As the word left my mouth, I heard the unmistakable sound of my great grandfather teleporting away from the office.
I sighed audibly as I slowly pulled myself away from my vampire and stood in front of him.
“It seems you have angered your grandfather.” Godric said softly.
“No.” I shook my head at their disbelieving looks. “I’ve angered the Prince.”
“How are those two things different?” Eric asked incredulously.
I sat down on the couch as I explained. “As my grandfather, he is proud of me for standing my ground, and using my knowledge of the Fae and their politics to get what I wanted.”
They all seemed to think over my words before Pam asked the million-dollar question, “And as the Prince?”
“As the Prince,” I cringed a little. “He’s royally pissed off that I pushed him into the alliance I wanted instead of the one he chose. He’s also angry that I exposed my limited control of his actions in front of others.”
“Will he retaliate?” Godric asked.
“In some way, but he can’t do anything against the spirit of the treaty we signed, since he already took a blood oath to abide by it.”
“What will he do?” Eric asked.
I shrugged, “I’m not sure, but we have other things to discuss now.”
“Like a wedding to plan.” Pam smirked.
“Or the enemies circling like vultures?” I quipped back.
Eric moved to sit behind his desk as I stood up.
“Not here though.” I added.
“Why not?” Eric stopped in front of his desk.
“My grandfather dropped his spell that was interfering with the bugs in your office.” I started to explain.
“WHAT?” He growled. “There are bugs in my office and you failed to mention it until now?”
“Calm down.” I said firmly. “We were not aligned before so I had no requirement to warn you. Besides, we have been masking them with interference ever since our first visit. However, now that the Prince withdrew his spell, I have started using my magic to reinstate it. I would rather go somewhere else instead of keeping my magic focused on the bugs.” I paused for a moment. “Perhaps you could have someone come in and locate the bugs for you while we are gone?”
“Are you not able to find them?” Godric asked.
“No.” I shook my head. “They are magically hidden. I only know they are here because I have been eavesdropping on others.”
“I see.” Eric said thoughtfully. “Then we will go to my home.”
“Which one?” I asked before I could stop myself.
Eric’s anger shot through our bond so quickly that I winced in response, before Godric spoke up on my behalf.
“Eric, she would be finding out about your homes now anyway, and you have already found her penthouse.”
I stiffened in response to Godric’s words and narrowed my eyes in his direction.
Godric sighed as if he was annoyed by the need to referee between Eric and I. “Princess, you have had Eric under surveillance. Did you truly believe he wouldn’t attempt to do the same with you?”
“No.” I conceded. “I suppose not.”
“It seems as if you have truly met your match, Master.” Pam said from her station in front of the door.
I smiled at her.
Eric growled at her.
I glared at him.
We really were being childish.
“If you would prefer, we can meet at my penthouse.” I spoke with my Southern charm in an attempt to abate the hostile mood.
“My home on Watson Road will be adequate.” Eric answered coolly.
I nodded in response. “As you wish. Would you like to teleport?”
“No.” He answered. “We were all seen arriving here. Therefore, we should be seen leaving.”
“I will teleport ahead then since I was not seen.”
“That is acceptable.” He said while taking out a piece of paper and a pen from his desk. “Here is the security code. You may wait inside. We will be there in ten minutes.”
I took the piece of paper quietly – as opposed to telling him that I already had the code after watching him enter it one night – and popped away.
The Watson Road home was a safe house only. I was a little aggravated that he didn’t invite us back to his main residence but I guess his trust would have to come with time.
As I entered the security code into the control pad on the two-story brownstone home, I did a quick scan of brains in the area and found everything to be safe. I walked into the house and kicked off my heels before making my way into the living room area. I didn’t take any time to examine my surroundings since I knew this home was nothing more than a convenience to Eric. I didn’t care about his décor in a safe house.
I wanted to know him and to know him I needed to see how he relaxed and lived in his own home. I had found three of his safe houses but I’d yet to see his true home.
