Chapter 4

Sookie watched as her Gran and Betty left for the airport. They had held each other and cried until the cab driver had gotten very impatient. When the cab was out of sight, Sookie went back inside to find Jackie waiting for her in the hallway.

“So, we know it didnae affect us but how do we know the wish worked on everybody else?”

Jackie picked up the Cluviel Dor. It no longer shimmered in the light; the surface was a dull jade green. The magic that it exuded had gone, now it was just an interesting trinket. The Were-Witch handed it to Sookie and the Telepath held it to her chest.

“I guess we need to wait until sunset.” Sookie shrugged and headed to her room for a nap before going to see Jason and give him Gran’s letter. She hoped there would be time for another nap later before she had to go into Merlotte’s for her late shift.

~*~

Jason read the letter. Then he read it again. It didn’t sink in at all. He read it a third time.

Dear Jason
I’ve asked Sookie to wait until 10am to give you this. By the time you read this letter, I’ll be on one of many airplanes making my way towards Glasgow. With all the Vampire stuff that’s been going on, I wanted to get away from everything until things calm down. So I’ll be staying with Betty and Jim Paterson, Sookie has their details of you ever want to get in touch with me.
I won’t be away forever; I can only stay in Scotland for 6 months before my visitor visa runs out. But I hope I won’t have to stay away that long. Please don’t blame Sookie, it’s not her fault she was born different and it’s not her fault Hadley told the wrong people what she could do.
Take care of each other and stay safe.
Adele Stackhouse (Grandmother)

“So … Gran has upped and left you here to deal with all this vamp shit on your own?” Jason tossed the letter on the coffee table, struggling to understand why Gran would leave Sookie after everything she told him the other day.

“No. There was nothing Gran could do, so she went somewhere she would be safe.” Sookie didn’t like lying to her brother, but it was far better that he never found out exactly what had happened with the fairy artefact that Gran had been given.

“Why didn’t you go? You’re the one in danger; shouldn’t you have been the one runnin’ off overseas?”

“It disnae work like that Jason, if I ran off they would simply hurt Gran or you til ye told them where I was. You know this, we went over it before. This is the safest for Gran.”

“And what about me, am I still in danger?”

Sookie paused. She knew Jason was still in a modicum of danger, but that would only be if she gave Eric cause to take that kind of action. “That depends on me. And ye know I’ll do whatever I can to protect ye.”

Sookie patted Jason’s knee and stood to leave but Jason grabbed her hand. He didn’t say anything; he just looked into his sister’s eyes. Sookie saw a little sadness and a lot of worry in those eyes. She couldn’t determine if he was worried for her or for himself but she realised that he depended on her for his safety. The sudden pressure she felt made her knees weak. But she stood firm, she would have to, for both their sakes.

~*~

Sookie smiled as Calvin Norris and some of the other guys from Norcross ventured into Merlotte’s for their weekly round after work. She started a pitcher of their favoured beer running and got glasses ready, sitting them on the bar just as Calvin came over to her.

“Hey Calvin, how are ye today?”

Calvin was extremely confused. This woman knew exactly what he was going to ask for and his name. He had no idea who she was. “Uh … do I know you?”

Mike Spencer was sitting at the bar and dropped one of his onion rings back into the bowl. “You feelin’ okay Calvin? Sookie here has been servin’ you beer for nigh on five years!”

“Really?” Calvin exclaimed in his soft voice. “Huh! Strange … I can’t remember you at all.”

Sookie placed a strained smile on her face. “Oh, I’m not that memorable anyway!”

The Telepath focussed on Calvin’s mind, she knew he was two-natured. Of what variety, she had no idea. His mind went from purple and green swirls to a tangle of reds and oranges. Jackie quirked an eyebrow from her perch at the end of the bar as the evidence of the Adele’s wish working became apparent. Calvin picked up the glasses and the pitcher and went back to his table, not sparing another glance at the woman he had no memories of.

As sunset approached, Sookie became more nervous. She dropped a third glass and after sweeping up the shards, decided it would be best to go to her office and try to make sense of the invoices instead. Jackie followed her back and watched the Telepath pace back and forth in front of the desk.

“You know the wards are still there don’t ye?”

“Wards? What wards?”

Jackie rolled her eyes. Of course, Sookie had been passed out drunk while she was doing them. “The other night, I cast wards on the bar. No-one who means harm can get in.”

