Can you forgive me again? I don’t know what I said but I didn’t mean to hurt you
I heard the words come out; I felt that I would die it hurt so much to hurt you
Then you look at me, you’re not shouting anymore, you’re silently broken, I’d give anything now to kill those words for you
Each time I say something I regret I cry “I don’t want to lose you” but somehow I know that you will never leave me, yeah.
‘Cause you were made for me, somehow I’ll make you see how happy you make me, I can’t live this life without you by my side
I need you to survive so stay with me, you look in my eyes and I’m screaming inside that I’m sorry.
And you forgive me again; you’re my one true friend, and I never meant to hurt you
~ Forgive Me, Evanescence
My flight had been a rather boring one; thankfully due to the late hour, there were no teacup humans on the plane. Once again, I was pleased that I had never had any of them in my human years. Having gathered my bags from the carousel in the arrivals hall, I had made my way towards the crowd, unsure as to who was collecting me.
What I hadn’t been expecting was for two rather large and rather attractive male vampires to be holding a sign with my first name on it. One looked rather like my Maker: He was tall, muscular and blonde with dark green eyes. The other was slightly shorter but with a fair build to him, his hair was the colour of chocolate and his hazel eyes stood out against his alabaster skin.
“Miss Pamela?” The shorter of the two addressed me as I approached them. I nodded, and the taller of the two took my suitcases from me so that I wouldn’t have to carry them. At least they had manners. Although men were not my usual preference, there was nothing better than a true gentleman.
“My name is Riei, this is my brother Agmund, and should you need anything during your stay with our Mistress, then please feel free to ask us,” the one named Riei told me. Obviously, my Maker and Grandsire had found themselves staying with another vampire and her nest. Perhaps she’d keep me entertained for a few nights…
Giving a gracious smile, I thanked both males before following them to a rather lovely looking black limo, a private plate adorning the front. The vampire and her nest were well situated financially. The blonde vampire opened the back door for me and I elegantly slid in. My belongings were stowed in the trunk of the car and the two vampires who had been sent to collect me slid into the front seats. “Could one of you dear boys tell me where we’re heading?” I asked, batting my eyelashes at their reflections in the rear-view mirror. Perhaps if I sweetened up the nest my Maker would be more welcoming of me and forgive me quickly.
“Caesars Palace, Miss Pamela,” Agmund informed me as we pulled out of the airport and onto the street. I’d been to Caesars Palace once when Eric had set me free and allowed me to travel by myself: I’d wanted to see the bright lights of Vegas and Caesars Palace had been the only place at the time that had accommodated vampires. Now I could understand why.
“And your Mistress owns Caesars Palace, yes?” I fished for more information. I could tell the two males in the front of the car were older than me. Agmund was probably around the same age as my own Maker, a Viking in his time too no doubt, and the other, Riei, was even older. If this woman was the Maker of these boys I could only guess at her age. She was probably as old as my Grandsire. Riei confirmed my suspicions; their Mistress owned the hotel and casino.
I’d been expecting to see the magnificent marble drop-off of Caesar’s Palace, the beautiful statue and fountain in the middle of the courtyard; instead, I was greeted with the sight of nothing short of chaos. “What the hell?” Agmund hissed in a language I was unfamiliar with, pulling the car rather violently into a parking spot.
“Shit!” Riei cursed in the same language, leaping out of the car. I had no idea what was going on but I exited the car with the speed my immortality had given me and stopped in my tracks as I took in the scene before me. The drop-off zone was blown to pieces, bits of marble scattered across the parking lot, crushing cars and people.
Amid the chaos, I could easily spot my Maker and Grandsire, the telepath and another woman. Both my Maker and Grandsire were ripping into bags of donor blood; the two breathers were shaking and holding one another to keep themselves steady. Rolling my eyes, I sighed at the scene.
“I leave you alone for two days and all hell breaks loose. You’re having all the fun without me, that’s so not fair,” I drawled once I was close enough for them to hear me.
“You think of this as fun?” The woman standing with the telepath asked angrily, although her voice was as icy as I’ve ever heard. Really, who did she think she was? She was a blood bag while I was a vampire, she didn’t stand a chance. Quirking an eyebrow, I looked down my nose at the blonde woman before me, there was no denying she was pretty and that she looked like the gash my Maker was so enthralled with but other than that she was nothing to me.
“Death and destruction? Why yes I do believe that’s fun,” I responded in my usual drawl, with a small smirk curling my lips upward.
Before I could even comprehend what was happening, I was pinned to the ground, the woman’s face looming over mine, her features set into hard lines. Her hand was around my throat and it was pulsing with both gold and white light. My throat felt like it was on fire but her firm hold on me stopped me from being able to scream out in pain. Thrashing around beneath her she was easily able to overpower me and keep me still.
“Eric,” I hear my Grandsire command my Maker. “Let them sort this out between them,” he finished: I tried to growl out my frustration. Godric was my Grandsire; he should be helping me by getting this woman off me!
The woman moved her face closer to mine and I inhaled sharply, the scent of fae and of my Grandsire flooded my nostrils and I found myself confused with the situation. The pain in my throat was still there. “My home and livelihood was just blown up by a fucking Werewolf for God knows what reason and you find it funny? I’m spoiling for a fight right now and if you don’t keep those pretty little lips of yours firmly shut I shall do far worse than pin you to the ground. You picking up what I’m putting down?” The woman spat in my face.