I needed patience.
My phone began ringing and I picked it up after seeing my cousin, Claudette’s number.
“I don’t know what you did but the Prince is on a warpath.”
I sighed. “How bad?”
“He’s pulled me off of Jason’s protection and is sending me back to Faery.”
“NO!” I yelled as I jumped to my feet just as Godric, Eric, and Pam walked through the door.
“He’s very angry.”
“Where is he?” I hissed out from my teeth.
“Not Niall. My brother!” I yelled back at her in frustration.
“I returned him to Bon Temps as ordered. I just wanted to warn you. I have to go.”
I hung up before I could hear anymore and turned to the vampires. “I will be right back.” I growled out before popping away.
Jason wasn’t at his home when I popped in so I focused on my connection with him and cloaked myself before teleporting into Merlotte’s. Immediately, I saw Jason’s head swivel into my direction. He knew I was here.
I took out my cell phone and texted him to meet me at his truck and I popped back outside. After scanning the night for any brains in our vicinity, I uncloaked myself and waited.
Jason ran over to me and took me into a bear hug. “I missed you Sook!”
“I know, Jase, but listen, we have problems.”
“What do you mean? I just got back.” He answered flippantly.
“Claudette brought you back because Niall is angry with me, not because it is safe.”
Jason only look at me for a few moments before the reality sank in. “He doesn’t care about my safety does he?”
“No, Jason. I’m sorry. He only cares about Fairies with a spark.” I hugged him. “But I do care and I need you to come with me for now.”
He huffed but agreed reluctantly and I took his hand and popped him to my penthouse.
“This is my penthouse. You should be safe here and I’ll feel it if you are in trouble.” I promised. “I have to go take care of some business but then I’ll return and explain everything.”
“Okay Sis. Be careful.”
When I popped back into Eric’s safe house, I knew right away I was in trouble. I had felt his anger boiling over ever since I popped away and he didn’t waste any time starting in on me once I got back.
“What did you think you were doing popping away like that without any type of plan? Didn’t you think to consider that it could have been a trap? That your brother was being used to lure you in?” He growled at me.
“Of course I considered each of those items and more.” I said calmly as I sat down on his brown leather couch.
“Then enlighten us.” Godric asked pointedly.
It was the closest to angry that I had seen him and I realized then how much I had pissed them all off by popping away without any explanation.
“I’m sorry.” I said quickly. “I should have taken the time to explain but I’m not used to working with others. I’ll explain now if you would like.”
A raised eyebrow from Eric was the only sign of a response I received from any of them, but I could feel Eric’s anger abate slightly.
“The Prince withdrew his protection of my brother. I found him in Bon Temps and teleported him to my penthouse for safety until I – or we – can take care of the threat against him and myself.”
“This is the Prince’s response to your actions earlier in the evening?” Eric asked.
“My brother has been the most important person to me for as long as I can remember. Niall has only protected him to keep me happy as the successor to the crown.”
“He doesn’t care that he is his own blood?” Pam asked.
“No.” I shook my head sadly. “Fairies do not consider others to be of their blood if they do not have the Fairy spark of magic. Therefore, my brother is nothing to them.”
“The alliance should provide protection for him.” Eric stated confidently.
“No.” I answered angrily. I was mad at myself for missing it. “The contract stated fairies and vampires. There was no provision for humans.”
“What if your brother was kidnapped as an attempt to get to you? The Fairies would have to come to your aide.” Pam offered.
“The expectation would be that I let my brother die.” I growled. “It is the Faery way to protect yourself over any other unless that Fairy’s life is important to your survival or the survival of the race. Selflessness is not a part of the Fairy mindset.”
“Nor the vampire world.” Godric added.
I raised my eyebrow. “Luckily for my brother, I am part human.”
“Making all our lives more complicated.” Eric grumbled.
