Sookie shook her head in disbelief. “That’s not possible,” she said as she met Eric’s gaze. “Tara’s dead. She has been for years. She can’t have…” She trailed off unable to finish her sentence. She still remembered the night Lettie Mae told them all her daughter was dead. Despite her dislike of the woman, Sookie couldn’t deny that she had been devastated by the death of her only child. Lettie Mae had gone off the deep end following Tara’s death, doing V just so she could see her again.
“I know,” Eric replied unable to explain it. He, like everyone else, knew Tara was dead, yet he could clearly smell her scent. She carried the blood of his line; it wasn’t a scent he could easily mistake. He didn’t know how to explain it, but he had no doubt it was Tara whom he was scenting. “Pam told me she was dead, but it is definitely her scent I am getting. She was here. She helped attack Willa and kidnap your brother.”
“Why would she do this?” Sookie asked, still not quite believing it. “Why would she attack Willa and take Jason? Tara and Willa were friends… She used to have a crush on Jason. This doesn’t make sense, Eric. Why would either Jessica or Tara do this?”
“Jessica is obsessed with Jason,” Willa replied, stepping forward and attempting to catch the scents. Sniffing the air, she could pick up the familiar scents of Jessica and Tara, but she was unsure if she was actually smelling them, or if she was only subconsciously because Eric had identified them. “Ever since I got involved with Jason, Jessica has been trying to come between us. It didn’t matter that at the time she was involved with Hoyt. The moment Jason got involved with me, she decided he was the love of her life and she wanted him back. I don’t know if she has any real feeling for him, but I doubt it. Jessica wants Jason just because he’s moved on and doesn’t want her anymore.”
“She sounds just like her Maker,” Sookie snorted, recalling how Bill was happy to leave her alone as long as she was alone. He was happy to respect her decisions while she remained unattached, but the moment she showed interest in someone else, he suddenly decided he couldn’t live without her anymore. He fucked with her mind over and over, and now it seemed he had taught Jessica the same tricks. “D’ya think Bill knows ‘bout this?” She asked after mulling it over. Sookie wouldn’t put it past him to use both Jessica and Jason to get what he wanted. Having his child kidnap her brother would put them in close contact until they were found.
“He might,” Eric replied thoughtfully. Like Sookie, Eric wouldn’t put it past Bill. The vampire was obsessed with the telepathic blonde and would do anything to get her back. Arranging for her brother to be kidnapped so he could play the hero and rescue him would be right up Bill’s alley. “Whether he is or not, we cannot trust him. He will use the situation to his advantage. Still, we should talk to him.”
Eric pursed his lips as he looked around. He was missing something. He knew he was. The attack at Bellefleurs, the Weres on V, Willa attacked, Jason kidnapped, Tara back from the dead, and her and Jessica’s scents all over the place… They were all linked together, of that he was sure, but there was a link missing. Kidnapping Jason was definitely the goal of their little mission, but why? Why did they want him so badly, and for what? Eric was aware of Jessica’s obsession with the eldest Stackhouse sibling. He had been witness to her pathetic attempts to entice him away from Willa over the years. However, her attempts had been just that… pathetic. She had gone about it in an immature, school-girlish type of way, reflecting her age when she was turned. She had attempted to make him jealous and thrown tantrums. Dealing with V Weres, sneak attacks, and planning kidnappings were far beyond her.
“Willa, you should go and get changed,” Eric added, looking over his child who was still dripping wet. “Afterward, we will go and talk to Compton to see if he knows his child’s location.”
Sookie watched Willa race into the house before turning her attention to Eric. “What are ya thinkin’?”
“I am thinking I am missing something,” Eric told her truthfully. “There is more going on here than Jessica’s obsession with your brother. She has neither the skill nor resources to pull this off on her own. I am also troubled by the fact that it seems your friend is still alive. Her mother said she saw her die… Pam, her Maker, said she felt her die. Now, either her scent here is just a trick to throw us off the real culprit, or she did not really meet the True Death. If that is the case, it either means Tara somehow managed to break the Maker/Child bond, or…” Eric couldn’t believe he was actually going to say it, but it was the only other explanation.
“Or what?” Sookie asked, on tenterhooks.
“Or… Pam lied about feeling her die,” Eric finished. Sookie could hear the anguish in his voice and her heart went out to him. “If that is the case, it would stand to reason that Pam is behind this… Or involved at the very least.”