The vampires in the car had said their Mistress owned Caesars Palace, they were serving a fucking faery? How demeaning! Her threat, however, felt rather serious and my eyes widened as I took in her ethereal features. I look down to the hand holding me in place, before looking back up at the woman the vampires who had collected me served. I was fuming at being spoken to in such a manner, confused as to how this woman’s strength was so great and slightly embarrassed that she had taken me down so easily. I was losing my touch, and that thought angered me further.
Wanting the blonde off me I locked eyes with hers, trying to draw her into my mind to glamour her to get the fuck off me. “Pam, no,” I heard Eric mutter under his breath. The woman’s hand tightened around my throat and I gasped as the pain increased further.
“That shit doesn’t work on me sunshine, so I’d stop right there,” she spat, finally letting go of me and taking a step back. Sunshine? What the fuck? Did I look like a child in need of a nickname? The moment I was free Eric was by my side, helping me up off the ground. At least some of his anger and annoyance towards me had subsided.
“Another fucking faery?” Eric growled. How on earth had they managed to find another faery, and why the hell were they staying with her? I took a moment to look at the other woman and it looked like she was actually wearing a brand I would be proud to wear. So she had taste, but that didn’t mean I had to like her. “What is it with you guys; do they have magical vaginas or some shit? She absolutely reeks of you, Grandsire.” I looked between both Godric and my Maker, quirking a perfectly shaped eyebrow.
Eric’s growl got louder and he looked like he was about to strike me but my Grandsire saved me from that fate, “She’s my twice bonded, Pamela, and please show some respect towards both of our mates.” Godric chastised me, gesturing to both Sookie and the other woman.
Were my ears deceiving me or did my Grandsire just tell me he was twice bonded to the bitch that’d just tackled me to the ground? “Both of you are twice bonded to fucking faeries? Ha, that’s just priceless!” I shook my head. Eric growled at me again. What the hell? “I was attacked, by the way, a couple of Weres broke into my home looking for me, I led them out to Monroe before turning back towards Shreveport to get my flight here. I’m guessing the wolves already know where we are, though,” I informed them nonchalantly.
Eric showed concern and my emotions gave away my surprise, unfortunately, I was unable to seal off our bond so he no doubt felt my emotions at that moment. “They didn’t harm you, did they?”
“Of course not, I outran them.” I flashed my Maker a smug smile; even though he and my Grandsire could fly, I was just as quick as them when on the ground. I felt Eric’s pride in our bond and relished in the feeling for a moment.
“How did they find your resting place, Pamela?” Godric spoke in a disapproving tone.
“I have no idea, I assume they bugged my car or something. I had to leave it behind and now I’m going to have to destroy it.” I pouted, frustrated at having to ruin my minivan. After my ever-growing shoe collection, it was second most prized possession.
The two males before me turned to observe the two faeries, I couldn’t stop myself from eavesdropping. If there was one thing on my mind right now, it was about how best to approach making amends with Sookie in order to please my Maker, and about being on the other fae’s good side.
“Thank you, Miss Stackhouse, for helping to free me from the rubble. If you ever need anything please feel free to ask me, I am in your debt,” one vampire I was yet to be introduced to dropped his head a little in a show of both submission and respect. I could feel Eric’s jealousy. I wasn’t used to my Maker feeling jealous; perhaps he truly did care for the breather. I shrugged my shoulders, dismissing the idea for the time being.
The vampire turned to the other fae, “How are you, amisi?” He asked her gently, rubbing her knee affectionately.
“You do realise another vampire is feeling up your faery, right?” I broke the silence around us, giving my Grandsire a warning stare. If this woman was his twice bonded, then why on earth was he allowing some other vampire to have his cold hands all over her?
Eric snapped. He spoke so quietly, and quickly, that only the three of us could hear him, “Watch. Your. Tongue. Pamela. What have I taught you about discretion?” It suddenly dawned on me that we were in public, and vampires were the only ones the humans knew anything about. Oops. My bad. Won’t happen again, blah, blah, blah.
Before I could offer an insincere apology, Godric answered me, “I know, Pamela, but he has taken care of her for the past 2000 years while I have not, he is entitled to care for her. Just because she is claimed as mine doesn’t mean I am going to force her away from those who love her,” he explained to me in a monotone voice.
I was stunned into silence; the faery was as old as my Grandsire? Clearly, I was missing out on the whole picture and I couldn’t help but feel angered about once again being left out.
“If you overlook the fact the front of our home and our casino have been blown up, then I’m perfectly peachy,” I heard the little fae respond, her words were sarcastic but the sarcasm was missing from her tone.
“You two go on back up to the penthouse and try and get some sleep, the main structure of the building is fine thankfully. I’ll sort out the clean-up crews down here and get in contact with the insurance company to start getting the place fixed up,” the vampire instructed, rising up to his full height before dropping a kiss on the top of my Grandsire’s twice bonded’s head before giving Sookie a respectful bow. I watched as the two girls rose to their feet, still ensconced in the blanket someone had provided for them. Shame, I sighed to myself. Perhaps pneumonia would make them disappear and I’d have both Eric and Godric to myself, they’d give me all their attention then.
“Our women are tired, my Childe. Shall we get them settled for the evening?” Godric spoke to Eric with an affectionate smile.