“Oh!” Sookie relaxed. “So I’m safe here for the time being. That’s good. Very good.”

~*~

Eric came alive to the strangest sensation. He could feel the bond with his child but there was something else there, someone else there. The Vampire leaped out of his bed with a snarl and dressed without showering. When something demanded his immediate attention, it was literal. And the fact that a human was out there with his blood in them, without his knowledge of giving them that blood, needed to be attended to. Very immediately. He called Pam to let her know he wouldn’t be at Fangtasia at his usual time but told her not to worry.

Once outside he took to the sky, following his blood to the perpetrator of this crime. And they would pay dearly for taking an essential part of him. The closer he got to the source, the stronger their emotions came through. Whoever it was, they were feeling extremely anxious and slightly frightened. That confused Eric, it should be the other way around surely? This person who imbibed his blood should be quaking with fear and running for his or her life. As he hovered over what looked like a backwoods bar, he wondered what was amiss. Someone had somehow taken his blood during his day death but rather than getting as far away as possible, they had decided to hole up less than a twenty minute flight from his chamber.

A sense of familiarity washed over him when he looked at the neon sign over the door. The name Merlotte was known to him and he briefly wondered if the shifter was harbouring his thief. But then he remembered that Sam Merlotte was dead, killed by Bill Compton … after that his memories were jumbled. He knew that Bill Compton was also, finally, dead and that the deed had been done by one of Sam’s employees. A growl started deep in Eric’s chest as he realised that his memories weren’t quite right. He had impeccable recall, over 1,000 years of memories, yet the last month seemed to be like a puzzle with missing pieces.

Eric reached for the handle of the door to the bar but stopped short of gripping it. He leaned in and sniffed. Silver. That increased his anger and he threw all caution to the side, pulling the door open despite the metal burning his skin. His fangs were fully extended as he lifted a foot to enter the bar … only to find he couldn’t. He physically couldn’t cross the threshold. A black man wearing eye shadow was behind the bar. Lafayette, Eric wondered when they had met, because they certainly had, but again his memories were hazy.

Lafayette saw the crazed Vampire at the door and immediately went to find Sookie. Arlene took his place behind the bar and did nothing to hide her fear as she saw Eric’s rage. The smell of scared humans permeated the air and incited Eric’s bloodlust as he tried in vain to enter the property. When Lafayette appeared followed by a blonde woman and a Were-Wolf that Eric was, again, familiar with, the Vampire snarled and gnashed his teeth at them. His eyes bored into the blonde, knowing she was the one who had stolen his blood.

“I will kill you for what you have done.” Eric grinned. “Slowly and painfully.”

Sookie wasn’t unaffected by his words. She was terrified and going by the flare of Eric’s nostrils, he knew full well how scared she was. “Go round to the back door. We can speak there.”

“Oh I don’t think there will be much call for talking.” Eric leaned as far into the doorframe as he was allowed, gripping the wooden surround so tightly that his fingers left dents.

“Well, I think you’d be interested in what I have to say.”

The Telepath tried to keep the tremor out of her voice but sagged in relief when Eric stood straight and disappeared from view. She felt Jackie squeeze her hand and turned to her friend, nodding that she would be okay. The walk through the bar and down the corridor to the rear entrance was the longest walk she’d ever taken. She saw Eric standing at the doorway, feral, enraged and very dangerous. She kicked herself mentally when she felt her hormones rise at the sight of him but it was too late. Eric had felt her surge of lust and was now chuckling nastily at her.

“So interesting you find me arousing, maybe I’ll fuck you to death rather than ripping you to pieces? Come outside, now.”

Eric looked into her eyes and extended the tendrils of his influence, only to find this woman batted them away when she smiled at him. He was surprised that he couldn’t glamour her but something about it felt like déjà vu.

“I’ll pick door number 3, Bob.” Sookie stopped around a foot away from the doorway. “Yer here because I’ve had yer blood.”

Eric grinned darkly. “So refreshing that you admit it without torture, how did you happen across my blood and what on earth made you think it was a good idea to drink it?”

“You offered it to me.”

The Vampire snarled and attempted to break through the invisible barrier. He knew she was being truthful and couldn’t understand why such an event would be missing from his recollections.

“Why did I offer and why can I not remember this momentous occasion?”

Sookie sighed. “Ye wanted to know if I was tellin’ the truth, an’ I had nothing to hide, so I took some o’ your blood. The reason ye cannae remember is … complicated.”

