The Summit was enlightening to say the least.
Everyone was on tenterhooks waiting for the final blow to fall. I was allowed off of my chain so to speak so I could meet up with old friends, since all the clans were there. I made sure to never stray too far away from Freyda as she was listening in to any and all of my conversations.
However when the A.P called for me to come to her suite alone for a talk, Freyda had no comment. There was nothing she could do; she had to let me go and the best part she could not attend.
As I waited to go in to see her, my old friend Rasul approached me and told me that the AP set up this meeting so that he could talk to me too. He let me know that while in Michigan he had heard about Sookie’s attack and he was sorry for her death, he liked her a lot and she would be missed by many.
I thanked him but I wondered for what other reasons would the A.P. allow her name to be used for this meeting.
I guess the saying all good things come to those who wait is true.
For Rasul’s next words shocked me.
He told me, “He had overheard while attending a Michigan court meeting that the King of Arizona was boasting about trying to take Nevada’s prized asset, however, he had helpmates so the telepath would never be found as they would move her around until the novelty wore off that she was taken and they could then break her of her stubbornness. I did not hear whom else was involved, but the Were that boasted this was missing a limb. And if I had remembered right Sookie had taken a few arms with her before she passed. However, the most sickening thing was when the Were boasted about how he was able to take what he wanted from her by force; due to the bloodlust they were in from giving her a beating of her life and her fighting back had him and his companions in full-fledged bloodlust and they all raped her . It sickened me that I could not control myself, – I am afraid-, I ripped that Were’s head off right then and there in the throne room. I should have controlled myself better for my age and I am sorry for not apprehending him and bringing him to trial but Sookie was my friend too and I wanted her to have justice for at least one of them. I am sorry dear friend… I could not find out more than that. After I was put into chains I told my King why I reacted like I did and at I was a good friend of the telepath when I lived in the State of Louisiana and I had helped save her life once while in Sophie Ann’s court. I was able to pass on the info about who was behind her killing; and of course that is what one of the trials will be here at this summit. I do not know if they have found anyone else, since there are 7 still in hiding and I am sure words got out that I had killed one for his deeds to the telepath. However, I do know that the A.P. had me shipped off to Indiana to King Bartlett and he has been my protector since I killed the Were and when they thought someone was coming for me to silence me, I was shipped off to King Russell. Again I do apologize for not getting more information out of him before the seething hatred took me over. Please forgive me my friend.”
“What is there to forgive, you had found out information that others had not. You killed one of the eight responsible for her death and if it takes me an eternity I will hunt the others down and kill them by my own hand, one by one.”
“Thank you my friend, but I am sure the ancient one has more to tell you. Just knock on her door and she will know that you are ready. If you ever are in need of my sword or muscle to kill the rest I am at your bidding.”
“I will see you soon my friend and watch your back. As to, you will always have my sword if you need it.”
I hesitantly approached the A.P.’s door. I was unsure of what other news I would hear about concerning my love’s life.
I had to take a few cleansing breathes as I was becoming enraged and it would do me no good now. I needed to keep a level head. I was just hoping that the A.P. knew of the others and I would be able to help wield the justice.
I knocked at the door and was met by one of her hand maidens. All of her hand maidens were beautiful but loyal to their mistress, they were of all breeds so that one of us would not be tempted to take what was not theirs; like I would never be greeted by a fairy hand maiden and be tempted by her allure or scent. All of the hand maidens lived in harmony with each other which was what I assumed the revelation was supposed to be about.
I was led into the suite and told to sit on the couch; her mistress would be with me shortly.
I waited all of a minute and there before me as I looked up stood the ancient one.
Her milky white eyes seeing all.
I had always wondered if she was a telepath along with her foresight but I never dared to ask.
“Viking, thank you for coming and no I am not a telepath but I do know what your deepest thoughts are. I am here to let you know that there will be a trial for the King of Arizona, I would like for you to attend. Make sure you attend as there will be others brought forth who were involved. There will be four total at this trail but the dominoes will start to fall after the trail is over and you should be there for the falling. You have my blessing in your life and your true love will return. Give it time, she will be once more. As for your new charge, hide her after returning from the summit as the queen is fully aware of her and wants her gone from your life. Do not let this happen as your mate will not be happy. Protect her as you would have protected the telepath if you were with her at the time of her ‘supposed death’. Use all of your guile and wisdom. Use your strengths and your weaknesses, but protect her. She is not of your mate’s line but she is close enough in her actions. She reminds you of your mate and no she is not a reincarnation of her. She has been a light to keep you from your despair and in every sense of the word she is your daughter as well as your två döttrar; they will also help to protect her if asked. Keep in mind when your mate reappears she will have her/your children as well, accept them in your life and your heart as they have already accepted you as their father. Do not hesitate with them as you have hesitated with their mother. They already love you unconditionally. You only get a family once in a life time that will make you happy. Don’t blow this one when it comes to your feelings. I can tell you no more, the rest you must learn on your own. But know, I am always watching and if I need to get word to you it will be through old friends, new family or your kin.”
