enveloped us snuggly, as Sookie released ragged moans of pleasure. I looked deep into her eyes and felt her mind and Eric's as if we had become one single entity.
I noticed vaguely that the dark room around us had lit up with our reflections being cast upon the walls as almost reverse shadows depicting our sensual union. Sookie writhed between us as she became overwhelmed and I knew that I was nearing my peak as well. Connected as we were I could sense a mounting pressure not only within us but around us as well when I looked at Eric. One look at him over Sookie's shoulder told me that he was losing his tightly held control as well, and suddenly it was if I just knew.
"Do it Eric!" I ordered as I could feel Sookie's energy building around us.
He placed his forearm in front of Sookie's face and she struck with a grace and lethality that could rival any vampire. It was then that I noticed for the first time that her usually small neat rows of pearly whites appeared more pronounced in the way that is common to both the demon and fae. I wondered briefly if these teeth would be as razor sharp as her other fae relations, and I could not help but to think how beautiful she looked in her savagery. All thought was abruptly torn away from me, as a primal scream poured forth from my mouth that was promptly echoed by Eric.
My body strained in sweet agony as lightning bolts of pleasure cascaded through my body while Eric and I released our seed deep inside Sookie's clenching core. We leaned forward with one accord on opposite sides and bit down into her sweet yielding flesh as Sookie continued to drink from Eric. I had already drawn several deep mouthfuls before I came back to myself. I healed her wounds and withdrew to see Eric doing the same. Sookie lay lax between us still radiant in her post coital glow with a blissful smile upon her lips as I looked upon her for any signs of distress. She tensed as she sensed Eric preparing to extract himself, but she clenched tightly drawing shudders from us all and catching Eric's attention.
"Don't you dare move, Eric Northman, or I promise you will regret it." Her voice rang with the power that was even now riding us.
"Can't you feel how connected we are right now?" Her voice softened as she spoke with reverence. "I can feel you and Godric, Eric, almost like we are the same person."
Eric looked at me with an astounded expression, but I nodded in agreement with Sookie's assessment. It was at that moment when I realized that the odd pulsing purple glow from the previous morning was still enveloping Sookie's torso and seemed to have darkened. She normally exuded a pure white light with the faintest traces of pink but the purple seemed to have intensified from pale lavender to vibrant violet. I had to wonder for a moment if mine and Eric's energy was corrupting her purity. This was another thing in the growing list of topics that would have to be discussed with her grandfather.
'I don't think it's a bad thing, Sweetie, when I concentrate on it has an almost a pleasant vibe to it. But if you want I will ask my Seanathair about it.' Her voice echoed through my mind sleepily.
'Sleep Mo ghrá, we will be here when you awaken.' I promised as we gently disengaged her still slightly pulsing channel. She shuddered slightly but did not rouse from her lethargy as we slid out from her and laid her on the bed.
'Love you two. I don't know why I am so tired all of the sudden.' Her voice was but a whisper as she faded from consciousness.
Eric departed to the bathroom to wash up while I retrieved our computers so we could sit in the bedroom and get some work accomplished as Sookie napped. While I was in the outer rooms I grabbed several bags of blood for myself and Eric, heating them up before returning to the bedroom. I quickly downed the viscous nutrients before discarding the deflated container and setting up my computer.
Eric returned, dressed comfortably in black track pants and a tank top. He produced a wet rag, which he used to swiftly and deftly cleanse our sleeping faerie. She never even registered any disturbance as she continued her peaceful slumber. While he completed this task I retreated to the washroom to bathe myself of the traces of blood and other fluids that were still coating my body. Once this task was completed I returned to the bedroom to find Sookie curled up to Eric's side as he typed away on his laptop.
After slipping on a pair of black linen draw-string pants and a tee, I settled into the bed snuggled up to Sookie's other side and began the monotonous task of going through my emails. I really did need to find myself a day-man to start going through the mountains of paper work that was required to run all the businesses and holdings I oversaw on a day-to-day basis. I quickly typed a missive to Catialades requesting that he procure several candidates that could serve as possibilities to perform as my new day-man or woman, whichever the case may be. I knew that whoever was chosen, they would ultimately need to be approved by Sookie before I would even consider hiring them.
After I had completed my business correspondence, I contacted Herveaux and presented him with the color selections Sookie had chosen as well as the suggestions she had made for both kitchens and her request that the pool be completed. Once that call was completed I emailed the decorator Herveaux had contracted for our home.
The few short messages I had already exchanged with Mr. Freemont of Freemont Interiors had indicated that he was a very professional and detail oriented gentleman and I looked forward to seeing what he did with Sookie's vision. I forwarded him the furniture, art, and textile choices Sookie had selected for each of the rooms and was not surprised when soon after, my cell phone vibrated indicating an in-coming call.
Freemont and I had a lengthy discussion, in which I confirmed that he had the general idea of what Sookie wanted for our new home. Before we hung up I disclosed which holdings which fixtures were located at and gave him the numbers to Sookie's cell as well as my property managers. This accomplished I called my managers and gave my approval for Mr. Freemont to access my art and furnishings. I also made it clear they were to help him in any way necessary to facilitate in making the new house available with haste.
Once I had completed my last call I looked up to find Eric staring at me with his eyebrow arched. The humorous glint that was twinkling in his eyes was the only indication that he was trying to keep himself contained. I looked at him in exasperation as he began to chuckle with mirth.
"You can laugh all you want Eric, but I want this home to be special for Sookie." I murmured in indulgence.
"I know she does not care about material things, but she has lost so much and she aches to have family surrounding her. A family we can never give her, but perhaps a happy and loving home will ease that void." I sighed in dissatisfaction as I looked at Eric's smirking face when a stray thought came to my head.
"Did you know that she plans on surprising Pamela with living quarters in the new house? She converted the second master suite on the far side of the house into retreat for Pamela because, and I am quoting this 'She is family'." I informed him as I sought to enlighten him about Sookie's nature.
"Although she realizes that Pamela does not care for her, she thought it was important that she have her own space in our new home. The room is flawless Eric. Sookie's consideration of your child's tastes indicates that she wants Pam to be involved in our lives." Eric's startled face no longer held any traces of his previous smirk.
"Why would she do that, Godric? I know that Pam has not been particularly agreeable to Sookie." Eric's bewilderment was apparent in both his voice and expression.
"Because she knows that you have always reserved a room for Pamela in each of the houses you kept. Because she knows that you are close to your child and she does not wish to be the cause of any type of rift between you and Pamela. Because she loves you Eric! Because she is just innately a good being! You could pick any one of those reasons or all four and it would all still be true." I whispered fiercely, not wanting to wake Sookie from her much needed rest, as I looked down at the blank computer monitor in my lap.
"She wants us to be happy, that simple. I am being so particular about this house, Eric, because I want her to be happy. I fear that it will not be enough, that she will come to regret the children she will never have and the choices she has made."I looked up at Eric to find Sookie staring up at me with tears glistening in her warm eyes.
