“She has gone to investigate the grounds of your former home,” Godric answered carefully of the subject I had failed to broach with anyone, even Eric. I knew the house was gone and I could rebuild it to the exact specifications of what it was but it wouldn’t ever be the same. The pictures Eric had drawn for me gave me more of a physical memory of what I lost than anything else ever would. Understanding my pain without the possession of his blood inside of me, Eric’s thumb gently caressed over the back of my hand in soothing. I mouthed a soft ‘thank you’ before resting my head on his shoulder.
“What is she seeking?” Kristian asked digging into the second helping of pancakes as Pam had exchanged her plate for his empty one. It was a ritual she had always exercised with me, it always marked the halfway point of our breakfast meetings. At my longing look to the generous stack of pancakes Eric did the same with our plates. After inhaling the faint smell of vanilla and sweetened cake I set to work cleaning the second helping with my single free hand, the subject of the conversation somewhat lost to me.
“A portal to Faerum.”
With that sudden piece of information the piece of pancake I was contentedly chewing at flew out of my mouth to squarely land in the bare expanse of skin on Pam’s chest. I didn’t even have the time to take in Pam’s undoubtedly pissed off face as she had sped off in an instant with Kristian trailing not far behind. In my embarrassment I chewed away at my bottom lip as Godric bowled over in laughter.
“See älskling, no one makes him laugh like that,” Eric murmured into the shell of my ear while directing my gaze towards his hysterical Maker. “It’s all you.”
I was ecstatic, despite the panic that had engulfed me from the moment of my abrupt waking. The panic had been induced by the force of my Maker’s bond startling me to pains. There was no doubt about it, he was suitably disappointed in whatever I had neglected to do during daylight hours. My inner alarm continued upon discovering a ransom note and a deserted house. Her scent lingered but was faint, the call of my Maker forced me to his side when all I wanted was to track Sookie with my heightened sense of smell. The relief was unending when that same nose recognised the natural perfume that was uniquely her in the presence of the Maker that had bid me to him. I had flown at her, holding her securely in my arms nearly catapulting us out of the French windows had Godric not halted my enthusiasm through that same shared bond.
While she was still denying me sex on account of my overenthusiastic behaviour last night, in reward for her unsupervised travels she had offered me something far more meaningful. Rather she was going to accept a part of me to reside inside of her. My blood mingling in among hers. It was an opening offer, setting the door ajar and I commended her decision. Aelia was pushing for more and she gave what she could. There was no sign of greed or frugality it was merely a move of calculated contemplation. She dared stand her ground with a Sanguine Grandest Sire who had ruled for millennia without a chance of offense.
And she had driven my Maker to tears of hysterics. While I tried desperately to hold my amusement, in an effort to spare her further embarrassment it became too hard to contain when Godric tried to explain and imitate the look on Pam’s face that we had both missed with her great escape as we were merely left with a gust of air that signalled her humility. Thankfully Sookie couldn’t contain her laughter either with my Maker’s merriment at which her humiliation with the situation was lost to the wind.
“Thank you,” Godric croaked out when the worst of his hysterics had passed. “Sweet Sookie I have not laughed this hard for so long.”
“I’ll try to do it more often then,” she jested, although I seriously hoped she would. Pam’s stiff demeanour could use a good amount of disentanglement now and then and with the state of our affairs the action was a welcome diversion. I kissed the side of her temple softly hiding her heavenly blush of mortification while catching the mischievous glint in her eye. She was embarrassed but far more amused than anything else.
“I’m glad I can amuse you all so much,” Pam declared testily as she seated herself again in perfect composure. Gone were the ‘casual’ clothes and in its place sat her royal highness in a sleekly tailored dress that was as stiff as the woman who held the imaginary crown.
“I’m sorry Pam,” Sookie offered sincerely, but somehow I knew whether my blood resided inside of her or not that she was enjoying this far more than that incredible poker face let on. A soft snort was the only acknowledgement Sookie received in return which had us all stand to attention to Pam’s Maker.
“Pamela,” he hissed sharply but with a mere look of feigned hurt all his disappointment in her was lost. He scooped her up and sat her in his lap and whispered his native Danish to her ear, “Humlebi, do not be so upset. This only means we can do it all over again some other time.”