“Thank you mistress, can I ask you a question, please. It might seem of no consequence to you but to me it would help me better prepare for what is to come. Can you tell me if my wife is the writer of these teen books I have been reading with my charge?”
“Silly Viking, of course she is and she is doing a wonderful job of keeping everyone in the dark of who she really is. I get a kick out of her books and her newest, ‘The One that Got Away’ is out early and I am sure it is all about you, but she uses that damn tiger as her Were model in the books… chills… they were never a good match, never, all wrong. It was always you, remember that. Besides, I believe you have figured it out on your own, but you have been hesitant to acknowledge this fact to yourself.”
“Yes, it is true that I have read all of the books, front, back, sideways and have noticed the clues and the picture of Sookie at a young age. But why the clues if she was unsure I would ever read them? I do not understand, unless you paid her a visit?”
With that I looked up at her and the old crone laughed at me.
“You are not the only one I may have paid a visit to. I might have met her or talked to the King that she resides under. I cannot tell you any more as I have already told you too much. Let the facts unfold and you will get justice and answers. I will see you at trial.”
With that she turned around and glided away.
I got up and walked to the suite door. The hand maiden handed me a small charm, which had two pieces.
“I am instructed to tell you to give this one half to your charge and the other half to your daughter when you see her next. The talisman will alert your daughter to your charges whereabouts if need be. There is strong magic in both sides of the charm; it was a gift from the FAE Prince.”
As I walked out the suite door my head was reeling about what I had learned.
One: Sookie was alive; it had all been a ruse but why?
Two: Addy was in trouble and when I got back I would talk to Jake about moving her away from me for the time being.
I would have Diantha as one of her protectors at all times now. I wonder if I could move them to Bon Temps and have Stackhouse help protect them. Sookie’s home is open and it is secluded, no one would suspect if I moved them there.
Three: my children are well and I believe they are with Sookie.
Four: my little wonderful minx has tricked everyone with her death and of writing her books, yet she let me know she is alive from her books and her clues held within.
Five: I cannot let anyone know how full my heart is right now, the fog has lifted. But if I show my cards too soon the final four+ will not be captured and put to death. I look forward to the trail.
Six: I have more children; Sookie has more children but how? Please tell me that she was not impregnated by her attacker’s rape. How could she love a child/children from rape? What happened for her to decide to keep the child of rape? But then my love is a strong one with a kind and gentle heart, of course she will not look at him/her as anything but our child. I have human children, I finally have a family, my family, my very own children who will call me father, and I now have something to start fighting for.
They will not take them away from me.
I will bide my time and we will all be together again, of that I am sure.
It was another two days before the trial commenced. I sat in the first row and watched as everyone one of them was brought out to be seated in front of the judges. There was a judge from each faction of life being judged, 5 in total, Dae, Fae, Were, Vampire and then the A.P.
The trail started and Niall appeared to my left and sat down beside me.
He whispered, “She did this for you, so you would be safe, so that she would be safe and so that her children and yours would be safe. Remember that.”
He walked up next to speak in front of council.
“I Niall Brigant, Prince of the Sky Fae, would like to seek justice for my great grand-daughter. Who was attacked at her own home, beaten, raped and killed because a King thought he was better than anyone else to have her as an asset. She was a protected asset of Nevada, the wife and bonded of the North Man, a beloved sister and friend. She did not deserve to be bludgeoned and kicked, she did not deserve to be raped because the attackers she fought she bested with dismemberment. She did not deserve to be taken and used as an instrument for advantages on others. She was always kind and helpful to others. She was there to help, all you needed to do was ask her and she would have granted you her help. She saved many of your lives once upon a time at another summit, if it was not for her and another’s hard work, many of you would now be truly dead. I ask for true death for all the accused here on trial and before they meet their death I would ask for them to give us the names of their collaborators so that we can bring justice to them as well.”
Niall turned around from the pulpit, walked over to me again and sat back down at my side.
It was the quickest trial I has ever been to. There was no denying they were all guilty, but would they give up their compatriots?
The A.P. stood and asked for the men to stand. She announced that they were all guilty and their deaths would be as swift as possible. She turned to me and asked me to stand.
“North Man, I give you the King of Arizona to put to his final death for the killing your wife and bonded. Niall Brigant, to you I give the other three defendants to put to their final deaths.”