“Why would Pam have Jason kidnapped?” Sookie asked, confusion leaking through into her tone. “I know she doesn’t like me, but…”
“Revenge,” Willa answered, cutting Sookie off as she stepped out of the house in her clean and dry clothes. She had heard Eric and Sookie’s conversation from the house, and she was starting to suspect Pam was involved somehow as well. “Pam despises me. A few years back she tried to kill me…” She didn’t go into details as she didn’t think Sookie would want to know the ins and outs of the sexual relationship she had with Eric. Sookie might have known about their little affair, but she didn’t want nor need to know the details of every single encounter they had. “Pam blames me for everything that went wrong between her and Eric.”
“Of course,” Sookie snorted. She shook her head as she thought about the blonde-haired vampire who was so obsessed with Eric. “Sorry to say this, Eric, but Pam reminds me of Bill. Nothin’ is ever their fault.”
“It can’t be a coincidence, Eric,” Willa said before Eric had a chance to reply to Sookie, although she had to agree with the telepathic hybrid. Bill and Pam were cut from the same cloth. They never took responsibility for their own actions, always laying the blame elsewhere. “I’m supposed to be getting married in two night’s time, and suddenly Tara is back from the dead and kidnapping Jason. This has to be Pam’s doing.”
As much as he wished he could refute her claims, Eric knew he couldn’t. Pam’s name was all over this. He didn’t know what she was up to, or why she lied about Tara being dead, but all the evidence pointed to her doing just that. “I know,” he admitted. Letting out an unneeded breath, Eric tried to plot his next course of action. He knew they should talk to Compton, but truthfully he wasn’t expecting him to be very forthcoming. Whether he knew anything or not, Bill would use the situation to try and get closer to Sookie.
With a plan slowly forming in his head, Eric closed the small gap between him and Sookie and reached into the pocket of his jacket she was still wearing to pull out his cell phone. He started to pace as he called his Head of Security and waited for her to answer. “Willa was attacked and her fiancée has been kidnapped,” he barked once the call was answered. “Where the hell were the guards I asked you to send…? Who did you send…? No, there is no evidence of him ever being here… Send the trackers to the house. I want Jason and his kidnappers found… No, I don’t care about that. Finding him is our top priority.” Placing his hand over the mouthpiece, Eric turned to Sookie, “Sookie, can I use your house as a base tonight?” He asked. He knew the vampire on the other end of the phone could hear what he was saying, but he at least wanted to give them all the illusion of privacy. “Speaking to Compton and then going to Shreveport will waste too much time. My vampires can get here while we talk to Compton.”
“Of course,” Sookie replied with a nod. She no longer was determined to stay out of Supe shit. She was very much a part of the Supernatural world and wasn’t running from it anymore.
“Thank you,” Eric replied sincerely before removing his hand from the mouthpiece of his phone. “Send out the word for everyone to be at Hummingbird Lane within the hour. Oh, and, Thalia, bring everything you have on Pam. I want to know where my wayward child is and what she had been up to since I banished her.” Eric hung up before Thalia had a chance to reply. She had her orders and he knew she would follow them.
Stepping closer to Sookie, Eric shoved his cell phone into his pocket before pulling her closer to him and wrapping his arms around her. “Meet us at Compton’s,” he said, directing the instruction to Willa before taking to the air again. He held Sookie firmly to his chest while he flew them through the air. After over four years, Eric finally had Sookie in his arms again; instead of enjoying it and reconnecting in the most intimate of ways, they were worrying and searching for her brother. He swore on the memory of Godric that if Pam was behind the attack on Willa and Jason’s kidnapping she would suffer greatly. There would be no place on Earth where he would not be able to find her, nor a good enough place where she could hide.
Landing in the cemetery between Sookie and Bill’s houses, Eric set his beautiful fairy down and linked his fingers with hers. He gave her a small smile before tugging on her hand lightly and leading her toward the old Compton house. He wasn’t expecting Bill to be overly helpful but, one way or another; he would tell them what they wanted to know. They paused on the edge of the property and waited for Willa to join them. She deserved to be there when they questioned Bill. She was Jason’s fiancée. She deserved her pound of flesh if it came down to it.
Sookie wrinkled her nose in distaste when she dropped her shields and scanned the house. She could sense one void and hear one mind. “He’s not alone,” she told Eric in a whisper, not wanting to alert Bill to their presence too soon.
