Banner The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 9

The characters of the Southern Vampire Mysteries belong to Miss Charlaine Harris. No infringement on my part is intended. The characters on True Blood belong to Mr. Alan Ball. No infringement on my part is intended.

I have no BETA, editor, or other such charming person. All mistakes are my own. This Story is rated M.

The Curse of the Eclipsing Blood Moon

Chapter 9

Sookie pulled into their drive and sat looking at Eric. “Do you want to come in? I am not sure just exactly what I am supposed to do from this point on. I sorta thought I would not see you again.”

“I still do not know your last name,” Eric replied. “How about if we start with that?”

“Stackhouse,” she said, “Sookie Stackhouse.”

“Stapelhus,” Eric laughed out loud. “My grandmother’s maiden name which in English is Stacked House. Because her ancestors lived in a stacked house.”

“Really?” Sooke said in wonder.

“I kid you not,” Eric chuckled.

“So we really are cousins…” Sookie’s voice trailed off.

“Well, we are something,” Eric replied softly. “I really do not believe we are that close in the gene pool.”

That was a lot to digest. With that bit of information, it made Eric more real and her less…less…oh shit, maybe she really was white trash! “I guess we have been out here a while. Lafayette and O.I. are coming out to check on me.

Do you want to come in?” she asked.

“I have to be invited. Then univited when I leave.”

“Seriously?” she said.

“Absolutely,” he nodded.

“Will you be back?”

“Perhaps,” his eyes rested on her. “That will depend on you.”

“Is there a reason why I would not want to see you again?” In her voice was hope and perhaps a bit of dread.

Shrugging, he let out a sigh and got out of the car.

Coming around to her side, he opened her door and helped her out.  “Perhaps we should just sit out on the porch. I am very serious about you doing some work for me. And Lafayette as well, if he would like to earn some extra money.”

“I can appreciate the work, but seriously, what is going on? I am getting a completely different vibe from you. And your eyes have chained color.”

“You want the truth?” he asked.

“Always,” she replied.

“My long life is full of things I should have said and did not. To you, I shall speak what my heart urges me to say.

I thought I knew what it meant to desire something. To want someone. To feel the burning ember in your gut turn into a roaring flame. To learn that you are greedy. For their touch, their look, the feel and smell of their skin. To listen to their laughter and to hold them before they fall asleep.

Honestly, I want you,” his voice was low. “I carry your laughter in my soul and a fierceness inside of me that wants to taste you, again. And when I wake, to see you smiling at me.

I should not have said that. But there it is,” he said simply.

“You take my breath away,” she said, putting her hand along the side of his face. Looking into his eyes, they were the blue of another time and place. Just not her time or place. “Eric Northman, will you please come in,” she said to him as they started for the house.

Lafayette and O.I. greeted them as they stepped up and onto the porch.

“Glad to sees everthin’ is good and gooder. We was gettin’ a bit concerned,” O.I. said looking from one to the other.

“Eric has a briefin’ to give,” Sookie hugged Lafayette and rubbed O.I.’s nose. “So grab somethin’ to drink.”

“Really, this Sophie-Anne, she can do that?” Sookie sputtered.  “Just kidnap someone and haul them off to New Orleans?”

“She does that,” Eric responded. “But normally not in my area. It must be something she desperately wants and or needs.  She would not be this bold or brazen to take such a risk if she thought the payoff would not be worth it. There was a spy for her there the night of the blood moon. I would be willing to bet it is Cacius, but I have no proof. And if it is, what does he want in exchange for giving her information?”

The group was thoughtful.

“Do…,” Sookie began, “do you think Cacius wants to wheel-and-deal with Abhartach? I mean, that evil bastard could influence my dreams, you think he could do the same thing with that little worm?”

“Now there is a frightening thought,” Eric crossed his eyes and rubbed his face with his hands.

“I guess it is a good thing I am off for the next couple of weeks,” Sookie let out a big sigh. “I’ll dig up my tips out of the yard and we should be okay.”

“What?” Eric looked at her. “I am hiring you to work for me for the next two weeks. Perhaps longer. I was not kidding about that. You are still a telepath, correct?”

“Oh,” she replied. “Well yes, I am. I cannot seem to read vamps. Which is nice.

For a salary, well, I make minimum wage plus maybe ten dollars a night in tips.”

Eric shook his head and wore an expression she did not know how to read.