“So un-complicate it!” Eric hissed and bared his fangs.

Sookie rubbed at her temples and leaned against the wall. Eric glared at her, not believing what he was seeing, Sookie quirked an eyebrow at him. “Ye might as well have a seat, this might take a while.”

Eric stepped back from the doorway and put his hands in his pockets. “I’ll stand if it’s all the same; you can’t stay in there forever. And even if you tried to, whatever magic you have protecting you will wear off sooner or later.”

“Whatever.” Sookie shrugged. “Yer memories are skew-iff because of me. I had a gift left to me and I used it.”

The Telepath had no intention of letting anyone think that her Gran had made the wish. She would bear the brunt of the Cluviel Dor’s magic in every way.

“What kind of gift allows you to tamper with memories?” Eric found his curiosity piqued by this information.

“A Fairy gift that was left by my Grandfather. I was allowed one wish.”

Eric’s rage gave way to interest. The Fae were reclusive and very magical … and the woman in front of him had been left a gift of wish magic. That made her special indeed. His desire to kill her for having his blood running through her veins abated and he gestured for the woman to continue her story. Seeing that the Vampire’s posture had drifted to a more relaxed stance, Sookie decided to take a chance.

“I’d rather no talk about everything here. Will ye kill me if I come outside?”

Eric grinned. “Even if I say ‘no’ I could still mean ‘yes’.”

Sookie snorted. “Still showerin’ me with hints an’ tips, I see. Okay, I know you won’t kill me until I’ve told you what you want to know.”

She pointed to Sam’s trailer and tentatively stepped over the threshold, pulling the keys from the pocket of her shorts. Eric watched the saucy flare of her hips as she walked towards the trailer, noting her raised eyebrow when she turned to look at him.

“Are ye comin’?”

“Not yet.” He smirked as Sookie huffed in exasperation.

~*~

Jackie peered down the corridor, anxious that she couldn’t hear voices over the sound of the jukebox. She figured no sound was not a good thing, so the Were-Witch wandered back to see if Sookie needed help. When she saw that no-one was at the doorway, she panicked and followed the scents to Sam’s trailer.

The young wolf stopped far enough away to take note that both Sookie and Eric were inside. Jackie was torn; she knew that Sookie wouldn’t invite him into the trailer if she thought she was in danger. But she also knew that Vampires could strike before an invitation could be rescinded. Steeling herself, she strode over and rapped at the door.

“Sookie, its Jackie. Is everythin’ alright in there?”

Inside the trailer, Eric glared at the door. They had just sat down and Sookie was about to tell him everything when Jackie interrupted. Sookie smiled and shook her head, walking past Eric to open the door.

“We’re fine Jackie. If that changes … well, I’ll be dead before ye can shift. So go back to the bar an’ keep an eye on things for me. Let everybody know I’m fine.”

Jackie eyed Eric warily and was gifted with a wink from Eric in return. Slowly she backed away from the trailer then turned to go back into the bar. When she returned, Lafayette was first to enquire as to Sookie’s welfare. When the Were-Witch told him that his boss was fine, he wasn’t convinced. When Jackie asked for some work to do to keep herself busy, he was even less sure that Sookie was safe.

~*~

Sookie sat down across from Eric and rubbed her sweaty palms on her thighs. It was too quiet and the Telepath needed something to fill the silence, so she turned on the radio that sat on top of the kitchen counter. The trailer was filled with the strains of Kelis singing about how her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard. Sookie tried to find another station quickly only to land on Kevin Lyttle asking her to turn him on. She slapped the radio to turn it off and went back to sit down. Eric had been highly amused by the whole scene but hid his smile well.

“Since you invited me inside, you obviously know my name. You have me at a disadvantage.”

“My name is Sookie Stackhouse; we haven’t known each other long.” She bit her lip, wondering how to say everything she knew she needed to say. “I’m not sure where to start.”

“Start with the blood, that’s what brought me here, after all.”

“Right, the blood.” Sookie took out her pony tail before pulling it back even tighter than it was before. “So I had these vamps after me and you wanted to know why. You asked me to take some blood so I couldn’t lie to you about it.”

“Why would you have my kind chasing you?” Eric tilted his head to the side, appraising Sookie candidly. She wasn’t astoundingly beautiful, she smelled sweeter than other humans though. “What makes you so special?”

