It seemed to me like everything froze for several minutes but I know it was just my mind trying to process everything. I was cursing myself. Why couldn’t I just keep my mouth shut? I needed a better brain to mouth filter. Sheeze. No one needs to be able to read my mind. I just freakin’ say everything.
In reality though, I guess Eric would have smelled Eddie on Jason as soon as he got here from investigating Eddie’s house. Stupid vampires and their darn sense of smell.
So, maybe its better that I know now and can try to negotiate the outcome of this clusterfuck. God, I hoped I could.
“I’ve had vamp blood. Maybe I should just try running.” My idiot brother. His stupidity seemed to be at an all time high and I was out of patience.
I walked over to Jason and grabbed the collar of his shirt and started dragging him back to the porch steps. He started to protest mid-way to the porch when I turned around and hissed at him.
“Stop fighting me you dumbass.”
He looked shell-shocked. I wasn’t usually the type to be pushy or curse, but I’d had enough in the past twenty-four hours and now my own brother had just added to my growing list of supernatural problems.
When we reached the steps, I pushed him down to make him sit on the top step and he looked up at me incredulously. He had opened his mouth to speak when I interrupted him. “The vampire blood I’ve had is much stronger than what you’ve had and even with what you’ve had you would have absolutely no chance of outrunning them. So stop even thinking about it. You are in far too much trouble as it is. In fact, you would just excite them by trying to run for it. So if you want to continue your fantastic streak of stupid shit you can do to get yourself killed then, by all means, go for it. Otherwise, for once in your life, sit down and shut the fuck up.” Jason’s eyes grew impossibly wider at my words. I swear, one full day with my vampires and I was cussing like a sailor and ordering people around. Gosh, did I just say my vampires? I so don’t have the time to think about that.
I wheeled to look at Lafayette and locked eyes with him. He looked shocked at my behavior. I just glared at him and pointed to the space beside Jason. “Are you going to make me drag you over here too?”
After a couple of seconds where I think he was still trying to deal with his shock, he shook his head and walked slowly over to the steps and sat by Jason. The look on their faces as they looked up at me reminded me of how Jason and I would look at Gran when we knew we were in deep manure. I took a deep breath and turned around to face the vampires.
“And here I thought it was a turn on listening to you order the dog around earlier. You could be such a dom.” Pam leered at me.
“Pamela.” Eric was in no mood for humor and neither was I. He was in Sherriff mode and I was scared to death of what would come next.
“Eric.” I started but I didn’t know what I was going to say next. I never would have imagined when my night started that I would be standing in front of my soon-to-be Maker trying to ensure that he didn’t kill the only two people who hadn’t turned their back on me when they found out I was going to be a vampire – especially when one of them was my brother. Then again, I hadn’t planned on finding out I was part-fairy either.
“Find out what they know.” Eric ordered with no emotion in his voice.
“But . . .” I wanted assurances first.
“Would you rather I find out?” he growled at me.
“NO! But what . . . ” As is the norm with vampires, I didn’t even realize I was moving until I found myself standing in front of Eric 150 yards away from my house and out of sight of the trio we left behind. His hands were on my shoulders and his face was right in front of mine.
“You will not question me and especially not in front of humans. Do you understand?” His fangs were out and I could tell he was trying to hold back a lot of anger. “There are no buts to be discussed. There is a vampire missing from my area and your brother and friend know what happened. You will find out what they know and tell me everything. I will know if you lie.”
“What will you do to them?.” I broke eye contact and stared at the ground between our feet. “They are the only ones that stayed with me.” I knew that if he decided to kill them I could do nothing to stop him, which means I would have lost everyone that mattered to me.
“It will depend on what they’ve done.” My head snapped up and I locked eyes with him willing myself to find some sort of hope there that told me he wouldn’t kill what remained of my family and friends. I didn’t see anything but an emotionless mask. There was no hope and no reassurance to be found. I decided to push my luck and try again but before I could speak he covered my lips with a single finger.
“It is my job to protect all vampires in my area and punish those who wrong us. This is a job that will also protect you in the future.” I knew arguing would get me no where and I was trying to not freak out but as I dropped my eyes to the ground again a single tear made its way down my cheek. How much was I expected to lose in one night?
Just like the night before Eric brought his hand up to my cheek and wiped away the tear with his thumb. “You are going to have to trust me.”
“Trust is earned.” I mumbled so softly that only a vampire could have heard it.
Eric gently pulled my chin up so that I was looking at him again. He just nodded, released me, and gestured for us to walk back to the house.
It didn’t take us long to be back in front of Jason and Lafayette. Luckily, it seemed that they had taken my words to heart and they hadn’t moved at all. Or maybe it was the death glare that was on Pam’s face that kept them immobile. Who knows?
