I apologize for the delay in the story. I have been working extra, long hours and I haven't had the time to write as much as I'd like to. Thank y'all for reading, reviewing, favoriting, and bearing with me and enjoying the story. I hope that you enjoy.

Eric sat at Pam's side and held her hand to his bowed head. "I knew that something was wrong," he said. "I felt her but I didn't go to her when I had the chance. I've let her down. If she dies …"

"No, Eric," Sookie said. "Don't ever say that, my dearest love. She won't die and you didn't let her down. You've never let her down. You've always stood with her. Pam is a fighter. From what I've heard about her, she's always been a fighter. She's never been one to let someone fight her battles and that includes you." She then gripped his shoulders and said, "You taught her that. Don't blame yourself for Freyda's actions. You've done nothing wrong. Don't do this to yourself. Please."

Eric placed his hand atop Sookie's as he watched over Pam. "I love her," he said.

"I know," Sookie said as she leaned down and kissed the top of his head and wrapped her arms around him.

Sal stood at the doorway and out of view as he watched Eric and Sookie. He'd never seen such pain on Eric's face before tonight.

While they were meeting with Detectives Bellefleur and Beck, Sal noticed the look on Eric's face and instantly, he knew that something was wrong. Sal had assumed that it wasn't that big of a deal because Eric shook it off and continued giving the detectives the information that they'd gathered on René Leneir. The cops were working with Eric and they were setting up a team to go and start the process of checking out the evidence that Eric and Sal had just turned over. Their warrants to check the suspects house and any adjoining properties had been signed and everything was a go.

Detective Beck had even invited them along. "Mr. Northman, we couldn't have done this without you. You and your friend can come with us if you'd like. We would be glad to have you with us."

Sal could see that the offer left a bad taste in the detective's mouth but he could see that the detective felt obligated to say it. Needless to say, Eric declined his offer. "I must get home to my wife," he said to the detectives. "If there is anything else that you need of us, you have my number."

"We appreciate all that you've done," Detective Bellefleur said. "I mean it when I say that we couldn't have done this without the help of you and your wife and those in your community. I've called Chief Ambroselli and I've told her what you all have done and she said that during the press conference, she will make sure that your names are cleared. Please forgive the hastiness in blaming the vampire community for what was done to those girls." Andy ran his hand over his balding head and nodded. "You've given the families a lot by doing what you've done." He sighed as he closed his eyes. "Thank you, Mr. Northman. Thank you all so much." Tears then fell from his eyes.

"You're most welcome, Detective Bellefleur," Eric said and he meant it.

Andy smiled at him and nodded before walking away.

Alcee stood there and stared at Eric for a moment before saying anything. "I owe you an apology," he finally said.

Eric waited.

"I shouldn't have been so quick to jump to the conclusion that you and yours were involved. I was quick to believe it because of my brother. When it comes to family, you'll do anything to protect them." Alcee nodded when he'd finished talking.

Still, Eric waited.

"And Andy is right," Alcee replied. "We couldn't have done this without you."

Eric continued to remain silent.

Alcee sighed and rolled his eyes at Eric. "You're going to make me say it, aren't you? The other things that I've said mean nothing. You're going to fucking make me say it."

A slow and steady smile appeared on Eric's face. Sal let out a bountiful laugh.

"Fuck you," Alcee growled.

Eric glanced at Sal over his shoulder and said, "That's the worst apology I've ever heard. What about you, old friend?"

"I do believe you're right," Sal replied.

Alcee shook his head and did his best to try and hide his smile. He didn't want to like the vampire and he didn't want to laugh at the joke that was at his expense but he does and he did. "I apologize to you, Northman. I was wrong." This time, Beck truly was sincere.

Eric gave Alcee a slight nod. "At least you acknowledge it," he said.

Alcee glared at Eric as he mumbled the word asshole. "Northman," he said.

"Beck," Eric said.

Sal thought that the banter between the vampire and the human was amusing and it was the ending to a goodnight. They'd cleared the names of the vampires with the humans and they were going to take their true findings before the council in three days. Everything was going in their favor … until Freyda.

Sal left the lovers alone as he went to the living room to have a seat. He had a bit of thinking that needed to be done. He'd expected to be alone but Selene was there. When she looked up at him, he saw complete devastation in her eyes.