Sookie looked at me curiously and I mirrored her expression. Maker child relations were special and unique but I had never witnessed one of such tenderness where the Maker was so lacks in his exertion of control. If anything it seemed to be Pam who held the reins in their relationship.
Ærø had put me through my paces when teaching me the finer finesses of hand to hand combat, his reprimands had been anything but tender or encouraging so I knew he was capable. He was tough and demanding, seeking to push me to that edge that pulled the most impressive performance in my newly found state. It was an approach I responded to well. It was an attitude that I had always demanded from myself. I knew what was expected of me and found solace in that, but by the looks of the interactions in their relationship it was a minefield of unspoken rules that knew no bounds.
Our observation of the rare sight was interrupted by Pam’s social secretary informing us the cretin Compton had arrived ready and waiting for his public apology. It was only just after sundown which meant he had purposefully rested close by so he would be assured there was a large audience with Pam’s public apology as most of her court dissipated later on in the night. There was little I had heard of that Impurus so far that didn’t seek to further damn the image I had already built of him. Whether he was a full blooded vampire or not it would make little difference. I knew his type, anyone with first-hand knowledge of wealth and class recognised the type instantly. Sycophant social climber.
He wants for all the praise and power without putting in the work. To the outside world the things we do look effortless but everything comes at a cost and labour is a part of that. Bill Compton is one who schemes to bypass those laws. His recruitment of Staci proved exactly that. We were probably no better by using the girl in the same way, but then we never came up with the original concept. Thanks to Sookie’s insight we worked with what we got.
While Sookie intertwined her fingers in mine below the surface of the table I was reminded of Andre’s overt interest in her, which had me squeezing back her hand a little bit more forcibly than it should as I remembered with equal disgust Pam’s annoyance of Compton’s pursuit Sookie. I wanted nothing more than to force feed my blood to her then and there marking her as clearly mine to both the Impurus and anyone else present in that court. On her skin there was a vague linger of my scent but it was hardly strong enough to prove my claim, once my blood was inside of her it would smell of us. A unique aroma that would leave no doubt to who she was and to whom she belonged. It was something I desperately wanted everyone to know, regardless of how primitive it may seem. My new nature demanded it and the joy of the prospect of that consummation had me happier than I had been in a long while.
“You will join me all?” Pam requested rather than asked. It was a given Sookie would be there to observe Staci’s mind which meant my presence would be required. Or rather our performance was required to maintain the ruse Sookie had initiated the night before. A mere round of confirming nods had us following her out of the door. My Maker stopped me briefly before I managed to step out of her private quarters. I feared the lecture of my apparent neglect of Sookie’s safety but his tone was gentle instead. After witnessing Pam and her Maker’s bond I feared I was still asleep or in an inverted twilight zone.
“Eric,” Godric started carefully after assuring Sookie we would follow soon. It worried me whenever his tone was gentle like this, it usually built up to something more. “You are not used to court life. Follow Pamela and Aelia’s lead their experience will teach you much.”
I stared at him with deference as I waited for him to elaborate, inform me of my mistakes. Yet he continued to stare at me with a silent return I could not place. It only sought to make me more anxious with upcoming events and wanting to be by Sookie’s side now.
“You will do fine,” he finally said with a small smile of encouragement which had me convinced that I was indeed in the aforementioned twilight zone. “You and Sookie did very well last night. Be him.”
‘Him’ was the man I no longer wanted to be and Sookie had me believe I never was. I wanted to be the Sanguine in the Koenigsegg for Sookie not the douche in the Corvettte. As long as it was pretend I could live with it, I had played that role successfully for years and the only one who ever saw through that farce was Sookie and she had won my heart instantly with that recognition. She couldn’t read my mind anymore but from our interactions these past few nights I was certain there was no need for it any longer and soon the tables would turn. I would know all the emotions that her expertly held facade refused to inform me of while she now remained guessing mine.
“Have you ever shared your blood?” I asked Godric tentatively as for once he seemed willingly to dispense sage advice without repercussion or scrutiny.
“Your turning was the first time I ever opened my veins to another,” he said with a wistful smile. Sookie could deny it all she wanted, but the wide smile that lit up her eyes effulgently was an infectious one that even managed to reach the sullen mind of my melancholic Maker. “I will ask Ærø to speak with you.”