I took a deep breath and sat on the step below them. I grabbed Lafayette’s hand, closed my eyes, and said “Tell me about your deal with Eddie.”
“Hooker, what’s gonna happen to us?” He whispered back.
“Do not insult her!” Eric voice was venomous.
“Eric stop! It’s a nickname. He’s calls all his friends Hooker. Even his cousin. Calm down.” He glared at me. “Please” I added and nodded.
“Lafayette,” I said to get his attention back on me. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” I said softly and swallowed the lump in my throat. “But I do know that it will be much worse for both of you if you don’t just cooperate. So, please?”
“Aight, aight.” He sighed. “I would meet up with Eddie a couple times a week. I would make him feel good ya know and he would supply V for me to sell.” Eric growled and Lafayette tensed. Personally, I was grossed out by the visuals I was getting.
“You said that you went to Eddie’s but it looked like he’d been taken?” I whispered.
“Yes. I went back earlier tonight because it was our night, but the door was open and his remote was busted on the floor. I thought maybe someone had taken him.” But his mind added, “Damn Stackhouse. I bet it was him.”
I took a deep breath before I asked what I had to, “Why do you think Jason took him?”
“Damn it Sook! You’re my sister.” Jason interrupted. “You’re supposed to be helping me.”
“Yes, that’s true. She is your sister.” Eric was in front of Jason and his tone was seething. “And you can be certain that if you live through the night it will only be because of that fact. So, I would stop burning that bridge breather.” Jason finally used some good sense and closed his mouth.
“Continue.” Eric said in my direction and I looked at Lafayette for his answer.
“I cut Jason off. He didn’t follow the rules.”
“What do you mean?” I was seeing some of it in his mind but I was hoping that if he willing told the vampires everything that it would work in his favor.
“He took too much and ended up in the hospital. Then he told Tara I was dealin’. And he pushed around a cop.” Jason had put his head in his hands as Lafayette told his story. “He was too outta control and that upped my chances of being caught if I kept supplin’ him. But he fuckin’ went off on me when I told ‘im he was done. He was desperate.”
I saw the scene in his head and it reminded me of when I caught him at my house. “Yeah, I know. I caught him here trying to take some of Gran’s stuff to sell but I was too mad to try to find out why.”
“He was acting like a fucking caged animal when he came to the bar.” Pam added in her bored tone. “It was obvious he was on something.”
I let go of Lafayette’s hand and moved on to Jason. For a second, he withdrew his hand slightly when I reached for it. It stung. I knew it was his self-preservation instincts but it still hurt. So, instead of reaching for his hand again, I decided to hold my hand out for him with my palm up. After a few moments, he placed his hand in mine and I squeezed it.
The first thing I felt was overwhelming shame. I decided to try and spare him having to actually tell the story.
“Just show me everything and I’ll tell them.” I whispered and then looked at Eric. He nodded tersely to me after a slight pause.
“How?” Jason asked.
“Just think through everything that happened since you went to Fangtasia.” He nodded and started but then I added. “Don’t try to leave anything out to make yourself look better. I’ll know.” I had already sensed that he was going to try so he just nodded sheepishly at my words.
We sat there for probably five minutes in silence. He started with the night at Fangtasia and meeting Amy. Pam was right. He was lucky he made it out of their alive.
The more I saw of his interactions with Amy, the more I realized how crazy she was but my brother was blinded by her words, the blood, and the sex. We made it through Eddie’s abduction, his captivity, and finished with the fight they had tonight. He was telling the truth that he really did want to let Eddie go but he was completely outsmarted by Amy at every turn. She truly was a psychopath and she knew how to play my dim-witted brother.
I sighed when he finished with leaving for my house tonight. “So, when you left tonight he was still alive. Well, undead.”
“Yeah. I was trying to let him go but well – you saw the argument with Amy.” I nodded.
“Sookie.” Eric was getting very impatient.
“Jason. Keep your mouth shut okay. You’re not going to like what I say but it’s the truth whether you realize it or not. You’ve been played like a fiddle so just keep quiet.” His face started to get red like he was going to argue again but I just kept my eyes locked on his and waited for him to agree. Finally, Eric growled and Jason nodded his consent.
I stood up and turned to Eric. “I’m fairly certain that the girl he met at Fangtasia is an experienced drainer. He didn’t have a clue and she’s been keeping him in line by feeding him more V, stories about love, and nature and 60’s type bull. They had agreed to stop but then she needed more and Lafayette wouldn’t sell to him. She talked him into following Lafayette to his supplier and told Jason that they could try to come up with a deal with him too.” I sighed and glanced at Jason. “But when Eddie answered the door, Amy threw a silver hood over his head and started tying him up in silver. Jason argued with her but being the follower he is and not knowing what else to do, he did as he told and put him in the truck.”