Eric nodded, having already determined there was a human in the house. He could hear her moans of pleasure from where he stood. Luckily for them, Bill seemed to be too focused on the woman with him to realize they were there. Eric shook his head in disgust as he listened to Bill fucking the woman. It was only a few hours earlier Bill was trying to reclaim Sookie for his own. Eric knew he was no saint; he had engaged in many sins of the flesh after Sookie had rejected him the first time, but, unlike Bill, he had never hidden who he was from Sookie. Bill had painted himself as a Southern gentleman whose heart was true to only one. He would have her believe he was faithful to her even in her absence and their separation.
Staring down at Sookie, Eric ran his eyes over her to see how she was reacting to the knowledge of what Bill was engaging in. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting to see on her face, maybe jealousy or even pain; instead all he saw was disgust. Bill disgusted her. Lifting his arm, he wrapped it around Sookie’s shoulders and smiled as she leaned into him and wrapped her arm around his waist.
“What’s the bettin’ he’ll claim it’s not what it looks like when we bust in there?” Sookie said, smiling up at Eric.
Eric chuckled softly and pressed a kiss to her head. He had no doubt that was what Bill would claim. Bill would even probably try to blame Eric for it, claiming he set him up or some such nonsense. As he thought about it, he realized Sookie was right earlier when she said Pam reminded him of Bill. The two of them were more alike than Eric ever wanted to admit. “Should we go and find out?” He questioned with an arch of his eyebrow. “Willa is here.”
Willa smiled as she stopped beside her Maker and the telepathic blonde, but both Eric and Sookie could tell it was strained. She was scared for Jason and it was showing on her face. Turning her attention to the house, she shuddered when she picked up the unmistakable sounds of sex coming from inside. “I can safely say that is something I never wanted to hear,” she grimaced.
“Well, prepare yourself,” Eric warned as he lifted his arm off Sookie’s shoulders. Vamping to the door, Eric reared back and kicked it, sending it flying off the hinges. “You are about to see it,” he added before stepping inside the house to question Bill.
“He always did know how to make an entrance,” Sookie joked before chasing Eric up the porch steps and into Bill’s house. Her brow furrowed in surprise when she entered the living room and saw who Bill’s ‘lady friend’ was and a look of disgust filled her face. “Lisa?!” She exclaimed. She hadn’t paid much attention to who the female was while she was standing outside as truthfully she didn’t care, but seeing the girl her and Bill had once babysat together naked and underneath her ex turned Sookie’s stomach. A quick mental add up told Sookie the girl was at least eighteen now, but she still found the whole thing revolting.
“Sookeh!” Bill cried as he jumped to his feet and left Lisa exposed to the people in the room. “This is not what it looks like,” he added as he grabbed his pants and pulled them on. “I was just…”
“No, Bill!” Sookie snapped cutting him off dead. “This is exactly what it looks like!” Turning her gaze to a humiliated Lisa, Sookie fought the urge to ask her what the hell she was thinking. “Lisa, get dressed and go home!” she ordered, throwing the tiny piece of fabric that passed as a dress to her.
“But, Bill…” Lisa began.
“Is ‘bout to get his ass kicked,” Sookie said interrupting her. “Now get outta here before I call ya momma and tell her who you’ve been doin’.”
Lisa snapped her mouth shut and pulled on her dress in the face of Sookie’s threat. Arlene may not have hated all vampires anymore, but she sure as hell hated Bill. Most of Bon Temps did those days. She mumbled a quick “bye,” while she raced out the house.
“Really, Sookeh! That was quite rude,” Bill chided while he slipped on his shirt, leaving it unbuttoned. “I don’t come to your house and throw out your guests.”
“No, you used to have them arrested and locked up though,” Sookie countered, glaring at him in silent reminder about the times he had interrupted her with Eric and Warlow, and then had them removed and locked up in his underground prison.
“That was for your own good,” Bill replied stiffly. “Besides, I had just reasons for doing that. What reason could you possibly have to throw out my guest? Jealousy?” Bill smirked, believing that to be the reason she was so angry at finding Lisa there. She was jealous. Let’s see how Eric likes that? “Jealousy doesn’t suit you, Sookie.”
“Neither does disgust, but that’s what I’m feelin’ right now!” Sookie spat. “I ain’t jealous, Bill. I’m disgusted. Lisa is just a kid. She’s barely eighteen.” She gave Bill a look of utter contempt. “You disgust me!”
Bill floundered under the weight of Sookie’s disgust, not knowing what to say. One look at her told him she meant every word she was saying. She wasn’t jealous; she was absolutely repulsed by him. “What are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting to see you after you had The King…” he sneered, letting his bitterness seep into his tone, “interfere in our relationship and force me from your side.”