Before she could finish her words, Freyda stood up and spoke out of turn.
“That filthy blood bag was not his wife, I am his true wife, do not call her as such, she was nothing more than a fuck and feed. He loves me not her. Ask him he will tell you….”
Before she could continue she was forcefully brought to appear before the judges with swords lodged in her throat from all sides.
They told her to kneel or they would force her to do so.
“Queen of Oklahoma, you have no say so on this matter. You will NOT tell me how to speak. You will not take away what is truth. If you had not used manipulation to get your way. You would have NEVER had the North Man by your side. Do not push me young one, I do not have the patience for you today. I will continue and then I will seek advice on how to handle your punishment as there WILL BE ONE. In the meantime you will be shackled until the decision is made, in the interim, the North Man will run your kingdom until I decide to give it back to you. Do not speak again against me or the punishment will be made longer.”
I know I took a deep breath; the A.P. just gave me time to get everything in order. Time to spend with Addy before I needed to send her away. Time to figure out how to get out of this damn marriage.
What did the ancient one have up her sleeve?
“North Man, do you want to carry out the true death here or at another location? Niall, I ask the same of you, however, I will need help to get rid of the Were and Dae bodies after their deaths.”
“Mistress, I do not have a sword to wield to bring him death. I would do it here otherwise why draw it out.”
“Son, my granddaughter’s true husband, all you have to do is ask.”
And at that Niall produced my sword in his hands.
What the fuck, how did he do it, how did he get to it; I had it hidden away in my chambers.
But I had to thank him, finally justice at my own hands, if only I could do this to Freyda as well… Be careful for what you wish for right, I knew my love was alive but can I be lucky enough for Freyda to have been a part of this too?
“Mistress, since I have my sword I would like to enact my justice here for all to see, I will indeed bring the true death to all that were involved in my mate’s death. I am sure there is someone else out there lurking that we have not uncovered yet. And when we do I hope their deaths and justice are done as quickly as these are.”
“Very well North Man and Brigant?”
“I would like to turn over the killings to two vampires.”
There was a collected gasp at this. A fae turning over a death sentence to vampires was unheard of but so much had been happening in a short amount of time I was not surprised.
“I would like My Grand-Son by marriage, Eric the North Man, to have the Dae as it is his right. And for the Two Weres, I would like for Rasul to be given that right as he was put into hiding after unearthing the first Were’s identity which led us to the ones before us. It is my payment to him for helping find her killers. If that is okay with the judges.” As he finished his speech, two new fairies appeared by my side. “As instructed I have two guards here that will dispose of the three bodies for us.”
As the judges agreed, they asked everyone to move back and for chairs to be taken out to the back so that a tarp could be brought in.
I took a sigh of relief. One that the trail was over, Two Freyda was being carried away in chains for an undetermined amount of time and three My Sookie was alive.
As we waited Niall stood by my side and told me, he would help find the others and once they are all killed then and only then can I go to my wife. To make sure my charge got the charm and he would be able to find her if she was in harm’s way. To let her guard know this as well and to give him his phone number just in case.
It seems the portals are once again open as Niall has kin here and he needs to protect them. About fucking time he came forward and claimed them for everyone to see and know. Maybe this is another reason why Sookie had to play, -what do they call it-, oh yes ‘opossum’ with her life.
The tarp was rolled out and I did not waste much time on the King, I knew he would not speak of any helpmates; it was his cronies that we need to get to speak. As I walked up before him, I asked him. “Why?”
His final words were, “Because I was told it would be an easy snatch and grab. We could use her amongst a few rulers and no one would be the wiser, she was just a blood-bag with a gift. I never knew of her heritage and if I had I would have never agreed, I swore my allegiance to my partner and I would not fail her now by speaking out of turn. My word was my oath.”
“You will die by your Oath than.”
And off went his head….. Bowling for vampires anyone… for you dear one…..Love you.
As I approached the Dae, he spoke quickly of the other three Dae that were with them on that day, he did not know the last Were, he was the only Were not injured that day nor did he rape the girl. If he had known she was of the House of the Sky he would have never participated. He believes giving up the other names will give him peace in the afterlife.
I told him unlikely. And with that I split him in half.
As Rasul approached he asked to use my sword, I handed it over to him. The one Were did not speak, just held his head high and told Rasul to end him. So he did, it was a clean kill, off with his head and it rolled over to the other Were’s feet.
This seemed to make him want to talk; he seemed to think if he spoke up things would be different for him, that he would be saved.
Not likely dumbass.
He said that the three Were’s already captured were from Arizona but the fourth was from the other kingdom that was working with Arizona. The only thing he did know was the kingdom was in the same clan as Arizona.
Well isn’t that nice.
