I stood in the corner of the office watching as the Viking Sherriff bowed in front of my escort to the bar tonight.
I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Of all the vampires that could be his child, it had to be the Viking.
I had left Louisiana to get away from the Sheriff, Bill, and every other vampire involved with them. After Gran’s death, Bartlett’s murder, and Rene’s attack, I decided I had to get away from the vampires in my life before I ended up dead or enslaved.
It had been tricky because I had to lift the name and location of a witch from Sam’s mind after a well-placed hand on the arm to strengthen my telepathy and some carefully guided conversation about other supernatural beings. Once I had the name and location I needed, I drove to her during the day without ever telling anyone or calling her ahead of time. She was able to provide me with a charm to keep vampires from tracking me through their blood but I had to sell several things from my home to get enough money to pay her. When everything was ready, I waited until Bill died for the day, put the charm on, and left Bon Temps.
I didn’t say goodbye to anyone. I knew it was selfish for me to leave my brother and friends without any knowledge of what happened to me, but the witch told me it would be the safest option. When I disappeared off the ‘vampire radar,’ they would assume I was dead. However, they might choose to question friends and family through glamour to make sure I hadn’t run away.
Not telling anyone was the safest option for everyone.
I planned my escape so carefully and had succeeded at being on my own without detection for seven months.
It’s crazy that after all that I went through to get away from the Louisiana vampires I seem to have managed to randomly cross paths with Eric’s Maker.
Moments like this made you almost believe in some type of fate.
“Rise, my child.” Godric spoke softly as per his usual demeanor.
“Master, this is a surprise.”
“Yes. I won’t be staying long, but I didn’t wish for others to know I was coming.”
“Are you in danger?” Eric asked with obvious concern.
“Not at all.” Godric smiled wryly. “However, I needed to test some theories and I knew I could only trust you, my child, with these types of secrets.”
“Of course I will protect anything you wish to tell me with my life.” Eric dipped his head subserviently.
“Tell me. Do you sense anyone else in the room with us, or anything out of place?”
Eric looked confused for a moment but he took the time to look around with scrutiny and to take a deep breath to pick up on any stray smells. I stayed completely still as Eric tested his surroundings.
This is why we were here. Godric didn’t want anyone he didn’t trust knowing that I could hide myself, but he wanted to make sure my skill worked the same around other vampires as it did around him. It was a new skill and we just didn’t know completely how it worked.
I didn’t realize we were going to go see someone I didn’t trust to confirm his theories.
“No, Godric. I do not.”
Godric’s lips turned up slightly before he continued his test. “Move around.”
I knew that statement was for me so I moved to the other side of the room to stand a few feet to the right of Godric.
“Master?” Eric questioned the statement because he thought it was directed at him.
“Not you, Eric.” Godric shook his head before continuing. “Did you sense any change in the room?”
“Try Speaking.” Godric’s test continued.
“I really can’t believe we are here.” I said out loud knowing they wouldn’t hear me.
“I hear nothing, Master.” Eric was obviously intrigued.
“Excellent.” Godric replied satisfied that his experiments were successful.
I braced myself for what I knew was coming next.
I hesitated. I had enough to deal with now without having to handle an interaction with Eric. Plus, would he tell anyone else about seeing me?
My concerns became moot with Godric’s next word.
“Now.” The word was spoken softly but the command was clear.
I removed the shielding from around my body and revealed myself.
Eric’s whole body went rigid and he gasped, “Sookie?”
Godric’s head whipped in my direction. “You know Eric?”
“Yes, Master.” I dipped my head in deference to my Maker. “I know him.”
“Explain.” Godric spoke softly.
True to form, Eric spoke before I could explain.
“We all thought she was dead.”
“I am.” I quipped.
“Yes, you are.” Godric answered evenly. “But that is a relatively new state of being.”
He turned towards Eric. “How do you know her?”
Eric finally took his eyes off me and returned them to our Maker. “She belonged to a vampire in my retinue and worked for me on occasion using her telepathy.”
“I see.” Godric glanced at me. “And how long has she been gone?”
“Eight months.” Eric answered. “Is that not when you turned her?”
Shit. Godric hadn’t made me talk about my past yet and I really didn’t want to do it here with Eric present.
I had already learned that Godric was a fair Maker but he expected his orders to be followed. He also preferred not to have to order me around with his Maker’s power if he could get what he needed by asking for it instead.
He hadn’t asked me for much since turning me a couple of weeks ago.