“Well, I’m part-Fae.” It was the truth; it just wasn’t the right truth. But Sookie knew she couldn’t lie to Eric, so there had to be a compromise.

“They wanted you for your blood?”

Sookie shrugged. “I don’t know about that, but I know I didn’t like being targeted like that.”

“I see. And I don’t remember giving my blood to a Fae hybrid because of a wish?”

“Um … pretty much. I had a … gift, as I said before, and I wished that every supernatural creature would forget they ever heard of or met me.”

“Interesting.”

Eric leaned back in the chair and absorbed the snippets Sookie had bestowed upon him. He was surprised that she had been so open but there was something she wasn’t telling him. Would Vampires go so far to get a taste of the Fae that they would push one woman into such drastic action? Eric doubted that, there were a few full-blooded Fae around; they were just hard to catch. She didn’t seem skittish enough that she would use the gift of wish magic at the first sign of trouble. The Vampire knew that Sookie Stackhouse was hiding something. She couldn’t be glamoured, so he was down one option on getting answers. She had already had his blood, so that was another avenue blocked off. The last tools he had were torture and coercion.

“So … if yer gonnae kill me, could ye do it quick? Seein’ as I’ve been truthful and everythin’.” Sookie closed her eyes and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, she opened her eyes to find Eric smirking at her. “It would help if ye at least said somethin’.”

“If I kill you then I’ll never find out what you’re hiding.” He leaned forward and gripped her chin lightly in his fingers, forcing her to look into his eyes. “And I will find out, Sookie Stackhouse, even if I have to kill your whole family.”

Sookie winced and tried to pull away. Eric smiled in triumph, there it was, her weak spot. He was willing to put his fangs on that being the real reason for the wish. The way her heart sped up and the fear seeped from her pores told him everything. Sookie felt tears well up in her eyes. She had promised Jason she would protect him but she didn’t want the cycle to start all over again.

“If I tell ye, then the magic I used will have been for nothin’. Nothing!”

She spat the last word out, making Eric pull back his hand and hiss at her. Then the tears that had threatened spilled over, rolling down her cheeks as her face reddened with anger. The Vampire had not expected this reaction. Whatever she had kept from him it was important. This wasn’t an ordinary human; he knew that as soon as she mentioned her Grandfather giving her a fairy gift. He contemplated why she would need to hide so much that she would take the risk of altering the memories of so many.

“How about we make a deal?” Eric forced his fangs to retract and picked up Sookie’s hand.

Sookie felt his cold fingers draw lines in the palm of her hand and pulled away. “I don’t make deals with the devil.”

“Your choice.” Eric shrugged. “I’m sure you will give your loved ones an appropriate send off.”

“That’s not a deal.” Sookie snorted. “That’s a threat.”

“Indeed it is. But my deal would have been that whatever reason you made that wish, I would keep in confidence unless it endangered my kind.”

Sookie narrowed her eyes. “Ye wouldn’t tell anyone? What assurances do I have? Ye could blab to all an’ sundry an’ I’d be in the back o’ a van before I could tell ye how much o’ a bastard ye are!”

Eric nodded. “That is true; all you have is my word. But knowing there is a risk that you would be taken from my area, that gives me some incentive to keep your secrets, does it not?”

The Telepath mulled that over for a time. There was no way to tie him to his word, and a Vampire’s word was worth as much as a used condom. The only thing she could think to do was to make him want to keep it to himself. “My secret is very important an’ it’s very useful. Ye told me that yerself, that a lot o’ Supes would want to harness my power for themselves.”

“Really?” Eric smiled, at first he thought she had been exaggerating, but a brief probe of the tie they had confirmed that she wasn’t. He had really said that. “And this power … it would be worth my silence?”

Sookie shrugged. “You said that Vampires and Werewolves would want to use me, does that make any difference?”

“That depends on the power.” Eric quirked an eyebrow and leaned in closer. So close that he could feel Sookie’s breath on his neck. “Tell me what you can do Sookie.”

Sookie stared at Eric and thought about her choices. Despite everything they had done, she always knew that Eric Northman would be a huge hurdle. She could either keep quiet and wait to hear of Jason’s, and perhaps even her Gran’s, death, or she could tell him about her Telepathy and cross her fingers. Those were her options. His blue eyes danced with amusement as he watched his prey try to wriggle out of her quandary. One of his favourite things was seeing that moment, the moment when it dawned on someone that they actually never really had a choice to begin with.

