The ride down to the lobby was spent in relative silence except for Hunter’s squeals of delight each time the door opened. I kept my shields up, not wanting my son to feel my emotional turmoil. Seeing Godric holding Hunter had gave me hope, but Godric was a master at hiding his true self.
“While you were napping Eric told me how you rescued this little one. He was lucky you found him before any psychological damage was done.”
I smiled. “We were the lucky ones, Godric. The joy he brought to our life… There’s no word to describe it. My wildest dreams have come true. I have a great job, the man I love loves me back and we now have a perfect little boy.”
“It’s wonderful to see you and Eric so happy.”
I had the urge to scream at him ‘you could be happy too’ and ‘that baby could bring so much joy to YOUR life’.
“You should have seen Pam when she first met him” said Jessica. “She looked completely disgust even though Hunter smells so good! But then Eric tricked her into doing his nursery and buying him clothes.”
“If Eric is good at one thing then it’s at tricking Pamela” said Godric, a ghost of a smile on his lips.
We all laughed as we passed the front desk, the staff still looking at us with dismay.
I stopped in my track and turned to the dark haired gentleman behind the desk.
“Go ahead, I’ll join you shortly.”
“Do you want me to take Hunter for you?” asked Jessica, extending her arms toward the baby.
“Sure… Be nice to Auntie Jess, doodle bug.”
My little guy smiled broadly as Jessica took him to the restaurant. The cough of the desk clerk brought me back to reality.
“Please, excuse me…”
“No problem, Miss. The gentleman from room 753 checked out earlier this evening and left this for you.”
He gave me an envelope bearing the hotel’s logo.
My dear Sookie,
I hope you will forgive me the familiarity with which I address you. Though our acquaintance is still young, you have become quite dear to my heart. You remind me of a long ago time, a time that was ripped from me.
I have gone back to Bon Temps where I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you soon again. Please convey my regards to your dear grandmother.
Your faithful friend,
PS. Be careful with who you trust, my dear Sookie. The world is full of evil, some closer than you might think. WTC
What the fuck? My impression of him clearly didn’t improve after reading this letter. A first grade asshole! Dear to his heart? I barely knew him! Convey his regards to my grandmother? What about his Childe for whom he made the trip to Texas for, at least according to him…
“You got a recycling bin?”
I took a deep breath and entered the restaurant. Godric and Jessica were finishing feeding off two female donors while Jason was distracting Hunter by stealing his nose.
I smiled like a loon at my wonderful little boy.
“Hey Sook” said Jason, handing me back the baby while trying to shield him from the sight of the two vampires feeding.
“Come here, baby boy! Uncle Jason’s been a meany and stealing your nose?”
“That was a trick… You didn’t say if he could… I mean did Eric feed on you with him being…”
“Don’t worry, Jason. As long as thing are kept G Rated, I don’t see any problem with Hunter being present while a vampire feeds.”
“So I take it he never saw Eric feed off you, then…”
I slapped my brother’s hand, scolding him.
“You’re setting such a bad example for Hunter!”
“Stop being a J-E-R-K and I won’t hit you.”
The two donors left the table, the one who had fed Godric slipping him her phone number on a napkin.
“What did the clerk wanted?”
“Oh, Bill checked out earlier. He didn’t want Jessica to wonder where he was…”
A small lie, but still a lie.
“He shouldn’t have bothered… I mean he didn’t make a lot of efforts…”
We quickly changed the subject and Godric went on to tell Jessica some stories about Eric’s early vampire years. I looked for a second at my watch then at the entrance of the restaurant. Standing in the doorway wasn’t Gran or Eric. No, it was Nan Flanagan!
“What is Nan Flanagan doing here? Isn’t she in Japan?”
I prayed she wouldn’t spot us, but she hadn’t reached her ripped old age without being fully aware of her surrounding at all time. Not that her look gave out her age. No, she looked as if she had been turned well into her thirties although she might have been younger. She was born in the Middle Ages, a time where the harshness of life tended to make people look older. I mean, just look at Bill Compton! According to his tombstone in the Bon Temps cemetery, he had been turned around the same age as Eric, but my Viking looked positively younger than the Antebellum gentleman farmer. But then Eric had been Royalty and not a mere farmer like Bill.
“I received a message from the Authority that she would be coming earlier than planned…”
“Godric, bro, we’re your lawyers! Couldn’t you have told us sooner?”
“Relax, Jason, she’s probably here only as a formalities. Right, Godric?”
I cursed his poker face.
“Just the man I was looking for” said Nan, reaching our table followed by two human male dressed in dark suits. “Nervii, I imagine the Authority and your King contacted you?”
“They did. You remember my lawyer, Jason Stackhouse?”
The blond vampire licked her lips. “Of course. Mr Stackhouse, always a pleasure. I’ve got to say you are a dead ringer for your late father.”
“Ms Flanagan… Allow me to introduce you to Miss Jessica Hamby, she’s Sheriff Northman’s ward. And you remember my sister, Sookie?”
She turned toward me and for a moment I felt like a prey being eyed by a predator which, let’s be honest, she was.
“The delightful Miss Stackhouse… I was quite disappointed not to see you at our Baton Rouge rally.”
“And who’s this… child?” she asked with disgust.