Eric turned to look at me, his eyes finding mine, and I couldn’t help but feel a little like I was under scrutiny. “Do you have your belongings? We can take them up to your room for you,” he offered.
My Maker was going to carry luggage up to whatever room I was in? Was he mad? He’s a Viking vampire God, not a servant! Examining my perfectly manicured nails, I sighed. “Don’t they have a porter for that kind of thing?”
“Pamela,” he addressed me sharply, I could feel his irritation rising. “Not only have you not answered my question about your lack of discretion, and you will answer me, quite soon in fact, but the front of the building was just blown up, and the casino as well. I do not think a porter is the most important thing at the present moment. Now, where are your belongings?”
“In the limo that picked me up,” I responded quietly, feeling a little guilty that I was giving him such attitude when he was clearly stressed.
“I have a few things in the limo that Sookie and I bought earlier this evening, if I go and grab those could you please get Pam’s things?” Eric asked Godric, who nodded his consent and disappeared off to gather my two trunks from the car. We all reconvened in front of the hotel and started to make our way down the narrow path that had been cleared through the rubble.
Silently the three of us entered the lobby, the two faery women were standing together, looking over the rubble. “I vow to drive a stake through the heart of whoever was behind this,” my Grandsire’s bonded spoke.
Sookie pulled her into a sideways hug, holding her close. “I vow to be the one to sharpen the stake for you, cousin,” she added, earning herself a small laugh from the other fae. Already they had bonded, great, now it would be harder to get into their good books.
Glancing around I took in the damage; whatever had happened it would take some time and resources to put everything right. Letting a low whistle slip between my lips caused both girls to turn in our direction. “I’ve seen a few explosions in my time, caused a few myself, but this takes the cake. Sweet lord someone must want something from you, little faery.” I turned to the older of the two fae, forcing a small smile. The fae’s face remained expressionless as she turned back to face her destroyed lobby, letting out a long sigh before moving towards the stairs.
“Elevators are out of service, fucking health and safety,” she muttered by way of explanation as she started to ascend the staircase with Sookie by her side. Following up behind her, we all trudged upwards; arms were laden with bags and luggage.
Upon entering the penthouse, I took a moment to look around before three vampires immediately bombarded us, one of which I had never met before. “Ata, my dear, are you okay?” Riei inquired, I remembered him from my journey to the hotel. Ah, so the breather’s name was Ata. Not very old world sounding, but it wasn’t bad either. Perhaps I’d be able to do something with it. I’d bought Sookie one of those awful sundresses she loved so much; perhaps this faery would like a little gold necklace with her name on it. Yes, I could see her being a fan of trinkets and treasure. All fae were, apparently.
“I’m fine, Riei, honestly,” Ata reassured him, giving his arm an affectionate rub.
“I’ve left the windows open in your room, the hot air from the explosion downstairs travelled up here and it was unbearably warm,” he explained.
“I’ve doubled security for the foreseeable future, Ata. I won’t rest until we can find whoever did this,” the tallest of the three spoke up, he was one of the ones who had collected me too, Agmund if my memory served me right, which it always does.
“Thank you, Agmund,” I heard Ata sigh as she leant into Sookie for some support. I suddenly had a wonderful vision of the two women toppling over and falling flat on the floor, oh that would make my night!
Riei observed both my Maker and Grandsire before his attention moved to me; he finally took in my attire. “You dress very well. Come; let me show you to your room,” he complimented me before heading off down the hallway. I couldn’t help but feel proud. I’d always loved fashion, even in my human years, and if this vampire knew his designers, well, he’d definitely be someone I’d want to associate with.
Godric and I followed him: After dumping my bags in the room I made my way back to the living room. The room they’d placed me in was actually rather beautiful, but I would fully explore it later. It seemed that in two days I’d missed out on a lot.
A somewhat lanky vampire was crouched in front of both the fae women and he cracked a joke, causing Sookie to smile and laugh. While I usually found cheerful breather’s a nightmare, I had to admit that the better the mood Sookie was in, the better mood my Maker would be in.
“Are you hurt, my dear?” he asked Ata.
Stifling a yawn, Ata responded, “Just a little battered and bruised, and a little tired too. I should feel better by tomorrow afternoon, though.”
“Are you sure you don’t need any of my blood?” The vampire offered, and I couldn’t hide my smirk at his mistake.
Godric, who had sat quietly and allowed other men to tend to his bonded for most of the night, was up off the sofa and standing defensively in front of Ata, looking down at the other vampire. “The only blood my bonded will be taking, should she require it, is mine!” He snarled, baring his fangs at the other male in a show of dominance and possessiveness.
The other male was up on his feet, holding his hands up in a surrendering posture, a calm expression on his features. “I meant no disrespect. For the last 2000 years I have been Ata’s personal physician, so it’s second nature for me to offer blood to help her heal,” the vampire explained, dropping his hands to his sides.
The eldest fae female batted Godric’s side, pushing him out of the way: I couldn’t help but smile at her actions. There were few people who could get away with such a move towards my Grandsire. “Thank you for the offer, Oeri, but I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. While I’m grateful that for the past 2000 years you have shared your blood with me when I’ve been hurt, I’m afraid I can only take my bonded’s now. He just didn’t give me a chance to explain before he barged his way into our conversation!” She graciously declined and gave Godric a scathing glare, defusing the situation.
