I walked over the threshold and could immediately detect that we are not alone in the house. Were, mixed with Fairy, and finally a human with a little more in his blood. The sound of dishes in the kitchen had me wandering down the hall and into the kitchen where I ended up face to face with a very dark complected, and very eccentric looking man. I immediately pushed Sookie behind me and crouched slightly, fangs bared, ready to defend my daughter. Since he made no threatening moves I simply glared at him, but remained at the ready.
“What are you doing in this house. What is your name and why are you here?” I hissed in surprise and anger. A hand on my shoulder drew my attention from my prey: I turned my body slightly so I could see both my son’s wife and the would be threat, remaining between them so fi the threat should make a move I could stop him.
“It’s ok father. This ,is my best friend Lafayette. He came to stay here while Eric is the way he is. He wanted to be here, for me, just in case,” Sookie said, sounding so very sad. “Eric also pays him a wage to do the things around here I can’t. And he makes sure I eat..” I turned back to the man to see if what she said was true. His eyes told me the truth I needed to know. He loved my daughter, and if he was her friend then he was mine, for now. If he were to betray her or my family I would rip him apart.
“I am sorry for the misunderstanding,” I apologized. “With our family in danger, I just can’t let my guard down.”
“Yeah, yeah sure,” he said as he waved one manicured hand in the air in dismissal. “Sooks, you called tall and deadly’s Papa?” The man, Lafayette, sounded rather surprised that Sookie would go behind her husband’s back in such a way. Sookie shook her head. “No, Eric called him. I am just the delivery girl. Speaking of which, we should probably go to his office.”
I nodded my assent, and motioned for her to lead the way. We only went a few paces down the hall before she stopped and typed in a pass code and placed her hand in the middle of the door. She casually glanced my way: her face was as stone, but her eyes told the true tale.
“Please don’t mind the mess. I have tried to keep it clean but he just won’t let me in: Sometimes He’ll change the passcode. Sometimes I believe he blames me for Pam missing. We were shopping and I had gone into a bookstore, she had gone into a shoe store. We were supposed to meet at the car. I had no idea we were being watched. I have been going through growth spurts as my spark matures. I found out after Pam was taken that was the reason I didn’t pick anything up.”
I knew from experience that the mall could be a distracting place. All the smells and sounds. Why weren’t her instincts working? Had she started using Sookie’s gift to alert them of danger, instead of using the telepathy in conjunction with her own instincts?.
A good question, and one I will have to ask my grandchild when she is recovered. Right now the beautiful girl in front of me had tears rolling down her face. Her voice was laced with grief and guilt. How could my child blame her? Where was he coming from? Pa
m was not a young vampire. I sighed when I realized it all came back to me and what I had failed to do before any of them was even a sparkle in their father’s eye. I embraced the girl firmly in a hug and whispered, “It is ok dearest, this was in no way your fault. I could use a True blood, and bring one for Eric as well. I will make my willful child drink something.”
She nodded and turned to go back to the kitchen.
I stepped up to the thick metal door and knocked. “Go away Sookie! I don’t want to talk to you right now,” my child’s voice growled through the door. I knocked again, still without speaking: I had muted the bond so he couldn’t tell I was standing in front of the door.
“Damnit Sookie! I don’t want to deal with fairy drama crap anymore! My child is missing and in pain! And I can’t find her! So leave me alone for once!”
Oh, that was it, I could understand the pain and anger he felt, even the fear that was on his mind. But he had no right to speak to her that way. My heart went out to her if this was what he had become. Why hadn’t she called me herself? I would have to speak with her later.
“Is that anyway to greet your Maker Eric Northman! I have taught you better. Open this door.” I roared, letting my distaste be known through our now unmuted bond. The door flew open and my child fell to his knees.
“Forgive me, master, I did not know it was you. I have not been myself since Pam ..” His voice cracked and trailed off.
“Off your knees my son, and we will get her back together. But first, you will treat your soon to be bonded with respect.” My child looked slightly chastened at my words, as well he should. “As for fairy drama: What did you think was going to happen when you chose a fairy? Hybrid or not, each race has its challenges. She loves you more than I can express. Now, stop punishing her and yourself for this. Pam is a grown vampire. Now, what have you found?”
He rose slowly from his knees, still not looking in my eyes, “Nothing. But the cameras at the mall caught four strong men approaching the car where Pam was standing. There was a quick fight and then they grabbed her with what I think it is a silver net. Then they drove off. From the angle of the camera you couldn’t see the make or model.” In my heart I knew the car belonged to Russell, but I wanted more evidence, no I wanted more than that. What if it wasn’t him? A voice in my head told me I was desperately grasping for an other answer.
I felt my son: There were no more leads and it had been a week since Pam had been taken. That old witch better be here when she said she would be. I knew she could help track Pam. Blood always calls to blood.
A soft knock on the door and a soft hushed beating heart told me it was Sookie. I opened the door and took the glass bottles from her hands. There were fresh tears in her eyes, she must have heard his words. “I am going to stay at a friend’s house for a couple days. I need time to think. I will have my cell phone on me so if either of you need me you can call.” I nodded; I understood her to need to get away. I wanted to go on the run as soon as I got Eric’s call: I had spent years running away from that day.
Sookie left, closing the door behind her. “We will find her Eric, and bring her home. I called in an old witch friend of mine. She and her granddaughter will be here tomorrow night.There may be a spell which will give us Pam’s exact location. Then we will plan her rescue and our revenge.”
He looked at me and nodded. The bright traces of life in his eyes had dimmed to the glow of a low wattage light bulb: A far cry from the zest for life he usually had.
“Thank you master. I knew i could count on you to have my back. You would never betray me. And I know that if you knew who had killed my human family you would have helped me destroy them years ago.” In a very unlike himself gesture, Eric reached and embraced me.
I pushed calm and strength through the bond as he let go of me. Looking into my eyes he asked, “Where is Sookie? I don’t feel her close anymore.”
I sighed, a very human thing to do. “You were right here in the room when she informed us that she would be staying at a friend’s house for a few days. What you said when you thought she was the one on the other side of the was not like you. You’ve never said things to hurt your beloved on purpose before, and I didn’t expect you to start now. You shouldn’t push her away Eric, she is hurting as well.I fear she blames herself more than you blame her. Give her a few days and then make amends.”
He nodded, although his heart wasn’t in it, “You are right, as always. I will send her flowers in a few days. And beg her forgiveness.” I smiled at the thought of my giant, prideful child begging. That would be something I would pay to see.