Pam felt a moment of panic at Eric’s forceful tone before adopting a sullen look and stomping toward him. As far as she was concerned, she wasn’t the only one who had some explaining to do. Eric had disappeared for a few nights, not told her where he was going, and then shown up in their bar with Sookie fucking Stackhouse of all people… And that was after he had shouted at her and sent her away from the fight with the witches. It was Eric who needed to do the explaining!
“Where have you been?” Pam asked, crossing her arms over her chest as she glared at her Maker. Pam barely had time to react before she found herself flat on her back on one of the dingy tables, an irate Eric leaning over her. Pam swore she saw her life flash before her eyes when she stared up into the burning eyes of her Maker, and it was at that moment she fully comprehended in just how much trouble she was. Snarky comments and her usual bitchiness weren’t going to help her. Eric was furious with her and, for the first time since she had been turned, Pam truly feared her Maker. “Eric…”
“You forget your place, child,” Eric said as he stared down at Pam. His tone was even and his face void of all expression. Eric was beyond disappointed; beyond angry, there were no words to describe precisely what he was feeling. Pam… His child had shamed him before all his Area vampires. She had shamed him in front of the scouting party from another state. She had made a liar of him and his Maker. She had disrespected their blood.
For once in her life, Pam did the wise thing and remained quiet. She wasn’t used to Eric treating her in such a way, and she feared she had finally pushed him too far. Still, in her fear she was uncertain about just what it was she had done that had garnered such a reaction. Was he still angry over her firing that rocket at Sookie? Was he angry that she had turned Tara? Did he think she wasn’t ready to be a Maker? If that were the case, she would have to agree with him. She wasn’t ready to be a Maker. She had no desire to look after another and teach them as Eric had taught her. She didn’t want to be responsible for another and was happy with things as they were.
“Nothing to say, Pamela?” Eric continued once he realized she wasn’t going to say anything. In the hundred years since he had turned her, Eric didn’t think he had ever been more disappointed in her. He knew deep down inside she had the potential to be a good Maker, great even. He wasn’t blinded by his feelings, or being arrogant thinking she could just because she was his child. He truly believed it. He remembered how she was with her girls back in the brothel. He remembered how she cared for them, looked after them, and cried for them when they were killed. Pam had what it took, but she had become lazy and selfish. Gone was the woman who had showed no fear when she stood up to a murderer and two vampires; in her place was a selfish, spoiled, pompous vampire. Eric knew part of that was his fault; he had spoiled her. He had foolishly given her everything she wanted, but he had also taught her. He had shown her what it meant to be a vampire; he had explained the sacredness of the blood to her as well as the magnitude of being a Maker. That was what hurt Eric the most. She had blatantly ignored his teachings, Godric’s teachings, and acted selfishly. She had broken her word when she told him she understood his lessons.
Releasing his hold on her, Eric straightened up and took several steps back. He could see Tara staring at him and Pam, wide-eyed in shock, and he turned his attention to her. “You should have never been turned,” he said, pulling no punches. “You are not made for this life, and Pam should have done the right thing and refused to turn you. However, because of the selfish actions of Pam, you are now the one thing you never wanted to be. The wise thing would be to end you…” Eric concealed a smile when he saw Tara shift uncomfortably at his words and, in that moment, he knew despite all her screaming and shouting, she didn’t want to die. She may not have wanted to be a vampire, but she didn’t want the alternative either. She wanted to live. It was that knowledge that led Eric to believe that all was not lost. Things could get better. It wouldn’t be easy and it would take time, a great deal of time, but the hope was there. “While that would be the wise thing to do, it is not the right thing. You deserve the opportunity to see if you can accept your new life and learn to enjoy it.”