“If I cannot aid you with my blood then let me aid you with advice. You need to rest, and it would be best if you were to sleep beside your cousin this evening. The fae has the ability to heal one another emotionally when they are close together, by sleeping beside one another your bodies and minds will be eased, allowing you both a pleasant night’s sleep,” he informed Sookie and Ata, both of whom looked surprised by the information. Exchanging a glance, they both nodded. “May I also suggest that your respective mates stay beside you until you fall asleep? An influx of calm will help ease you both into your slumber,” he added as an afterthought, glancing from Eric to Godric and back again.
Giving a nod, Eric rose from his seat as both women rose from theirs. Glancing towards me, Eric gave me a small nod. It wasn’t much but I knew I would hear the rest of the story later, and I’d finally be able to inform him of my feelings and my choices. I wasn’t much for emotions and feelings; especially considering the fact that Eric liked me cold and heartless, but I felt it was time to tell him how I was feeling.
As Eric left, I slid across the sofa to Riei, curious as to the male’s view on fashion. “Your shoes, Alexander McQueen?” I inquired casually, keeping the smile off my face. Unfortunately, the moment the male vampire smiled I found myself unable to hold back.
“Of course,” he glanced down to my own shoes, still smiling. “Jimmy Choo, I believe” he responded knowledgeably.
“Ah we’re going to get on great,” I purred, already knowing that this vampire would be my shopping partner while I was staying in Vegas.
“As long as you don’t challenge my Mistress again, I’m sure we will,” he replied coolly, catching my gaze to give me a meaningful glance before his head snapped towards the door.
In walked three other vampires, one of whom had been the one speaking to both fae women when they had been sitting outside the ambulance. Riei took it upon himself to introduce us all.
“Miss Pamela, this is Ari.” He gestured to the male who had been dealing with the two women earlier; he was easily 6’5” with broad shoulders and sharp collarbones. His hair was jet black, his nose slightly crooked and his eyes were a dark chocolate brown.
“This is Khai,” he gestured to another vampire who was easily 6’5” also; he too had broad shoulders and sharp collarbones. His long hair was a glossy black colour and his eyes were a bright green. Already I was starting to see a physical pattern.
“This is Oeri.” He gestured back to the vampire that my Grandsire had challenged earlier. Now that I was able to get a proper look at him, I took in all of his features, he was shorter than the rest at 6’3”; he was somewhat lanky with brown hair and knowing hazel eyes. His jaw line was sharp, as were his cheekbones, and his broad shoulders didn’t match his lithe frame.
“You’ve already met Agmund, but this is his twin brother from his human years, Egor,” he gestured to the two boys; they were identical in the sense that they were both 6’6” with broad shoulders and blonde hair. The only difference between them was their eye colour. Egor’s eyes were blue while Agmund’s were dark green. Just looking at them and their similarities to my Maker I confirmed my earlier suspicions; they had been Viking’s in their days too.
“Pamela Swynford de Beaufort, and it is a pleasure to meet all of you beautiful men,” I purred, eyeing each one in turn. Although I wasn’t a fan of the eldest fae in the building, she had good taste in those who kept her company, and that was saying something considering my lack of feelings towards those of the opposite gender.
“Pamela,” Eric’s voice broke my train of thought, and I pouted at his interruption. He always spoiled my fun. Realising that there was probably a lot to be said, I took my seat on the sofa once again, Eric and Godric sat opposite me, Ari and Riei sat either side of me, Khai and Oeri took the two single armchairs on either side of the sofas and the two Viking vampires stood guard by the elevator doors.
My Maker observed all the faces in the room, finally settling his gaze on me. “As I’m sure you are all aware, there are people after my bonded. Russell Edgington, and most likely William Compton to be precise.” The other males in the room hissed at the two vampires’ names: Clearly, they had few fans in Vegas.
“Compton is still alive?” Egor snorted from the door, shaking his head. “We should have killed that bastard the moment he tried to take Ata.”
My Grandsire’s head snapped towards the blonde male, “He tried to take my Ata?” He growled, his anger evident.
Nodding his head slowly, Egor gave an unnecessary sigh, “Yeah, he came after her because of her heritage. We managed to outsmart him, though and sent him packing. Why’s he a problem to your bonded, Eiríkr?”
I noticed Eric stiffen in his seat as his name slipped from the other vampire’s lips, his eyes leaving my face to look towards the blonde male. “I know you,” he stated in Swedish, recognition flaring in his eyes.
The other male chuckled, his smile softening his harsh features. “Yes, I was wondering how long it would take you to remember. It’s been quite a long time. We once fought alongside one another.” Egor responded in Swedish, looking towards Agmund, whose smile matched his own. Considering the two vampires had spoken to one another in their own language, and seemed to recognise one another, I could only assume they’d been friends in their human years. The talk about fighting beside one another once more only confirmed my suspicions.
“I never knew you had a brother,” Eric finally switched back to English, looking to Agmund with complete curiosity.
“I was sick a lot as a youngster, made defending myself difficult, so I was forced to stay in bed. While you and my brother were off gallivanting around the globe, I was stuck with the women. Not that I’m complaining of course,” Agmund replied with a wink, earning laughter from his brother and my Maker.
