Chapter 50 – The Queen’s Second

Chapter 50 – The Queen’s Second

July 15, 2004

Eric landed in an all too familiar location and approached the door.  The guards had been told to expect him so they maintained their patrol of the area.  Before he could knock, the door opened and he hugged his maker.  “Godric, thank you for providing a sanctuary for my Queen.”

Shifting to allow Eric to pass Godric responded.  “It has not been a problem.  I have not seen her since shortly after she arrived.”

“How is that possible?”

“She gave final orders to Wybert and then as soon as her companion arrived with a double sized coffin, she started the turning process.”

“WHAT?”

“Your Queen has been in a coffin with Hadley since about 2 hours after her arrival.”

He shook his head in disbelief.  “Well this complicates things.”

“Indeed.  I took the liberty of having them transferred during the day to the private plane this afternoon.  I had a caravan of Weres take her coffin and they switched out and traded routes along the way.  Stan’s guards at the airport have reported no problems.  You only need to get Wybert and yourself there and then takeoff.”

“This situation just gets worse by the minute.  She chose NOW to turn Hadley.  That’s pretty damn selfish.”

“Is grief.  No talk bad of Queen.”

“Wybert, good evening, I am sorry for the loss of your brothers.”  He gave the vampire a small nod as recognition for his words of sympathy and the large vampire returned the nod.  “As far as my comments about the Queen?  I am currently her main protector and second in the state.  That makes me duty bound to point out strategy and security risks.  This is a huge one.  But I’m not here for a debate, let’s get going.  I’ll meet you outside in 5 minutes.”

Ignoring the grumbling of the large vampire walking past him, he continued to talk with Godric.  “If you have any time. . . “

“I will visit.  I can fly over quickly and back if I have a free night.”

“Well, she’ll be on Gran hours, but a short visit will probably help.”  He put his hand on Godric’s shoulder and looked directly into his face, his expression serious.  “Look, this isn’t at all how we wanted you to know, but Sookie is pregnant.”

The change from concerned to happy on Godric’s face was instant.  “MIN SON!  This is wonderful news.  Horrible timing, but just wonderful.”  Godric hugged Eric in a very warm embrace and Eric allowed himself to relax into it for a moment.  “We will need to work very hard to find your Queen a suitable husband even more quickly now.  As for Sookie, how is she?  How far along?  What do you know?  If I do visit her, can I know?”

“Let me take those questions one at a time.  Sookie is very early on and very excited.  We wanted to wait to tell everyone but daemons can see this apparently, so we chose to tell our family before it got out otherwise.  We don’t know anything else since we haven’t even seen her doctor since she took the pregnancy test.  That’s another bit of a problem:  Seems he and his family have been kidnapped.  I have Alcide working on that situation.  For your last question, I will tell her I spilled the beans when I speak to her.  Now, did I cover everything?”

“You covered my first questions but that’s not everything.  I am so happy for you both.  I am especially pleased that you have this opportunity to be a father again.  It always bothered me that you had to leave.”

“The timing was not your fault father.  I would be finally dead if you hadn’t changed me.  And now I know I could also have led a horrible existence as a vampire under another maker.  I haven’t had the chance to thank you properly after hearing that information.  I am forever grateful.”

“No thanks are needed.  After all, you are making me a . . . a Pop-pop.  Yes, that is what Sookie wants.”  They both laughed.  “You do realize that though, right Eric?  What the mother wants, she gets.”

“That’s as it should be.”

“What’s all the excitement?”  Eric spun around, shocked to hear another voice – a woman’s voice – coming from down the hall and as the owner neared Godric, he reached out and pulled her to his side.

“Toni?  What are you doing. . . ?  Oh my Gods!”  His finger pointed back and forth between the two of them.  “You’re a couple?”

“This is also not how I wanted to you to know, but we are seeing each other.”

“That’s great!  Really, I’m very happy for you.  I wish I could stay and hear all about it, but I must go.  You can be certain that I’m sharing this gossip with Sookie when I talk to her next.”

“Yes, I think Sookie will like this gossip but I think she has an idea from Russell already.  You do need to go.  Call me if you need me.  I have commitment from Stan that Texas is prepared to aid Louisiana.”

“Good to know.”  With a final hug, he ran out, collected Wybert and flew into the air.

The plane took off from a private airfield near Dallas a short 20 minutes later and headed to New Orleans.  Securing the state was the priority, but there were other responsibilities to running a state and with the Queen making a new child, everything would fall on Eric now.  Where was Sookie’s Excedrin when he needed it?