That surprised me, my teacher in arms didn’t seem like the type to share his blood. I knew of a human companion he kept but she had aged naturally with time and he didn’t seem to care much for her. She was more like a live in maid than a paramour. My Maker must have either read the confusion on my face or taken notice of it through our bond when he supplied, “He gave Pam a taste before her turning.” Godric has spoken it so softly in my native tongue that it was a miracle I had heard it at all. It was only because of the melodic cadence that typified the Swedish language that made my hearing stand to attention. I nodded deferentially, knowing this would be a secret I would have to keep. Apparently Pam had an illegal sip. If this were to reach Aelia’s ears it wouldn’t matter that centuries had passed, there would be repercussions to Pam’s Maker. Possibly final death.
When we arrived in the antechamber to Pam’s throne room Sookie stood waiting patiently by the door with Shahbaz discussing the merits of cayenne pepper. They had taken quite a liking to each other and bonded over a mutual love of cooking. I couldn’t blame his interest. Sookie had a natural pull and no matter what my Grandest Sire had revealed of her origins I knew it to be related to her kind personality rather than the scent of Fae. It just took the rest of the world longer to see what I saw in instant.
At my sighting she gave me a wary eye, things were fine between us in the greater scheme of things. I suspect we always would be, things between us are just effortless like that. We don’t even need to be together for that. The skirmishes that will still exist live in the little details that bring us closer or threaten to catapult us apart. She’ll give me a most precious gift by taking my blood but remain thoroughly pissed for my grab ass behaviour all in the span of an hour.
I couldn’t care less. She’s mine, good or bad, I’ll take it all in greedily.
She was a little stiff in response when I placed a kiss to the crown of her golden hair. Sookie thought she fooled me, but I caught the small satisfied smile that appeared with the feel of it.
“I’ll behave,” I promised sincerely, with it, alleviating the hint of worry she carried for an exact repeat enactment of last night. I understood her hesitance as perfectly as my own. Such outlandish behaviour was pushing it with the small audience we had then but tonight I intended to show what being mine truly meant. I will be the douche for everyone else but for her I’ll always be the man she encountered in my mind.
“You better,” she returned with a mischievous warning to her bright eyes. The threat was idle, she enjoyed the continuance of our play just as much as I did. We both knew far too much about pretending to be someone we were not. At some point both of us may have gotten too caught up in the performance to notice we no longer were ourselves. Without fail we could recognise the truth in the other, without knowing it I had let her into the inner sanctum of my mind as I settled in her heart. Unlike many who knew of her telepathy it had never made me feel violated. That she knew me in my rawest form brought me to submission, while I stood in awe of her acceptance of that.
“Ready?” Shahbaz asked to which we nodded diligently before we were announced to the congregated court. Aelia and Pam were seated in dual thrones. Pam may be the queen of a vast area but our Grandest Sire will always outrank any position we hold. The executive power, however, remains firmly beside Pam.
We were seated on the raised dais to the left of Pam in order of importance which left Sookie and I on the end while the agenda was announced to the rest of the congregation. It wasn’t hard to miss Compton’s disappointment, the crowd wasn’t as large. He had miscalculated in his eagerness to be the first item on the agenda that the martial law invoked on the area left many to postpone their business with the Royal Court until travel could be embarked on with less hassle.
“Compton, we meet again,” Pam said in a far kinder tone than I knew it to be. I had no blood tie with her but even in my distant relation I could feel the blood boiling underneath her skin at the sighting of this particular Impurus.
“Your majesty,” he replied with that overly smooth Southern accent as he bowed deeply yanking the clearly startled Staci along with him. It was only through the intervention of Shahbaz that the poor girl didn’t collide harshly with the glistening marble floors. Now he had Sookie’s blood boiling too as he leered at her upon raising his eyes. I suffered the consequences, where her face left no registration of her discontent her fingernails dug deeply into my thigh. I covered the act of her ire with my own hand and with that realisation she suddenly eased up on her unintended assault.
It was amusing to watch as her Southern manners were itching to apologise but the circumstances didn’t allow for it. “Behave,” I whispered to her ears in tease, which pushed at the limits of her acting capabilities to contain the amusement I had caused. “If you’re so thirsty for my blood you should have just said so,” I continued to taunt in a soft voice I was sure only she would hear.