“Believe me, Bill, here is the last place I want to be,” Sookie retorted. “Unfortunately, I don’t have much choice.” Nodding at Eric, Sookie silently asked him to take over, afraid that if she continued she would end up blasting Bill through the wall. They needed answers too much for her to give into her desire to ‘light Bill up like a Christmas tree’ as she had threatened earlier.
“Where is your child?” Eric asked, stepping forward and making Bill step back. He was as equally revolted as Sookie by Bill’s little playmate. He remembered the young woman from when Merlotte had brought her to his club when she was still a child during the whole Maenad fiasco. If Bill had any real affection for her, Eric might not have been as disgusted, but he knew Bill was just using her as a place to get his dick wet while he lamented Sookie. He was using his heartbreak to seduce young and impressionable women just like he had used Sookie’s heartbreak at losing her Gran to seduce her. “Where is Ms. Hamby?”
“Jessica?” Bill shrugged. “I don’t know. She’s not here. Why? What do you want with her?” He asked having no idea why Eric would kick his door in just to ask about Jessica. From what Bill knew, Eric had no interest in his child; he never had. She was just one vampire in his… in my, Bill corrected in his head, State. The Council might have made Eric King of Louisiana, but I will always be its real King. I don’t care what anyone says, Louisiana is mine! Eric had never asked about Jessica before and Bill couldn’t help but wonder why he was now. Flicking his gaze to Sookie and Willa, Bill started to wonder if Eric’s new found interest in his child had to do with Jason Stackhouse. Bill knew Jessica was in love with the man and would do anything to be with him again, not that he could blame her. Once you got a taste of one of the Stackhouses’ you were forever lost to them. They were addicting. Have Jason and Jessica run off together? He wondered. He smirked at the thought. Wouldn’t that just be great? The King’s child dumped just nights before her wedding and her fiancé realizing he loves My Child! I can see the scandal it would cause now.
“Jessica was involved in the attack at Bellefleur’s earlier this evening,” Eric replied, eyeing Bill carefully to observe his reactions. The Civil War vampire was a skilled liar, but he had a few tells that Eric had learned over the years. Eric wanted to know how much Bill knew before he told him about the attack on Willa and Jason’s kidnapping.
“What? No!” Bill growled, refusing to believe it. There was no way Jessica was involved in that. She wouldn’t be so stupid to get involved with a pack of Weres on V. She had seen the danger they could do during the whole debacle with Russell Edgington. Jessica may not have been the smartest vampire in the world, but she wasn’t that stupid. “That had nothing to do with her. I won’t let you blame her.”
“It is not a case of you letting us blame her,” Eric replied coolly. From Bill’s reactions, Eric believed he didn’t have anything to do with it or was even aware of what his young progeny had done. It seemed young Jessica had acted without her Maker’s knowledge. “We know she was involved. So tell us, Bill, where…”
“How do you know?” Bill asked, cutting Eric off. In Bill’s mind, there was no way in hell Jessica could be involved. She wouldn’t even know how to arrange an attack using V Weres. It was preposterous. “What proof could you possibly have?”
“She’s kidnapped Jason!” Willa snapped, stepping forward. Like Eric, she didn’t think Bill had anything to do with what Jessica had done; that didn’t mean he wouldn’t protect her… or use her stupidity for his own benefit.
“Ridiculous,” Bill scoffed, denying the allegation. “Jessica would never do anything to hurt Jason. She loves him,” he looked to Sookie when he spoke the last part, trying to impart the truth of his words to her and get her to come to Jessica’s defense. “If he’s missing it probably means he’s finally realized that for himself and the two of them have run away to be together.”
“She’s kidnapped him,” Sookie said softly as she met Bill’s gaze. “Jason wants nothin’ to do with Jessica, Bill. He doesn’t love her or want to be with her. He loves Willa.”
“Even if that was true, it doesn’t prove Jessica kidnapped him,” Bill argued. “Really, Sookie, how can you fall for this? Can’t you see they’re blaming Jessica for whatever might have happened to your brother just to drive a wedge between us… between you and Jessica? They’re just trying to keep us apart.”
“They don’t have to do anythin’ to try and drive a wedge between us, Bill,” Sookie replied with a sad smile. “Cause ya did that all on your own. This,” she waved her hand around, indicating everything around them, “has nothin’ to do with you and me, or even Jess and me. This is ‘bout your child kidnappin’ Willa’s fiancé. So, where is she, Bill?”
