If I thought that as soon as Mr. Cataliades left we would be out the door and looking across the world for Eric and Pam… Well I was quite naive. But the kind lawyer had been nice enough to draft a ‘game plan’ for our search. First thing was to get both Tara and Willa to see Doctor Ludwig. Apparently, any vampires travelling out of the States needed to get a clean bill of health proving they weren’t Hep V carrier. Thankfully, Mr. Cataliades had already contacted the Supe doctor.
Patricia Ludwig was still the same rude person I had met almost two years ago when I had been attacked by the Maenad. Her snarky remark about being surprised to see me alive didn’t bothered me, neither the one regarding being happy to see me without the polo clad Civil War vet. A couple of blood tests later and Tara and Willa were approved for travelling.
Next was the traveling… Mr. Cataliades hadn’t lied when he said Eric and Pam owned properties almost everywhere across the world. And so here we were, three nights after I finally decided to go after my Viking, sitting at the large dining room trying to decide where we would start.
“Fuck! Barbados, South Africa, Israel, Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome, Vienna… Shit, Sook, we’ll never find them!”
I sighed. Tara was right… We could spend the next year just traveling across the world and not even visit all the properties listed on the list.
“Did Pam ever talk about any…”
“You gotta understand somethin’, Willa. Pam and I never really talked, okay? Sure we fucked, but my Maker wasn’t the cuddling kind.”
“What about you, Sookie? Did Eric…”
“No. When Eric and I were together… Hell, we weren’t even together-together…”
“Baby girl, what you and Tall, Blond, Dead and Sexy had was beyond word” said Lafayette, fanning himself. “Alcide once told Lala durin’ one of his drinkin’ binge at Bellefleur’s that he and that crazy bitch who shot Tara caught you and your vamp doin’ the nasty in the forest! And from what you was sayin’ the other night, doin’ it in the outside ain’t the only thin’ you did.”
I blushed at the memory of my and Eric’s first time. Not at the thought of Alcide and Debbie having seen us, but at the clear memory I had of the whole thing. I closed my eyes and it was as if I was reliving the whole thing. The softness of his kisses, his huge hands cupping my breast, my heel digging in his tight buttocks…
“Sook? Sookie Stackhouse! Where the hell were you, girl?”
“’That must have been some nice memories, baby girl. You was all moaning…”
“Lafayette!” I exclaimed, blushing as red as a fire truck. “Anyway, when I was with Eric, he wasn’t himself. He didn’t even know his own name…”
“But he sure remembered how to fuck you to oblivion…”
It seems like with Tara being blown away by the extent of Eric and Pam’s properties, Lafayette trying to embarrass me and me reliving my too short time with the Viking, Willa was the only one really thinking the whole thing through.
“When Eric left it was shortly after the death of Nora… From what I gathered when we saw him when we escaped Vamp Camp, her death really affected him. He looked like he needed time for himself… It really hurt Pam that he left with no word…”
“Nora was his vampire sister” I explained. “She was his last link to Godric, their Maker.”
I felt a wave of sadness at the thought of Godric. I remembered the distress in Eric’s eyes as he said goodbye to his Maker… How he had been willing to meet the sun with him. I remembered also my promise to Godric, to look after Eric. Yeah, I did a pretty good job at that, right?
“The look Eric had when we left Vamp Camp reminded me of you, Sook” said Tara. “You know, how you felt after Gran’s death, how you were all empty and a shell of yourself.”
I nodded. “All I wanted was to go home and curled up in my bed… Yes!”
I look through the papers scattered on the table before I finally found what I was looking for. Bingo!
“Sweden! When Eric was human he was living in what is now modern Sweden. If he needed time for himself he must have gone home!”
“That could be a lead…”
“I agree with Lafayette” said Willa, looking over my shoulder and peeking at the papers I was holding.
“Sorry to burst your bubbles” added Tara, “but that was over a thousand years ago. What makes you think Eric would still consider Sweden his home?”
“I don’t know, Tara… I just have a feeling. I know he still speak Swedish with Pam, he did too with Godric or at least an ancient version of Swedish. And there’s this painting in his cubby at the farmhouse. It’s of a landscape that looks like somewhere in Scandinavia…”
“And from those papers, he owns several properties in Sweden and in Norway…”
Then to Sweden we would go.
“Sook, you should call that Daemon lawyer and have him prep the jet. We’re goin’ to Europe, girls!”
I went to the living room to grab my phone and sighed. I still had several voicemails, most of them from Alcide. I didn’t even bother listening to them and deleted them. The last one was from Jackson Herveaux. I was a little worried about this one. All through the time we had dated, Alcide had tried to shelter me from his dad, although whenever I saw him, Mr. Herveaux had been quite nice to me.