"How could I not be happy with so much love surrounding me? I never thought I would have even a portion of the love I have found with you and Eric, and as far as children are concerned, we can always adopt." She put her finger to my lips to forestall any interruption.
"Just listen to me for a minute, Godric. I never thought about having kids 'cause I was always worried about passing along my disability. Sure, if I would have had any babies I would have loved them with my whole heart. However, since you and I both know, I was a virgin when we met; it seems a little farfetched to expect that I would have ever had any children." She huffed out in vexation.
"Really, sweetie, you need to realize that I feel so fortunate to have found you and Eric. Do I miss my family? Well, sure I do, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to wallow in my misery like some sad sue. No, my Gran raised me better than that. Just like she taught me, I'm going to count my blessings that I have what I got." She avowed as she grabbed my hand in her much smaller one.
"Besides, you and Eric are my family. Plus, now I have my Seanathair as well, even if I'm not particularly happy with him right now." Her eyes narrowed as she made her last statement.
I set my computer on the side table and pulled her into my lap, needing her closeness for no other reason than the comfort of it.
"Lover, did you truly create rooms for my child?" Eric asked tentatively.
"Yes, oh, I hope she likes the rooms. Could you please get the decorator box from the other room? You can give me your opinion on whether you think she would fancy the choices I made for her." Sookie said bouncing excitedly in my lap as she smiled radiantly.
Eric quickly returned with the decorator's box that we had been lugging from location to location for the last several days. Sookie reached in and pulled out a portfolio and started pulling out pictures, fabric swatches, paint chips and drawings. She explained each choice with thoughtful consideration as she presented what would soon become Pamela's sanctuary within our home. Once she had it all laid out she looked at Eric expectantly. Her expression fell slightly when Eric was not immediately able to respond, but she perked up considerably when she realized that he was just overwhelmed with sentiment.
"How did you know what she would like?" He questioned in awe.
"I cheated." She said grinning cheekily as she pointed to her head.
"She thinks about clothes and shoes a lot. I mean really Eric you might have to put her in one of those anonymous groups!" She sniggered at the idea and both Eric and I were soon chuckling with her.
"Seriously though, the entire time she was with us the other night when we had our little adventure with those zealots, she was thinking about how her house needed more closet space. She pictured her home several times, but I just kind of went on from there based on her likes and dislikes of fashion. The clothes she sees herself in outside of work are timeless, feminine, and elegant. I just applied that to what I had already seen of her home." Sookie explained modestly.
"It is perfect Lover. It is everything she never knew she wanted." Sookie blushed sweetly at Eric's praise.
"I'm so glad. I want for her to feel at home with us too." Sookie gushed cheerily, her smiling beaming from ear to ear.
Seeing her mouth up close made me recall how her teeth had appeared earlier when she had bitten Eric, but they were once more small straight human teeth. She must have noticed my curious expression, because she asked me what was wrong. Unsure if what I saw earlier was musings of my own imagination, I was hesitant as to how I should broach the subject of what I had seen earlier. Seeing no help for it I decided straight-forward honesty was the best approach.
"Mo ghrá, earlier when you bit Eric your teeth appeared other than I see now." I stated tentatively.
"Oh, that!" She exclaimed flushing in what appeared to be embarrassment.
"It's one of the things I needed to talk with my Seanathair about yesterday. After I got upset with Eric I went into the bedroom to change my clothes and get cleaned up, but when I looked into the mirror I didn't look like me. W-well I did, but I-I didn't, and it sort of freaked me out." She stuttered out her explanation, but I found myself even more mystified.
"He sent one my cousins… Oh yeah, with everything that happened last night, I forgot to tell you about my cousins!" She exclaimed animatedly.
"They are triplets. Apparently multiples are common among the fae, but even more amazing is the fact that they are maternal. I didn't even know that was possible, did you, but my Seanathair said that female fae drop multiple eggs when they enter their estrus cycle every three months. If a female is unmated she will have sex with as many partners as she can to get pregnant." She lectured excitedly.
"As informative as this lesson about fae reproduction is, Lover, perhaps you could continue your explanation of what happened to you yesterday when you left." Eric interrupted Sookie's rambling as he re-entered the room carrying the box and all the items we had left in the office the previous evening.
"Oh, yes, sorry! Anyway, I thought my Seanathair was sending me a cab but my cousin Claudette picked me up and took me to him. It turns out that whatever is making me become more faerie is really making me become more faerie." I stared at her incomprehensively as I tried to muddle through her convoluted clarification.
"Mo ghrá, I consider myself to be of above average intelligence, but I do not believe I will ever make sense of what you just told us." I informed her as I looked at Eric to see what he thought of her explanation, but he just shook his head looking as confused as I felt.
"Fine, it's probably easier to show you anyway, but please don't freak out." I nodded my head in consent for to show us the answers to which we sought, but was completely unprepared for what appeared before me.
"Grandfather thought it best to teach me how to glamour myself, since I seem to be taking on more traits of my fae relations. He said that until I got used to my abilities that they would be harder to control when my emotions are high." She said simply. She sat before us bashfully with her head bowed down as her energy pulsed and flared around her.
"You have nothing to be ashamed of, Mo ghrá." I stated as I leaned forward cupping her face gently with my right hand and lifting her chin to face me.
Upon first glance the changes were striking. It did not matter to me what aspect she showed, she was still my Sookie and either way she was beautiful to me. I felt more than saw Eric come around the bed behind me to see what I was being shown, as I continued to categorize the subtle and not so subtle changes. Her fae heritage, while certainly present, was tempered by her humanity; giving a soft edge to the fae's further defined angles.
Her ear tips were now slightly elongated with subtle points, but nothing other humans would truly notice. Full lips that normally resembled the petals of soft pink roses, now appeared as if permanently stained by berries. Her usual delicate cheekbones and chin were somewhat more pronounced; though even this was not outside of human standards. To others that saw her and were familiar with her, it would appear that she had partaken in some form of cosmetic surgery. To people unfamiliar with her however, the changes were not so radical as to be explained by the way a face alters as a person ages.
The one feature that truly stood out was her eyes. They seemed slightly larger with a more distinct almond shape, but even this is not what truly held my attention. Where there were once deep russet pools with amber flecks, there now resided orbs of glittering chocolate diamonds.
"Mo ghrá, you are beautiful either way. However, if you feel more comfortable donning your glamour then I will accede to your desires, but before you do, may I see your teeth once more?" I asked with reverence of the creature before me.
Her pink tongue darted out of her mouth nervously wetting her lips, before she opened her mouth for our inspection. Eric leaned over my shoulder for a closer view as we looked over the lethal instruments peeking out from behind her lush ruby lips. The view close up was both menacing and arousing, and I had the strongest urge to touch them as she had once done to my fangs.
"May I feel them?" She nodded her head in silent consent as her eyes remained locked on mine.
