Chapter 1

Deid fowk dinnae clype

Summary: Continuation of ‘Deid Til its Daurk’. Sookie finds out that vampires don’t give up easily. Can her tenacious Glaswegian spirit help her get out of the mess Hadley put her in? Or will her temper get her into even more trouble?

Spoilers: All books.

Rating: MA/18+

Disclaimer: All characters belong to C. Harris.

Deid Fowk Dinnae Clype (Dead people don’t tell tales)

Andre left Merlotte’s feeling frustrated and very, very angry. The Stackhouse girl had lied to him, lied to his face. It was obvious to him she hadn’t been under his influence; any vampire with experience knew when a human was truly glamoured. This had been the first time he had come across one that his glamour didn’t work on and it had been obvious as soon as she opened her mouth. The fact that she had lied to him confirmed everything, but the Queen had given express orders. She was not to be forced, she was not to be harmed but she was to be … convinced to use her talents for the Queen’s benefit.

Compton had severely miscalculated his approach. When he spoke of his plan to Andre, the older vampire scoffed. But Bill had been adamant that the girl’s southern values would ensure she would not let him come to harm. In her haste to reveal all about Sookie’s special gift, Hadley had neglected to tell them that Sookie hadn’t been brought up with southern values. Andre pulled up outside the bar and tried to reel in his emotions. The telepath was to be buttered up and have her talents assessed and improved if required. He had neither the time or inclination for this task and the only other Vampire in Sophie-Ann’s retinue that could be trusted with such a task owned the bar he was about to enter.

~*~

Sookie was still shaking from her experience with the vampire when she arrived back home. As usual, Adele had waited up for her Granddaughter and was shocked to see her in such a state. Sookie explained what had happened, and her cousin’s involvement in it.

“Why would Hadley tell vampires you were a telepath? It’s always been a family secret, how could she turn on her family like that?”

“I dunno Gran. All I know is that she told the vampires I had a gift. Maybe they threatened her or she owed them somethin’. Maybe she wanted somethin’ fae them.”

Adele laughed but stopped abruptly. “What … what would Hadley want from a vampire?” Recognition shone in Sookie’s eyes and it wasn’t long before Adele thoughts matched the telepath’s. “She’s one of the undead now, isn’t she?”

Sookie shrugged. “Seems like the most likely scenario. ‘Turn me and I’ll tell you about my special cousin’.”

Adele shook her head in bewilderment, but her expression soon turned to anger and her face reddened with rage. “Of all the … selfish … stupid … dangerous things to do!”

“This is Hadley we’re talkin’ about.” Sookie snorted. “What made ye think she’d be sensible about things?”

–**–

Eric was in his office at Fangtasia, going over the inventory from the last stock take. His office door opened and without raising his head he questioned his second, and child, Pam.

“Pam, do we know who is helping themselves to the Maker’s Mark yet? That’s another 4 bottles gone missing. I’m going to start cracking alcoholic skulls if we don’t have the perpetrator by tomorrow.”

“Nice to see you’re on top of things Northman.”

Eric raised his head, eyes wide to look upon his Queen’s lieutenant in the doorway. Pam stood behind Andre with her head dipped in deference. “Andre, I apologise. I wasn’t informed you would be visiting.”

“That would be because I didn’t know I would be visiting. There’s a bar manager, in Bon Temps, I want you to keep an eye on her.”

“Sookie Stackhouse?”

Andre’s eyes flashed with surprise. “You know her?”

“Yes, I had cause to visit the … establishment a few weeks ago. I received a call from the owner, Sam Merlotte, not a call really. He must have dialled our number before the vampire who killed him struck.”

“The vampire was Bill Compton. He returned to Bon Temps as it was his ancestral home. His final death was at the hands of the Stackhouse woman – we want her watched.”

Eric was confused but hid it well. “Mr Compton’s final death happened as Miss Stackhouse attempted to save her employer. I don’t see why this would warrant surveillance.”

“That is not your call Eric. Watch her, befriend her even; she mistrusts vampires after the incident with Bill. The Queen would like this human to get used to being around Vampires. Those are your orders, do not question them.”