"Do you believe that she will be okay?" she asked her elder.

"I do," Sal said as he nodded. "Dr. Ludwig is going to stay here tonight and she will look in on Pam throughout the day." He placed his hand on Selene's. "She'll be fine, little one. Don't worry yourself."

"But I let my guard down," Selene said. "I didn't expect the master's child to do what she'd done. I believed her to be honorable. She is a Northman. Honor and loyalty are to be a part of what she is."

Sal chuckled as he leaned back on the couch and threw his arm over it. He then patted his chest for Selene to rest her head. She'd done as he'd ordered. "Freyda is no true Northman. She knows not what honor and loyalty are."

"Is that why she isn't a part of this retinue?" she asked.

"Yes," Sal said as he nodded. "You'd only known of her for a short time when you came to travel with us. She was my lover for many, many years; including as a human." A longing look appeared on his face as he thought of that time.

Selene looked up at Sal and said, "You love her."

"Correction," he said. "I loved her and I loved her very much. Eric hated her."

Selene sat up from Sal's chest and looked at him. "He hated her? If he hated her, why on earth would he turn her?" A shy look then appeared on her face. "Were you two sharing her flesh?"

Sal shook his head no. "Eric has never touched Freyda in that way. He has never been interested in her in that way." A look then appeared on his face. "As I think about it, he's the only man to have never looked at Freyda in that way."

"Why?" Selene asked. "She's absolutely stunning."

"That she is," Sal said as a faraway look appeared on his face. "But not to Eric. He is appalled by her. He hates the very ground she walks on." He looked at his fellow vampire and said, "I'm sure you've heard the gossip."

Selene shook her head no. She almost felt insulted that Sal would think that she would even listen to gossip. "I don't entertain such nonsense because it is just that. I'm only interested in the truth. Gossip has only ever caused problems for those that listen to it and join in on it."

Sal laughed because he knew that Selene was speaking truthful and because she's the first vampire that he's ever met that doesn't enjoy a little gossip every now and then. "Eric turned her for me," Sal stated. "I'd been attacked during the daylight hours and almost killed. Eric came to find me just in time. He'd called my trusted servants, Josephine and Helena to feed me while he tended to Freyda. She was near death when he found her. She'd been beaten, raped and stabbed."

"My God," she said. "What happened? How could these humans have found your resting place? It is cannon that we never tell anyone where we rest. That was the first thing that my maker taught me." She had a puzzled look on her face when she asked, "Who would have told them where you sleep?"

Sal only looked at her. In all of the many years since the incident, he's never been able to say it. He's never been able to face it … until tonight. "My Freyda betrayed me in the harshest and cruelest way."

Selene's hand went to her heart. "She was to love you," she whispered.

"Alas," Sal said. "She did not. She loved what I was, what I had. She loved the gifts and the vacations. She loved the thought of something immortal falling in love with her. She loved the idea of one day becoming what we are." He then sighed as he said, "She has never loved me."

Selene sat taller in her seat. "And Eric turned her after she'd betrayed you?"

"As I said," Sal replied. "He didn't want to. I begged him to because I couldn't bear to see her die. I loved her."

"But Eric had to have known what she'd done to you." Selene was about to say more but stopped herself when she saw the look on Sal's face. "You knew what she'd done to you," she whispered as she stood from her seat. "You knew and you still begged him to turn her. Why?" she asked as she looked at him.

"Because I wanted love," he answered simply. "I was tired of walking this world alone and I thought that if I could give her what she truly wanted, she would forever love me. As you know, being a vampire during those times was agonizingly lonely. It's not like it is now. We weren't accepted and we weren't allowed to love or to tell others what we were unless we glamored any memory of us from their minds. I didn't want that anymore. I wanted to be with someone that would remember loving me. The loneliness was killing me, Selene."

"Do you not know what love is?" she asked as she stood over him. "You are too old to have been so weak. Love is not about giving and never receiving. Love is the very reason this world exists. It is our greatest gift, Sal. We don't give our very souls in the hopes of making someone love us. When we give our souls to them, they should already love us. Love is an honor. Love is a privilege. It is something that you earn … something that you deserve. She obviously didn't deserve your love then and she doesn't deserve it now."

