“What language was that?” I finally asked Pam as we pulled on to the interstate. I didn’t specify which language I was talking about. I knew she would understand that I was talking about the language she and Eric always spoke in when they didn’t want me to know what they were saying.
“So, how long before I get to learn it so that you two stop talking over me?” I said disgruntled.
“He started my Swedish lessons as soon as I’d learned to feed. It’s a strategic advantage for us to talk in front of others but not be understood. I’m sure he’ll want to be able to do the same with you.”
“I fail to see why you both need a strategic advantage over me at the moment.” I replied with a huff.
“True. Right now it’s for your own good.” She replied coolly.
“What’s that suppose to mean?”
“It means if you need to know then you’ll be told. Otherwise, you should just focus on the items you already have to deal with.” I would almost say I was getting a lecture. Then Pam added with a devilish smirk, “Besides, Eric and I have ten different languages that we can communicate in. So, even once you learn his language we will still be able to talk over you little sister.”
“Why do you have to be so annoying?” I gritted out between my teeth.
“I’m just trying to fulfill my new role as big sister to the best of my ability.” She replied flatly but I could hear the mirth behind it.
“So, I guess you won’t tell me what the deal was with the phone call Eric got before we left?”
“Then I’m going to rest since it’s already been a long night and it only 10:00.” And with that I closed my eyes and tried to relax and prepare for what was to come and absorb what had already happened.
I was a part-fairy telepathic princess with an ancestor who was a natural witch – whatever that was – and my Gran had an affair that my granddaddy agreed to allow. Oh, and in a couple of nights I get to add vampire to the words that describe me. How is anyone really supposed to process and accept all of that in a twenty-four hour timeframe? So many of my basic beliefs about my family and myself were all of the sudden no longer true? What was I suppose to do with all this new information? Of course, I was just expected to accept it all and believe what everyone was telling me. What was my alternative? Its not like I could go get a DNA test to confirm Fintan’s story or go talk to any family members that may know the story.
Well, that made me wonder. Do I have other relatives besides Fintan and this Prince they kept talking about? Does Fintan have other children? Will he meet with Jason too? Hmmm . . . Fintan said not to mention his visit. Also, he kept talking about hiding us and how dangerous everything was in the Fairy world. I wonder how I play into that. I guess I’ll just add that to my list of questions to ask him. It would probably be a good idea to make a list of questions for Fintan for tomorrow’s meeting like I did for Eric.
A lot of good my Eric list did for me today though, but I guess he did say he would answer all my questions tomorrow night. I really wasn’t looking forward to asking some of my questions. I was embarrassed to ask some of them and scared of his answers to others.
Thinking of my list of questions, I considered the opportunity I had right now. Pam was Eric’s child and knew him very well. Maybe she would answer a couple of my more difficult personal questions and I wouldn’t have to actually talk to Eric about them. We still had at least 20 minutes until we’d make it to my house.
“Pam?” I started sweetly.
“Yes?” she seemed suspicious of my tone.
“I have a lot of questions about things and Eric and I couldn’t get to them all tonight. Do you mind if I ask you some of them?”
“Sookie, you should just wait until Eric has time to answer them. He is your Master.”
Her tone was a little biting and I couldn’t help but flinch at her saying he was “my master.” But I also got the impression she thought I was trying to undermine Eric by going to her.
“I’m not trying to go behind his back, Pam.” I started. “Its just that . . . Well, some of them are kind of . . . ”
“Spit it out blondie.” Pam was annoyed. Big surprise.
“Some of them would be easier to ask a woman.”
Pam looked at me appraisingly, which was a little nerve racking since she was driving. Finally, she turned back to the road before saying, “You can ask your questions but I may choose not to answer.”
“Okay.” I took a deep breath and tried to decide what question to ask first. I’d actually left my list at home but I was sure I remembered the ones I’d like to Pam to answer. The problem was I didn’t want to start with the one I most wanted to ask her so I needed to start small.
“Vampires don’t change, right? So, if you cut your hair what happens?” I really was pretty sure I knew the answer to this one but I thought it was a good opener.
“Not at all what I thought you was going to ask. That’s a normal question from the vermin. I would have thought you would already know.” Pam drooled. “Eventually the hair would grow back to how it was when the vampire first rose. However, while younger vampires will have their hair regrow overnight, older vampires can slow the regrowth if they wish to do so.”