“Of course, Andre.” Eric bowed from the neck as Andre left; Pam copied her maker’s actions. Neither lifting their heads until they knew he was out of sight.

“So, what’s so interesting about this Stackhouse girl?” Pam sat in the chair on the other side of Eric’s desk.

“You mean apart from the fact she managed to send a 180 year old vampire to his final death? Apart from the fact the Queen of Louisiana wants her to trust Vampires?” Eric smirked. “I have no idea, but if I’m to befriend her – maybe I’ll find out.”

–**–

The next morning, after a long conversation about worst case scenarios, Adele and Sookie decided to circle the wagons and call Jason to the family meeting. Sookie had spoken of how the supernatural world wasn’t above using the ones you love to make you do what they wanted. And if they were interested in Sookie, the both Adele and Jason were in danger. His phone at home went unanswered and his cell phone went straight to voicemail. Sookie decided to call Jason’s best friend, Hoyt, to finds out where her brother was.

“Hi this is Hoyt!”

“Hoyt, its Sookie. Have ye seen Jason? He’s no at home and his mobile is switched off.”

“Uh … he told me not to tell you. Said you’d get real worried and not to mention it.”

Sookie rolled her eyes. “Well it’s a bit late for that, Hoyt, now I am worried.”

“Oh … yeah, I shoulda thought about that huh? He’s down at the Police station; Andy wanted to ask him some questions about Dawn and Maudette again.”

“You’re takin’ the piss, right? He was hauled in straight after they girls were found, what do they need tae drag him in for noo?”

“I don’t know Sookie, but Jason sure was angry that he’d be losin’ time off work again. Catfish is mighty put out about the time he’s taken so far.”

“Aye, well, catfish isnae the only one scunnered. Thanks for tellin’ me Hoyt, I’ll give ye a free beer for yer trouble the next time ye come in.”

Sookie hung up the phone and relayed the gist of the conversation to Adele. Both women, running high on emotion, got in Sookie’s car and drove down to Bon Temps Police Station. Kevin Prior was on desk duty when he saw them come in; he felt the blood drain from his face when he saw how angry the two women were. Everyone in Bon Temps knew that an angry Adele Stackhouse was hard to shut up and an angry Sookie Stackhouse was hard to fight off.

“Uh … hi Adele, Sookie. How are ya’ll today?”

“Cut the crap Deputy, you’ve got something of ours and we came to get it back.”

“Sookie!” Adele chastised. “I’m sorry Kevin, Sookie’s just a little wound up. We understand Jason is here, we were wonderin’ why.”

“Oh … uh … I’m not allowed to say. You’ll need to wait until Detective Bellefleur is all done with him.”

“I see, has Sid Matt Lancaster been informed that Jason is here?”

Kevin looked from Adele to Sookie and back and shrugged. “I don’t know if he’s been informed but he’s sure not here.”

Sookie rolled her eyes and turned towards the seated waiting area, stomping over to the benches and throwing herself onto one of them. She knew, without a doubt, that Jason hadn’t killed those women. His thoughts had told her so. But she also knew that circumstantial evidence against Jason was mounting. She wondered if there was any way to use her ability to clear his name, the only way she could think of was to read the minds of everyone in town and find who the real killer was. There would be no way for her to do that without exposing herself. Sookie found herself thinking ‘what would Betty do?’, but the only way to be sure of an answer to that was to call Betty Paterson herself.

–**–

When Jason had finally been released from Andy Bellefleur’s questions, he faced another kind of interrogation – from his family. When Sookie and Adele learned that it was the family of Dawn Green that had led to him being questioned again, their anger saw new heights. The Greens had read about Sookie and Jason’s involvement in a vampire’s final death, and as their daughter had been known to frequent vampire bars, they maintained that Jason had a vendetta against vampires and those who love them.

“That’s a load a shite!” Sookie fumed as they pulled up at the Stackhouse property. “More circumstantial evidence that disnae even apply!”

“Sookie, calm down. It’s time for you to be at Merlotte’s. I’ll stay here with Jason and get him up to speed on what we were talking about earlier. You’re already late to open the bar.”