A look of love appeared on her face. "My Giovanni loved me beyond the moon and the stars and I him. He was kind and he was compassionate. He was man of principle and faithfulness." Selene looked Sal in his eyes as she talked about her long dead lover. "You remind me of him but I pity you. You let your loneliness consume you. You deserved better. You should never settle for less than what you deserve because you are lonely. We have all been lonely before, Salvador but we must never settle; especially not our kind."

Sal smiled at her. He'd never seen such passion in her eyes; except for when it comes to fighting and killing. He's never seen her look as beautiful as she looked that very second. Her passionate speech was much more than that. It is what she lives by. She doesn't settle for less than what she deserves. He's known for her to have sex with others but he's never known for her to take a lover. Giovanni was her first and her last. He could see it in her eyes.

He patted the seat at his side. "Sit with me," he whispered.

She did as he ordered and scooted in closer to him. She looked at him and asked, "What do you wish of me?"

He wanted to kiss her and he wanted to make love to her. He wanted to tell her that he could never be her Giovanni but if she lets him, he can love her as she deserves to be loved but he didn't do that. He stroked her cheek and said, "Tell me of what happened tonight."

"It started at Felecia's apartment building," Selene began. "I saw that vampire, William Compton pleasuring himself to my master and his wife as she claimed him in the car."

Sal's eyes widened. Sookie never ceases to surprise him. "I'll bet it was a beautiful site to see the faery stake claim to what is hers."

"Oh, it was," she said. "It was quite glorious. But William Compton sullied the moment. When Eric and Sookie left, he took her ripped panties from the ground and inhaled them. As far as I'm concerned, he'd violated her."

"How did he get her panties?" Sal questioned as he frowned.

"She was so into the moment of claiming Eric that she'd thrown them out of the window. I don't even think she realized what she'd done," she said. "After Eric and Sookie left, William picked them up and placed them in his pocket. The moment between Eric and Sookie must have done something to him because he looked to the human's apartment. The look that was in his eyes was unmistakable. I believe that he was going to take her against her will."

Sal dropped fang. "He didn't do that."

Selene shook her head. "I didn't allow it. I captured him with the silver netting and placed him in the trunk of my car. I called Pam and told her to meet me at the dungeon. After we were to torture him, we were to make love." She looked at Sal and said, "I need to feel the connection of another once I've shed blood. Tonight, I did not get that chance."

Sal gave her a wicked smile. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said as he looked her up and down and licked his lips. "The night is not yet over."

"It is not," she said as she looked deeply into his eyes. She wanted to ravage him where he was but she had events to explain to her elder. Ravaging Sal would just have to wait.

"By the time Pam had arrived, I had William chained and hanging from the ceiling. The silver meat hooks were placed beautifully and perfectly in the center of each of his hands. I'd wrapped the silver ropes from the tops of his thighs to the tips of his toes. I'd never seen a more beautiful sight; his legs spread far apart, the hooks in his hands. His body was mine to do with what I wished. I couldn't wait for Pam to arrive."

Sal's fangs dropped into place as he saw the lust rising in Selene's eyes as she talked of what she and Pam had planned for the night.


"Great job," Pam said as she eased into the room. She looked at Bill and nodded her head in approval. "The hooks are a sign that Eric has rubbed off on you but the ropes," she said as she patted Selene on her shoulder. "The silver ropes are an excellent touch, my friend. Your imagination is outstanding."

Selene smiled as she cocked her head to the side and admired her handy work. "It is quite outstanding," she agreed. She looked at Pam and winked. "Thanks for the compliment. I'd wanted to use the Victorian vice that Eric has in the back but that's not as painful as I'd like for Compton's punishment to be. It would take hours for him to scream." She looked at Pam and asked, "What do you think?"

Pam walked to the torture table and was surprised at what she saw lying there. "Are these panties?" she asked. She then inhaled. "Are they Sookie's?"

"Yes," Selene answered. "They were in Compton's pocket."

Pam laughed as she put on a pair of leather gloves. She then picked up the silver scalpel. She stood in front of Bill as she traced it along his chest. She closed her eyes as she inhaled the sweet scent of his burning flesh. "I think that you are right. He needs to suffer."