“Really? How does that work?” I hadn’t heard of that before and I was intrigued by the thought.
“You know that as a vampire gets older that they are more controlled and more powerful.” I nodded in acknowledgement. “Well, the control is not just over their instincts but also the magic of their bodies. Its not the same for everyone and some never master the control but it is helpful to have the skill if you wish to disguise yourself or change your look for a time.” Pam explained.
“I suppose Eric can do that?” I was almost positive he could since Pam seemed to have a little bit of pride in her voice.
“Of course. He was actually talking a couple of days ago about cutting his hair and wearing it short for a while.” That was interesting. Since Eric was a Viking it was hard to think of him with short hair.
“Its hard to imagine him with short hair.” I stated before moving on to a more substantial question. I took a deep breath before I started. “Okay, so I’ve noticed that feeding and sex and fighting and sex seem to go hand in hand.”
“Absolutely.” Pam agreed and I could see her fangs peeking out a little. Jesus Christ.
“Well, does it have to be that way or is it a choice?”
“I don’t understand. Why would it be otherwise?” she asked with a wrinkle in her brow.
“Well, maybe I don’t want to have sex with everything that walks through the door, Pam.” I huffed.
“Oh, Sookie. We’ll teach you better standards than to want everything.”
“That’s not what I mean Pam and you know it.” I let my aggravation show. Why couldn’t she just answer the question? This was hard enough. “With those type of responses, I should just as well wait to ask Eric.” I mumbled and looked out the window.
After a few moments of silence, I heard Pam sigh. “Feeding and fighting are all very arousing. That’s why it’s called bloodlust. Sex doesn’t have to be involved but the younger a vampire is the harder it is to resist and most wouldn’t even try.” Pam eyed me for a moment before rolling her eyes. “But I’m sure you will try and with your stubbornness you might just succeed. ”
I just blushed and nodded in response. We were getting closer to my home and I really needed to get to my big question. I shifted in my seat and I’m sure my heartbeat spiked. I could tell that Pam knew I was really uncomfortable with my next question.
“One more topic and I’ll stop bugging you.” I thought if I let her know I was almost done that it might help a little.
“Go ahead then.” She replied with her normal bored tone.
Another deep breathe before I made myself start, “What kind of Maker is Eric?”
Pam’s answer was instantaneous. “He is a very good maker. You are lucky as I said before.”
“Could you be more specific?” I pressed.
Pam eyed me for a moment before continuing, “He is strong so he can protect you when you are young and unable to do so yourself. He is a great warrior so he can teach you to protect yourself better than most. He is not cruel like most other makers who treat their children as toys or possessions. He is fair and only punishes when necessary and the punishment fits the offense.” She must have noticed my reaction to the mention of punishment. “Sookie, you must think about young vampires as young children. Driven by instincts that cannot always control. You will make mistakes and must be taught to act appropriately for your own protection as well as his. The Maker is held responsible for the child’s actions.”
The whole punishment thing threw me for a loop and I had a lot of other questions around that but I needed to stay on track to get to the root of my concerns. We were really getting close to Bon Temps.
“Has he ever used his control to make you do something you didn’t want to do?” I asked timidly.
“Of course.” Pam laughed. “Haven’t you been listening? When you are young, you will be running on instinct and you will be defiant at times so you will need to be restrained. I gave Eric hell for years. I especially liked women of royal blood for pets in my early years.” She said reminiscently. “Eric eventually had to order me to give them up because I wouldn’t do so willingly and he feared I risked exposure with my hobby.”
“What about sex?” I asked.
“What about it?” she asked confused.
I was nervous about her reaction but I had to know because it was my biggest fear. I prepared myself for her reaction before I blurted out my question. “Has he ever ordered you to have sex?”
I was thrown forward against my seatbelt as she slammed on the brakes and we were stopped on the shoulder of the road. Before I could comprehend anything else, I was out of the van with my back against the sliding door and Pam’s hand was around my throat. Her fangs were out and her facial expression was pure rage. I had underestimated her response.
“Who the fuck do you think you are to insult my master bloodbag? You are nothing! You are not fit to be his child! You will be nothing but a threat to him with your lack of trust and the increasing number of relations you have to other supes. I should drain you now and just accept his punishment.”