Sookie waited until her Gran and Jason were inside the house before setting off to work. It was already thirty minutes after opening, but Sookie knew the only person to be upset about that would be Jane Bodehouse. Terry Bellefleur had made sure the place was clean as a whistle the night before, so she didn’t need to worry about major prep work needing done. It surprised her when the only people waiting to get in were Terry and Holly.

“No Jane today?” She smiled at the veteran and the waitress as she unlocked the door.

“Oh she was here, bang on ten. I guess she couldn’t wait.” Holly snorted.

Sookie nodded and looked at Terry. “Did ye forget yer keys?”

Terry nodded his head. “Sorry, Sookie. I’ll make sure to attach them to the keys for my truck just in case.”

“No need tae say sorry. If anybody should be apologisin’ it should be me for keepin’ ye waitin’.”

The three workers entered Merlotte’s and set about getting the bar ready for customers. Lafayette arrived at eleven to start getting the kitchen ready for the lunchtime crowd while Terry brought in the replacement kegs for the draught beers. Once everything was organised, Sookie went back to the office and calculated what time it would be in Glasgow before she made her call.

“Paterson residence, who’s calling please?”

“Jim, its Sookie. How are ye?”

“Sookie! We’re … well we’re okay right now. Nothing we can’t handle. How are you? Are ye still greivin’ for yer man?”

“I’m no so upset now, but I miss him. I’ve actually got a wee bit of a problem the noo, is Betty there?”

“Aye she’s here, I’ll just get her.” Sookie heard Jim call for Betty to come to the phone and Betty’s footsteps on the tiles of the kitchen. “Hello Sookie, whit can I do for ye?”

“Betty, I need yer help. My brother’s suspected of murderin’ a couple a lassies but he didnae dae it. I want tae use my ability tae find out who did it. Clear his name, ye know?”

“I see. An’ when ye fin’ oot who the killer is, whit dae ye dae then?”

“Uh … I’m no sure. I didnae think that far ahead.”

“Yer gonnae need a witch or somebody that kin get the killer tae confess. Dae ye know any magic fowk?”

“Naw.” Sookie sighed. “Naw, Ah don’t.”

“Ah’ll dae some phonin’ roon fur ye. Get ye a contact, sit tight wee barra.”

“Okay Betty, thanks … dae I owe ye anythin’?”

“Naw, chookie barra, Ah’ve got enough favours banked tae make this wan a freebie fur ye.”

Sookie sighed in relief. “Thanks Betty, really, I’ll hear fae ye soon.”

“You’ll see me soon Sookie. Ah’m no lettin’ ye get in wae the magic crowd without bein’ there tae make sure ye don’t get shafted! Ah’m oan the next flight oot!”

“Whit? I didnae mean ye had tae come all the way over here!”

“Ye know me better than that Sookie and it’s aboot time me an’ yer Granny had a guid long chatter. Wid she be okay wae me stayin’ wae ye’s?”

“I cannae see why she widnae be. Gimme a bell when ye get yer flights all sorted, I shoulda spoke tae her by then.”

“Will do. Speak tae ye soon then, you take care, chookie barra.”

“You too, Betty.”

Although Sookie felt bad that Betty was coming all the way to Louisiana to help her, she was relieved and excited at the same time. If anyone could help her with the Jason situation, not to mention the vampire situation, then it would be Betty. Sookie hadn’t done a great deal of training on actually using her telepathy, mainly her time with the Paterson’s was spent blocking, shielding and generally training on how to function in society without everyone’s thoughts driving her out of her mind. Having Betty there to back her up through these problems put Sookie’s mind at ease.

–**–

The day went quickly, as it always did. Lafayette kept everyone entertained with his tales of sexual debauchery. Sookie tried to spend equal amounts of time behind the bar and doing admin. As usual, she was there until after closing. Sookie had to put the night’s takings in the safe and do a final walk round to make sure everything was ready for the next day. The front door was already locked and Sookie was setting the alarm before leaving through the rear. As she turned the key she looked at Sam’s trailer. His family had left her the use of the trailer as well as leaving her in charge of the bar. The key to her dead boyfriend’s home burned in the palm of her hand but she couldn’t go in there. She could handle running the bar and she could handle Sam being dead but she couldn’t handle sleeping in his bed or cooking on his stove.