“Not necessarily.” I added.
“How so, Princess?” Pam snarked.
“Well . . . we would be protecting my brother regardless, since he knows too much to be captured by Edgington.”
“Edgington?” Eric growled while pacing in the living room and I felt his rage start to reach epic proportions, but I was unsure as to why. “He is the one who sent the blood fueled Weres after you and your brother?”
“Yes, Eric.” I said softly. “Edgington is not only planning to take over your state, but he is also responsible for the attempt to kidnap me and my brother. So, he is a problem regardless of my brother’s status with Niall.”
I felt Eric’s rage start to morph in to vengefulness and I remembered his reaction to the V addicted wolves the night before. “What is your history with the wolves, Eric?”
“NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!” He spat at me.
“Really? So, the rage and need for revenge I feel building inside of you are none of my business?” What a jerk. “Edgington is over three thousand years old and he is a madman. You are going to need all of us to defeat him. Don’t be stupid.”
“Stupid like teleporting in blind into an unknown situation, Princess.”
“I wasn’t blind Eric.” I tried to calm the situation down since this was obviously a big deal for him. “I was cloaked and I would have sensed any distress from my brother. I was far from blind.”
When we simply stared at each other, Godric stepped forward and we both backed down slightly.
“I believe your new bond is causing you both to escalate your emotions more than usual.” He said calmly. “I would have you both sit and we will come back to Edgington in a moment.”
All of us sat down around the coffee table. Eric and Godric each took one of the club chairs and I sat in one corner of the couch, with Pam sitting in the other.
“Tell us everything you know about the threats facing us, Ms. Brigant.” Godric asked. “Save Edgington for the end.”
I nodded and explained everything I knew to them. I told them of Queen Sophie Ann’s plan to use Eric to sell vampire blood, until she had enough money, and then turning him over to the Magister for the offense. Her plan was that he would be unable to implicate her without being charged with treason. Both offenses would lead to his death but she was betting his honor would keep him quiet regarding her orders. Therefore, she would be free and clear with the money she needed, and she would have gotten rid of the only vampire in the state old enough to challenge her for the throne.
I also told them that the Queen was the one who put the bugs in Eric’s office.
They were not happy.
Then, I told them everything I knew about Edgington, and what I had learned from the captured Were.
I explained to them how I had observed Edgington one night while I was cloaked and how he was utterly unhinged. He was determined to make vampires understand that they were a superior race and should be ruling over the humans. He was planning to start his movement by taking over several states, starting with Louisiana. He had already made overtures to Sophie Ann regarding a marriage but she had refused. Now, he was trying to find a way to force her into the marriage.
The Were we captured was sent to kidnap Jason and hopefully me so that we could be taken to the King. I could only determine that he knew I was telepathic from William Compton and that the vampire had been kidnapped, but I didn’t get any more details. It seems that Compton was sent to Bon Temps to get me but he was captured first by Sophie Ann’s neighbor.
I still wasn’t sure how they found out about Jason and me.
When I was finished with the report, Godric asked about the wolves again, “Do you know if Edgington provides the wolves with his own blood?”
“Yes.” I answered as they all snarled. “I saw him initiating one of the wolves and he poured his own blood into shot glasses for them.”
“Did the wolves have a tattoo on their necks that looked like a swastika?” Eric gritted out.
I thought back to what I had seen, “I know that they had tattoos on their necks, but I didn’t pay attention to the design.”
Eric stood up and started pacing again.
“Is someone going to tell me the significance of the wolves?” I asked impatiently. “I believe I have the right to know if I’m involved in a vengeance killing along with everything else that’s going on.”
“Eric.” Godric’s tone was a request and an order rolled into one word.
“Over a thousand years ago, vampire blood fueled Weres with a tattoo on their necks murdered my family. I have been looking for their Master ever since.” He turned to look at me with determination in his eyes. “And from what you’ve told us, I’ve finally found him.”