The suddenness of her attack and pure violence in her words had me shaking in fear. “I’m s-s-s-orry. I didn’t . . .” I tried to speak through my fear and with the little air that was making its way to my lungs. Her hand around my throat wasn’t painfully tight yet but I was panicking.
“Didn’t what?” Her voice was pure ice and hate, “Didn’t mean to insult him? Do you not think it’s an insult to imply he would force a woman to have sex with him? Like he would even need to do so?”
I should have kept my mouth shut but I never seem to exercise caution in these moments. “Glamour.” I spit out.
Pam growled loudly and threw me onto the grass by the road before straddling my waist and holding my arms down by my head. She snarled in my face, “I don’t owe you anything you bitch. But know that while we both may use glamour to gain attention or start conversations, we always allow the final choice to be made by our companions without glamour. We are stronger, smarter, faster, and overall better than any humans. We do not need to show our dominance with rape.”
“You disgust me.” She was only inches from my face and I knew I was crying now. “You show no gratefulness. As Sherriff, Eric had the right to take you from Bill the first night at Fangtasia and force you to his will but he didn’t. Last night, Eric could have left you to be fought for amongst the other vampires at the tribunal that would have raped you over and over again but he didn’t. Eric protected you from those vampires and is protecting you from the Queen and yet you insult him.”
“Give me one good reason why I should not kill you now?” she spit out.
“The Magister.” I squeaked out. I wasn’t about to tell her why I had to ask the question in the first place and the Magister was the first thing that came to mind. “Wouldn’t he punish Eric? Are you willing to risk that?”
Pam looked even more pissed off for a moment but then she stood up and walked back towards the van. I guess I came up with a good reason for her to let me live. She had only moved a couple of steps away when her phone rang and she stopped to answer it.
“All is well Master.” Pam stated calmly by way of greeting. “No, we are fine.” I really wished I could hear the other side of the conversation. “Just a sisterly spat.” She replied again with a glare in my direction. Oh, I guess he felt my fear and probably her anger. “Only a bruise or two I’m sure. Well worth any punishment.” She sneered. “Yes Master.” And then she hung up the phone.
“Get in the van.” She ordered.
I got up slowly and I could feel clearly where I thought those bruises Pam gave me would be. I wiped off my backside of any dirt and climbed in her van. We drove for a few minutes in silence before I decided I had to say something to clear the air. I hadn’t thought about how offensive my question would be to someone who cared for Eric and it was obvious that Pam did care – no matter how much she hid it.
While looking out the window, I started in a soft tone. “Truly my question was more about my need for someone to calm my fears than it was about Eric specifically.” I swallowed before continuing. “I’m sorry that my fear of someone having complete control over me caused me to insult him.”
I could feel Pam’s eyes on me but I didn’t turn to look at her. I could feel the tears trying to well up as I tried not to think about why this was my greatest fear. I needed to lighten the situation and not sit in the silence that would cause me to get lost in my nightmares about the past crimes of my uncle. So after a moment, I added “To be honest, your reaction really made me feel better.”
Pam didn’t react to my attempt at levity; instead she faced forward and said evenly, “History inaccurately labels Vikings as rapist. Eric is very offended by that inaccuracy.” Then she looked at me with a look on her face that I didn’t expect after the scene less than five minutes ago. It was a searching look that settled into one of understanding and it confused me until she said, “Without a doubt I can tell you that if anyone dared to hurt us in that way, Eric would hunt them down and torture them beyond recognition before allowing them the relief that death would bring them.”
I had to look away again. I don’t know what I said that gave me away but I could tell by her words and the look on her face that she knew that my fear came from personal experience. She was a lot more perceptive than I gave her credit for. Moreover, something about the look on her face made me wonder if Eric had enacted this revenge for her in the past.
“I’m glad that my tossing you around earlier made you feel better, because I won’t apologize.” That Pam!
“I didn’t expect you to.”
“Good. I’m glad we understand one another.” She answered. “In time, you will come to understand and be as protective of him as I am – if not more so due to your bond.”
I didn’t respond and she didn’t continue. It didn’t matter though because my attention was suddenly elsewhere.
Pam was turning onto Hummingbird Lane.