Tara stared at Eric, unsure what to say. For one horrifying moment she thought he might to kill her. She thought she was looking her death in the eyes. As she stared at Eric, Tara realized that despite how much she hated her new state, she wasn’t ready to die. She didn’t think she would ever truly enjoy being a vampire and, as much as she hated to admit it, Sookie was right when she told her the alternative was everlasting death. If she had to choose between the two, and she realized she actually did, she would choose to be a vampire. However, that didn’t mean she was ready to forgive Sookie or Lafayette for what they had done. She would never forgive them. They had wronged her. They had no right to make the choice for her. She wished she could make them pay for what they had done to her, but from everything that had happened since she had foolishly run out of Sookie’s house one night previous, Tara knew nothing she said or did would matter. Sookie didn’t care. She didn’t have any remorse for what she had done to her former best friend, and it was obvious that she didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. Tara wasn’t sure what had happened to make Sookie feel that way. She wasn’t sure what had changed, but something most definitely had. The Sookie who had dragged her into Fangtasia wasn’t the same tender-hearted girl she had grown up with. Angry, biting words and attempts to guilt her wouldn’t get Tara anywhere with the new Sookie. She had a strength that Tara had never seen before. For the first time since she had met Sookie in the school playground, Tara realized she wasn’t the stronger of the two.
Eric stared at Tara for a minute, letting her digest his words before he turned his gaze back to his unhappy, yet strangely, silent child. As he stared at her, Eric let his disappointment be seen in his eyes. “You are selfish and spoiled,” he said, letting her hear the pain in his voice, the pain she had caused. “You shamed me this evening, and shamed my Maker…” He could see his words were having an effect on Pam, although at the moment he wasn’t sure what kind. He didn’t know if she was taking what he was saying to heart, or if she was doing her usual thing, dismissing them, and only thinking about how much he was hurting her. As much as he loved her, Eric didn’t like Pam very much at that point in time. Despite her age, both in vampire terms and chronologically, she acted like a child at times throwing tantrums when she didn’t get her own way. “You turned her…” He jabbed a finger at Tara as he spoke, “not because you felt the pull toward her, or you thought she would make a good vampire, but for your own selfish reasons. You turned her on a deal!” His voice rose as he spoke, his anger leaking through. “You have understood nothing that I taught you…”
Pam felt the weight of Eric’s disappointment press down on her, and she hunched her shoulders and hung her head. She wanted to argue that she hadn’t shamed him and Godric, but the words caught in her throat because deep down inside in places she didn’t want to acknowledge, she knew the truth. She had. She had been selfish when she turned Tara. She hadn’t turned the angry young woman because she thought she would make a good vampire, or even because she liked her. No, she had done it because she wanted Sookie talk to Eric and make things right between them. Eric had spoken the truth; she had done it on a deal. She had been selfish, and the worst thing was she knew it hadn’t made a bit of difference between her and Eric. If anything, it had made things worse. She had disappointed her Maker.
“I was wrong to turn her,” Pam said, her voice low while she admitted the truth. “I should have never agreed when Sookie and Lafayette asked me. I should have refused.” Lifting her head, Pam looked at Eric with eyes rimmed with blood tears as she struggled to find the right words to say to make everything better. “But I can fix it… I can fix my mistake. I will…”
Eric saw red as he listened to his child. He didn’t need to hear the rest of her words to know what she was talking about, to know what she was planning. Throwing himself forward, Eric wrapped his hand around Pam’s throat and lifted her into the air. He ignored her cry of shock as he slammed her into the wall; the same wall Sookie had slammed Victor against hours earlier. “No, Pamela!” He growled, his fangs slipping down as he leaned in closer to her. “It is time you grew up and took responsibility for your actions. It is time you became independent…” Eric grinned when he saw Pam’s eyes widen in horror and he didn’t need to be a mindreader to know what she was thinking. When you loved your Maker as she did there were only two things you really feared… Your Maker meeting the True Death and being released. Eric had no plans to meet the True Death, and as disappointed in Pam as he was, he would never release her. Eric believed that to be a cruel punishment, one that would hurt not only Pam, but him also. “You are a Maker now…” Eric smirked as he flicked his gaze to Tara. “A Maker to a child who hates you.” Releasing his grip on Pam, Eric took a step back and watched while she steadied herself. He knew he probably wasn’t making it easier on her, scolding her in front of her child, but it was time she learned that her actions had consequences. “You have two choices,” he continued once he was sure her full attention had returned to him. “One, you can take responsibility for your child. Teach her as I taught you, support her, and help her grow. Show her what it really means to be a vampire and not what she thinks it means… Or two, stake her and send her to meet the True Death…” Eric could barely contain his disgust when he saw Pam’s eyes light up at option number two and he knew she thought she was making an escape. “However, if you do that, you will also spend the next twenty-five years chained in silver, buried six feet beneath the ground…”
Pam stumbled backward as she listened to Eric. She told herself he couldn’t mean it, but one look into his eyes told her he meant every word. He would chain her in silver and leave her to rot for twenty-five years if she staked Tara. He was forcing her to be a Maker!