Before either of us had any time to think, I pulled her forward in a passionate kiss, sweeping my tongue into her mouth and exploring every unfamiliar surface contained there-in. Her new teeth were larger and, as I had earlier suspected, much sharper. As our tongues oscillated against one another and our fervor grew, we soon found ourselves swallowing our comingled blood. When I pulled away, I felt dazed and I perceived that Sookie was just as affected. Not only was her blood more potent in this form, but our bond was ricocheting our emotions between us with such speed and intensity, it was nearly overwhelming.
"Is it my turn now, Lover?" Eric questioned lasciviously, but I could feel his curiosity, impatience, and lust after having viewed mine and Sookie's previous carnal display.
Still looking disorientated, she kneeled, leaning over me, bracing her hand on my left shoulder for balance. I could feel Eric press forward against my back to meet her until I was sandwiched between them. His large hands gently framed her face as bent down and took control. I watched as he captured her lips with hungry possession.
When I heard Eric's throaty growl followed by her moan, I knew they were exchanging blood just as she and I had done mere moments ago. The kiss soon turned from controlled passion to frantic urgency as they both ground against me. I chuckled darkly still savoring the flavor of her that lingered in my mouth. I knew without a doubt that she was the best thing I had ever consumed. Even with this knowledge, however, I still felt no compunction to drain her. If anything, I would say my need to protect her become even stronger.
It was a shame we did not have time to proceed with further gratifying endeavors, but a good portion of the day had already passed while Sookie napped. With this in mind I signaled to Eric before he became even more lost to the libidinous pleasures of Sookie's delectable flesh. It was several moments later when Eric and Sookie finally parted with evident reluctance. I was amused when I looked behind me, to find Eric looking disoriented and staring slightly unfocused at our lusty little faerie. After he recollected his composure Eric looked unsettled and somewhat shocked.
We shared a look between us and I knew he felt the same overwhelming protectiveness for Sookie that was currently encompassing my entire being. Along with that realization was the fact that in the future we would have to be very careful to ensure that she never bled when in the presence of other vampires. By my closest estimation, she now tasted full fae; although Eric and I seemed immune to the intoxicating after affects and feeding frenzy that would normally follow once we had drank of a fae. I was not willing to risk her safety with the belief that other vampires would not attack her for the potent vital fluid racing throughout her body, if they were to ever catch the scent of her blood while in their presence.
Thinking about her safety around other vampires brought my mind back to the fact that in several hours, Eric and I would have to deal with the King of Mississippi, and quite possibly Queen Sophie Ann as well. As I mentally prepared for the upcoming confrontation, I watched as Sookie's glamour once more concealed her fae characteristics, until she appeared as innocuous as any other human. Peculiarly, now that I had seen her other aspect, I could still see traces of her fae manifestation.
"Mo ghrá, would you like to shower and get dressed while we await Pamela's arrival? She will be here for your girl's night while Eric and I try to come to some accord with the troublesome monarchs." She stiffened slightly at this pronouncement, but I should have known she did not fear for herself.
"Will you two be safe? Shouldn't Pam go with you too, you know as back-up?" She fretted adorably.
"I know you fell asleep last night as we were discussing our strategy, Lover, but do you recall the conversation I had with our Queen several nights ago when Compton was in my office?" Eric inquired trying to allay her worries.
"Kind of, but I was paying more attention to Bill when you were talking to her." Her reply was hesitant as she pointed at her head, and it was apparent that she did not understand how the two conversations related to one another.
"During that discussion I imparted to her Majesty that I had filed all necessary documentation for my Master and myself to become bonded to you. This clearly gave us a prior legal claim, which effectively stopped that petulant brat from sinking her greedy claws into you. Because we created a contract as well, she has no just legal cause to take you away from us. " Eric stated with a gleeful sneer.
"How does that help with the Mississippi King though?" She looked between us in speculation before she proceeded to speak.
"I mean, isn't what he is doing illegal? He's like, poaching from someone else's kingdom, right? So why would he care if your government said I was yours?" She queried with insightful perception.
I do not believe Eric or I anticipated for this possibility as we conceptualized our strategy early this morning. Upon hearing Sookie's scenario, I was almost positive that her hypothesis was not only plausible, but correct. Edgington would not be concerned with what the Magister decreed. Had not he already proven this over the centuries by going against the Authorities edicts?
The parties he held, while not strictly forbidden, definitely skirted what was acceptable; especially with all the suspected disappearances. His predilection to use his blood to garner the werewolves' obedience was definitely not be condoned by the Authority. Then again, how would they know of it? The more I contemplated the situation, the more certain I became that Russell Edgington would try to end me and Eric this night, so that he could steal our faerie away.
As this thought coalesced within my mind; a focused rage, the likes of which I have not felt in centuries, swept through my mind and body. I trembled with fury as I plotted how to keep Sookie securely at mine and Eric's side. All possible scenarios ended with the death of my enemies. I was abruptly pulled from my dark internal musings, as I felt Sookie's slender arms wrap around my torso and gently stroke my back in comfort.
"It's okay. I know you won't let anyone take me away from you. I trust you to do what's best for our family." She whispered soothingly in my ear as she continued to console me.
I know it had been scant moments while I was trapped in the thoughts racing through my head, but I was appalled that I had gotten so caught up in my wrath that it had leaked over to her. I looked up at Eric and saw that his eyes were dilated reflecting the blood lust that sure to show in my own eyes. He briefly nodded his head at me in understanding, signaling full accordance with my decision. Tonight we would end the King of Mississippi and possibly the Queen of Louisiana as well. Neither Eric nor I had ever had any designs on the monarchy, but we would do whatever it took to secure Sookie's safety.
I heard Sookie gasp as I felt the last vestiges of sunlight fade away, finally releasing those of us who dwell in the shadows to escape into the darkness above. Tied as strongly as she was to two ancient vampires, I should have realized that Sookie would sense the sunset as we do. Time was drawing closer to when we should depart and had new plans to make.
"Lover, Pam will arrive within the hour. I am sure that you would prefer to get cleaned up before she arrives, yes?" Eric prompted her, knowing that we would need time to alter our previous plans to fit the current situation we faced.
Sookie pulled away from me and nimbly got up from the bed as she made her way to her bag. Eric and I both watched her nude form entranced as she prepared for her cleaning ritual. Once she had collected her bathing necessities and a change of clothing she stepped into the bathroom to bathe and leave us to our preparations. After we heard the water turn on, I could not help but chuckle at how such a seemingly innocent little faerie had become the center of the world to two such exceedingly dangerous vampires.
Once Eric turned to face me, all humor was lost. His eyes became deadly as his strategic mind quickly twisted through possible eventualities as we plotted to depose two monarchies. We hurried into the weapons room to gather whatever tools we deemed necessary ensure a positive outcome for us. Calls were made and numerous plans were set aside as we came to accordance with a feasible plan that would see our common goal come to fruition. Sookie's safety was paramount among all aspects.