The states that were part of the Zeus kingdoms were Texas (king, Joseph had Barry when needed and he wanted nothing to do with Freyda), Oklahoma (queen, possible since the bitch ruled there and I wouldn’t put it past her), Kansas(king), Nebraska(king), Dakotas(king), Montana(queen), Idaho(king), Wyoming(king), Utah(king), Colorado(king), Arizona (already dead) and New Mexico(king).
I would have to think on this list, I knew a few of them could be cleared right away since they were friends. And the dead king said ‘HER’, to me that meant it was a female monarch and that alone would take several states out of the hot spot. There were kings in place in all but two of these states, so that alone narrowed down the possibilities and Montana had been an ally for years, she would have never taken something from an ex-enforcer, whom she had employed once upon a time and yet a bonus was she still feared…me.
Now was not the time to think on this, now was the time to finish up the summit and get back home to take care of things before the bitch was released.
Rasul looked at me and I nodded, the next thing I knew there was a Were head at my feet. Well these clothes were ruined but I didn’t care justice was served.
Now to get home to spend time with Addy before Freyda returned. But first I needed to find out how much time I had, I was hoping at least a month, that would be plenty of time to spend with her and it would give me time to come up with a plan.
The following night an arraignment of sorts was set up for Freyda. Apparently she demanded a speedy sentencing she had a state to run. The chairs were not placed for seating, it was standing room only. On the dais stood the judges and the A.P., Freyda was brought in and instructed to kneel. But of course the pompous bitch couldn’t follow instructions, she told them to all fuck off she was a queen. An evil smirk came across the A.P. face. Oh this was not going to be good, time was getting added, and of that I was sure.
The vampire judge stood and stated that Freyda would be silvered and placed in a silver lined coffin for a month for each infraction that her mouth spilled forth.
If memory serves me right I counted at least 5 infractions of the mouth.
But I was wrong, the A.P. stood and spoke. “Freyda for every sentence you uttered out of your mouth a month has been added onto your sentence. You were to be given 5 months of punishment but 2 more have been added on for tonight’s tantrum. If you test us again more time will be added. Do you wish for that to happen?” Freyda shook her head NO. “You will be placed in silver chains and in a silver lined coffin, this coffin will reside with the Queen of New York for the duration of your punishment. During your leave Eric The North Man will be placed in charge of your state as king. At the time of your release he will relinquish his rights as king. NO others are to try to take the state, The Viking has the councils backing, And DO NOT TRY US, you will not win. Take her away.”
With that Freyda was taken away, the judges and the A.P. left as a group. And me I just shook my head. I was given 7 glorious months to spend as much time with Addy as I needed to and in this time I would be able to plan her escape.
Bon Temps was looking like a good place for her to land her feet.
Maybe even Sweden.
It felt like hours that I waited for them to rise but it was only fifteen minutes. When they rose they each gave me a kiss on the forehead and asked what was up, that I very seldom sat at their resting space waiting for them to rise unless there was a major problem.
We had a problem.
I had them sit down because I myself wanted to pace but I thought I would burn a hole in the floor if I did, and then I thought, Eric always paced when he thought out a plan and/or while he contemplated his next move, so without thinking I was up and moving.
I told them about our chance meeting with Addy and Jake today and what we got out of their heads. Their maker, my Eric was in serious trouble and we needed to make sure we had a plan in case shit hit the fan and we needed to get to Addy and Jake to save their lives from whatever foes Eric was battling…
I knew that that would mean we would have to travel to the US but if we needed to do it then we would have to make sure we had allies that would keep me safe and keep my secret secret. I knew there were two monarchs I could trust but I didn’t know how much they wanted to get involved. Plus there was always King Peder. He told us he was at our disposal for anything.
Karin stated that she thought it was time to bring in Peder and see what he thought we should do. Like I had said I didn’t want to start a domino effect with Eric, Addy and Jake being the fodder.
Karin spoke with Peder and he said he would be here within the hour. I called Uncle Des and told him I needed to speak with him. He told me he could be here tomorrow night. I told him I could wait.
Once Peder showed up we brainstormed about what was going on. He told us he could always travel to the states and take me with him as staff but I would have to change my hair color and dress style, be more Swedish. The children could not go because things might go wrong quickly. I told him I could not leave the children here and they would never accept being left behind, where I go they go.
I told him if he could make arrangements to go to Mississippi we would have allies there and Russell and Bart would make sure the children were safe while we planned. I could also have Jason come up to visit since he had not seen me or the children in a while.
Peder said he would call Russell now if he had the phone number since there was still time before he went to his day rest.
Pam handed him the phone number, she had it in her cell just in case.
Peder shook his head and asked her who else she had on speed dial. She told him wouldn’t he like to know.