“You have one night to decide what you are going to do,” Eric added as he took another step back. “Regardless of what you decide, Pam, from this night on you will stand on your own two feet. You will support yourself…”
Pam couldn’t hold back a cry of horror when she realized what Eric was saying. He was cutting her off financially. She would once again be forced to earn her own money and spend it. She could no longer use Eric’s money to buy the things she desired. “Eric!”
Eric smirked as he heard the dismay in Pam’s voice. He had to admit cutting her off felt good. It was long overdue. He should have forced her to go out on her own decades ago.
“Eric, please, I’m not ready!” Pam begged wondering how things had gone so bad so quickly.
“It is too late for that now, Pam. You’re a Maker, you’re a hero,” Eric replied, repeating the words she said to Bill the night he turned Jessica. Both Pam and Bill might not have known he was there that night, but he had watched them from a distance wanting to make sure Bill didn’t try and do anything stupid. Eric chuckled as he turned and made his way across the bar. He paused just as he reached the door to the back office and turned to face Pam again. “Oh, Pam, you should know just in case you had thought about calling in a certain debt… As your Maker, I am releasing Sookie from the debt. She owes you nothing!”
It was all Pam could do to stay upright while she watched Eric disappear into the back of the bar. She didn’t think it was possible for her night to get any worse, but as always, Her Maker had proven her wrong. Not only had he given her an ultimatum, be a Maker or spend twenty-five years chained in silver, but he had also eliminated a debt that could have gotten Sookie Stackhouse out of her life forever.
What the hell am I going to do? Pam asked herself as she stared at her scowling child. She wished she had an answer, but she knew regardless of her decision, she was fucked either way.
Sookie let out a sigh as she pulled up outside the old farmhouse. When she left the house the night before Sookie didn’t think she would be returning so soon. She knew she would have to return eventually; she had a family and friends she needed to see and talk with, not something she was at all looking forward to. The return of her old memories had put many of her human ones into perspective and now Sookie was no longer blinded by people offering her the hand of friendship along with the strings attached. She wasn’t the naïve little girl that she had been.
Unbuckling her seatbelt, Sookie paused before she opened the driver’s door and turned her gaze to Thalia. “I want you to keep a look out for Bill,” she said, plotting out her next moves as well as the ones she thought the former King might make. Sookie knew him well enough to know he wouldn’t go quietly into the night. She had humiliated him and stripped him of the power he clung to desperately. Bill wouldn’t give up his stupid plans, and Sookie needed to be prepared for whatever he cooked up in his twisted mind. Bill may not have been a threat to her physically, but Sookie couldn’t overlook nor underestimate him. He had a long history of aligning himself with those stronger than him to get what he wanted, and then stabbing them in the back when he got it. Bill was the poster boy for the Sanguinista Movement. He embodied their beliefs. “I want you to keep him away from the house, but don’t kill him. It’s not time for that yet. Bill still has a part to play…” It was not a part Bill would be happy with, but Sookie didn’t care. Bill had played with other people’s lives for over a century, so it was well past time he got a taste of his own medicine. “Tomorrow night Eric and I will hunt down Russell Edgington… and we will take Bill with us,” Sookie added as an afterthought. “While we do that, I need you to make your way to the old meeting place…” Sookie held her hand up, silencing Thalia’s protest. She knew the Greek vampire well enough to know she would want to accompany her and Eric to hunt down Russell. “Not this time, Thalia. I need you to do as I say. Ana is coming, and will more than likely be there tomorrow night sometime, and others will arrive in the coming nights…”
“What is happening, My Lady?” Thalia asked, eyeing Sookie carefully. In the two-thousand years since she had been turned, Thalia had never once been party to a family reunion. She knew if the others were coming that was what it meant. As far as she knew it had never been done. Some of the older members of their line might have known each other and met up over the years, but no one save Sookie knew how many vampires were of the Blood of Lilith line.