“You have no proof Jessica kidnapped him,” Bill argued refusing to concede. He was convinced it was just a ploy by Eric to try and cement himself back into Sookie’s life again and getting Bill out for good. Having her brother kidnapped and blaming his competition’s child would go a long way in souring Sookie against him. Eric was nothing if not an opportunist.
“The proof is Willa being attacked, Jason missing, the scent of Weres and your child all over the area,” Eric said, rejoining the conversation. He held back the news about Tara’s scent being at Jason’s house as well, not wanting Bill to know that just yet. Eric knew Bill would more than likely come to the same conclusion he had; that Pam had lied about Tara dying and she was the brains behind Jason’s kidnapping. However, Eric didn’t want to turn the whole affair into a ‘your child vs. my child’ argument. In his eyes, they were both to blame and would both be punished for it. “Now, I am not asking you again, Bill…”
“That is not proof,” Bill snarled, cutting Eric off. “For all you know Jason attacked Willa, and then ran off with Jessica. You have no proof, only suspicions… And why doesn’t Willa locate Jason. I’m sure they’ve shared blood…”
“I’ve tried,” Willa replied looking from Eric to Bill. “I haven’t been able to locate him because he’s not conscious. So unless you’re claiming Jason attacked me, ran away with Jessica, and then knocked himself out…”
“He may have if he doesn’t want you to find him,” Bill said stubbornly.
Sookie groaned at Bill’s refusal to see reason. Running a hand through her hair, she pulled at blonde locks and fought the urge to scream. They were getting nowhere, and Sookie was beginning to think Bill was being stubborn just for the sake of it. A quick look to Eric and Willa had Sookie realizing they were about to blow. “There’s an easy way to find out,” she said as an idea popped into her head. “Call Jessica to you, Bill.”
“No,” Bill refused, crossing his arms over his chest. “I will not let them,” he glared at Eric and Willa, “bully my child when her only crime is falling in love. They have no right…”
“I am her King,” Eric growled rapidly losing his patience with Bill. “I have every right to question her about an attack committed in my State.” Stalking forward, he backed Bill up against the fireplace and glared down at the young vampire. “Now, you have two choices. Either call Jessica to you now, or don’t and watch while we hunt her down…” Leaning forward, Eric got in his face while he added, “If I have to hunt her down; I will find her, you know I will, and I will show her no mercy. Your choice…”
Hatred filled Bill’s eyes as he stared at Eric. He wished he still had the power of Lilith running through him so he could have struck down the Viking. Staring over Eric’s shoulder at Sookie, Bill implored her to do something. “You see what kind of a monster he is,” he hissed. “He just threatened to torture Jessica if I don’t call her.”
“So ya better call her then,” Sookie replied with a shrug. She wasn’t a fan of torture, or even threats of it, but when it came down to her brother or the vampire who had helped kidnap him, she would pick her brother every time.
Bill stared at Sookie as if he didn’t know her. The old Sookie… His Sookie would have been disgusted by Eric’s words. She would have railed at the Viking and called him a monster. She wouldn’t have appeared unaffected by the threats. Seeing that Sookie wasn’t going to help him, and knowing he wasn’t strong enough to go against Eric; Bill dropped his shoulders in defeat. He wasn’t sure what his child had done; he wouldn’t put it past her to attack Willa, but he doubted she had kidnapped Jason. Whatever she had done, it wasn’t worth being hunted and tortured over by Eric.
As he sent Jessica a summons through their bond calling her to him, Bill couldn’t help but wish he had released her all those years ago when she had asked. If he had he would have been able to refuse Eric’s demand. As he waited for Jessica to start making her way to him, Bill cursed the blood of Lilith for having rebonded Jessica to him after he had become Billith. If he hadn’t drunk her blood, Jessica would have no longer been tied to him through the Maker/Child bond.
“I’ve called her,” Bill said bitterly, shooting Eric a glare. “She should…” He trailed off as a strange feeling went through him. His eyes widened as a sharp pain bloomed in his chest, and blood tears rimmed his eyes as he felt the tie linking him and Jessica together break. “No!” He cried clutching at his chest and falling to his knees.
“What the hell?!” Sookie exclaimed as she watched Bill breakdown in front of her. “Eric, what’s goin’ on?”
As he stared down at Bill, Eric couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. The pain he was feeling wasn’t something he would wish on anyone. He didn’t need Bill to explain what was going on. Eric had seen that pain before. He had felt it. Maybe not from the same side, but he recognized it when he saw it. “Jessica,” he said softly, turning to face the woman he loved and his child. “She has met the True Death…”