He called Russell’s phone number and it was answered by Bart. He announced who he was and asked if he and Russell would be willing to talk to him and some friends. Bartlett first asked him how he got the number and Peder’s answer, the North Man’s childe.
Peder put his cell phone on speaker and told us all to be quiet for the moment and he would let us know when it was time for us to speak.
Bart yelled for Russell to stop playing with their assistant and to get his pretty arse over to the phone, to let the assistant out of the office and to lock the door behind him as he left. This phone call was of a private matter.
With that being done, Peder asked him to put the speaker on so that everyone could hear what was going to be said.
I don’t know if he caught the ‘everyone’ but we would soon find out.
Peder introduced himself again. Told their majesty’s that he was King Peder of Sweden and he has been a longtime friend to the North Man and his children, whom now resided in his country for safe keeping.
Russell was the first to speak. “Pam, Karin are you there with the king?”
“Yes we are.”
“I am happy you are healthy but when you left Louisiana you could have come to us, we would and could have protected you, you did not have to go so far away. You have friends in the states because of your Maker and his late pet.”
“Thank you Russell but we had three reasons why we needed to leave. We had to protect them; their lives were not safe while they were in the states. You could not have hid them as Peder has.”
“You speak as if little Sookie had children, we know of none.”
I decided it was my time to talk and I looked around for agreement, everyone nodded at me and Pam took my hand and Karin took the other and they both squeezed it for support. Peder just smiled at me and mouthed, “Everything would be fine. They will keep your secret.”
I took a deep breath and exhaled. Pulling my big girl panties up I spoke.
“Hello your majesties, how have you been?”
I heard a duel gasp over the line.
“Sookie, say it isn’t so. You were killed 7 years ago, how is this possible?”
“Well I had a lot of help. Long story short. I was attacked and I was near death, Karin rose before my final moments. She and Pam gave me blood but not enough to turn me. Ludwig transfused me and with a bit of FAE magic and whatever Dr. Ludwig did I was good as new. But the ruse was needed to keep me and my children safe. A king sent 8 men to attack me during the day and take me captive, but things went horribly wrong. I maimed 3 before I was beaten to a pulp, I wish I had killed a few, but I was not a fighter like a vampire would have been and my attackers knew they needed to leave before sunset or they would die from my sister, my protector… The king who sent them, sent Dae and Were because they were harder for me to read, he knew of my talents, and the scents that were picked up from the attack confirmed their heritage but not who there were. The Fae scent was left as a false lead to throw everyone off. As for children I have two, my nephew who has been with me for 8 years and who is more my son than nephew and my beautiful daughter who was conceived by the rape of the men who had been sent to procure me, she is a mixture of all of us. Hunter and I are both human and fairy hybrids but my Emma she is human-fae-dae and Were. It is a hard cocktail to have mixed in her blood but with a touch of vampire blood it evens her out. Pam is her vampire godmother and Karin is Hunter’s since she had to heal him upon his arrival to my home eight years back.”
“I know this is out of line and none of our business but who is listed as their father, what if something happens to you. Who will be their caretakers? We would be honored if you would choose us as an alternate just in case. We owe you and your Viking so much we cannot repay it in our life time.”
“I am honored majesties, but Erik Nordmann is listed as their father. It is one of Eric’s aliases; he will be made aware of them if anything were to happen to me or my sisters. Peder has also offered to take care of them just in case so you will indeed be added to the short list, thank you.”
“Thank you Sookie, so we know that you did not just call us to have girly talk or tell us you still lived. What has you needing our assistance?”
“We need to come to the states for a visit but we needed protection and we need anonymity for me and the children. Can you help us out?”
“Of course we can but what has happened?”
“Eric is in trouble and we need to check to see if he needs our help…Well Peder and Karin will check but I will be in the states just in case.”
“Of course, of course, when did you plan on arriving? We had our summit a year ago, all of the clans were in attendance, since there was grumblings from the FAE about you, but the more I think on it now it was to flush out on who attacked you. Niall said it was a blood offense and he sought justice.”
“Did he find out who it was?”
“Oh yes he did dear, it was the King of….. Arizona who is in the Zeus clan. They also caught the three Were’s and one Dae…all were put to their true death”
Cheese and Biscuits, if I remembered right Oklahoma was in the Zeus clan too. Was she part of it? This must be why Eric has Addy running. AH hell. This is not good.
“Majesties, I will be speaking to my lawyer tomorrow who just happens to be my uncle. I will let him know of our plans and if I know of anything he is already aware of what is happening with my love since I believe Mr. C is also Eric’s lawyer. Apparently the oath of confidentiality is greater than blood it seems. It has been agreed upon that we will travel within the week if that is okay with you. Can you make arrangements for us at your compound grounds so no-one sees the children but those trusted and I will be in disguise so no-one who might know me sees me and connects the two? I am called Claudine when out and about. If a last name is to be given, it’s Nordmann.”