“Our bloodline is under attack,” Sookie answered truthfully, the weight of her words hanging heavy between them. “I don’t know how, or even who, but someone knows of our line. We have already lost one, and we almost lost two more just recently. I need to find out if any of the others have suffered attacks lately and who might be behind them.”
Thalia nodded but said nothing. There was nothing she could say. They were under attack from some mysterious force. She had many questions to ask, but she knew it wasn’t the time. While it might seem like it, she doubted they were alone. There were ears and eyes everywhere. It wasn’t the time to ask Sookie how she had managed to conceal herself for so long. Thalia was filled with curiosity, wanting to know how she hadn’t recognized the blonde when she saw her at Fangtasia. Sookie’s appearance hadn’t changed at all. She looked the same as she did a thousand years ago; her voice was the same, everything about her was, and yet Thalia hadn’t recognized her in the slightest when she walked into Fangtasia over a year ago on the arm of Bill Compton.
Sookie let out another sigh before opening the SUV door and climbing out of the vehicle. She could hear people in the house and knew she was in for a long night, well, what was left of it anyway. “Keep him away from the house,” Sookie repeated her earlier order as she slammed the car door shut. “Jessica, too,” she added, unsure if she could trust the baby vampire. Her gut told her she couldn’t. Jessica was loyal to Bill and there was no telling what he would have her do if the opportunity arose. Not waiting for Thalia to reply, Sookie flashed her a smile before she climbed the porch steps and entered the house. She was barely had two feet in the door before a very pissed off-looking Lafayette and Jason were stomping toward her.
“Where the fuck you been, hookah?” Lafayette asked while he ran his eyes over Sookie, checking her for any sign of injury. He had been out of his mind with fear thinking his dumb-ass cousin had hurt Sookie.
“It’s a long, long story,” Sookie replied as she pushed past them and made her way into the living room. “The short of it is, I found Tara and she’s with Pam in Shreveport now.” While she flicked her eyes between the two men, Sookie noticed something was definitely wrong. There was genuine fear in both of their eyes and for one terrible second Sookie feared that they had been attacked in her absence. “What’s going on?”
“What’s goin’ on?” Jason repeated as he started to pace back and forth. He felt as if he was about to pop out of his skin. “You disappeared without a word again. We didn’t know where you were or if you were okay, and then I found out a vampire killed our parents…”
“Wait! What?” Sookie cried, interrupting Jason. Stepping in front of him, Sookie grabbed him by the arms and held him still as she stared up at him. “What the hell are you talking about, Jason?” She asked, genuinely confused. Of all the things she had expected to hear that night, that wasn’t one of them.
“I saw Hadley last night. She’s workin’ in some strange club, and she told me a vamp killed Momma and Daddy,” Jason explained as he tried to shake off Sookie’s grip. He frowned when he realized he couldn’t budge her. “Damn, Sook, when d’ya get so strong?”
Sookie ignored his question as she released her hold on him and took a step back. “How would Hadley know that?” Sookie questioned. It didn’t make sense to her. As far as Sookie was aware the only vampires Hadley knew were Louisiana ones, Sophie-Anne and she was deader than a Dodo. No vampire would tell a human who they killed unless they were planning to kill them right after.
“She said the fairies told her…”
“Fairies!” Sookie growled, her fangs snapping down in her anger.
Jason and Lafayette stared at Sookie in shock as they took in her new-old state. For the first time ever, Lafayette found himself speechless. Of all the things he had imagined over the last day, Sookie being a vampire wasn’t one of them. He wondered briefly if Tara hadn’t turned her out of spite before brushing that thought away. His cousin would have more than likely drained Sookie dry.
Jason couldn’t believe his eyes as he gazed at his sister. She was a vampire! How the hell had that happened? “Sook, what…” He trailed off at a loss for words.
Yes, definitely in for a long night, Sookie thought.