We changed into clothing more appropriate for fighting in and nothing served this purpose better than the military's black BDU's. After sorting through and packing our weapons, I retrieved the torn garments Sookie had worn the night before, sealing them in an airtight bag and stowing the bag within the weapons pack. If Edgington was using his wolves to track Sookie still, I was about to make their task somewhat more laborious. After our supplies were packed we returned to the bedroom, where Eric kept several disposable phones in a wall safe, to sit and finish our conversation.
As Eric had predicted, Pamela arrived, shortly after we heard Sookie end her shower. Both of her arms laden with shopping bags, and by the scent that trailed her entrance I was able to discern that she had brought a meal for Sookie as well. Once she had unburdened herself, she had eagerly joined our discussions on how best to overthrow both treacherous royals. The solution turned out to be simple in its elegance.
Since neither Eric nor I wanted to rule, we would place well trusted vampires over Louisiana and Mississippi. Eric and I had previously decided on who would be best to govern Louisiana. The only problem we found as we pondered over our dilemma; was who best would suit as the new monarch to reign over Mississippi that we would willingly ally with.
Whoever we selected to take over Mississippi would need to be smart enough to keep the state running smoothly as well as strong enough to keep the state secure through whatever takeover attempts occurred. Neither of us had any problem coming to the aide of one of our allies, however, we could not fight all battles for this new monarch without them becoming a figure head and we actually did not want that. Whoever took control of that state would well and truly become its sovereign.
Eventually it was decided that Rasul, a vampire loyal to Eric in the Queens retinue, would be given Mississippi. He was powerful enough at just over 600 years and had a good head for business, which would be essential for a state that relied heavily on gambling income. After a significantly encoded conversation, Eric was able to gain Rasul's ascent to take over as King of Mississippi. Eric finally hung up when Rasul assured that he was currently en route. Although we could capture and incapacitate Edgington, Rasul had to be the individual that would mete out his final death or else all our plans would be for naught.
Having settled that task, Eric turned to Pamela and put forth our earlier decision to make her Queen. Eric knew that she had been bored with the club for quite some time, and this would present a new challenge for her although he would still be available to assist her if need be. She was quite intelligent and knowledgeable about the tourism which Louisiana relied on. Although young, she was powerful even for her short lifespan and she would have our backing to ensure the strength necessary to keep the state from usurpers. When Eric expressed to her, his belief that Pamela was just the individual necessary to fix the defunct economy from the abysmal state of affairs that the current Queen had left it, we were met with the sight of Pam's bloody tears.
"I won't let you down Eric." Pamela vowed fervently as Sookie opened the door to the bathroom.
Sookie stood in the doorway freshly bathed and comfortably dressed in a slouchy violet sweater, grey leggings and a pair of flip flops; as the steam from the bathroom flowed around her and flooded the bedroom. Pamela's eyes dilated alarmingly, becoming glassy, as the thick, wet air carried Sookie's scent all through the room swamping us its delectable sweetness. I opened my mouth inhaling deeply, and it almost felt as if I was rolling her essence along my tongue.
Eric flashed to Sookie's side protectively as Pamela lurched forward. Her movements were convulsive as if she was fighting a compulsion, and I lunged at her detaining her before she was able to reach our tempting little faerie. Pamela did not fight me, and she seemed to relax against me once Eric ordered the she would not harm Sookie in any way. Pam cocked her head at Sookie and stared at her in contemplation.
"If your smell is any indication, it's no wonder, these two guard you like some freaking national treasure. Damn, just one whiff and I can roll your flavor in my mouth, like a fine wine or a decadent dessert. " Pamela stated smacking her lips as if savoring a tasty treat.
"Pamela," I interjected gaining her attention.
"If I release you, will you be able to control yourself?" She turned head to face me as she deliberated my request.
"I believe so. I knew she smelled sweeter than a normal breather, but I just think I wasn't prepared for such a concentrated dose of her." She concluded without a trace of her usual sarcasm.
"Do you foresee any difficulties being on your own with her for the evening?" I was still deliberating if leaving Sookie in Pamela's hand for the night would be a viable option, but her next answer laid some of my anxieties to rest.
"No, I don't suppose there will be any further troubles. After Eric notified me this evening of issues that had arisen, I thought it best to gather a couple extra bodies to properly introduce Sookie to the pleasures of a girl's night. Therefore, I brought some professionals that have worked on my hair and nails in the past, to ensure this evening is as authentic as possible of course. Furthermore, I ran into two female weres who live here on the compound that looked like they were in dire need of a night of female bonding." She concluded her eyes gleaming in expectation as I freed her from my grasp. She had succinctly arranged for both Sookie's safety and entertainment in a manner which left no room for Sookie to wiggle out of. To say I was impressed with my grand-child's machinations would not have been an exaggeration.
"I believe first we will go to the salon on mezzanine level, followed by some shopping at the boutiques, and then finally we will go to the theater for a private showing of the movies Sookie and I had previously agreed upon." Pam concluded nodding slightly to herself as Sookie's stomach rumbled loudly.
"Excuse me, I didn't get a chance to eat earlier and I feel ravenous." Sookie stated blushing becomingly.
"Pamela brought food for you Mo ghrá, perhaps we should resettle in the office where you can eat at the table." I suggested pleasantly hoping that if she sat down to eat she might actually partake of a full meal instead of the snacking she seemed to be doing recently. I worried she would not be able to sustain her health if she did not routinely receive suitable nourishment.
"That sounds good!" Sookie stated in agreement as shed led the way to the office.
"So what did you bring for me to eat, Pam?" She asked amiable as she seated herself on the couch in front of the coffee table.
"I had no idea what type of sustenance you would require." Pamela reported as she zipped into the kitchenette and retrieved the food she had she had stowed earlier for Sookie.
"So… I brought choices." She informed grinning sheepishly as she returned carrying several aluminum carryout dishes and a carafe of iced tea.
"This is 'Mussels fra Diavola' on a bed of wilted spinach." She stated placing the first dish at Sookie's right along with the tea.
"Here, is an artichoke and broccoli frittata." Pam said indicating the dish she had placed directly in front of Sookie.
"This last dish is 'Beef Bourguignon' with French bread." She revealed pointing to the dish she had set to the left.
"Wow Pam, thanks so much! It looks like you went to a lot of effort to get all this for me." Sookie's eyes lit up warmly as she expressed her gratitude for such a trivial thing.
"I think I'll have the mussels. The egg dish will be good for breakfast tomorrow, the beef stew is always better after it gets a chance to soak up the seasonings over night, and seafood doesn't always taste as good the next night." She explained as she put the other two dishes in the chiller and retrieved a glass.
"I sure do appreciate all the food Pam it sure beats cold sandwiches." Sookie stated amiably as she sat down, poured herself a drink, and started her meal.