“I do not pay minimum wage, to anyone. Our staff at the club makes thirty-five an hour plus tips. I will be paying you twice that amount along with providing you a Jeep so you can get to and from work. I do indeed want you to take photos for me of properties. And do a little listening in from time-to-time.

Lafayette, I am willing to pay you the same if you will accompany her. One hundred an hour plus a car, credit card for gas and hotel. There is another three hundred a day per diem.  If you have to spend the night somewhere, I want it to be in a reputable, hotel and have a nice meal.

 O.I. name your price for protecting both. I have no idea what S-A is up too, but it does not sit well with me.  And when things do not sit well with me, I get a might bit perturbed.”

“That’s a lot of money,” Sookie said to him.

“What?  Twenty thousand a week for the next two weeks. Maybe longer. I cannot put a value on our time, Sookie. You can do things that I cannot. Day walk being at the top of that list. Being a Druid when needed. A telepath when needed. Do you want more money?”

“No,” she violently shook her head. “Twenty thousand for one week. That is more than I make in a year.”

“His La La Fineness says we needs us a schedule. Of the do’s, don’t and whatnot’s. Also, who can be trusted and nots would be of big values. Also along with where and who to avoid.

I knows you would not send us knowingly into danger, but shit happens.”

“Indeed it does,” Eric nodded. “How about if we start with the henge in N.O. I want to know if you can get some type of reading off that? The lightning storm blew the hell out of it. The altar stone was broken in four equal parts. I moved them, just to be on the safe side.”

“Safe from what?” Sookie asked.

“Any evil intent on anyone’s part. Or even their good intent. That was your sacrifice on that altar,” he stressed. “It is not for anyone else to attempt to reproduce your actions or to fathom the outcome or try to justify how more righteous they are to star in their own version of a graphic novel.

You did this Sookie, you. And you are not to share this praise with anyone else. So the altar stone is elsewhere.”

“Well okay,” she nodded. “So what comes next?”

“We get you on payroll. I need to speak with Samuel. Then you go to work.”

Eric took out his phone and Sookie was thinking through the next couple of weeks. “Is the henge closed? And if it is, how do we get past the farmer who owns the cornfield?”

“The henge is still open and I own the cornfield,” he replied.

“Oh-h-h-h-h…” she nodded in understanding.

“Samuel,” Eric smiled. “My brother…”

When Eric hung up he smiled at the trio of do gooders. “My own Scooby Gang! Take the day off. The Jeep and phones will be delivered. Along with a few other things that might be helpful. Become familiar. Go shopping for clothes for all types of weather. Spring storms and winter blizzards. I do not know where this will take us, but be prepared. I will see you with the new dark!”

Pride was a terrible and powerful thing. Since creation, he, Abhartach, had ruled. The stars, the stairs…

…and now…now he was lost in the ether…he had stayed too long gloating to the humans and before he reached the top step, the stairs gave way as did his night sky and their cold moon now ruled him!

And now he was stuck, neither here or there. He could just endlessly tread up and down where the stairs had been. His feet remembering the path he had taken in triumph down to this cursed place.

This planet was not new to him. He had traveled here and watched the humans with interest until one day he had taken a body and forced it to his will.

With the duality, there were certain forces that worked against him. Having a tether to this world was what made it possible for him to travel back-and-forth.

Now that tether was gone! He had been defeated! The curse no longer held and now he was doomed to once more travel as spirit…high above the mists of time and the meaning of death…

…death…he shivered as he thought about his own demise. This was the precursor to his end. His resources limited, because what was left of his divine nature would continue to diminish.

Humans did not seek the ways of the righteous beings that had held them sway in the past. This new time of unrighteousness was foreign and distasteful. Humans’ arrogance knew no bounds! He had been defiled with something of a holy matter that was now lodged in his body!

And he was locked here…him!

“Past glories,” he mused. “There is none to remind me of my past glories. Or how to summon the stairs or the stars!”

This was now his eternity. In the cold dark of space, he saw the faint outline of the steps that now denied him his escape. The portal at the top was closed. Below lay the henge that mocked him. It looked like a great, gaping, maw with broken, decayed teeth, wanting to devour him!

What would it accomplish if he stood in the henge? What would it accomplish if he did not?

Carefully, he descended to the circle. The destruction here had been complete! Shards of rock and splinters of melted metal protruded out of what was left of the standing stones. The floor looked cold and glassy!

Once he touched the ground, he could feel it! The pain where the object had pushed into him pulsated! It was alive with energy!