I could tell Pam and Eric were really losing their tempers. Drainers pissed them off enough but talking about having silver taken to a vampire by a human pissed them off even more.
“Where is he now?” Eric demanded.
“They tied him with silver to a lawn chair in Jason’s basement. Jason’s been sneaking him True Blood when Amy isn’t around but they had a fight about it earlier today when she found out. She truly is a psychopath. Jason was on his way to release Eddie but Amy was fighting him when I called. When Jason left, they agreed they’d talk more when he got home.” I was hoping that some of Jason’s helpful actions would save his life.
I thought about it. “I know this sounds stupid to say it to vampires, but I wouldn’t underestimate her. She had the silver net and chains in her purse. I wouldn’t be surprised if she keeps a few things on her all the time. This definitely wasn’t her first time.”
“Sook, you can’t be sure of that.” Jason mumbled.
“Jason, who else do you know that keeps those items in their purse and knows how to place a IV line in a vampire?”
He just hung his head and I turned back to Eric. I didn’t want to ask, but I had to before I went insane.
“So, now what?”
Eric stared me down for what seemed like forever but I didn’t look away. Finally he said, “Do not interrupt me. Do you understand?”
I considered what might be coming and thought about the likely hood of me being able to actually stay quiet or stop anything. The chances were slim to none. Eric seemed to sense this. Well, of course he did. He’s had my blood.
“Sookie” This time his tone was much more severe and his fangs were out.
Trust. He had told me to trust him. I barely knew him, but what other choice did I have? Pam told me he was a good master. She said he only punished when he had to do so. He had to know that I would hate him if he killed or hurt my friend or brother. He wouldn’t want a child that hated him forever. I had to take this leap and hope that it paid off in the end.
“I understand.” I said firmly.
“Sit by your brother. We will be going to his home shortly.” I complied with his order wordlessly. I assumed this meant he was dealing with Lafayette first. I grabbed my brother’s hand and held it in my own. I concentrated on locking down my muscles as much as I could so that I didn’t instantly react to whatever happened. As a precaution, I also threw up my mental shields. I was dealing with enough of my own anxiety. I didn’t need Jason’s or Lafayette’s added on.
I also took the chance at whispering to Jason. “Don’t move and don’t say anything.” He just squeezed my hand. His eyes were watching Eric like a hawk but that’s not where we should have been looking.
In an instant, Pam had Lafayette by the throat on his back on the ground in front of Eric. Both of their fangs were out. Jason and I both gasped in surprised before forcing ourselves back into silence.
“The normal punishment for a V dealer is torture and death.” Eric stated and Jason’s grip on my hand became painful. The pain helped me remember not to say anything.
“Were you aware of this bloodbag?” Pam asked with her fangs very close to his neck. “Because I think you were.”
“Shit. I needed the money for my momma. I didn’t hurt ‘im. Eddie agreed.” Lafayette’s voice wavered with fear.
Eric crouched down so he was close to Lafayette as well. “That’s not what my child asked.” He sneered.
“No. I didn’t.” He answered and Pam slapped him across the face. Jason’s hand was shaking now and I was really struggling to stay quiet. I knew what he was thinking without listening to his mind. If this was Lafayette’s punishment, then what the hell would they do to him?
“Don’t lie breather. We’re not as stupid as you.” Pam spat at him.
“Shall we try again?” Eric asked calmly. “Did you know the punishment for dealing our blood?”
Lafayette didn’t say anything immediately and Pam looked like she was about to hit him again.
“Ok. Ok. I . . . I guessed what it would be. Yes.” His voice was very soft but I heard it.
“So, you knew that you would be killed if you sold our blood and yet you did it anyway?” Eric stood back up to his full height and Pam brought Lafayette up to his knees. She held onto the back of his neck so that he had to bend it back to look up at Eric and her other hand held both his arms behind his back. Eric continued as he looked down on Lafayette with contempt. “If you have so little fear of death that you continued to sell our blood when you knew the punishment if you were caught, then what could I possibly punish you with to keep you from selling our blood again other than your death?”
I was losing my struggle at keeping quiet as the scene in front of me continued to unfold. Eric must have sensed my struggle because he spared a quick penetrating warning glare in my direction before turning back to Lafayette. I have to admit the power behind that glare had me swallowing the words that were on the tip of my tongue.
“What about this Mother of yours? Would you risk her death or the death of your drunk cousin?” Eric asked as he kicked him in the thigh. I could tell from where I was sitting that he didn’t really kick him with any true force because it would have broken his leg.