We conversed convivially as our little faerie decorously ingested her meal. Pamela delighted in discussing the 'fashion show' that was to occur later in the evening while Sookie nodded tolerantly and continued her meal. Sookie's plate was nearly empty when the time arrived for us to depart.
We had wanted time enough for Edgington to come looking for us, but we needed to make sure that he was not able to regroup once he found that his entrance was barred from accessing Sookie. A quick signal to Eric had him striding into the training room to retrieve our weapons and gear. Sookie jumped and went to the restroom to 'freshen up'. After she was done she joined us at the entry where we were rechecking our supplies. Her arms reached up to Eric, simultaneously cupping his face lovingly, and pulling him down so her lips could meet his. Her kiss was alluring and filled with promise.
"Please be safe Eric, I'm looking forward to more of your kisses later." She whispered sweetly against his lips before pulling away and walking toward me.
She wrapped her arms around me her whole body curling into mine as she hugged me tightly. Her diminutive frame trembled slightly as her head rested against my shoulder. Although I could feel her fear for our safety beating against our bond, she stood proudly before us. As in the days of old when many a wife would wish their man safe journey as they went off to war with nary a tear gracing their faces, Sookie stood firm in her resolve as she wished for own safe return.
"Promise me that you will do whatever you have to do, to make sure that you both come back to me safely." Her voice never wavered as she requested her oath of me.
"I vow it, Mo ghrá, whatever it takes." I affirmed as my lips descended on hers.
My tongue plundered her mouth with controlled savagery, but her returned ardor soon led us to frenzy. I had only meant to kiss her briefly, but it seems that I had once again lost myself to Sookie's siren's call. As I reluctantly disengaged from our fierce embrace, I looked into her flushed face and relished the effect our kiss had wrought on her features. Her glassy eyes looked back at me dazedly as a gentle smile played at her mouth.
As Eric and I departed, Sookie urgently called out for us to wait. Trailed by Pam, she ran over to where we stood by the doorway to Eric's apartment and held out a wrist to each of us in expectation. When we took too long to respond, she huffed indignantly and thrust a wrist directly under each of our mouths.
"Please drink! I know I can't fight but at least this way I feel I can help you be stronger to fight those other vamps." She stated in supplication.
Eric mirrored me as I grasped her wrist and delicately bit into her fragile flesh. She hissed slightly, having nothing to distract from the pain that normally accompanied being bitten. Her claret welled up quickly filling my mouth twice before I healed her injury and retreated. Once Eric pulled away as well she kissed us both on our cheeks and returned to Pam's side.
"Pamela, make sure she eats at least twice more tonight. She needs to have more protein and iron to keep up her strength if she is going to keep supplying blood for both me and Eric. Please set up a time for us to meet with the half-goblin as well. Perhaps we could look into some of those dietary supplements for Sookie." With this said I turned to leave.
As much as I disliked leaving Sookie, I knew this was something that we needed to do. We would be leaving via the emergency egress hatch that was located at the end of corridor on this wing. The outlet was quite a distance from the shack Sookie and I had originally entered from, and would allow us to surreptitiously exit the compound. With a little bit of subterfuge I would be leading his wolves away from him while Eric and Thalia completed some reconnaissance on the Mississippi monarch.
Once we exited the complex Eric and I took flight. I contacted Thalia at Eric's request while he called Rasul and ascertained his general ETA. After giving Thalia the coordinates for our meeting place, I separated from my child and went to lead some wolves on a merry chase.
In their bestial form weres are limited to their more primitive thought processes; the subtle nuances of strategy are lost on them. Using Sookie's torn garments to divert their attention; it was almost too easy to separate Edgington from his pet wolves. I hoped that Sookie understood that none of the weres that had come with the King of Mississippi would ever be leaving Black Bayou Lake. On a positive note, the alligators in this region would be well fed for several days.
I was about to dispatch my seventh were when I heard Sookie's panicked voice ringing through my head in alarm. It was then that I realized that even though Eric and I had kept her far from the action, so she would not be placed in harm's way; she had been unobtrusively monitoring the events that were occurring in the forest above her. Now that I was not as focused on the wolf ahead of me I sensed the vampire that was trying to stealthily ambush me.
I quickly launched myself skyward, narrowly avoiding the blade that sought purchase in my heart, as I thanked my exquisite mate for watching over me. Had it not been for Sookie's warning, the silver blade lying innocuously on the ground could have very well ended me. Looping back I caught the attacking vampire and tore his head from his shoulders in one swift violent tug.
Snatching up the silver blade and quickly inspecting it, I was pleased to find it of good craftsmanship and although older, obviously well maintained. The bound wooden handle fit securely in my hand and it must have been weighted because the balance was nearly perfect. The blade did not look like something a young vampire would have had in their possession, and I wondered if it had always belonged to the vampire I had destroyed or if it was merely gifted to him.
Looking down at the remains still dissolving on the ground at my feet, it was difficult to discern the age of the vampire that had attacked me. He had not seemed overly powerful, but I had not really allowed him a chance to show me what he was capable of. Although I no longer delighted in the taking of a life, I found I had no regrets for any of the deaths I had brought about this night.
Obviously Edgington had brought some reinforcements other than his wolves. I was not surprised as we had already counted on this probability. Now that his vampires had joined in the fray I would have to alter my tactics with the four remaining wolves. I stretched out my senses and was surprised to find that the other weres had circled back and were closing in on my current location. The weres obviously had no idea with whom they were dealing, and I was able to escape them before they could get to me, but phase one of our plan called for the removal of Edgington's were associates.
Weres are fast and nearly as strong as most vampires, these wolves abilities were augmented with the blood of a vampire just as ancient as myself if not possibly older. While I am considered ancient by even vampire standards, and was able to incapacitate the previous wolves with relative ease; I realized that each of those instances had been a one on one situation. I knew I would need a strategy to counter the upcoming attack of the four approaching weres, but time was lacking on my behalf. I knew fighting all four would be the swiftest way to end them and allow me to return to Eric's aide, even though there would be inevitable repercussions for me.
The wolves attacked en masse and the resulting melee was short and brutal. My strength and speed was far superior, however, and I found their slaughter to be far easier than it should have normally been for me. Although injured, I was able to escape with minimal damage and was already healing. Perhaps Sookie had been correct and the recent infusion of her powerful fae blood had been just the boost needed for me and Eric to be successful in our endeavor this night. I felt Sookie's smug agreement with my introspection ghost through my consciousness, before I launched myself into the air and set off to meet my child and our allies.
As I neared the designated location I saw Eric conversing with Rasul as they looked over a topographical map that was strewn over a boulder being used as a makeshift table. Thalia sat to their side on a felled log staring vacantly at the stars as she idly fingering one of the many knives that were rumored to be hidden on her person. It was apparent that the blades were dipped in silver, but she showed no discomfort as she lovingly stroked her fingers along the sharp edge. I watched as her skin flayed open and healed repeatedly, smelling the unmistakable scent of seared vampire flesh as I landed in the small clearing.