So were the grounds! Walking towards the boundary rocks, he could feel the charge begin to build. The static coursed through him and the closer he came to the edge, the more the current pushed him apart! The metal in him causing him to howl and rip at his skin!

Taking a step back, he felt parts of him flow back into their proper places.  The pain was becoming an ache. When he was back in the center, he no longer felt disjointed, but whole.

So this was his destiny! To wander this foreign night sky or to stand in this one spot on earth…! Where all he could do was stand!

As a dare to himself, he threw his will at the outer wall! It rebounded back to him on the same course it had taken and when it hit him, he sizzled and smoked while he screamed and cursed!

The sun had been up or an hour. Cacius was indeed alone and cursed! This was misery he thought to never endure! The day would pass and he was not the king of anything except his own misery. There was no concept of time, food, or drink. There was just the want! Cacius sat staring at the cold firepit he had started right at dawn in what was left of the circle.  Feeling old and abandoned, his soul was empty, with nothing to speak of his heritage or rightful place in the universe!

He sobbed out his grief. What would his grandmother say to him? She had taught him what he needed to know to magic his way through life and others’ pockets. How to smartly move through a crowd and influence the weak willed.

Staring at the wood stack, he willed it to light! It must light! He had to be worthy!

“Please dark lord, please dark lord, please dark lord,” he began chanting. “Grant me this boon. Give me my desires. They are few and you are the holder of many.”

Abhartach heard the crying echoing up the void.  Perhaps all was not lost after all. Below was a supplicant! Someone who believed!

It had been an early morning and busy. The Jeep arrived and with it credit cards and phones. Sookie and Lafayette and even O.I. now had banking accounts.

“Likes bein’ bonna’ fide,” O.I. said more than once as he admired the plastic card. “Hm-m-m-m, needs me a pouch to carry it in,” he began feeling around on his body. “Oh, there it is,” he smiled as his paw slipped into an opening on the left side of his body and left the card, there.

“Time to walk the talk,” Lafayette said, eyeing the new auto. “Gots us some righteous four-wheels drive and,” he opened the doors, “appears to be everythin’ else. My little man’s, we shall go in style when we is not in need of ridin’ on you’s back.”

“Is it time for lunch times nurishments, yet?” O.I. asked. “I gots a hankerin’ for that cheesecake my big man’s made.”

“Can do,” Sookie nodded. “Let’s call it breakfast cheesecake!”

“And maybe something a bit more user friendly to my old heart, like tequila to go with it,” Gran said with a smiled. “After all, Lafayette did make it with lime.”

“Ole!” they all shouted and then went back to their newest toy.

“I think I have the phone figured out. Eric left us voice mail,” Sookie said as she played with her phone. Hitting play, they heard his voice. “This is Northman. Can you meet me in N.O. at the hotel? Same room, just use your bio-metrics to get in. If possible, I would like eyes on the henge beginning at sun rise. Doing readings throughout the day. Out here.”

“Time to go to work. Let’s take the cheese cake,” Gran smiled.  “We can buy coffee and have a picnic along the way.”

“Oh, I am likin’ that,” Lafayette nodded in agreement. “Some nice enough places in Shreveport.”

“Have their dessert and maybe ours as well,” Sookie wiggled her eyebrows.

“Well lets pack a small bag of creature comforts and go,” Gran smiled. “A trip to New Orleans. I cannot wait to see the penthouse!”

 “Nice day to be driving,” Gran smiled as she admired all the gadgets on the dash. “Lafayette, what does that do?” she asked.

“Heats the steerin’ wheel,” he grinned. “Now, Gran, you find us a station to listen, too. Just check that card. We has gots 200 channels of music to right the soul. Finds us somethin’ we can move on down the big road, too.”

The Stackhouse Family in New Orleans

Arriving on the outskirts of N.O., they all voted to go to the henge, first. The hotel would wait.

When Lafayette drove into the cornfield he pulled over for a moment. “Looks different,” he said. “Not that I could see that night. But…Miss Sooks, what thinks you?”

“Does look different. And smells different. O.I. you got any sorta vibe on this?”

“Air smells heavily of ozone and some type of rottin’ fruit. And burned corn of the pop.”

They pulled in and parked and walked the fenced alley way to the henge.

“Maximum damage to the rocks,” Sookie said with a low whistle.

“Lightnin’ at its finest,” Lafayette responded. “Hotter than the sun, it is. Done and melted the metal that was in these rocks.”