My Maker’s features were warm, but I could still see the serious edge in his eyes. It seemed this trip was a little reunion of sorts. “Back to the original question: He is a problem to my bonded because Queen Sophie-Anne sent him to procure her because of her heritage, he failed of course, and I was forced to be the one to make him come clean to her. I’m amazed she doesn’t resent me for it. Anyway, I lost my memory recently, fucking witches, and she took me in and cared for me. When I regained my memories, I realised how much I care for her and she had to choose between Compton and myself. Of course, she abandoned Compton and invited me home with her,” a smug smile crossed Eric’s lips and I couldn’t help but be thankful towards the little blonde breather for making the right choice for once. I may not be her biggest fan, but the thought of her being Compton’s pet didn’t please me.
“The problem lies in the fact that Compton killed Sophie-Anne and is now King of Louisiana, he was never one to take rejection well and suffers from extreme jealousy. He fed my bonded lies, along with his blood, about me during their time together, and thanks to my state of amnesia she finally saw the real me. I have a feeling he may be trying to get her back,” Eric growled, shaking his head at the prospect. Of course, the moment Bill placed a hand on Sookie my Maker was well within his rights to rip Compton to shreds as they were twice bonded. A third bond would, of course, be best but Eric had stated that he wouldn’t complete this bond until he was sure Sookie and I would get along. Maybe now that she’s away from Compton she won’t be so bad. Only time will tell.
“And what of Edgington? Last I heard he went medieval on TV and was then killed off,” the vampire named Ari spoke from beside me.
Eric grimaced as he recounted the tale to the other vampires present; of course, I had already heard the story. It had taken me weeks to get all the fucking cement out of my hair. And I’d destroyed another pair of shoes!
“Back in my human years he slaughtered my family and I wanted revenge. He became interested in Sookie and her heritage and went after her one evening. I ended up staking his husband and Childe, Talbot, in order to cause him pain similar to that I felt and to get him to return home and leave Sookie alone. I also reclaimed my father’s crown at the time, which Edgington had kept in his vast collection of historical items. That’s why he went medieval on TV, he was after revenge for my revenge,” Eric rolled his eyes and I tried to suppress my amusement at the action. He’d always told me it was the least attractive of my qualities, yet here he was mimicking me.
“I had to use Sookie as a bargaining chip; I’m sure you’re aware of the ability that fae blood holds, that it makes us able to day walk. Well, I informed Russell of this and he drank from Sookie, forcing me to do so at the same time. We walked outside during the day and I handcuffed us together with silver. It was the only way I knew of to end him and stop his stupidity from killing our entire kind. Sookie recovered and came out to save me, and I realised my mistake in killing Russell so quickly. I had Sookie bring him indoors and tie him up with silver. That night Compton and I went to a parking lot that was being constructed and chucked him in a pit, covering him in cement: Compton then tried to do the same to me. However, I called for Pam to come and save me,” he looked towards me right then, and I felt the affection he held for me rush through our bond. Perhaps we wouldn’t need to talk so much about our own issues later.
“And now he’s free of the cement?” Khai asked, quirking an eyebrow as he leant back into the plush sofa. Eric gave a grave nod.
“You do realise that only bonded mates of the fae can day walk properly, yes?” I heard Oeri casually comment from the side-lines. Both my Maker and Grandsire’s heads snapped in his direction at the statement. “Yes, your plan was wonderful, but wouldn’t have worked entirely. I assume you burned much slower than usual?” he inquired. Eric nodded his confirmation.
“Are you suggesting, that should we complete the third bond with our respective mates, we would be able to day walk all the time?” Godric asked, his eyes wide with unspoken glee. It had been over 2000 years since he had witnessed the sunlight: I couldn’t imagine what that would feel like, though I assumed I would be around long enough to find out. I could feel Eric’s own excitement and glee in our bond too. However, I also felt his trepidation. Last time he’d been out in the sun it hadn’t been a pleasant experience.
“In theory, yes. You need to remember that it’s very rare for a vampire and a faery to bond thrice. It’s rare that the two fae in question are from the same bloodline and the two vampires in question are from the same bloodline. Don’t you think that perhaps it’s not just a coincidence?” The healer questioned, looking between Eric and Godric.
“It is a little strange, Master,” I finally spoke up, feeling like I had kept quiet long enough. “If you believe Sookie is your true mate, and Godric believes Ata is his, then it all seems a little odd. What are the chances?” I asked hypothetically.
Eric seemed pleased with my formal address of him and allowed his emotions to tell me so as he mulled over the thought that perhaps there was a little more to this.
“Do you still have the Were downstairs?” Eric finally broke the silence, looking towards Godric.
“Yes, he didn’t seem like talking while I was throwing him in a cell. I hope you don’t mind that I locked him away,” my Grandsire turned to Ari, who was starting to look and sound more and more like the leader of this nest once Ata was sleeping.
“Not at all, he deserves it for taking a swipe at me. Fancy telling me what those marks on the Were’s body were, though?” he leant forward, clearly enticed by the story.
“Operation Werewolf,” they responded with a growl.
“Edgington’s wolves?” I asked in slight shock. “He did all of this?” I asked once more, remembering the destruction downstairs. If it was his wolves that did this then clearly Russell was keeping tabs on Sookie’s, and subsequently Eric’s, whereabouts.
“Yes, they’re his wolves, but we don’t know if he did all of this. Did the wolves that followed you home have any brands?” Eric answered my questions, firing one of his own back at me.