“Eric,” she hissed in a low tone, however it failed to hide our antics to the other vampires present in its volume. Pam’s Maker gave me pointed look alongside Godric’s but I knew from my Maker’s bond this was exactly what was expected of us. To all other’s present we looked like a quarrelling couple that misbehaved instead of the reality of Sookie disentangling the mind of the informant in front of us. I was an entitled ass with an enviable piece of candy by my side who got everything without working a day in my life. From the enviable looks that Bill Compton was throwing towards my Sookie and I we were projecting that image quite well. None of us needed to be a mind reader to recognise the churnings in his feeble brain as he targeted Sookie as our family’s apparent weak spot.
It was in that moment that Aelia struck like the viper Godric had always told me she was. “Northman,” she addressed me coolly not even bothering to acknowledge the piece of sunshine by my side, stationing Sookie’s status alongside Staci’s. “Your human appears parched. Send her away.” I nodded dutifully and with a mere glance towards Sookie she obligingly got up and ready to depart. We were unsure of their exact intentions but knowing the scheming minds of Pam and Aelia it wouldn’t take long to be revealed to us.
“Ms Stackhouse, wait,” Pam commanded when she reached the door. She hid it well but Pam seemed to enjoy taunting the stubborn streak of Sookie with an equal pleasure to mine. It was a little much, the Queen still had a score to settle over a ruined dress after all. However, with the change of dress her focus was all business for now. I slightly feared for Sookie with Pam’s eventual retaliation though. “Compton, perhaps your human would care to join Northman’s companion.”
The envy the foul blooded vampire held for my relationship to Sookie was quickly stifled at the sound of the word ‘companion’. He could hardly contain his glee to be offered the opportunity of his personal data miner to continue to build relations with a ‘feeble’ human with access to our inner sanctum.
“That would be greatly appreciated, your majesty,” he returned with poorly contained delight. Without pause he shoved Staci towards the door while whispering instructions into her ear. Sookie kindly took her hand whisking her out of Compton’s grasp quickly.
“Compton,” Pam addressed again, which had him standing to attention in an instant like the foot soldier that he once was. The man may have many years on me and actual battle experience but it was clear he lacked the finesse to see the necessary strategy to pull of an elaborate plan as he had so easily given away his most precious weapon to Sookie.
“Your targeting in the conspiracy of the attacks on my house of Sanguine and Royal Court were unjust,” Pam intoned with her signature bored iteration. Compton looked gleeful with the admission as he completely missed the underlying message she was declaring to the room. “You have my personal apologies for the treatment you and your human suffered in my care. Reparations will be made and if you would indulge me, with recent events I find myself without an official liaison with your kind. It would humble my court if you were to fill that position.”
The greed in his beady eyes betrayed his bartering position instantly and even he had been smart enough to realise that, he accepted without any further demands while gloating at the moderate assembly of important vampires. Indeed it was a rare sight for a royal to offer a public apology. Except he hadn’t gotten one. Pam had been calculating with her words when she had given him an apology from her person, not from the crown and offered him a position that never existed before. He was given a title in the credit score but that was all his ‘employment’ would ever entail.
By the appearances of his inner musings he was already ordering the business cards on heavy stock paper with gilded lettering but no matter how expensive and impressive they may appear it would buy him no entrance with the Sanguine. Judging by the ones present here tonight, all credit went to the clever words of the Queen as they regarded Compton’s immodest preening with a knowing glance.
Sookie had been proven right again. Anyone of importance was intelligent enough to recognise that Pam was merely placating for appearances. The Sanguines approved, any Impurus who had the intelligence to see through her ploy would be critical of her regardless. The masses had been catered to.
Once more I was ecstatic with the way the night’s events had unfolded until I heard a faint scream that I never wanted to hear. I was back to panic again. With it came the scent of blood that had an entire room drop their fangs but I was already flying out the door before I heard the familiar ‘snicks’ shift into place. I recognised that smell instantly as I was the only being that had ever sampled that blood even if it had been an accident.
It was fucking mine.
A/N: I know terrible cliffie, you can’t just leave Sookie unsupervised in that palace… go read today’s fixin’ here or my latest one-shot Coldfinger if you missed out on that… those will surely get you laughing again 😀
When I was Google image searching I couldn’t help and snigger when I found this pic, sure Pam will have a much nicer throne than this but in my Barbie Dream House World this is Queen Pammie’s throne…