“Hey, Sookie, it’s me, Jackson… Alcide called and told me you had left him for Northman. Well it stin’ to say this, but good for you, girl. I always knew you were too good for that son o’ mine. And though as a were I should be mad as hell that you’re leavin’ my son for a fanger… Well Northman ain’t that bad for a dead guy. Good luck, little girl. And if you ever find yourself in my neighbourhood, don’t be a stranger, okay? I really like you, blondie.”
Wow. This I hadn’t expected. And here I thought that Jackson hadn’t liked me because I wasn’t a were and the truth was he thought I was too good for Alcide!
I took Mr. Cataliades’ business card and dialled his number. He was quick to answer.
“Good evening, Miss Stackhouse.”
“Good evening, Mr. Cataliades. I’m sorry to call you so late…”
The Daemon laughed. “No need to excuse yourself, Miss. I am, after all, at your disposal. How may I help you?”
“We finally decided on where we would start in our search and I was calling to ask you if you’d be nice enough to get the jet ready as soon as possible?”
“Of course, Miss. I’ll have my assistants, Diantha and Gladiola, call the pilot. The plane is currently at the Shreveport Regional Airport, you know where it is?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“May I ask where you will start your search?”
“Eric’s homeland, Sweden. We think he might have gone there, being where he lived as a human. And if he’s there, then so is Pam.”
The Daemon made a sound that told me he agreed with me.
“In that case I will contact the Vampire King of Sweden, Gustaf Olafson. Miss Thornton and Miss Burrell will of course have to report their presence on his territory as soon as you land…”
I bit my lower lips… From my past experiences, dealing with Vampire Monarchs was never good.
“I completely understand, but…”
“I know from what Mr. Northman told me that you would be weary of encountering another Vampire Monarch, Miss. But I can tell you that King Gustaf is nothing like neither Russell Edgington, Sophie-Anne Leclerq or William Compton. In fact, King Gustaf is an old acquaintance of Mr. Northman. I’m sure he will be more than willing to help you in your search.”
“Well in that case, I can only agree. But… what will you tell this King Gustaf? I mean, of course you will tell him that Willa is his Childe and that Tara is Pam’s Childe, but what about me and Lafayette?”
“I’ll simply tell him the truth, Miss. That you are Mr. Northman’s significant other, for lack of a better term. King Gustaf isn’t fond of vampires calling their human companions ‘pet’. And you aren’t Mr. Northman’s pet, Miss Stackhouse.”
“Significant other is… I don’t know, isn’t it a little farfetched?”
“Miss Stackhouse, you do realize that you are bonded to Mr. Northman, right?”
Now I was lost. Bonded?
“I don’t understand, Mr. Cataliades. Bonded? What does this mean?”
The good lawyer took a deep breath. “You know about blood ties, don’t you?”
“It’s what happens when a vampire gives his or her blood to a human, right?”
“Yes, it is. But a blood bond is when a vampire and a human mutually exchange blood simultaneously.”
I was brought back to that time in the cubby… When I fed Eric my blood after he had spent the day in silver and he fed me his… I knew that what had happened after, the whole bed in the snowy forest thing, was much more than a V trip. I had never experienced it with Bill… Well, he and I had never simultaneously exchanged blood.
“Miss Stackhouse, are you still there?”
“What? Of yeah… I’m sorry, I… Yes, Eric and I did exchanged blood simultaneously. So I guess we’re bonded. But may I ask how you knew about it?”
“It’s the Daemon in me, Miss. Your bond with Mr. Northman is still in the early stage. In order to be fully bonded, you need three simultaneous exchanges. From what I could gather upon meeting you, you bonded yourself to Mr. Northman, but you didn’t complete it. Other species can’t differentiate between blood ties and first stage blood bonds. But Daemon can and you, Miss Stackhouse, are bonded to Mr. Northman.”
“In that case, I guess you can tell King Gustaf that Eric’s Childe, Grand-Childe and bonded are coming…”
“I will do, Miss. I will call Stockholm immediately and get the message to King Gustaf’s day person. If you leave in about 2 hours, you should get to Sweden just before sunset if I’m not wrong. Fair winds and following seas, Miss Stackhouse.”
I went to the dining room where Tara, Lafayette and Willa were still waiting.
“So? Are we leavin’ tonight or…”
“We are leaving tonight, Tara. And as soon as we land in Sweden we are to be received by the Vampire King of Sweden.”
And so, as we pack our things, I told my travel companion about what the good Daemon lawyer had told me. Less than two hours later, we were boarding a sleek private jet toward Europe. I closed my eyes for a moment.
“I’m coming, Eric… Please, wait for me…”