"The weres are finished, Eric. Where do we stand?" I inquired, and noticed Thalia stand as I approached.
"Thalia took out six of Russell's vampires." Eric briefed as he continued to look over the map in front of him.
"Rasul has informed me that the Queen had formed a treaty with Edgington as well as released Compton to the King. This was the Queens last known location before Rasul was sent to New Orleans to retrieve her newest child with whom she is currently enamored. She has her remaining children surrounding her." Eric stated as he pointed down at the map.
"She is not aware that he has defected then? Do you think that she will remain at her previous position?" I asked curiously.
Even to me, that seemed implausible. The Queen, although brash and spoiled, had never before indicated that she was unintelligent. Truthfully everything I had ever heard of her indicated that she was quite shrewd and manipulative.
"It could be a possibility. From all reports, her Highness has been distracted lately, but I would not entrust our lives on that speculation. Most likely she sent Rasul away because she was unsure of his loyalties. This ploy probably presented itself as a reasonable excuse to send him elsewhere providing that her assumption were incorrect." Eric concluded.
"For now we should leave the Queen be and concentrate on Edgington. At this point, since he is not in his own domain, we have a greater advantage. Would you not agree?" They each nodded their consent.
"Essentially we only have this night to remove the Edgington threat. Do we even know his location?" I inquired becoming impatient for a quick resolution.
"No, he was not with his child or his consort. The guards with them were weak and easily defeated." Thalia sneered in disgust.
"His child was among those slain? That will be to our advantage, it is quite distracting when a child is injured and I am told a child's death can be even more disorienting to their maker." I informed speculatively.
"Both were his children. Talbot Angelis was his first child and had been his lover and consort since the twelfth century and Lorena Krasiki, his second child was also Bill Compton's maker." Rasul cut in supplying a vital clue that we had previously been missing.
"How do you know this?" Eric interrogated as he looked at Rasul shrewdly.
"Edgington approached Sophie-Ann recently with matrimony to unite their kingdoms and remove her debt. Their progeny and ancestral lineage was written in the proposal contract." Rasul stated off-handedly with a nonchalant shrug.
"Is this the treaty they have agreed upon? Have they already signed the contract?" Eric asked in irritation.
I understood my child's aggravation. If this was the case, this would alter everything irrevocably. If the states were united by contract, whoever took over would gain both states. That would be too much temptation for other ambitious vampires to overlook. If Rasul took over as Eric proposed he would rule over us as well. As much as he said he trusted him, there was a reason Eric chose his much younger child to take over Louisiana and not Rasul.
"No Eric, gods above, do you think I would have agreed to take over two states? I would meet my final death within the year." Rasul stated adamantly.
"Perhaps you would explain this treaty then, yes?" I interjected, deescalating the tension.
"The Queen has promised Edgington, access to a telepath that resides within her domain. For this concession, Edgington has paid off her debt." I heard Eric hiss at this proclamation and I found it interesting that Rasul was unaware of our bonded mate's ability.
"What of the telepath? Has she agreed to the Queen's terms?" I inquired impassively.
"The Queen presented an iron-clad contract to Russell as proof that the telepath was already under her control, although I regret that I never was able to see it." Rasul concluded unknowingly fueling both mine and Eric's fury.
We both knew that the contract of which he spoke granted Sookie control over what work she did and for whom. I worried that Sookie would see this as a betrayal of her trust since Eric and I were the ones to suggest the contract. My anxiety was proven foolish when Sookie sent her reassurances through my mind. I saw Eric relax infinitely and knew that Sookie was appeasing him as well.
'Tell him, he won't betray our trust' Sookie informed us, her voice echoing though our heads, and I had a moment where I fretted about how much information was wise to give away.
"The telepath's is mine and Eric's bonded mate. Recent information from a mostly reliable source leads me to believe we are in actuality soul mates." I stated succinctly as Rasul's eyes grew wide in astonishment.
"There have been rumors that 'Death' and the 'Northman' had both recently bonded but I never speculated that it was to the same human. She must be incredibly special to have captured both of your attentions." Rasul uttered in awe as he looked between me and Eric.
"Of course she is. She is fae." Thalia stated dispassionately, causing three sets of eyes to whip towards her. Mine and Eric's eyes mirrored our alarm as Rasul's shown with awed shock.
"She is fae? How is that possible?" Rasul uttered in alarm.
"What would make you state this?" I asked cautiously as I neither confirmed nor denied her assessment.
"You both smell strongly of the fae now." She asserted with indifference.
"You are correct, but it not something we wish to advertise for obvious reasons." I confirmed.
"It matters not to me, I have pledged my oath to Eric since he saved my life." She vowed unconcernedly.
"Why would the Queen go against you both, or the fae for that matter, if she has a contract with the telepath to work for her?" Rasul questioned shakily.
"The contract is one that we created which allows Sookie to have full control over how she uses her telepathy. We did it to protect her from any who sought to use her. Sophie-Ann sent Compton to procure her through any means possible. He concluded this to mean murdering her grandmother, and having her beaten to a point that she would die without the intervention of ingesting vampire blood." Eric growled in anger as we both thought of the pain that Bill Compton still deserved at our hands.
"Obviously Compton failed to obtain her for the Queen and thus she has altered her plans in obvious desperation. I assume the Queen now colludes with Edgington to end me and Eric, and steal our mate."
"That is insanity! To kill you would surely bring about your bonded's death as well." Rasul asserted in skepticism.
"I can only theorize that she does not know the full extent of our mate's ancestry or abilities, and means to have her turned or to turn her herself. Unfortunately, as Eric and I have recently been informed, that is not a possibility." I concluded resolutely.
"This is all fine and well, I understand now why after so many years you would be willing to overthrow our monarch, but how do we ascertain the location of Edgington let alone put him to his final death?" Rasul questioned with uncertainty.
'I know where Bill is, and right now, he's with another vamp. I don't know if it's that Russell guy but I would go to that shack you brought me to and real soon Honey. 'Cause I think they're about to find a way into your impenetrable fortress.' Sookie imparted. I knew Eric heard as well when his face began to vacillate from worry to fury.
"We do not need to find him. He has found us, or rather, he has found my Lover." Eric snarled in rage. His fangs descended with the onslaught of his lust to kill, as he whipped out his phone.
"Lover, is Pam nearby?" Eric inquired. I heard Sookie's negative response as he collected our packs and motioned for us to follow him. She explained that Pam had gone to the security office once she had alerted Pam to the intruders above.
"Good, go get Pam and have her take you to the safe room, the door locks from the inside. Do not come out until either Godric or I give you the all clear. We are on our way." We were now moving at full vampire speed as Eric continued his conversation, but I could still hear Sookie's unwavering faith in her response to Eric as she ran to do as he had bid.
"Tell Pam to evacuate the weres, engage all security doors, and ensure the complex is in full lock down. Are you secured yet?" She answered affirmatively but that there was some difficulty with the weres.