“Yours, you say? I’m surprised. I’d never thought Northman would have allowed you to have a relationship with anybody. His feelings toward you have always been peculiar, for lack of a better term. Rumour has it he was waiting for your father’s demise before claiming you. It seems he waited too long…”
Rumour? Jesus Christ! Was it common knowledge throughout the Supernatural Community that Eric had feelings for me?
“Well if some unfortunate accident were to happen to your child’s father then you know who to blame…”
It was my turn to smile.
“Then it’s a good thing his father is Eric, right?”
She laughed. God, I hated her laugh.
“That’s the best joke I’ve heard in centuries!”
“I assure you, Ms Flanagan, that I’m not joking. Eric is my son’s father.”
“Now I know you are jesting! Sure this child looks suspiciously like Northman, but you and I both know it is impossible for him to have fathered this child. I would think you were smarter enough…”
“Oh, that you are right, biologically speaking Eric isn’t Hunter’s father. You see, I wanted a child, but I still had to finish Law School. So we found a surrogate who agreed to carry mine and Eric’s baby. We then found a donor whose looks matched Eric and… Voilà! Nine months later our baby boy was born.”
Please, God, don’t strike me dead for lying.
“I don’t remember any mention of a child in your father’s obituary…”
“That’s because we didn’t mention it. Up until recently Hunter was living in Sweden with a nanny. We decided to wait until after I graduated before bringing him home. With my work load at school and Eric’s position as Sheriff it was for the best. It’s a shame my father passed away before we could.”
My explanation seemed to satisfy her for now.
“I never thought I’d see the day where the Great Eric Northman would lower himself to raise a human child. I’ve got to admit I’ve underestimated the hold you have on him.”
“It goes both ways. He’s got a hold on me as well.”
She sighed before turning to Godric.
“Nervii, I expect you in my suite in 10 minutes. You may bring Mr Stackhouse with you. The more the merrier.”
“We’ll be there…”
And with that she left… Her presence tonight meant one thing: the Authority hadn’t bought Jason’s reason for Godric willingly going to the Fellowship to open dialogue.
“God, I hate that woman” sighed Jason.
“She looks and sounds nicer on TV” muttered Jessica. “In person she’s scary…”
“It’s just an air she’s giving herself” explained Godric. “She wants the world, both the Supernatural and the Human one, to think she has importance, standing, status. But in reality, Nan Flanagan is just a leech, a lackey. For centuries she’s done just that, sticking where power is and changing allegiance whenever she see fits. She likes to think she has power, when she’s basically just following orders from above her…”
“Do you know why the Authority sent her here?” I asked, giving Hunter a piece of fruit. “I mean, Jason handled the PR crisis perfectly…”
“Don’t question the Authority or the AVL, Sookie” was Godric’s answer.
His tone reminded me of my father, when I was in my ‘why’ period, questioning everything. Luckily, for Godric at least, Eric and Gran choose this moment to join us.
“Was it Nan Flanagan I saw heading toward the elevator?” asked Eric, as he sat down next to me and took Hunter from my arms.
“Yes… She’s on official Authority business. Godric and Jason are to meet her in her suite… Maybe you could join them…”
My suggestion didn’t seem to please the older vampire.
“Really there is no need, Sookie. Enjoy your time with your bonded, my Childe. Jason and I will deal with Ms Flanagan and join you before sunset.”
“Godric, I do not mind…”
“Eric, stay here with your bonded.”
It wasn’t a Maker’s command, but as close as he could get without actually commanding him. Eric took an unnecessary breath before acquiescing. I didn’t need our bond to tell me that he wasn’t totally okay with this arrangement.
“Now that he is gone” started Gran when Godric and Jason left, “we have a lot to talk about.”
Eric obviously tried to distract himself by giving all his attention to our son. I tried to put myself in his shoes. For a thousand years Godric had been his family. What was it they said all the time? Oh yeah, fader, broder, son. Godric was his father, simple as that. How do you deal with a suicidal parent?
I know from Gran’s thoughts that dad had once talked to her about his own suicidal thoughts after mom’s death, but that Jason and I had been his reason to live. Gran’s plan was simple: give Godric a reason to continue on living his undead life. And our son and newly formed family seemed to be the answers.
“Isn’t it wrong to use a baby…”
“Jessica, Godric might not look like it, but he is a ruthless man. And the way to deal with a ruthless man is by being ruthless ourselves.”
“Adele is right, min lilla Röd. Godric…”
Eric was interrupted by the ringing of my cell.
“That’s Pam… Hey Pam, what’s up?”
“Finally, you’re answering your phone! Is your fairy vagina that amazing that my Maker can’t take 2 minutes to check his own voicemail?”
“Sorry, Pam… Things here in Dallas haven’t been…”
“I don’t fucking care about Dallas! You need to come back to Louisiana ASAP!”
“Slow down, Pam… What’s the matter?”
“The matter is that when I arrived at Fangtasia tonight, Ginger had let Lafayette Reynolds and Adele’s monster of a dog in the bar! And 10 minutes later, the Shifter showed up with two stinky human children! Now I can’t open for business and I can’t get rid of them!”
“What do you mean you can’t get rid of them? Pam…”
“Apparently some bull head woman has bewitched Bon Fucking Temps!”
“She used a bad word!” yelled a voice in the background that I recognized as Lisa, Arlene’s daughter.
“Lover, what’s the matter?”
I turned to Eric, not so sure what to say exactly.
“I think we have to go back home sooner rather than later…”