"Have you told Eric that we have him?" Selene asked as she stood behind Pam and kissed her neck.

Pam closed her eyes and shook her head no. "He's doing something with Sal. You're going to have to stop that," she said as she glanced at Selene over her shoulder. "We'll never get to play with him if you don't stop playing with me."

Selene gave Pam a deep kiss before acknowledging her playmate's comment. "You are right. We have all night long."

Pam watched Selene as she walked away from her and went to the torture table and began grabbing toys. She'd never wanted the vampiress more. They've had sex with each other off and on for years. It was never anything serious and it never would be but she enjoyed Selene's body. It was her wonderland. It was as close to heaven as she was ever going to get and tonight, her heaven was going to have to wait … but only for an hour or two.

Selene picked up the silver whip and went behind Bill and stood. She wanted him to anticipate the feel of the silver strands as they stung his back. She wanted to smell his fear. She wanted him to be afraid of what was awaiting him in the near future. But when he glanced at her over his shoulder, she didn't see anticipation. She didn't smell his fear. What she saw on his face was a smile. Needless to say, she was surprised.

"I don't think ...," he began.

Selene cut him off with a whack of the silver strands as they ran across his back. "No, you don't do you?" she asked.

Bill lurched forward as he closed his eyes and melted into the pain.

"I saw you tonight," Selene said as she swept the whip around for another lash at Bill's back. "I watched as you defiled my master and his wife's claiming session. I watched you as you pleasured yourself to their most amazing and loving moment." She hit him again. She then moved in and whispered in his ear. "I saw."

Again, he smiled. As he glanced at her over his shoulder and looked at her from the corner of his eye, he said, "If you wanted to join me, you needed to only ask. I would've given you what you seemed to have wanted."

Selene stepped away from him and stared at the back of his head as she hit him again and again. Pam smiled at his audacity. After his fifteenth lash of the silver whip, she turned his face towards hers and stared into his eyes. She was amazed at what she'd seen there. "Nothing," she whispered. "There's nothing there."

He continued to smile.

She looked at Selene over Bill's shoulder and repeated her earlier statement. "Nothing," she said.

Selene went to stand by Pam and an eerie feeling crept up her spine. She'd never feared a vampire before in all of her existence and she didn't tonight but she could see that something wasn't right. She instantly knew that no matter what she and Pam did to him, Bill would not show an ounce of fear. She knew that there was only one thing to do. "We need to kill him and we need to do it quickly," she said.

With her hand clawed, Selene tried to walk towards him but Pam grabbed her arm and stopped her. "No," she said. "We need to save him for Eric. Eric will want to end him; especially after he learns of what he's done. He will be a gift to our master."

"Call him," Selene said a little quicker than she'd intended. She noticed the smirk on Bill's face. "Tell him where we are."

Pam closed her eyes and shook her head no. "He's busy. We can't disturb him." She reached out and traced her scalpel across Bill's chest. "We can at least have a little fun with him before Eric comes. Maybe that will make a little something appear in his eyes."

Bill's smile widened.

Pam's scalpel deepened.

"No," Selene said. "Eric wouldn't want this." She looked deeper into Bill's eyes. "He's always told us to follow our instincts. This is a time when we need to do that, Pam. There's something not right with this. We have to kill him now."

She loved Selene but her fear was beginning to get on Pam's nerves. With her scalpel still buried in Bill's chest, she turned to look at Selene and said, "I am Eric's second. I am in charge when he isn't here. I decide what we'll do and when we'll leave. We are not going to leave. We have a job to do and we're going to do it. Am I understood?"

Selene nodded her head yes though she wanted to scream at Pam and tell her that she's wrong. She wanted to throw the younger vampiress over her shoulder and carry her out of the pit but she didn't and she wouldn't. She's always followed orders. She's always done as she's been told. That's what has always made her an efficient underling and even more efficient killer.

Pam turned to face Bill as she withdrew the knife. She went to the table and grabbed a pair of pliers. She went back to him and began removing things; fingernails one at time, fingertips, toes, and fangs. Everything that she'd done to him was painful but he never screamed. She put the toy back onto the table and stared at him as she put her hands on her hips. "You're not much of a screamer, are you?"