“I run away to protect myself and those I cared about.” I kept my voice emotionless as I held Godric’s gaze.
“A vampire had already tried to kill me.” I glanced at Eric pointedly as a reminder of Longshadow’s attack.
“My Gran was murdered because I was dating a vampire. The same guy beat me before I had to kill him to protect myself. My boyfriend lied to me and killed someone from my family for hurting me as a child. He also hid from me the fact that he had made a new child. I had enough and I didn’t want to end up dead or enslaved or having my friends or family hurt because of me.”
“And yet you are dead.” Eric quipped.
“Enough, Eric.” Godric’s command was enough to stop Eric from commenting further and I appreciated it. I wasn’t sure I was up for verbal sparring.
“Why did they believe you were dead?”
I blanched. I didn’t want to tell them how I had achieved my getaway. It wasn’t fair to the witch who helped me.
“Sookie?” Godric’s had sensed my hesitation through our bond and demanded my explanation.
“I found a witch and paid her to make a charm that would hide me from Bill.” I admitted quietly. “She said it would feel to him like the blood tie had been severed so he would think I had died.”
I had lowered my head during my admission and was surprised to hear a slight chuckle from Eric. I glanced up to see Godric had a slight grin as well.
“What?” I demanded through my confusion.
“That was a very vampiric move, Sookie.” Eric’s tone held approval for my deviousness.
I really needed to impress the Viking.
We were interrupted by a knock at the door and I automatically hid myself in my shield again.
I caught Eric looking in the direction he knew I was standing and I thought I detected a little bit of awe in his gaze.
“Enter.” Eric commanded.
“Master. Godric.” She nodded her head to both.
“What is it, Pam? I told you not to disturb us.” Eric asked.
“There was a disturbance in the bar and the offending vampire has been taken to the basement for punishment. I wanted to notify you of the issue.”
“Details?” Eric asked.
“Compton was in the bar.” Pam sneered and I stiffened. “He attempted to come into the back offices and when I blocked his way he attacked me. He broke my nail and my pumps along with a few bar things.”
I saw Eric glance towards the area I was in even though he couldn’t see me.
“His reason?” Godric asked.
“He swore he heard Sookie’s voice back here.” Pam placed her hand on her hip to reinforce the absurdity of it all. “So, tell me, Master, have you been hiding the little telepath back here as your toy all along and only pretending to look for her? Why haven’t you shared?”
Godric growled when Pam called me a toy and I couldn’t help but silently thank him for that.
I was nobody’s toy.
“You will watch your tongue, Pamela.” Godric’s tone held the soft command I was becoming accustomed to.
I think I would be terrified if he ever did raise his voice.
“Master. She does not know.” Eric said softly in Pam’s defense as she bowed her head in deference.
“Regardless, if this is how you treated her then it’s no surprise that she left.” Godric admonished them and I felt my attachment to Godric growing.
I could also see the questions in Pam’s eyes.
Honestly, when I thought about it, Eric and Pam had never really outwardly harmed me or did more than intimidate me. Although it was obvious that they despised humans, they hadn’t been the cause of most of the problems that made me run.
I placed a shielded arm on Godric’s shoulder. It was our signal to silently ask if I could reveal myself just as his short nod in return was my permission to do so.
I enjoyed the gasp from Pam when I removed my shield and bared my fangs.
“No, I’m not his toy and I never share.” I said in sweet Southern drawl.
“You don’t dress any better as a vamp, either.” Pam replied after a moment’s hesitation.
Leave it to Pam to bring that up.
Over the past couple of nights, Godric and I had traveled by foot from Kentucky to Shreveport, Louisiana. We hadn’t cleaned up yet from our travels.
“Well, Pamela.” I said sweetly. “Would you mind helping your Auntie out and letting me borrow some clothes? Even small clothes would be nice if they were clean.”
Godric laughed at my family reference and I saw Eric look curiously at our maker. I think he may have been intrigued that I could make Godric laugh so easily. I’d noticed he was normally really stoic around other vampires but I would have thought he laughed with Eric.
“I’ll see what I can find, but don’t expect me to call you anything other than Sookie unless you’d like to be my lover.” She smiled with fang. “Then we can talk about pet names.”
“Pam.” Eric chastised her.
“A lot’s changed about me, but not that.” I told her. “I still don’t swing that way.”
“Give it couple of decades.”
“Clothing, Pam.” Eric ordered her and she left without another word.