“I can read minds, not all of them. I can’t read Vampires and Weres are harder.” Her voice was the smallest whisper but Eric heard every word.

“That is … very interesting. I had a psychic once, it was incredible.” Eric fangs ran out at the memory.

“Did the psychic think so?”

Sookie jumped back in her chair as Eric’s loud laughter rang through the trailer. He stopped and looked at Sookie with mischief in his eyes. “For a while.”

“Until you drained her. That’s what you mean by that isn’t it?” The colour left her face as she realised her fate if she didn’t do whatever he asked of her now.

“Yes. I’m sure you’re smarter than she was though.” Eric once again cocked his head to one side and gazed at Sookie. “You were right about your power being special. With a Telepath at my disposal, things would be a lot easier. And I would be very … upset, if another Vampire, or a Were, took one of my assets away from me.”

“So you’ll keep quiet then? I don’t want everybody wantin’ to use me. Once every now an’ again is fine but … I have a mentor, she was used a lot an’ never really got paid for it. They just promised her favours all the time.”

“I will pay you; I don’t like being in debt or owing favours. Tell me about your accent.”

Sookie was startled by the dramatic change in subject and frowned slightly. “I was sent to Glasgow when I was seven, that’s where my mentor is. I came back here seven years ago. Is my … family safe?”

“For the time being, yes, although I have the feeling that you wouldn’t do anything that would put them at risk.” The Telepath nodded firmly. “Well, shall we shake on it?”

Eric held out his hand and Sookie just stared at it. After a few moments, the Vampire picked up her hand with his and shook three times before pulling her towards him and burying his face in her neck. She felt his fangs scrape against her skin and cursed silently as the Vampire blood made her libido hop up and down. Eric moaned as the scent of her arousal mixed with the sweetness of the blood in her veins. Sookie shuddered as Eric licked from her shoulder to her ear and bit her lip so she wouldn’t make a sound. As suddenly as he had grabbed her, he let her go and stood up.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Miss Stackhouse. You’ll be hearing from me soon.”

Sookie sat slack jawed and worked up as Eric left the trailer. She shook her head clear from the experience and considered that things had gone better than she expected. Now all she could do was hope that Eric didn’t boast about having a Telepath on the payroll.

~*~

Jackie had been bussing tables while she waited for either Sookie to come back inside or to hear her screams of pain as she had her life ripped away. She was carrying a tray of glasses back to the bar when she heard the back door close. Practically throwing the tray on the bar, the Were-Witch ran down the corridor straight into Sookie. They both fell on to the floor yelping as they hit the hard surface.

“Jackie, what were ye in such a rush for?”

“Sorry, Sookie, I just wisnae sure what kind o’ state ye’d be in.”

“More o’ a state than I’d like.” Sookie muttered. “It’s … fine in the grand scheme o’ things. I couldn’t hide everythin’ from him, I had to tell him.”

Jackie gasped. “Aw naw! Now it’s just gonnae start a’ ere again!”

“We’ll talk about it later, Jackie, for now let’s just gets this place organised and get home.”

The Were-Witch continued to help with the clean-up of the bar until closing. When only Jackie, Sookie and Lafayette remained, they spoke quietly in the parking lot. Lafayette expressed his concerns over the appearance of the, previously friendly, Vampire.

“Laf, things are … difficult right now, for me. I’m gonnae need more help. I’ve got Arlene as assistant manager and it’ll be great but I can’t guarantee that I won’t need time for … personal things.”

“And you want me to pick up yo’ slack? Hookah, I can’t even begin ta tell yo how ta live yo life, but I like this place and I like you.”

Sookie sighed and rubbed at her face. “Merlotte’s doesn’t bring in a lot o’ dough, it’s been better since I put the juke box in and cleared some space for dancin’ but there’s still no much to spare when it comes to increasin’ wages.”

Lafayette grinned. “We’s got talent shootin’ outta our asses bitch! Merlotte’s has got good food, good people and good times; we just gotta spread the word is all.”

Sookie pondered that for a short time before bidding the gay man farewell and setting off home with Jackie. Despite a run through with a vacuum cleaner and a whole bottle of Febreeze, Sookie’s car was still in a state of un-cleanliness that the Telepath wasn’t comfortable with. As they parked at the back of the house, Sookie gazed at her Gran’s Buick, it was an old lady car but it was newer than her Nova … and smelled better. The Telepath shook her head; she had enough to worry about right at the moment. The two young women went inside and sat drinking coffee at the kitchen table until Jackie knew everything that Sookie knew. Jackie shook her head when the Telepath was finished and took her empty cup to the sink.