"What do you mean they will not leave? I ordered for them to evacuate." After his outburst, Sookie's melodic response soothed him through the phone speaker.
"Fine but have Pam inform them to stay out of the way. This is not their fight, and I do not expect their involvement." Eric stated tersely.
"We are at one of the alternate entrances right now. Do not worry, Lover! Godric and I know the necessary security codes. Please know that we both love you and will never allow anyone to part you from us." Eric avowed before he hung up. I felt Sookie's love for us flare through our bonds although her worry for our safety was still very evident.
"Where are we Eric?" Rasul inquired curiously.
"This is mine and my maker's fail safe plan, an exit strategy if you will."Eric said with little elaboration, as we walked along the barren corridor, stopping only so he could enter the codes to open the blast doors compartmentalizing each segment before securing them and moving on to the next.
"You built all this just to get away from the Queen?" Rasul said bewilderedly.
"Although my child probably thinks that would be a bonus at this time, we constructed these complex's to escape the humans should the need arise." This new information seemed to merely pique his interest.
"What would constitute a need to escape?" He questioned with mounting intrigue.
"You know of the FOTS, correct? What if they were to gather enough political backing for a human uprising against vampires? Suppose the humans have another war, or even some of those terrorist bombings, what would you propose we do in such a situation?" I queried thoughtfully.
"But is all of this necessary?" He asked gesturing vaguely.
"There are many such scenarios we have imagined, and if we can image them then someone else will do so as well. The simplest solution is usually the best; therefore the best solution is to leave. However, where could our kind go on this earth that humans have not already inhabited but still keep the source of our nutrition close at hand?" My question was obviously rhetorically.
"Master, your bonded is secure." Pam stated bowing to Eric, as she came out of the security monitoring office stationed next to the last set of blast doors that opened to the tunnel leading to the 'shack' above.
"That is when we decided to literally go underground. We have spent decades stocking these hidden retreats. If ever it comes to that we will simply exit society, bringing only those we trust or can control, until we are once again nothing but a myth to the humans." I stated slightly oversimplifying, but we had no time remaining before we met our adversaries.
As Eric unsheathed his great sword, his face exhibited exultant anticipation. Looking around I took in each my comrades before our upcoming battle. Pamela's face was a mirror to my child's as it shown with uninhibited glee in expectation of the upcoming conflict. Thalia's visage was a mask of calm indifference, looking almost bored, until you saw tightly leashed frenzy blazing in her eyes. Our last companion, I regrettably did not know much about, but my child seemed to trust him somewhat. I only hoped his conviction was not misplaced, as I looked over this stranger's controlled aspect. We each armed ourselves as Eric entered the cipher to allow us passage so that we could meet our opposition head on.
The unmistakable scent of burnt vampire flesh and blood assaulted my olfactory senses as the portal opened before us. Both Edgington and Compton had obviously been injured by the traps that Eric had mounted in the building above. Pity that they had not been incapacitated by the small incendiaries that were used to blow up the structure if just such a situation were to occur. It was then that I noticed that the Queen's progeny were present as well, but curiously Sophie-Ann was missing.
"Rasul you cur, you will pay for betraying our Queen." Andre sneered with venom lacing his words.
"Why would I give loyalty to one such as she who considered her own selfish whims over the needs of her people? I never gave 'her' my oath I pledged myself to Louisiana." Rasul countered in a bored tone.
"They are one and the same. To say otherwise is merely mincing words." Andre spat in disdain.
"Now, now gentleman, such petty squabbles we cavil over." Edgington interjected with a most flamboyant congeniality.
"I dare say the old girl will be most unconcerned with her selfish whims, as you stated, for quite some time while she is busy re-growing her limbs. Nasty little presents you left for us Northman, but alas I would expect nothing less. Your reputation certainly precedes you and that of your maker as well." The Mississippi King sighed dramatically.
"Pity you chose to stand against us. We could have had such fun, but now you must pay for what you have done to my sweet Talbot." His friendly demeanor altered drastically making him appear crazed as Edgington spoke his last statement, and lunged forward.
Thalia rushed forward with the ferocity of a berserker, intercepting Edgington before he ever reached Eric. The two fought in a crazed frenzy at speeds that only an ancient vampire, such as I, would be able to follow. The growing puddle of red beneath them and the glinting of Thalia's blades were the only indication of her skill as she repeatedly parted Russell's flesh as they circled each other without giving any ground.
If he was not so lost to his bereavement, he would have pulled a weapon of his own but as it were he fought like the beasts he chose to surround himself with. Thalia howled in agonized fury as Edgington's fangs bit down into her forearm. He tore through flesh, muscle, and sinew as he yanked his head back when her other hand stabbed savagely into his throat.
I was only able to view their engagement for a few meager moments before my attention was diverted by the Queens burly twin Bert's who sought to attack while my awareness was seemingly distracted. With a clean pivot I was able to parry the simultaneous thrusts of both their long swords. After a several minutes of this dual assault I finally found the chink in their armor as it were.
Although both very skilled, they fought as one entity never varying their attacks and their tactics relied on strength of force using hardly any strategy. At their next charge I twisted, sidestepping to the left and plunging my sword deep into the chest of one of my opponents. He fell forward trapping my sword beneath him and I was given no choice but to take up his own discarded weapon as his brother attacked me from behind. As I rolled to the floor, I felt the flesh along my right side being split from shoulder blade to hip.
Closing my mind off to the pain, I stood readying myself for the next rush. The remaining Bert lunged at me in rage, but his attack was sloppy as if unbalanced, and I was able get behind him. I swung my sword high cutting clean through his neck, meeting only slight resistance as I severed his spine. There was a delayed moment as his body trembled, before his head toppled and rolled to the ground.
Now that my attention was not so completely engaged I was able to focus on all that was occurring around me. I was surprised to find that Eric and Rasul were now fighting Edgington. The Mississippi monarch had obviously regained his self-control, however, and was currently fighting with double hook swords. As much as it aggrieved me to substantiate, Edgington was a worthy opponent. Due to his previous injuries, it was clear that he was struggling to fend off both Rasul and my child, but Eric was only truly there to ensure that Rasul was able to administer the final death stroke.
Although Thalia had succumbed to her blood loss, it was apparent that she would most likely survive. Upon hearing my grandchild's articulation of disgust, I looked over to find her staring forlornly at her heels which were coated in blood and other bits, and rolled my eyes at her theatrics. I noted that she had dragged Sophie-Ann's damaged body down from the surface, before spying the decomposing remains of Compton and the Queen's child Andre. I only regretted that I would no longer be able to penalize Compton for the pain that he had inflicted on Sookie.
Turning back to my child, I saw the zeal that had drawn my attention to him all those many years ago on the battlefield. Watching my child closely, I hoped that merely aiding in the death of Edgington would be enough to fulfill Eric's quest for vengeance. We had previously determined that the King of Mississippi was the same vampire that had slain Eric's family and village all those centuries ago, and I worried about how this would affect my child after all this time.