“Of course, of course young one. Is there anything else that we can assist with?”
“Will it be possible for you to go down to BonTemps and bring my brother and his family up; I know he would love to see all of us. His guard has been Thalia as she has been the one who still guards my ancestral home.”
“Of course we will contact Thalia and have her come up with Jason and his family. Is Jason still aware of you? It would be an odd homecoming if he was not.”
“Yes he and Michelle were glamoured to remember that we are still alive but cannot talk to anyone about it, not even Thalia. So if you don’t mind can you inform her about our return? I don’t want her to be mad at me for too long, I considered her a vampire friend.”
“Oh a tangled web of white lies, I love it. So vampireish”
I snickered and smiled, then shook my head. I loved these two, I had not spoken to them in years but they are as I had always remembered.
“It is Peder again. If all goes well we will be there Friday during the day. Can you have someone come pick us up at the airport? We will be in my private jet so no need to worry about commercial flights. I will contact Oklahoma next and ask for a visit with her and her consort on Saturday. I will have Karin with me as my assistant but she will be going by the name Aude and wearing a wig with heavy makeup to hide her true identity. Eric will know who she is but hopefully the queen remains clueless. We need to do this is case there are spies in your court; we do not need them to know whom we are and why we are there. If you like we can set this up as a meeting too.”
“No need for that, we know of the spy you speak of and we can arrange for them to have important business away from the compound for the few days while you visit. But I will go with you as a tour guide so to speak, it will be fun.”
“Thank you, Sookie and the children will stay at the compound while we are away, Bart and Pam will remain back as their protectors. Is this in agreement?”
“Oh yes, I look forward to spoiling my niece and nephew.”
“Russell this is Karin, can you please do me a favor. Can you please ask Bubba to be there? I know he took Sookie’s death rougher than most and once the ruse of her death can be told, her other vampire friends can also be made aware of her still living before all others. But I am willing to ask Bubba to come back with us to Sweden so he can be with her and the children. I know he missing Miss Sookie terribly and will keep her secret. I think a change of venue and a new job as the children’s protector will be what the doctor orders.”
“Oh yes I concur, he has been melancholy for the last seven years. I will get word to him to be here before you arrive.”
“Thank you, your majesties. We have a little bit more planning to do and disguises to acquire. Good night my friends and I will see you in a few days’ time.”
It was still early so Pam called Jason.
She told him that when Thalia came to talk to him about a visit to Mississippi to say that he would be ready to go Thursday night so that she could travel with them as their guard, she knows it was short notice but the short notice was needed. Not to worry they were just making sure he and his family were not hurt and that she would see him Friday night.
His response, “okie dokie, see you soon.”
Now to finalize the trip.
Three days later we arrived in Mississippi at 5pm at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, but we needed to wait until customs cleared us,-since we were an international flight-, to go onto our final destination.
The paperwork provided to customs said we were all Swedish citizens, the King, his assistant, three humans and their nanny. This helped a lot because no one questioned why three Louisianans were on this flight and why were we living in Sweden and still had our US passports. Peder thought it would be safer in case someone caught wind of us they wouldn’t know our true identities. Once customs was finished we moved onto Hawkins Field Airport, where our transportation would be waiting. This was a much smaller airport, one we could get in and out of quickly if need be. Plus there was a military presence at the airport which made me feel a bit safer while on US soil.
No reason to draw attention to ourselves, and since Russell had his own hangar, we parked Peder’s Cessna in there. It had been decided that they would take Russell’s jet to Oklahoma in case we need to flee quickly. If that was the case then Bart would travel with us to make sure we were all safe.
We made it to the compound just as the vampires were rising. It was odd to see them pop open their hatches while we drove to the compound. But once they were out of their coffins Peder went into King mode and we went into loving human pet mode, who adored their King.
Once the hellos were done we moved into Russell’s office so that the true HELLO’S could be made. In the office sat Jason, Michelle, Bubba and Thalia. As the door opened, the children and I stepped through the door, Jason bolted over to me to pick me up and spin me around.
“Little sis, I missed you and the young’uns’, they are so big.”
“Miss Sookie, is that you? Does Mr. Eric know yous’ alive?”
“Little girl, I am not happy about your ruse of death, I thought we were friends.”
That was the most I had heard Thalia ever say. I walked over to her and gave her a big hug, she accepted it and I told her I was sorry but it needed to be that way. We had a few days for me to explain on why I needed to die seven years ago and I hoped she would forgive me but I needed to be called Claudine while at Russell’s compound. She said she would go along with whatever I had cooked up.