"No," he answered. "I learned to stop that the night that I was turned. You have heard of my maker, have you not?"

"I have," Pam said.

Bill then tipped his head to the side and said, "I want to thank you, Ms. Ravenscroft."

"For what?" she asked.

"I'm glad that you're saving me for the Viking," Bill said as he lisped and spat blood. "I've always wanted to meet him. You and your maker are well known amongst our kind; your vengeance and willingness to kill preceeds you both." He then looked at Selene. "Your reputation as an excellent fighter is quite astonishing and your beauty; if you don't mind me saying, the rumors haven't done you justice. You are extraordinarily beautiful." He spat out more blood.

"Pam," Selene said. "Kill him now and let's go."

Bill then filled the room with laughter. "Why would you leave before the others get here? The party won't be the same without you. I'd hate for you to leave so soon. I want you to be here when I kill the Viking and take what I want."

Just as he said that, Freyda came through the door covered in blood. She looked as if she'd been through the wringer. She looked as if she didn't have an ounce of fight left in her. "I can't handle them all," she said. "I need help. They are coming for him," she said as she looked at Bill.

Selene didn't wait for Pam to tell her to go. She left to kill whoever was left.

Pam turned back to Bill. She reached back in order to remove Bill's head from his body but something stopped her. Freyda grabbed her by her arm. "I can't let you do that," she said as she shook her head. She no longer looked stunned. She didn't look as if she was standing on her last leg. She looked fine.

Pam tried taking her arm away from Freyda but her grip was too tight. "He wants to kill Eric."

"Well, I'm not going to let that happen," Freyda said.

Just as she said it, she threw Pam across the room and she landed into the cement wall with a crashing thud. Her bones cracked and her screams were loud. As the pain coursed through her body, she closed down the bond as to not alert Eric. She didn't know what was outside those dungeon doors awaiting him. She couldn't risk him losing his life when he has so much awaiting him.

Freyda then went over to where Pam was lying and she began stomping her; her hands, legs, stomach. Wherever her pointed boots landed, that's where she hit. Blood and teeth surrounded her.

"Will you get me down from here?" Bill asked. "Kill her after I'm down."

Freyda turned to where Bill was chained. She gave Pam one last kick before she walked to where he was and stood in front of him. "I warned you, Bill that if you ever spoke of killing my maker again, I will kill you. Eric is my maker. Eric may have turned his back on me but he is still my maker. His life force flows through my veins, Bill."

Bill was no longer smiling. His head was no longer cocked to the side. He didn't like what he was seeing on her face. "You will let me down and remove this silver or André will have your fucking head."

Freyda's maniacal laugher echoed throughout the room. "No, he won't do that. You see, he already believes that you are dead … well almost dead. I told him that Eric's underlings killed you. As far as André is concerned, I tried to save you but I didn't get here in time. Your body was dangling from the ceiling when I got here. I had never seen such atrocities done to a vampire before in my life. Can you believe that your head was missing?" She then thought about that and said, "Well, I assume that it was your head."

She then took out her cell phone and showed Bill the pictures that she'd taken of Selene when she'd first captured Bill. She had pictures of her taking Bill from Felicia's apartment. She had pictures of putting the hooks in Bill's hands and wrapping the silver around his legs, wrists, and ankles. She had pictures of Selene giving Bill lashes with the silver whip. There were pictures of Pam slicing into his flesh with a scalpel. There were pictures of her using the pliers on him as to cause poor Bill more pain.

"I've always wanted to go into photography and cell phones make it so easy," Freyda said as she showed Bill the last photo. "I think that these pictures are quite good. What do you think?" She looked at Bill and smiled.

"Touché," he said. "You win."

"I usually do," she said. She walked over to Bill and kissed him. After she'd broken the kiss, she said, "I went to your apartment to find any evidence that I know that you have in order to prove that you and I have been working together and I couldn't find any. Am I right in assuming that you've hidden it quite carefully?"

"You are correct," he answered as he settled into the idea that he was about to die.

"Did you give the evidence to your human?"

Bill shook his head no as he chuckled. "I knew that would be the first place you'd look. I'd never leave anything of importance with her."