Once Edgington faltered, Eric stepped back giving plenty of room to Rasul to continue his pursuit. My child's face never betrayed any internal struggle over this, showing only his determination to see this task completed. So caught up in my contemplation of Eric, I was caught off guard by Rasul's crow of victory as he finally bested Russell. I looked over to find the new King standing proudly over the previous royal's remains.
"The King is dead. Long live the King." Eric stated without any preamble bowing his head in a slight nod which Rasul respectfully returned.
"Take any supporters you might have when you go to Mississippi. There is more strength in numbers. The sooner you claim your throne and get your house in order more stable you will be. If you are as smart as Eric insists, by the time anyone realizes the transfer in leadership has occurred, you will already be prepared to face your challengers." I stated imparting my wisdom as recompense for his assistance and bent my head forward slightly in respect.
Although he would now be a monarch, he was not my King, and there would be no bowing and scraping to pay our respects. He departed quickly and I turned to Pamela as she stood gleefully over the incapacitated Sophie-Ann. I got the vague sense through her extended link through Eric, that Pam saw the Queen's end as fitting retribution for going against her master.
I chuckled slightly shaking my head in humor over my grandchild's musings. It was in this moment that I felt how genuinely proud I was of my child. Eric had truthfully done well for himself with his child. It was a fitting testament to his character how steadfast Pamela was to my child. She exemplified everything his child should be. She was fierce, loyal, and bold.
Eric moved to stand behind Pamela, placing one large hand upon her slender shoulder. She looked back at him as he gave a swift nod of approval for her to commence. She knelt down producing a dagger as she looked at the Queen with no trace of pity.
"This is for ruining my shoes." Pamela stated slicing across the Queen's throat. I quirked my eyebrow at Eric over her head, but he smirked and shrugged in indulgence.
"You brought this on yourself, you hag! Nobody goes against my Master without facing consequences." She plunged her hand through Sophie-Ann's breastplate crushing through the bone in her quest to reach the heart hidden beneath. Blood gushed from the gaping hole as Pamela ripped out the useless organ and threw it to the floor.
"The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen." I intoned my head bowed deeply with right fist clasped over my chest.
"Time to clean house now! Wouldn't you agree?" Pam said smirking, while wiping her hand clean on Sophie-Ann's damaged garment.
I could not contain the snort of amusement that escaped me as she looked distastefully at the newly deposed monarch. Through the bond I could sense that Sookie was disgusted, but giddy with relief. One quick look at Eric and I knew that he was just as ready to return to our mate as I was. He swiftly entered the security office, and within moments the blast doors were disengaging, leaving a clear path to retrieve our love.
Once Sookie was safely back in our arms and fretting over our various injuries, Eric and I were able to relax fractionally. We knew the night was not over however, and Eric quickly set about making phone calls and gathering 'trusted' individuals, while I made flight plans to New Orleans. Pamela arranged for the weres to fetch Thalia while Sookie heated the blood-bags in the microwave. Sookie thanked Thalia and Pam for their assistance this evening, and then proceeded to attend us until she felt we were all sufficiently recovered from our previous injuries.
"Queen Pam, I think it has a nice ring to it wouldn't you say." Sookie quipped with a smirk worthy of Eric on her face as she curtsied to Pam.
"Yes Princess Sookie, I would agree." Pam retorted mockingly, not one to be outdone, but I noticed Thalia trying to puzzle out the meaning behind Pam's words.
Sookie's face scrunched up in displeasure before her tongue darted out of her mouth and playfully blew a raspberry at Pamela. Eric and I looked at each in amused bewilderment at their antics, while Thalia sat watching in silence as Sookie burst out laughing. Pam scowled mischievously when she tried to catch Sookie's tongue and missed, but was soon smiling good naturedly at our little faerie giggling uncontrollably before us. I was very curious to hear how Sookie had finally earned Pamela's favor.
The moment of levity had been just the thing we needed to face the upcoming upheaval. We were sure to face opposition from the old regime. It was in our favor however, that most of the true supporters for the previous government were even now being cleaned up by the weres that had refused to leave the complex.
It was not long before we had gathered our necessities and were riding in Eric's Range Rover toward the Shreveport Regional Airport where I had chartered a private jet for us through Anubis Airlines. Pamela was following closely behind us with Thalia in a van carrying our light-tight caskets. Eric had remained with the cell phone attached to his ear the entire time that we packed and throughout the drive making preparations on Pam's behalf.
Time was severely limited when we finally boarded the plane, as dawn was fast approaching. A shifter woman in a stewardess uniform greeted us politely and showed us to our seats. Sookie sat between me and Eric on couch that sat along one wall, while Pamela and Thalia took seats further down the aisle. Sookie watched worriedly as our travel coffins were loaded on the plane, while Eric and I coached her through what she would need to do once we had landed. I wrote down our hotel reservation information and gave her my business credit card for any purchases she would need to make until we rose. Within minutes the captain's voice came over the speaker announcing our imminent departure.
I could feel Sookie's exhaustion and anxiety beating against me as we took flight. She held mine and Eric's hand tightly until we leveled off. Once she began to relax, I kissed her temple lightly in reassurance and pulled her head into my lap stroking her hair as Eric lifted her legs into his lap. As she slipped into Morpheus' embrace her glamour slipped slightly allowing the pulsing glow of her energy to be seen.
The stewardess gasped as she returned with a blanket and pillow in her hands. She looked between the three of us disconcertedly before lightly draping the cover over Sookie's sleeping form and handing me the pillow. She backed away timidly as Eric stood snarling at her, while I place the pillow under our faerie's slumbering head.
"She is ours, make sure she has whatever she wants or needs. Her life and wellbeing are important and I will hold you responsible for her safety when we cannot be with her." Eric growled tersely as he reluctantly stood to retire to his coffin.
"My kind has always held the children of light in high regard, Sheriff. I don't need you to tell me what I already know to be true." The shifter bit out succinctly, standing arrogantly as she faced my child's retreating back.
"Please understand that my child does not state these declarations leisurely, nor does he make idle threats. For the record, I will warn you that if something were to happen to our mate, there is nothing and nobody we would not destroy to ensure that she is returned to us safely. But in the case that her safe return was no longer possible, there is nothing and no one we would not destroy in our vengeance. Do you understand what I am saying to you?"
The shifter nodded her head fervently as I stood and laid Sookie's pillow cushioned head gently on the seat. Bowing over her resting form I stroked her face and whispered words of endearment into her ear before kissing her cheek and following my child's earlier path. As I lay down inside the travel coffin and secured the internal locks, I thought of all that was still to come. This journey we had embarked on would take us further on the course we had set ourselves upon this night. Although in retrospect, perhaps I began this course the moment I laid eyes on the petite blonde woman that had come into Eric's bar and stolen my heart on that night not so long ago.