She hadn’t had a good fight in a long time and if it meant protecting me and my kin to have that fight she was ready for it.
Russell and Bart had to command Bubba to use my new name. He said he understood but didn’t and I told him that was okay. We could talk more about it later. I introduced him to my children and Emma was drawn to him,- like a moth to a flame. They were both gentle souls, she then took his hand and asked him if he would mind playing with her while her aunt was away.
Bubba told her, “Anytime little miss, yous’ just like your momma.”
With that Russell and Peder moved to the side to talk logistics and when they would leave tomorrow evening. They had a 7pm flight tomorrow which would have them land in Oklahoma at 5pm; they would still be in their coffins upon arrival and by 6:15pm they would be able to rise. Their appointment with Freyda and her consort was at 8:30pm. They would have 2 hours to feed on the donors they would bring with them so they could abstain from the ones offered by Freyda and make sure their plan was solid.
Everyone was on pins and needles, not knowing what shape Eric was in and if he was in danger by the bitch queen. I was hoping Karin (Aude) would be able to talk to him in another language to ask if he needed their help. She would tell him by pure accident they had met his charge and her guard in Stockholm and let him know that all he had to do was say the word and they would be here to fly them home. That Peder was good to them. That they would be at Russell’s until Monday and then they would head back to Sweden.
It was a solid plan. We just had to make sure Freyda was not suspicious of our true reason to be there.
We all went back to our own rooms after we talked for hours and got the children settled in for bed. When I finally got a chance to breathe I felt a vampire void outside my door.
I knew the void so I opened the door and Thalia was standing guard. I asked her in and asked her to sit on the couch with me to talk.
I explained to her about what had happened the day of my attack. I told her how badly I was hurt and I told her because of the quick thinking my life was spared. It was my idea of the Viking pyre to send the Were, whom was in my place, to her heaven, she had passed an hour prior to my accident and she was pack-less with no family. I gave her a true hero’s funeral even if everyone thought it was me. The ruse had to continue because of my son, it wasn’t until a few months later that I had found out I was raped and carrying a child from the attack. I could not have asked for a better child either, I would never give her up and as far as she knew Eric was her father. When she was old enough I would tell her how she came to be but for now she was happy with her own little ruse. I told her about the farm we lived on and how happy we all were living with Karin and Pam under Peder’s rule. He left us alone and we kept to ourselves. I told her I had been writing to pass my time and she asked me what I wrote about.
I told her my life with the Viking.
She chuckled and said it must be sexy sex filled books.
It was my turn to laugh, I told her no it was about a teenager becoming aware of herself and the Supe world. The trial and tribulations she went through was what happened to me but I kept them G-rated. My last book was at the publisher to be released in a few months’ time, it title was “Maker’s Last Word”; if she wanted to read Aude’s antics I would make a trip to the bookstore and get her copies while we were here. Pam and Karin were always laughing at Aude’s antics. She might enjoy them too because some of what I write about I am sure she had heard the stories of or was involved somehow.
She told me she would be honored to read them. She also said if she was not guarding Jason and his kin she would be honored to move to Sweden with me. I told her if we could come up with a new guard I would be honored for her to come back with us and be an additional guard I had always liked her. She told me that she thought Rasul would be a good candidate but the last she heard he was in Michigan but maybe Maxwell Lee would do it. She would contact him tomorrow evening to ask.
I told her I trusted her to stay in the room with us if she wanted to. The jet lag was getting to me so I needed to rest. She said she preferred to stand in the hall so that she could guard Jason as well.
Before she left she said the Sheriff had contacted her about a charge coming to the farmhouse possibly to stay for a while and to guard her with my life, she would have a Were there for protection but to guard her none the less. She believes Jason is aware of this placement too.
With that being said I gave her another hug and told her I was happy to see her and I missed her. It was the first time I saw her smile, she told me she was happy I was not dead.
Falling to sleep that night was easy, I had a fierce guard at my door, I was in a kingdom that I felt safe in and I was visiting friends. But the true enlightenment was that Eric had thought of using the farmhouse as a safe haven for Addy. While Russell and Peder were away I would have to speak with Bart and Pam about getting extra protection placed around the farmhouse. We didn’t need Bill making waves and Freyda finding out where Addy was hidden. I am pretty sure he was one of her spies.
When I woke in the morning Jason was waiting for me to tell me all about Bon Temps and the gossip of what was going on. He told me he sure wished he could tell everyone I was alive but he knew why he couldn’t. He told me at least now he could talk to Thalia about me. I told him that may change since she offered to go back to Sweden with us. He was a little upset at that but I told him he would get another guard, one just as good as Thalia and he would live on the property and guard his family.