“No. No sir. Just leave ’em alone. I won’t touch the shit again. I swear.” Lafayette begged.
“I believe he cares about his Momma and that drunk.” Pam said sweetly as she ran a finger over his neck. “So, you wouldn’t want to watch them drained now would you sweet cheeks.”
“No. No Ma’am. Whatever you want. I’ll do it.” His voice was quivering.
Eric crouched in front of him again. “As you have promised, you will never touch or deal our blood again.” Lafayette nodded. “If you ever go back on this deal, you’re family will pay the price. Do you understand?”
“Now, about your punishment.” Eric said standing up.
“What?” Lafayette asked.
“We’ve only covered the future punishment for any further indiscretions. Did you really think you wouldn’t be punished for this one?” Eric laughed at him and Lafayette looked like even more of the blood drained from his face.
“Can I play Master?” Pam asked while running her nose up his neck.
“Hmmm. It has been awhile since you got to play.” Eric said thoughtfully. I should have been scared but I’d been around them enough to recognize their banter. I was almost certain that they were just trying to scare the shit out of him at this point. Almost.
“Yes it has Master.” Pam answered excitedly.
“But I think we’ll have to wait for a different toy. I have other plans.” Pam looked dejected. “Stand up.”
Both Pam and Lafayette stood up and Eric stared Lafayette down. “Pam will take you to your home. You will give her all the blood you have. You will also provide her with all the names of any other dealers you are aware of. Do not attempt to hold out on her or you will be killed. Do you understand?”
I could actually see Lafayette gulp before he whispered. “I understand.”
“You will also owe me a favor for sparing your life tonight. I can call on you to perform this favor at any time. It could be anything and take any amount of time. It could be easy or it could be dangerous. No matter when I call, you will answer and you will do as you are told. It could be tomorrow or twenty years from now. No matter when I call or what it cost you, when I call in this favor you will do it without hesitation or question. If you do not, then the deal is forfeit as is your life. Do you agree?”
“Yes.” I mean what else could he really say.
“You will speak of this to no one other than those here tonight. Pam will be using glamour to ensure that you cannot speak of it to anyone else.” Eric paused to insure
Lafayette understood before continuing. “One last thing” and Eric stepped closer to Lafayette. “You are only surviving this night because you did not harm Eddie and because you stood by Sookie. It is not Sookie’s fault that you are in this predicament. It is your own. I expect you to stand by her as you promised earlier in the night.”
“Sook’s my girl. No worries ’bout that.” Lafayette said weakly but his mind added, “As long as these scary ass fuckers don’t come around with her. Shit.”
“Good, but do not make the mistake of thinking you will get off easy like this again. No second chances.” Eric said in a steely voice.
“Don’t worry about me. I won’t screw up again.”
Eric nodded before saying, “Go wait in your car.”
Lafayette was about to get into the driver side of his car when he stopped and turned towards the porch. “‘Nite. Give us a call Sook when we can come see ya.”
I did my best to smile when I responded. “Sure will Lafayette. Take care.” You’d think we had just finished a nice dinner together instead of dealing with angry vampires.
As Lafayette waited in his car, I turned my attention back to Eric and Pam. Of course they were speaking Swedish again.
“Få True Blood och träffa oss på Stackhouse hem när du är klar. Vet du var det är?” Eric asked. Well, at least it sorta sounded like a question.
“Ja. Dess i valvet. Vad ska ni göra med honom?” Pam replied.
“Jag känner mig kreativ ikväll eftersom Eddie är fortfarande bland de odöda.” Eric responded with a smirk.
“Och om flickan har slutat honom?” Pam replied back.
Eric looked over to where Jason and I still sat on the porch steps. He glanced at me before his face took on a very serious look as he stared at Jason.
“He better pray that is not the case.” Eric responded. I didn’t know what they had been saying to each other but I was certain that Eric chose to respond in English so that Jason understood the severity of his predicament. I know I understood all to well and I was praying that being my brother was enough to keep Jason alive to see another day even if Eddie hadn’t survived the last hour alone with Amy.
“Få True Blood och träffa oss på Stackhouse hem när du är klar. Vet du var det är?” – “Get True Blood and meet us at the Stackhouse home when you are finished. Do you know where it is?”
“Ja. Dess i valvet. Vad ska ni göra med honom?” – “Yes. It’s in the vault. What will you do to him?”
Jag känner mig kreativ ikväll eftersom Eddie är fortfarande bland de odöda. “- “I’m feeling creative tonight since Eddie’s still among the undead.”
“Och om flickan har slutat honom?” – “And if the girl has finished him?”