“Wow,” Sookie said running her finger lightly against a shiny bit. “It looks like wet, dark algae,” she stated, letting out a low whistle.

“Huh,” they both heard O.I. and looked in his direction. “Woulds you just looks at this. Between the two standing rocks where the top of the altar was…here on the ground, there are footprints.

Look,” O.I. said pointing to the ground. “Someone stoods here in the center, coulds maybe hold onto either side of the standin’ stone and endure…cause woulds you just look at the prints left in theses stones. Human on one side and…wolf paw on the other!  Mo’ fo’n…there is a human bare foot and there is a wolf’s paw print right there next to it on the ground.”

“Wonders if we should call Mr. Heveraux….?” Lafayette   arched an eyebrow as he bent down to examine the ground.

“Who?” Sookie queried. “Oh, you mean the packmaster? Was he here?”

“Yes he was. And Cacius had a Were in the trunk of his car to sacrifice on this here altar. Alcide made it possible to track him and haul his ass in before, I am guessin’ Were justice. I am wonderin’ now if Part A  has been served.”

The time at the henge was well spent. There were photos and measurements taken, much like a CSI unit working the field.

Finished with their fact finding, it was late afternoon and time to go to the hotel.

The drive into town was pleasant and they checked out various places they thought would be fun to eat.

Arriving at the hotel, they handed the valet the keys to their car, their luggage was taken and they were shown inside and deposited with a bow at the entrance to the penthouse.

“Lovely,” Gran nodded as she peeked in every room.

“The view is not to shabby either,” Sookie added as she opened the doors to the balcony. “This garden is a whole other suite out here above the sky line. Gran, would you just look at these old-fashioned roses. They smell heavenly.”

“Glory,” Gran smiled as she stepped out. “They have the blooming and the repeat blooming varieties.  Bushes and climbing. All colors. What a delight!

Can we have our dinner out here?”

“Of course we can,” Lafayette said. “But lets order tea, first.”

“Oh-h-h-h,” Sookie grinned. “A tea party! And me without my hat!”

“I’ll be tea-mum,” O.I. said as he picked up the house phone. “Now, we wants some of everythin’, right! And better heart stuff for Gran.”

“Pbbbllllttttt!” Gran rolled her eyes. “I want a lemon-blueberry scone. And an orange one! Hot! With butter! As much as Eric is paying for this room, I figure we have our own chef so bring on those cute little crust less sandwiches! And a lovely fresh fruit platter. That can be my heart healthy.”

When Eric rose, there were messages on his phone. The ones from Sookie made him smile. Along with the photos she had sent, along. Those of them having tea on the roof was priceless. O.I. was such a ham!  Fluttering upside down and pouring was pretty cute.

The message from Sophie-Anne put him into a furious rage! She wanted to see him upon rising! See him she would!

Eric sent out a text message to his best buddies. “Required at S-A’s residence. Start the briefing without me. Will be there ASAP.”

The Stackhouse family was standing out on the balcony when the vampires landed, there. Samuel and Pam both sporting a bit of fang.

“Eric is required at the residence?” Sookie said, worry in her voice. “Is he going to be alright?”

“Things are back to business as usual,” Pam replied. “S-A is going to want an out-brief. This could take a while.”

“Yes,” Samuel nodded at her as they went inside. “She will want to know as much as possible.

Let us use what time we have wisely. Would you please show us the photos that you took at the henge?”

Pamela and Samuel intently studied the images. “Have you talked to the Were?” he asked.

“No,” Sookie shook her head. “We looked up his business. So far, all we have been able to do is leave a message.”

 “I spoke with him at the henge,” Lafayette said. “that night. He was sure enough gonna do somethin’ not very nice to Cacius.”

“I have his number,” Pam replied pulling it up. “Sending him another message.”

At that time, Lafayette’s phone began to ring. “We are a go for launch,” Lafayette said as he picked up his phone.

“Mr. Herveaux, this is His La La Fineness,” he began. “Thanks you for returnin’ my call. I ams the Medium that you meet at the henge. I hope all is fine with you and yours and kept out of the blood moon. Cause not all things are sitting pretty with me and mine and  am’s hopin’ you have some answers. We went to the henge today and took photos of the odd and odder type. You know anythin’ about someone with human on one side and wolf on the other?”

New Orleans, Sophie-Anne’s Throne Room

“Bill,” the queen snorted, “We want to know how Eric took care of this mess. Before my Sheriff arrives, we want to at least know as much as Eric, does.