A rattling noise brought her out of her thoughts and made her press her body against the side of the building. She knew someone was trying to open the front door and dropped her shields to find … nothing. Sookie remembered the blank reading she had gotten from the tall, blond vampire who came in a few weeks ago. She knew that if she hadn’t been so scared the night before, she may have attempted to see what was in the creepy vampire’s head too.

Eric knew someone was there. He could smell her and hear her heartbeat thundering from the other side of the building. He looked at his already healing hands and cursed Andre silently; it would have been good if he’d been warned about the silver plated handles on the doors. He slowly walked to the side of the building, knowing that scaring his target would be a very bad thing to do. He wasn’t used to the idea of befriending humans. To do that he might have to act or think like a human. The idea turned his stomach a little. He heard a car door open and took the opportunity to announce his presence.

“Hello? Miss Stackhouse? I don’t know if you remember me, Eric Northman, I called by a few weeks ago.”

He turned the corner of the building and was met by the barrel of a shotgun. “I remember you.”

For the first time in hundreds of years, Eric was surprised. And Sookie saw it in his eyes.

“Not a particularly friendly greeting, Miss Stackhouse.” Eric pushed the barrel of the gun so it was pointing over his shoulder. “I only came to ensure there had been no other … incidents with vampires since your employer met his end.”

Sookie snorted and moved the gun back to its original position. “Funny you should mention that. There was one here last night. Strange, that you show up the night after another vampire does … again.”

Eric stepped back and raised his hands. “A coincidence, nothing more.”

For some reason, he felt odd lying to this girl. She was smart, that much was obvious, and she had guts. She intrigued the vampire. He wondered if her mind and her courage were what had interested the Queen – for sure as the sun rose in the morning, there had to be something different about her.

“Why are you really here?” Sookie stepped forward and pressed the gun to his neck. “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

Eric’s eyes flicked to the gun then back to Sookie’s face. “You know I could disarm you in less than a second don’t you?”

“Aye.” Sookie shrugged. “But I also know if you wanted to kill me, I’d be dead by now.”

“You have … a curious accent. Part Scottish, part southern but completely interesting.” Eric grinned in an attempt to lighten the mood but Sookie had no desire to drop her guard.

“Thanks but you still haven’t told me why you’re here.”

“Perhaps I was so smitten with you on my last visit; I simply could not stay away.” The vampire smirked and looked into Sookie’s eyes. “You will lower your gun and answer my questions.”

Sookie felt her scalp prickle and the same pressure she felt from the other vampire the previous night. As before, she figured it would be better to play along than reveal that his influence was ineffective. Trying not to look angry, she slowly lowered the gun until the barrel was resting on the dirt next to her feet.

“Good girl. What did the other vampire want, the one who visited last night?”

Sookie remembered what she was supposed to recall from the visit. All she was supposed to remember was that they spoke about the vampire she killed. “He wanted to talk about Bill Compton.”

“Was that all?”

“Aye.”

“Are you sure? He didn’t ask about you, at all?”

“No, just Bill Compton.”

Eric’s eyes narrowed, he knew something was wrong, Sookie’s eyes just didn’t look right. He increased the power of his glamour and saw her wince. “You aren’t under my influence are you?”

Sookie couldn’t stop her eyes from widening in response. She knew then that her ruse was unsuccessful and sighed. “How could you tell?”

“Your eyes, they didn’t have the glazed, cloudy look of a glamoured human. Now,” Eric grabbed the gun before Sookie knew what he was doing and tossed it across the parking lot “why don’t you tell me what Andre really wanted? If I can’t glamour you then there’s no way he could, and that means you remember exactly what you talked about.”

“I remember. I just don’t want to tell you.” Sookie felt herself begin to shake, this vampire wanted answers she wasn’t willing to give and the telepath knew that this could be the moment her life ended.

“Okay.” Eric shrugged.

Sookie’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “What?”

“If you don’t want to tell me, that’s okay.” Eric suppressed his smile. Even a 1,000 year old vampire knew that falsely befriending a human involved lulling them into a false sense of trust.