Shrugging my shoulders, I pursed my lips together, “I was trying my hardest to get away, I didn’t particularly wish to stick around and examine their bodies while they were trying to hurt me, or kill me. I’m sorry,” I apologised, knowing it would soothe my Maker.
“It is not your fault, my Childe. We will find out soon enough,” my Maker gently reassured me, letting me feel his love for me through our bond. Although a proud woman, I would grovel and apologise to Eric when needed.
“I shall send the girls down tomorrow with their Were guards to see what they can get from his thoughts and memories. Perhaps they might even enjoy throwing a punch or two until we rise and take over,” Egor grinned at the vampires in the room. Clearly, he was far from a pacifist.
“I’m sorry to say but Sookie is not the violent type,” Eric shrugged. Although to most it would be strange to have a lover who hated violence, I felt like Eric enjoyed that aspect about the young fae. He was violent enough for two people when his emotions got the better of him.
“Ah, well, Ata will no doubt throw in a few kicks and punches on her behalf. The animal will probably be screaming for mercy by the time she’s done with him. She takes attacks and threats on herself, on us, and on her empire, rather seriously,” Egor chuckled, clearly a fan of his Mistress’s ways.
“It may also have been Felipe de Castro,” Khai spoke up, drawing our attention back to the main topic of conversation.
“The King of Nevada? Why would he want to destroy this place, surely it pulls in more than his fair share of money and tourism?” Eric asked the older vampire with a frown: I couldn’t see the connection either.
Godric sighed beside Eric; clearly, we were missing something here. Not having all the pieces of the puzzle was starting to piss me off. “Ata is the Sheriff of Las Vegas, she held disputes earlier and Felipe was there,” he started to explain.
“A faery is the Sheriff? How does that work?” I interrupted. Were they letting just anyone have such positions now?
“Felipe fears our Mistress because of what she is, and because of who she is. By giving her the position he hopes to keep her sweet, but we all know she’d be better if she were a Queen once again. She’s satisfied with the Sheriff position, though, for now,” Khai said, wearing a smirk that could rival Eric’s.
“A Queen once again? Because of who she is? I’m sorry but I don’t follow,” I scowled, feeling irate that I still wasn’t clued in on everything.
“Her surname is Caesar. Ring any bells? You know, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Ata’s their daughter. She took her mother’s throne when she died but decided she needed to vanish when she stopped ageing, and when she was being forced to marry someone she didn’t love,” Khai explained as if it were obvious.
“Well I’m sorry, I was kind of distracted by the destruction and blood out front and then suddenly being thrown to the ground like a rag doll. I didn’t have time for a meet and greet,” I sassed.
All of the vampires from the nest laughed heartily at my comment, even Godric tried to suppress a smile. Eric was not amused however he wasn’t displeased either. He let out a sigh and shook his head. Giving him my best smile, I sent him all my love through the bond and eventually got a smile in response.
“He’s wary of the fact that she has all six of us too,” Khai continued, gesturing to the other vampires in the room excluding my Maker and Grandsire, “under her command.”
“You make it sound like she can command you, like you’re her progenies or something,” I snorted, the idea of that was rather ridiculous.
“We are,” Ari’s voice met my ear and his tone was utterly serious.
“That’s not possible,” Eric stated quickly, I could feel his confusion and curiosity in our bond and Godric must have felt it too as he spoke up, looking towards the healer, Oeri, as he did so.
“How can that be possible?” He asked, genuinely curious about the answer. Both Eric and I leant forward, curious as well. If word got out that anyone could become a vampire’s Maker, our world would become an undead hell.
“It’s an ancient practice that very few know of. When vampire Makers are changed nearly all the blood of the previous Maker is drained out before that of the new Maker’s is fed to the vampire undergoing the change. In our case, because of the difference in species, we had to have ¾ of our blood removed and replaced with Ata’s. We still have the vampire blood in us, which keeps us in our undead state, but the fae blood overrules it and essentially makes Ata our Maker, especially considering the fact she staked our real Makers,” Oeri continued, flipping his hand as if the fact that Ata murdered their real Makers was an everyday thing. I couldn’t even imagine staking Eric, even on a really bad day when he was being a broody bastard. Kicking him in the groin with my 5” stilettos? Sure, I’ve considered doing it plenty of times. Especially since he met the gas…Sookie. Killing him, however? Not a chance.
“Ata staked your own Makers?” Eric’s eyebrows shot up at the admission.
“Yes, we couldn’t have them forcing us to hand Ata over to them. We promised her that we would guard her until her death and, seeing as how she was going to outlive us, we had to find a way to keep our promise. I must admit, I wasn’t overly keen on this state of being for the first century or so but it grew on me,” Khai explained with a soft smile. Clearly being a vampire suited everyone in the room at that moment.
“That’s why you’re so affectionate with one another…” my Grandsire mused aloud. He obviously hadn’t liked the idea of the other males taking care of his twice bonded, but if she was technically their Maker then their affection was well meant.
“Yes. Don’t worry; we’re not going to take her from you. If anything, we want you to take her from us! Do you have any idea how boring shopping with a woman is every other night?” Ari pulled a face and I shot a glare at him, the whole room erupted into laughter.
“If there is one thing my Pamela does better than anyone else, it’s shopping,” Eric stated proudly, and I couldn’t help but let a smug smile rest upon my lips.