The King of Mississippi would like to know as well,” she glared at Bill one more time and then turned her smiling face upon Russell.

Then her glare was back upon Bill. “It is sadly disappointing that you have not one clue as to any of this and that our Sheriff of Area Five is going to put in an appearance to explain it all to us. Any doubts I have about his story will be just that…doubts that anyone could us against us.”

Bill was down on his knees. “My Queen, I was the acting head of your realm, ready to defeat any and all foes.  I thought it wise to be safe and protect your rule and your queenship   and let Northman handle this. I had the guards at the ready in case he could not hold the front line. We were here, if someone tried to storm your residence. I am your most loyal and humble servant.”

Russell was admiring the stained glass in the windows and rolled his eyes.

For this time and place, he did not give a rat’s ass about the liar that Sophie-Anne kept as her main ass kisser. He wanted the female Druid and was willing to sign over his half of the gold mine if S-A could produce her.

The doors opened. “Your majesty,” the guard bowed. “The Sheriff of Area Five is here.”

“Please show him in,” she replied and everyone turned their eyes  to the monitor that just came on.

Eric was standing at the entrance doors.

“The Queen will see you,” he was told. “Take out your phone and any other electronic device you have. We are not required to do a strip search, but we will pat you down.”

Eric took off his watch and as he handed over his phone, he placed his finger over the camera lenses and clicked the side button three times, pause, then three times vampire speed. The SOS message just went out and would be vibrating on several phones as a friendly heads up to his friends that things were not to his best interest, and included was his last GPS location.

Around the world, and in New Orleans, the message was received.

With a smile, he endured the Weres’ hands going over his body and perhaps lingering too long on his crotch.

“Thanks,” he grinned at both of them. “And I thought this evening would not end with me sporting a hard on.”

There was a low growl as another set of guards stepped up and walked him to the throne room.

There were guards, everywhere in the halls. All of them at the ready. This was not unusual, as Sophie-Anne protected what was hers. But Eric has never had them trained on him, before.

At the doors to the throne room he was frisked one more time.

The doors opened and he was announced.

Eric did not have a problem reading the room. Sophie-Anne was wearing the look of a predator, moving in for the kill; Bill was gloating and Russell wore the bored expression of show me the money, then we will talk.Good to know who wanted what.

His guess was that they all wanted Sookie. Cacius, wherever the fuck he was, figured mightly into this. Alcide had cursed him so that he now wore a bit of Were on his right side. If he could leave prints in rocks as a human and Were, then he was something more. Abhartach came to mind. He had stayed until the stars began to vanish. As a rule, he was the first one to haul his ass up those stairs when the moon started to go to cold.

So, this was a trap…well fuck…but then again, when was it not. When Sookie was pulled into this, she would be able to take care of herself! And O.I., well fuck, he would scare the life right out of you!

Russell had seen Northman at a distance once or twice. There was a snowy night in Paris when a pack of Weres had thought to take The Viking, on. Russell had bet his money on the Weres that were hyped out on vamp blood. It had taken him a year to re-coup his losses on that smallish wager.

The sheriff was announced and Northman came in. Bowed and then stood at ease.

“He really is all fucking that,” he digested that and mentally regrouped. He was here to observe and that was all. Did he and Talbot  want a henge…yes. Did they it want blessed by the real deal? Yes. After she was finished setting the stones, would they have to sacrifice the Druid on top of the altar? Well, maybe. Talbot had been doing research about that and still had no definitive idea.

Bowing, Eric stood and addressed her. “What may I do for you my queen?”

“Sheriff,” HRM raised her hand for him to kiss, “we wish to thank you for protecting our realm from the horribleness that wanted to come through the henge. How is it that you stopped it?”

“I did not do this by myself, your majesty,” he replied. “I had the help of my friends. We went to war and victory was ours.”

“Yes,” she smiled, “victory. My Sheriff, please tell me who they were for we would like to reward them.”

Nothing but the truth, just not all of the truth. If she wanted to know, she had to show her hand.  “Of course my queen. It was Vlad Drac, William the Conquer, Attila the Hun; Ian, King of British Isle and Cedric, King of Erie.”

“Traitor!” Bill yelled. “You brought into our queen’s realm those that would attempt to depose her?”