"Pity," Freyda said as she looked away. "She died for nothing."

Bill shrugged his shoulders. "She was human. She would've died sooner or later so it doesn't really matter."

She began stroking his cock as she said, "You're not going to tell me where the evidence is."

"I am not," he said.

"Just a hint," she purred as she licked at the blood on his chest. "All I need is a little hint."

"Sorry," Bill replied. "I'm all out of hints."

She looked down at his cock and said, "Not even a little hardness."

"You've always left me feeling a little cold, Freyda."

She cocked her head to side and shrugged her shoulders as she sighed. "I seem to have that affect on men. I don't understand why. I think that I have a warm and loving personality."

Bill looked over Freyda's shoulder and sighed and closed his eyes. He then looked at her and said, "You will never get what you want, Freyda. Do you think that Eric is never going to find out what you've done? Do you think that he'll never know that you've been working with André to destroy him?" He then began to laugh. "Everything that you've done will come to the light, old friend."


"I left after he said that. Bill was giving us a hint to what Freyda has done or will do," Selene ended. "He looked me right in my eyes as I lifted Pam from the floor and listened to them. He never told Freyda that I'd returned. He wanted me to hear what he had to say. He was getting his revenge against her before he met the true death."

Sal stared straight ahead and asked, "Did he give you any idea as to where he'd hidden the evidence that Freyda has been involved with Andre's plan?"

Though her face held not an ounce of emotion, fury filled her. "He told me nothing."

"Do you know the name of his human? We could check her home," he said.

"Nothing's there," she said. "I sent Marco and Clancy to her home and it had been destroyed."

"What of the girl?" he asked.

"Freyda was true to her word. She killed her," she said. "Her body wasn't there but there was blood evidence that something happened to her. I've sent the vampire cleanup crew there to take care of things. I also told them to look out for anything suspicious."

"What of the cameras?"

Selene smiled. "They're still in place. She never knew that she was being recorded." A somber looked replaced the smile. "Pam's brutal beating was recorded. I'm sure that Freyda's actions will be more than enough reason for her to die."

"I'm sure they are." Sadness soon appeared on Sal's face. He stared at the younger vampire and asked, "Whom of our retinue did she kill tonight?"

"Luna and Gertrude," Selene whispered. "Their bodies had been completely destroyed. Their scent is the only way I knew to recognize them. Marco took out two of the vampires that were with her." She smiled sweetly and said, "I killed four. It was the sweetest kill of the night because they were top ranking vampires in André's retinue … or so they claimed. You should've heard them begging for their lives." She placed her hand on Sal's thigh and stroked it. "I could tell you all about it in a more private setting if you'd like to hear."

He stood up from the couch and offered Selene his hand. "I'm all ears."


Bill looked over Freyda's shoulder and sighed and closed his eyes. He then looked at her and said, "You will never get what you want, Freyda. Do you think that Eric is never going to find out what you've done? Do you think that he'll never know that you've been working with André to destroy him?" He then began to laugh. "Everything that you've done will come to the light, old friend."

Freyda was no longer smiling. Through clenched teeth, she said, "Eric will never know. He will think that I tried to save Pam from you and your band of merry thugs but I was too late. He will forgive all of my transgressions, Bill. You'll see." She then shook her head. "No, you won't. You'll be dead."

This time, Bill's maniacal laughter filled the room. "I don't think so." He used his head to point in the direction of where Pam was supposed to be lying.

Freyda screamed and blurred to the now empty spot on the floor. Pam was gone. She then blurred back to where Bill was and without further thought or hesitation, she pulled his head from his body. She continued to scream as he exploded all over her. Her plan was foiled. She was going to lose everything. She was going to die and Eric was going to see to it and it's Sookie's fault.

"That fucking faery has destroyed everything," she said as bloody tears trailed along her cheeks. "If I die, she dies."

Before leaving the room, Freyda took out her cell phone and took a picture of Bill's bloody remains. Regardless of how she felt, she still had a job to do. André needed to see that his number one lackey was dead. She suddenly perked up. Maybe there was a way to kill the faery and stay alive after all.

Skipping out of the room, Freyda said, "There's always a means to an end."