“Ah, well I’d like to see her challenge Ata to a shopping spree. It’s Ata’s favourite pastime and if it were a sport then she’d take home gold,” Khai quipped, shooting me a grin. Perhaps the older faery wouldn’t be so bad. She liked expensive things and could shop a lot; at least we had that in common.
“Back to the main point once more. Felipe was there and did everything but actually fuck Ata: Even offering her a position as his royal consort. She refused him, stating that Godric was her true mate and that she was more than happy with him. Felipe didn’t seem too pleased with that. He informed her of some sort of party occurring on Friday, and made it obvious that those without a position of power weren’t allowed to attend, thus making it clear that Godric couldn’t attend to watch over Ata,” Ari steered the conversation back on track, reiterating the dispute session I had clearly missed. At least the breather was loyal, that I couldn’t fault her for. Sookie was loyal too, that I had to admit. Perhaps the two would be good for my Maker and Grandsire in the long run. Who knows?
“So, who’s going with her? I’m in a position of power so I could attend,” Eric offered.
“And that’s the problem,” Agmund stepped forward, obviously wanting his turn to speak. “You can’t go, if someone there knows about Russell or Compton and is on their side they could go back and tell them that you’re here and that could open up a whole new can of worms. It’s best if you and Miss Stackhouse keep a low profile for the next few days until we can determine who’s behind the bombing downstairs. It’s bad enough that Felipe knows Godric is here. Ari is really the only one who can go with her as he’s her second in command,” the blonde vampire turned to face the current leader of the nest who sat beside me.
“While I know I can take care of her, I cannot do that and socialise, so as not to appear that something is amiss, I’m going to speak with the King of California tomorrow night and see if he is attending, and if so how many he has in his entourage. He’s always been a fan of our Ata, ever since she ousted his human companion as a gold-digger who was planning on staking him in his day rest and taking all his money, so I think he owes it to her to offer some protection for the night.” Ari responded before turning to Godric. “If you agree, that is. She is your bonded, therefore you have just as much say in this as any of us.”
My Grandsire’s features lit up as he was being included, and he gave a nod of consent. “I agree, though I also wish for her to be guarded by one of my close friends, she works for The Authority so it’s safe to say that she’s in a position of political power. Eric and I rescued her three hundred years ago in the Swiss Alps. She became trapped by a pack of wolves at the peak of the mountain and she had no means of escape, she was relatively young at the time so we flew in and saved her after hearing her cries for help. She’s owed us a favour ever since and I think it might be time to call it in,” my Grandsire stated with a pleased smile.
“Nora?’ my Maker spoke quickly, Godric’s nod of confirmation was just as quick. If I had of been human I wouldn’t have heard the exchange, but thankfully vampire hearing and vision enabled me to notice every detail of the short conversation.
“What’s going to happen downstairs? Will you rebuild the casino, lobby and drop-off zone? If so then I am more than willing to contribute financially,” my Grandsire said, offering his assistance: That didn’t surprise me.
What did surprise me were my Makers next words. “I also offer financial assistance should it be needed,” he added, offering a smile to Ari. Clearly, my Maker had grown fond of Godric’s bonded over the past day or so. What in the hell was going on?
The vampire beside me seemed genuinely stunned by their offer. “I’ll call the insurance company before I die for the day and see what they have to say, I thank you for your offers, however, and will be sure to get back to you once I have figures and estimates,” he graciously responded.
“How are we doing on the security front, Agmund?” Riei turned his attention to the two vampires standing by the doors.
“We’ll double up the daytime security for Ata and Miss Stackhouse. We have the local Were pack on call, and Ata is a friend of the pack, so there shouldn’t be a problem there. We’ll also call in more vampires from the area for the night shifts, just to be on the safe side,” Agmund responded. The organisational skills these men had was great, perhaps I could convince them to help me out at Fangtasia when all was said and done. I could never get on the staffing schedules.
“I left Thalia in charge of the area, Eric. I know she’s the equivalent of keeping a badly trained pit bull tethered in the yard but she’s efficient and knows what she’s doing. I’ve also asked Chow and Clancy to keep Fangtasia running during our absence so that no one will suspect on first glance that we aren’t there,” I informed him of my decisions. They had been last minute and the three vampires I mentioned were the only ones I trusted enough to leave Eric’s little piece of Louisiana to for the time being.
“You did well my Childe, thank you,” he praised me and I couldn’t hide my smile. Urgh, my emotions were all over the place lately, I was never this forthcoming with my feelings!
Khai rose from his seat, as did Oeri, “We’ll go and check on the salvage work downstairs, see if any humans require our help or if any giant pieces of marble need throwing into the back of dump trucks. I hope you all rest well during the day and we’ll see you at first dark,” the two males bowed before disappearing from sight.
Ari rose from his seat, stretching as he did so. He was quite an attractive man if I dared to say so. “Riei and I will get in contact with the insurance people, we have a rough idea of the cost of everything. I want work to start straight away in the morning. The last thing Ata needs is the mess downstairs and the closure of the casino denting our finances, especially with Felipe’s ridiculous taxations.” The older male sighed and shook his head. Riei rose to his feet, and taking my hand, placed a kiss on the back of it before disappearing with Ari.
“Well, Ata certainly has very strict standards regarding her progenies. Notice they were all of the similar height and build? The complete antithesis of you, Grandsire,” I teased playfully.