Eric leveled his gaze on Bill. “When you called me, asking for help, I told you I would bring my friends. You, who were acting queen, as in I was told to address you as Queen Bill at the time, said that was perfectly fine. I brought them here with your blessing, Bill. And if they wanted this kingdom, HRM would not be sitting here now.

And we were not the only ones to be in this fight. If you had taken me up on my offer to attend, you would know that.  There was all manner of magics there that evening as well. Witches, Druids, Weres, one or two trolls, some wee folk   with their own brand of magic that they bring into the mix. And I think I saw a giant. There is no light in the henge, so I cannot swear to that.

I wish I could take credit for this, but in fact, I believe it was all of us working together to accomplish this feat! When we arrived, there were several hundred different magics there laying the ground work with their chants, blessings, and prayers. Their ballads written upon a staff, placed in the ground at strategic places. Or so they said,” he shrugged. “All of our combined magics, that brought the victory.”

“And one in particular,” Bill snorted. “That you have left out.”

“Fucking perfect,” Sophie-Anne grinned to herself. When she had briefed Bill, she had told him about the cousin, the druid.Bill did love to play I know more than you do. Sadly, he was just not very good at it.

But this female, this cousin, she was the one with the real power and not Eric.

Bill did not disappoint. He just kept right on with the I too have spies.

Go Bill. Go! Keep blabbing away! She was blameless for pulling Eric’s cousin into this. Bill would be the one to face the true death, in Eric’s eyes, for mentioning her!

“I believe you called her cousin,” Bill smirked.

“Actually, I call her Late Druid,” Eric remarked. “And when I really want to piss her off, Cousin.”

“Why Eric,” Sophie-Anne smiled, “please tell us her name so that we might thank her as well.”

“Her name is Late Druid, or I am allowed to address her as Cousin. I am under a geas, my queen. I piss her off and she removes words from my vocabulary that I am no longer allowed to say.”

“She is that powerful?” Sophie-Anne asked and you could hear the awe in her voice before she dropped it back to neutral.

Eric shrugged. “Yes. But this is a family thing,” Eric responded, “because we share a common ancestor.  My grandmother’s sister, who lived on British Isle at the time and was a Druid.  I meet her as a young man and pissed her off and she gave my female relatives this power over me. From this lineage comes my cousin and she is able to deny me certain things.”

“So, she cannot do this to everyone?” S-A said with relief in her voice.

Eric shrugged, again. “Probably. Maybe, perhaps. This I do not know. But she has a strict code that she lives by and I am part of that code when I piss her off. I know how to do humble.”

“You Sheriff, humble?’ she laughed. “I would very much like to meet her,” Sophie-Anne smiled. “When can you arrange this?”

“Hard to say,” he replied. “The only way I have of contacting her is to leave five purple Mardi Gras strings of beads on Edgar Allen Poe’s memorial marker in Baltimore before five in the morning.”

“You think she walks there so early?” Sophie-Anne asked in awe.

“I think she does whatever the fuck she wants,” he answered.

“She burned a star map into the ceiling at the club to make her point to everyone there. I am just happy she did not burn it into my forehead. Or on my ass.”

“She would do that?” Bill asked in awe.

“Do not piss her off,” Eric replied. “Or you will find out.”

“Well Sheriff,” S-A’s smile got bigger. “We very much now desire to meet her. Anyone that can bring you to heel is someone worth knowing.

You shall reside with us until she is announced in our throne room. Now,” she motioned one of the guards, forward. “Give all the particulars to Hendrick and when she calls your cell phone, we shall chat and have a grand party for her when she arrives.”

With a flutter of her hand, Eric was excused.

“The God of my fathers,” Samuel said watching the room with the smallest spy device that had been created in his lab. “How do we do this Brother Samuel?” Pam asked.

“Let them plant the beads in Baltimore. Give it a day then Sookie,” he looked at her,  “call Eric’s cell. We will bounce the signal all over the world. They will negotiate a time for you  to come into town and do the meet and greet. That will buy us another day or two.

Let me set this in motion.”

“So they really do have Eric, now?” Sookie asked, looking anxious.

“Yes,” Pam nodded. “But he has been invited-to-stay,” Pamela said with death in her eyes, “once or twice, before. When this happens, there is always something that comes up that he is needed for. Maybe a war will start on one of her boarders or perhaps there will be someone from the Old Empire that wants to see Eric and she is to send him forth or suffer the consequences.”

“Are there real consequences?” she asked.

“Yes,” O.I. chuckled. “And they are mighty and severe.”