Rasul greeted the plane, prepared with a large van to transport the queen and her new child.  ‘Did everyone know about the turning but me?’  He wondered.  “Rasul, please settle the Queen and her child; then we’ll meet before dawn.  I’ll see you in the conference room in 30 minutes?”

“Certainly.”

He flew quickly to his New Orleans home, packed a bag for the palace and returned.  The timing was perfect; Rasul was just getting into the conference room as he was.  Desmond was already waiting as Eric had arranged during the flight.  He wasted no time on his plans; he also didn’t see the need to involve Wybert.  “Rasul, you will serve as the Sheriff of Area 1 while I am here.  Wybert’s primary role will be to serve as a personal body guard to the Queen, as always.  I’m bringing in more friendlies as reinforcements until I can get the Queen married off. . .”

Rasul interrupted Eric.  “What are you talking about?”

“The Queen always had Andre and the Berts to secure her monarchy.  Now she’s lost them and also lost her husband.  She has twice the territory and 3 less solid fighters.  She needs a husband to stand with her as protection.”

“You are a very powerful second.”

Wybert walked in and offered his opinion.  “Queen no marry again.  You second, you protect.”

Eric had no interest in such a position.  Serving as a second tied one to a state and that monarch permanently.  You got the handcuffs to the state without the rights, privileges and riches of being the monarch.  Not that he wanted that either.  “I am a TEMPORARY second.  We can debate this after she has risen with her new child.  For now, know that I am working to find her a suitable partner of strength and reputation to share her throne.”  His voice and piercing look spoke volumes and both Rasul and Wybert wisely stayed quiet.  “Rasul, I want Compton secured in a cell.  He doesn’t need to be chained, but I want him unable to hear any meetings and prevented from contacting anyone outside the palace.  I don’t want him able to cause any problems.”  He turned to Cataliades, “Now, Desmond, can you update me on any outstanding business for the State?”

The men continued to meet on state business until just before dawn when they retired to their chambers.  There, Eric went to send a text to Sookie and he saw that she’d texted him earlier.  He was thrilled to learn how much she liked her birthday present.  Pam had also texted him after she’d opened the bracelet and reported that Sookie was so excited about the bracelet she openly admitted she was excited to see what other charms he would eventually get for her.  That made him smile before he sent her a simple text, their word ‘wish’.  He hoped for her wellbeing she was asleep and would not answer, but a selfish part of him hoped she was up and would respond.  He did get a reply but it was Pam.

P:  Saw you just sent a text to Sookie.  She’s asleep.

E:  That’s good.  I was hoping that was the case.  How is she?

P:  Miserable and on top of her mood being bad, she started with some nausea that turned into full blown morning sickness about 3 hours ago.

E:  Pam, I can’t thank you enough for stepping in like that.  Was she doing better when you left her?

There was a slight delay in Pam’s reply.  Honestly, she didn’t know what to tell him.  Sookie had broken into fits of crying that she was sure he hadn’t felt.  She knew that he was shutting the bond down almost completely so he could concentrate in New Orleans.  At one point, she became almost hysterical at what if scenarios and she even called Ludwig for a shot.  Ludwig refused due to the baby so Potts and Pam worked to calm her down without the drugs.  When she was finally exhausted enough that Pam thought she would sleep, morning sickness started with a round of vomiting.  Sookie begged Pam to stay with her, to not go to the chamber even though she would only be awake for a short while after sunrise.  Would her maker be supportive that she was laying here in bed with Sookie?  Of course, she did mention seeing Sookie’s phone so maybe he figured it out already.  In the end, she decided to be honest.

P:  I haven’t left her.  She had a very bad night, so Alcide fixed her room and the hallway to be light proof.  I’m sorry master but she begged me to stay with her.  That’s why I saw your text.

Eric’s reply was delayed which caused Pam to worry but it wasn’t because he was mad at Pam; he was pissed at the circumstanced, not his child.  He guessed that Pam’s delay was due to her debate on what to tell him so he replied hoping to ease any of her concern.

E:  I’m glad she has you.  I’m sure you’re about to die for the day so please give her a kiss – a chaste one! – from me when you rise and know that I love you both very much.

E:  I didn’t even think about why you would have seen her phone.  Is it possible for a vampire to use tired as an excuse for not picking up on that?

P:  Tired, I doubt it.  Distracted, yes.  I can keep the news of Sookie’s wellbeing to myself if that will help.

E:  That would be worse.  Go to rest my child.  I will find time to at least text you tonight.

P:  Rest well Eric

He had one other very important text he needed to send before he died for the day.  Having read up on foods good for expectant mothers with morning sickness, he wanted to enlist Hunter’s help.  He sent a text to Remy for Hunter.  Using Hunter to nag Sookie to eat was possibly on the sneaky side, but he felt like he needed every advantage.