“You aren’t going to kill me?”

“Why would I?”

Sookie’s eyes narrowed. “Because I can’t be hypnotised and I refuse to tell you what you want to know. A vampire doesn’t usually need excuses as big as that to rip someone apart.”

“Maybe I want to get to know you better.” Eric’s gaze dropped to Sookie’s chest, taking in the small amount of skin her open necked shirt was showing off.

“Maybe you like the smell of your own bullshit too much.”

To Sookie’s surprise, Eric bent double in fits of laughter. “Now,” he panted between bursts of hilarity “now I really want to get to know you better!”

Unmoved by his mirth, Sookie stood with her hands on her hips. “Well, too bad for you. I really have to get home.”

Eris sobered. “May I visit your bar sometime? I own a bar myself, I’m sure we would find we have other things in common if you spent some time with me.”

“Not a good idea. In fact, spending time with a vampire is the last thing I want. I’d appreciate you leaving me alone Mr. Northman.”

“That is a shame.” His hand went to the inside pocket of his jacket and removed a business card. “Please, be sure to contact me if you change your mind. I find you fascinating.”

Sookie plucked the offered card from his fingers and stuffed it in the back pocket of her jeans. “Yeah, sure. See ye.”

Sookie retrieved her shotgun from the other side of the parking lot and put it back in her car before getting in the driver’s seat and taking off for home, all under Eric’s watchful eye. As he listened to the sound of her vehicle fade into the distance, he wondered how on earth he was supposed to befriend a woman who didn’t want to be befriended. Not only was this a major hurdle in his instructions but he found himself feeling disappointed. To the vampire’s immense surprise, he found he really did want to get to know her better. She was the most interesting human he’d met in a very long time.

–**–

Adele was waiting up for Sookie, as usual, but time was marching on and Sookie still wasn’t home. The elderly woman tried to concentrate on her dog-eared Danielle Steele Novel but after reading the same sentence ten times and still not making sense of it, she put the book down and beat out a tune on the cover with her fingers. Finally she heard the back door open and rushed into the kitchen to greet her Granddaughter.

“Sookie! You’re awfully late!”

“I know Gran.” Sookie sighed. “More fuckin’ vampires!”

Adele gasped. “I know you’re scared Sookie but there’s no need for that kind of language!”

The two women went into the living room and sat on the couch, Sookie frowned a little as she looked at her Gran. “I wasn’t scared of this one. He didn’t want to hurt me but I trust him as far as I can throw him.”

“What did he want?”

Sookie’s frown deepened as she wondered – what did Eric Northman want? “I’m not sure. He wanted to know why that other vampire came to see me but … it’s hard to tell if he’s working with the other vampire or against him. Whichever it is, it’s not good for me.”

“Well, Betty will be here on Thursday. Maybe she can help with that too.”

Sookie nodded absently. “Yeah, she had dealin’s with vampires when she was younger. She told me about them durin’ story time.”

Adele cocked her head to the side. “Betty told you a lot didn’t she? Story time wasn’t really stories was it?”

“No.” Sookie shook her head and got up from the couch. “The truth is a lot scarier than stories.”

–**–

Adele stood in the arrivals lounge holding a sign saying ‘B. Paterson’. The last photo she had seen of her telepathic friend was a holiday snap from when Sookie was 16 and she couldn’t be sure that she would recognise Betty. She needn’t have worried, as soon as Betty appeared, dragging a huge suitcase behind her, Adele knew exactly who she was. She didn’t, however, know the young woman who followed her. Betty sped up to greet Adele, throwing her arms around her and crushing her in a hug.

“Adele! It’s been too long!”

“It has been a while.” Adele pulled away and looked at Betty’s companion. “And you’ve brought company!”

“Yes!” Betty put a protective arm around the woman. “This is Jackie Ward. She’s … a talented young lady.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll tell me all about it on the drive back to Bon Temps.” Adele chuckled, attempting to take Betty’s suitcase from her.