“I hope Jason realises just how loyal ye are.”

“He knows, he might not understand it or appreciate it, but he knows.”

“I was wonderin’ if we’d have a chance to do any sightseein’ before I had to go back home. Tomorrow is Friday, I’m kinda used to going out pubbin’ an’ clubbin’ at the weekend.”

Sookie sighed. “I’d love to, but with the bar I don’t get much time off an’ yer too young to get into a club over here.”

Jackie chuckled. “Are ye forgettin’ what I can do? Makin’ somebody see somethin’ that isnae there is easy as fallin’ off a log. No matter what my ID says, a bouncer can be made to think it confirms I’m auld enough to shake mah bum on a dance floor!”

Sookie thought about that for a moment. Blowing off some steam on a dance floor sounded like the ideal counter to her other appetites. She was tense after her conversation, and subsequent arousal, with Eric. The two agreed to plan their evening further the next morning and retired to their rooms. Once again Sookie was left with her own imagination and as she remembered the moan Eric had breathed out as he tasted her flesh, she reached her peak. She went to the bathroom and washed her hands, trying to not to dwell on how unsatisfactory the experience was. After having the company of a skilled man like Sam, she found it harder to be alone the longer he was dead. The realisation was like a knife through her heart and she slept fitfully, plagued by guilt and loneliness.

~*~

Eric flew to Fangtasia after his encounter with Sookie. He had kept track of her emotions all evening, her anxiety and weariness while taking care of the backlog of Sherriff duties he had to take care of. Her anxiety continued as he sprawled in his booth, putting on a show for the tourists and fangbangers in the bar. The Vampire was strangely relieved when her mood shifted from worrying to feeling some hope. He sipped at his Trueblood while the more desperate, willing women paraded for him, hoping he would put down his synthetic blood and partake in what they had to offer. As Eric felt Sookie shift to a more sexual mood, he beckoned a lively brunette and led her back to his office.

He pulled the woman on top of him on the couch and palmed her breasts, they were large and fake but he tried to ignore that as he plucked at her hard nipples through the flimsy fabric of her dress. Eric imagined Sookie’s hands as the woman rubbed his erection through his jeans and he grit his teeth as he felt Sookie get closer and closer to her orgasm.

“Oh baby, do me! Please, I want you to bite me and fuck me. Pleeeeease.”

Eric stopped and looked incredulously at the fangbanger with her fake boobs and high pitched begging. He wondered who Sookie was having fun with and growled as her completion radiated through the blood. The fangbanger was still pawing at him and pulling at his belt, he watched as she sank to her knees in front of him and sucked as much of his length into her mouth as she could. But he was no longer in the mood. Sookie’s dissatisfaction and depression had leaked into Eric and his desire waned.

“What’s wrong baby?”

The Vampire quirked an eyebrow at her as she worked his softening shaft with her hand. “I’m not anyone’s ‘baby’, least of all yours. Maybe if you hadn’t opened your mouth I would have come by now. Take your fake tits and squeaky voice and get out. You’re not really doing it for me, if you know what I mean.”

Eric smiled cruelly as tears welled up in the woman’s eyes. When she didn’t leave his office right away, his fangs ran down and he growled at her. When he jerked forward on the couch she scrambled to her feet and hurried to the door. Seconds after the fangbanger left, Pam entered the room. She scented the air and shot a confused look at Eric.

“Was Helen not to your liking?”

“She had fake tits, a squeaky voice and she begged, begged!”

Pam shrugged. “Since when has that been a major turn-off for you?”

“Is the club ready for locking up? We are the only ones here?” Pam nodded. “Have you noticed anything strange, like hazy or jumbled memories?”

His child cocked her head to the side and regarded her maker curiously. “Now that you mention it, I had trouble working out why you had so much of a backlog with your duties. I put it down to a bad donor. I think I might have drank from someone who had taken some kind of drug.”

“No Pam, it doesn’t have anything to do with a ‘bad donor’. It seems we recently got involved with a part-Fae Telepath who was left a gift of wish magic. Your memories have been altered, as have mine. It’s imperative that this information remains between the two of us and no-one else.”

For the first time since Eric had known her, Pam was speechless.

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