With a role of his eyes, my Grandsire rose to his feet. “I’m going to retire for the evening, I understand the two of you have some talking to do,” he excused himself, slipping through the door which led to the hallway.
Finally left alone with my Maker I dropped my gaze to the floor for a moment, unsure what to say. It wasn’t like me to be short of words, but the last thing I wanted was to fuck this up. We’d been by each other’s sides for over one hundred years. “How much damage did you do to my card?” Eric finally broke the silence, his tone light.
“I only bought two pairs of shoes, I paid for the rest of my own card,” I responded truthfully, looking up at my Maker.
Quickly he was before me, cupping my face in his large hands. “You should have used my card for that, Pam. I wouldn’t have minded, you know that.” He reassured me gently, brushing his thumb across my cheekbone.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking straight; I would never hurt her because I know how much she means to you, I just wasn’t willing to let you meet the true death because of her. I need you to stick around,” I whispered, knowing that he would hear me. Apologies pained me. In my human years, it was expected of a woman to be subservient and apologise for everything and I had gone against the grain, I’d looked up to women such as Miss Nell, who had chained herself to the railings of Downing Street in 1908 in an attempt to earn equal rights for women, and I had supported Emily Pankhurst as she’d staged protests for equal treatment. In a way, I suppose it was one of the reasons Eric chose to turn me. I was rebellious but loyal.
“I know, my Childe. As I said in my letter, it was a rash decision,” he informed me and I couldn’t help but feel elated at the news. “Tell me, why aren’t you a fan of my bonded?” he asked me gently. It was a rare thing for Eric to ask questions regarding my feelings or emotions. Usually, his high-handed nature meant he did whatever the hell he wanted and didn’t consider my feelings, believing that a few new pairs of shoes would calm me down later: Usually it worked.
“You’ve changed since she walked into the bar. We travelled the world together, killin’ and fuckin’ and laughin’, you used to take women into the office and see to your needs but the moment you saw her all that changed. Suddenly you had morals and your emotions started coming back to you,” I explained, knowing I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.
“You don’t like that I’ve changed,” he stated.
I gave a small nod as I met his eyes, the cerulean orbs which had kept me grounded for the past one hundred years, the cerulean orbs that belonged to the one person who had freed me from a life of servitude and extreme obedience, who had given me a second chance at life.
“I’ve changed for the better, Pam,” he reassured me softly, slowly taking a seat beside me and pulling me into an embrace. “I still do all of those three things, but now I have a reason for them. I will kill to keep you and Sookie safe, I’m only ever going to take my bonded to my bed with me and I can still laugh you know. I’m not completely devoid of emotions, I have never been,” he chuckled as if to make his point, and I could feel his chest vibrate beneath my cheek: It was comforting.
Brushing my hair in methodical strokes, he continued, “I’m sorry too for the way I handled the situation, it was cruel of me to say such a thing to you when you’ve been nothing but loyal to me.” He dropped a kiss to the top of my head after his apology.
“I said I wouldn’t complete the third bond with Sookie until the two of you have settled your differences, but I want you to know that I will be completing the bond with her at some point in the future anyway. I just want you to feel a part of this, as it will affect you too. I don’t want you to think I’m abandoning you because I’m not. You are my greatest creation, and the best choice I have ever made. Never forget that.” His words rang in my ears, and I couldn’t stop the red tears from welling in my eyes. “I don’t say it enough, but I appreciate you, and I love you. I love Sookie too, but that will never negate how much you mean to me.” He pressed another kiss to the top of my head and I couldn’t stop a tear from slipping down my cheek. He was the only person I would ever allow to see me cry, I’d glamoured Ginger into forgetting my little sob in Eric’s office after he threatened me.
“You make me proud, Pam. Go and unpack, dawn is approaching. I’ll see you at nightfall,” he whispered to me, helping me up to my feet before pulling me into his embrace once more, holding me for a minute as I wiped at my eyes before sending me on my way.
“Eric,” I paused at the door, turning to my Maker. He looked up at me, a smile playing on his lips. “I wasn’t crying okay, I just had something in my eye,” I lied, hoping he wouldn’t tell anyone about my few tears.
His face suddenly became very serious, “Oh of course not, my Childe. You never cry. Did you get whatever it was out of your eye?” He played along, suppressing his smile.
I could never stay mad at him, not after everything he had done for me. Nodding my head in silent thanks, I strode into my room, shutting the door behind me. Wiping my eyes once again, I moved over to my suitcases, opening them and starting to unpack the clothes and other items I had brought with me. My fingers paused over Sookie’s dress and I felt a little guilty for the way I had thought and spoken about her. She might not exactly be the best breather in the world, but my Maker loved her, that much was evident, and if she made him happy then that would be enough. Tomorrow I would go and grovel to her. This Ata was another thing entirely, though, I had a feeling she wouldn’t be as easily swayed. Perhaps a conversation with my Grandsire tomorrow evening would help me come up with a way to deal with her and win her over. Never in my undead life did I think I would need to be in the good books of two breathers.
With my things put away I pulled on the pretty pastel pink La Perla nightie, Eric had bought me for my birthday last year.
Using a makeup wipe to remove my cosmetics and the blood tracks from my tears before slipping in under the Egyptian cotton sheets. I had to suppress a laugh at the irony. Falling into downtime I allowed my brain to process everything that had happened in the past forty-eight hours. Finally, an hour later, the sun claimed me for the day.