Summer was in full swing in Louisiana and Adele’s car’s air conditioning wasn’t much respite from the heat. Betty and Jackie weakly fanned themselves, both used to the colder climate. Even their summer clothes seemed too heavy for the southern temperature and humidity. The long drive north was filled with Betty explaining that Jackie was a young wolf, but not only that; she was very adept at spell casting. A born Shaman for the pack, Betty couldn’t believe her luck when Jackie showed skill in witchcraft. She no longer had a ward in Sookie, so she took the girl under her wing. As she had previously acted as Shaman, it seemed like the right thing to do.

–**–

Sookie was going over the last little details with Arlene so the waitress would help Terry with closing for her. The telepath was excited to be seeing her mentor again and didn’t want to be rolling in at 2am and missing welcoming Betty to Bon Temps.

“I really appreciate this Arlene. Will Rene be okay with Coby and Lisa?”

“He’ll be fine, and believe me, when he sees the bonus in my pay check he’ll be all too willing for me to make a regular thing of this.”

Sookie leaned against the desk and pondered for a second. “Y’know, Sam always had me to fall back on when he had things to do. But I don’t have that. Merlotte’s is doin’ better since I put in the jukebox and cleared space for dancin’ – how would you like to be assistant manager?”

Arlene smiled wider than Sookie had ever seen anyone smile. “I wouldn’t have to change my hours much would I?”

“Naw, naw ye wouldn’t. How about ye open two days a week and close two days a week?” Sookie went to the safe and spun the dial, opening the door and reaching inside for a set of keys. “Here ye are. I’ll give ye a ten percent raise now and after four weeks we’ll review. If yer handlin’ everything we’ll up it to fifteen percent.”

“Thank you Sookie!” The red head gushed. “You won’t regret this!”

“I know ye can do the job, Arlene. But it’s more stress and ye do have two little ones at home. Let’s just wait and see how the next four weeks go eh?”

The women leaned in to embrace but were interrupted by Lafayette rapping at the open door.

“’Scuse me, fine ladies, but there’s a big blonde hunk o’ deliciousness asking for ya Sooks.”

Sookie frowned. The only big blonde hunk of anything who would be asking for her was Eric Northman. She sighed and looked at her watch, wondering if she would ever get home.

“Okay Laffy, send him back please.”

Lafayette nodded and Arlene left the office with him, almost skipping back into the bar. Sookie sat behind her desk and went into the employee spreadsheet to make the changes to Arlene’s pay. Eric appeared at the door and bumped his knuckles against it lightly.

“Knock, knock!”

Sookie raised an eyebrow and gestured to the chair opposite her. She was surprised at the vampire’s very un-vampiric entrance, then realised that nothing she had seen of him so far was very vampiric at all.

“Mr. Northman.” She nodded to him. “Is there a reason yer here despite me askin’ ye to stay away from me?”

“Yes! I know you’ve told me about how Bill Compton and Sam Merlotte died but I have some questions about the circumstances.”

Sookie leaned back in the chair and ground her teeth together. She thought it must have been fate or karma or maybe just plain bad luck that the one night she wanted to get away, things went to shit. Setting her steely gaze on Eric, she spoke quickly.

“Vamp enters bar, vamp leaves with drainers, Sam goes to help vamp, vamp kills Sam and then I killed the vamp. Clear enough?”

“As a bell.” Murmured Eric. “Drainers? How did Sam know they were drainers?”

The telepath inhaled deeply, she didn’t anticipate that question so she simply shrugged. “Who knows? He was a Shifter, so maybe he smelled somethin’ off about them. He’s smelled people who’ve come intae the bar with drugs before. The Drainers are a pair a’ shites though – maybe he just knew they were up tae no good.”

“And where would one find these Drainers?”

“A trailer doon at four corners. It’s the only one there, hard to miss. Are we done?”

Eric cursed silently that his plan to goad Sookie into a conversation had, once again, gone awry. “Yes, but if I have more questions I will return.”

“Do whit ye like pal. I’ve got places tae be, don’t let the door hit ye on the arse on yer way out.”