“You’re getting me a dude?”
“Yes, the dude’s name in Maxwell Lee.”
“Oh, I met him at the funeral, nice enough cat…I guess…I guess he will do.”
Only Jason would call a vampire a cat. I knew what he meant but sometimes he just didn’t get it. Just like the time he called Eric, dude, I thought he was going to get a beat down that night.
The morning and afternoon went by pretty fast while we waited for our vampires to rise. Jason and I spoke about Addy and he was aware of the possible visit/stay of the girl and her guard. He was told to contact Alcide about extra protection of the property that the Viking would pay him. Alcide told him to let Eric know that it was a gift for Sookie and the Pack not protecting her seven years ago. I felt honored and ashamed that he felt he needed to protect me, we hadn’t seen much of each other after that mishap in my bed and I thought he hated me.
The kids had a great time out in the compound. The Weres shifted and played with the kids to keep them occupied. The parents watched in awe at how gentle the guards were to the children in Were form.
It was an awesome sight and I will have to thank Russell for that later. We all felt safe.
We adults got a chance while they were playing and being entertained to run into town to get the books for Thalia and to get someone other things we neglected to bring with us, like swimsuits. I forgot about the weather down here, I was so acclimated to Sweden now the thought never crossed my mind. Russell had a huge pool room and the kids were itching to try the big slide out. The Weres offered to play with them in the pool too, but in human form.
I think this was a mini vacation for them since we were human and the real guarding (as their thoughts read) was when all the kings woke up. The never suspected who we were nor did they recognize any of us, which was a very good thing.
As the kings woke up, a frenzy occurred. It was like watching chickens with their heads cut off. The amount of vampire activity was interesting to say the least. Apparently Russell had gotten word by his spy that Freyda had called in some help from her fellow clan members as she thought Peder’s visit was for a takeover. I am sure it was Eric who called in the troops at Freyda’s request as that woman was clueless, she was all about a false front and the only strength she had was Eric.
I hoped Eric didn’t think Peder’s visit was for brute force and the extra militia would be needed. I hope he trusted his old friend. Peder was simply checking on an old friend but time would tell how it was perceived. I wanted to give Karin some type of clue to give to Eric that I still lived but I didn’t want him to think I died falsely to make him hurt. So I thought against it.
For once I had to protect myself and that is what I did.
I finally found out what self-preservation was about.
As things started to settle down and everyone who was going was getting ready to leave an odd thought came to me. I had become mindful of the signs or déjà vu’s lately that occurred in my life. As I was getting up to say goodbye to my friends the song, “Crawling Back To You” by Daughtry popped into my thoughts.
Lessons learned, and bridges burned to the ground
And it’s too late now to put out the fire tables turned
And I’m the one who’s burning now well I’m doing all right
Till I close my eyes and then I see your face and it’s no surprise
Just like that I’m crawling back to you
Just like you said I would yeah
Swallow my pride now I’m crawling back to you
I’m out of my head can’t wait any longer
I’m down on my knees I thought I was stronger
Just like that just like you said I’d do
I’m crawling back to you
Time can heal, but the scars only hide the way you feel
And it’s hard to forget how I left you hanging
On by a thread, everything I said
I regret it yeah I was doin’ all right
Thought I could make it then I see your face and
It’s hard to fake it.
And just like that I’m crawling back to you
Just like you said I would yeah
Swallow my pride I’m crawling back to you
I’m out of my head can’t wait any longer
I’m down on my knees I thought I was stronger
Just like that like you said I’d do
Yeah I’m crawling back to you
You could find a way to forgive everything I know you would
And I would take it all back if only I knew that I could.
Lessons learned and bridges burned to the ground
And it’s to late now to put out the fire.
And just like that I’m crawling back to you
Just like you said I would yeah
Swallow my pride I’m crawling back to you
I’m out of my head can’t wait any longer
I’m down on my knees I thought I was stronger
Just like that just like you said I’d do
Yeah I’m crawling back to you
Was it really that easy?
Were our lives mending back together, was this a trip of false hopes or one of true hopes and prayers.
I should have swallowed my pride so many years ago and gotten word to my love that I would wait for him, that I loved him and I would see him in our own Valhalla wherever that may lie.
I knew I would worry about my friends while they were on this trip and upon their safe return I would be ready for whatever lies ahead.
As we said our goodbyes I made sure not to hug any of them, I didn’t want my scent clinging to them and it having the Viking going berserker.
Peder got word to us that they arrived in Oklahoma and were met by armed guards. He was hopeful they would be able to leave tonight but he was fearful that they might have to stay overnight. They would get word to Bart one way or another.
It was going to be a long two days.