Eric willed his fangs to stay in place as Sookie unceremoniously dismissed him. At first he thought her demeanour to be a charming change from the norm but now he realised she was just plain rude. He got up and left without saying goodbye and headed straight to where Sookie said the Drainers would be. He sneered as he approached the trailer, his sensitive ears assaulted by country music being played at full volume. The vampire sniffed the air, the scent of a number of different drugs could be detected but the one that interested him most was the faint smell of vampire blood. Knowing that the trailer was their home and an invite would not be forthcoming, Eric picked up a large rock and hurled it through the biggest window.

He grinned as two half naked humans ran out of the hovel, a male with a hand gun and a female with a knife. Faster than their substance addled eyes could comprehend, Eric had disarmed both and had them pinned to the side of the trailer. His hands curled around their necks as he wondered which one to incapacitate first so he could question the other. In the vampire’s experience, males always spilled their secrets the quickest. He knocked Denise Rattray’s head against the side of the trailer and watched her husband’s eyes fill with fear as she slumped to the ground unconscious.

“Now we can have a little chat, uninterrupted. A little birdie tells me that you drained a vampire around four weeks ago.”

Mack Rattray’s eyes widened. “No sir! That weren’t us!”

Eric grinned as he forced his will onto the drug addict, within seconds Mack was under his control. “That isn’t true is it?”

“No sir.” Mack slurred.

“Tell me about that night, the night you drained Bill Compton in the parking lot at Merlotte’s.”

“He came into the bar and asked for synthetic. That’s how we knew he was a vamp. We got all friendly, like, he said he had a deal for us.”

Eric frowned. “What kind of deal?”

“His blood. He said we could take his blood. Seemed too good to be true for a guy like me but the whole time at that table he kept saying ‘just think about how much money you’ll make by draining me’.”

“And what would Mr. Compton get out of the deal?”

“All we had to do was let him drink from us after he got rescued.”

That confused Eric even more. The vampire wondered if Bill had a deal with Sam Merlotte and that it was arranged that the Shifter would rescue him. It seemed unlikely to Eric, if Sam and Bill knew each other then Sookie would have known more about it. Eric had a feeling that nothing escaped that woman. The question Eric now needed an answer to, was who did Bill have to rescue him and how did it go so wrong?

–**–

Sookie ran into her home and through to the living room. She sighed in relief when she saw Betty and another girl she vaguely recognised sitting on the couch with her Gran.

“Betty!” Sookie grabbed her mentor into a tight embrace. “I was worried I’d be too late and you would have gone to bed!”

“Naw Sookie! We stayed up for ye.” Betty gestured to Jackie. “Do ye remember Jackie? She was just a bairn when ye left Glasgow.”

“I think I do.” Sookie stretched out her hand. “You’ve grown up a fair bit!”

Jackie smiled shyly. “I’m dead excited to be here! Betty said ye need some castin’ done.”

“That I do, Jackie. Why don’t we sit and I’ll tell ye’s all about it.”

Betty and Jackie sat rapt as Sookie explained what was happening with Jason and, also, the interest that the vampires were now showing. Jackie practically glowed as she brainstormed ideas with the blonde telepath, while Adele and Betty beamed with pride at the young women’s problem solving skills. Betty sucked in a breath through her teeth when the discussion turned to Hadley.

“I dunno whit yer cousin was thinkin’. She’d be abjured by any pack for turnin’ on her family like that.”

“Abjured?” Adele sat forward. “What does that mean?”

Sookie felt guilty that she had been discussing so many supernatural things without a though of explaining things to her Gran. “When a pack abjures one its members, it’s like they banish them. That Were is no longer allowed to speak to or hunt with anyone else in the pack.”

“Hmph! Hadley done that to her own self long ago.”

Betty cleared her throat and stood up. “Well, we’ve got a lot of organisin’ to do for tomorrow night. Jackie, we should get to bed.”

Sookie and Adele hugged their visitors’ goodnight and then retired to their own rooms. While Adele found sleep easily, Sookie tossed and turned. Her thoughts plagued by the handsome Vampire who seemed to want her company so much. The telepath squeezed her eyes closed and tried, desperately, to think of Sam as her hand drifted between her legs. She masturbated bitterly, trying to release some of the tension in her body but as she came, it was to the fantasy of being ravaged by Eric Northman.

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