E:  Remy, two things.

E:  Indira has glamoured your boss and co-workers to believe you have given two weeks notice to start a new job when you return from vacation.

E:  I also have a message for Hunter.

R:  I’m up and I’ll read it to him as soon as he wakes.  Thanks for the glamour.

E:  You’re welcome.  I’m sending a list of foods to Mustapha that should help Sookie with morning sickness.  Hunter agreed to help me to get Sookie to eat, so Hunter:

E:  Mustapha should arrive today with saltines and ginger ale.  Please put these on Aunt Sookie’s nightstand and tell her they are for her upset tummy.  She should try to eat some before she even leaves the bed if possible.  Potts can help you into the room during the day since Miss Pam is in there resting.

E:  When Sookie is up, please remind her to eat if she feels well enough and please send me texts on this phone telling me how she is doing.

E:  Finally, Sookie will want to be needed.  Be sure to ask for help with reading, T-ball, or gardening maybe.  Anything that will keep her occupied will help.

E:  That’s all for today.

R:  I will discuss it with him later.  Have a good rest Eric.

E:  Thank you Remy.

He chose to go to rest early after sending his requests to Mustapha.  Tomorrow would be a long night.

OOOoooOOOooo

“Mustapha!  You’re here!”  Hunter yelled from the back door.

“Yes, I’m certain you are looking for the items I bought for Sookie.”

“I am!  Saltines and ginger ale.”

“Got them right here.”

Hunter placed the items on the tray he’d started to prepare; then he added ice cubes to the little ice bucket Gran had located for him.  “Potts, can you please help me into Sookie’s room?  Uncle Eric said you could help me.”

“Sure thing Hunt.  You need help with that stuff?”

“If you can pull back the curtain to the hallway and open the door, I’m good.”

A large smile spread across Potts’ face seeing the look of determination from Hunter.  She really hoped Sookie wouldn’t fall into the same depression she had when Eric was in Dallas.  Hunter was one of the big differences this time and she truly believed the boy could keep Sookie from spiraling.  She had no doubt that Eric would feed Hunter with information that he could use to engage with Sookie during the day.  Feeling needed by the boy is something she knew Sookie would respond to.  Yes, he truly had the best shot at keeping the depression at bay.

She watched after she opened the door as Hunter tip toed into the room and placed the ginger ale, a glass, the ice bucket and crackers next to the bed.  A moment passed as he looked onto the bed at his Aunt and vampire friend but just as quickly he shrugged his shoulders as if deciding something and turned to leave the room.

“What can I make you for breakfast Hunt?”

“What’s Sookie’s favorite thing?  I want her to want breakfast when she wakes.”

“That’s a good idea.  Let me think.”  She smiled when Gran walked in.  “Gran.  What’s Sookie’s favorite breakfast – that you or I make?”

Gran caught on right away.  Sookie’s new favorite breakfast or breakfast food was scrambled eggs that Eric made.  That wouldn’t be best right now as it would only be a reminder.  “She loves biscuits and gravy.  You start the bacon, I’ll make the biscuits.”

Taking his tasks from Eric VERY seriously, Hunter asked.  “Is that something she can have with morning sickness?  Eric said she’s got that.”  As soon as he was done asking the question, he quirked his head to the side.  “What is morning sickness anyway?  Won’t it be over soon since we all got up so late morning is almost over?”

Both Gran and Potts chuckled at his innocence and Gran answered.  “A very good question Hunter.  I didn’t know Sookie had started with morning sickness so I’ll ask when she wakes.  Morning sickness is something you can get all day long.  It’s a tummy ache and it can happen when someone is pregnant – like Sookie is right now.  The baby growing inside her can make her tummy hurt.  She might not want gravy or bacon, but she’ll love the biscuits.  Mine are light enough that she can hopefully eat them easily.  You’re a great nephew to be looking out for your Aunt Sookie.”

“That’s my job.  Uncle Eric told me.”

“Well I’ll tell him how good you’re being.”  He beamed at Potts for her praise and her promise to tell his Uncle Eric.

A short while later, Hunter’s head perked up from his seat at the table.  He was enjoying a plate of biscuits and gravy when he heard Sookie’s mind wake.  “Sookie’s up.  I need to tell her to eat the crackers and soda.”

“Go on, I’ll heat your breakfast if needed Hunter.”

“Thanks Potts.”

Sookie had woken and was just starting to sit up in bed when she heard the knock at her bedroom door.  A quick check told her the identity of the visitor.  “Come in Hunter.”

“Aunt Sookie.  You feeling OK?  Does your tummy hurt?”

“Yeah, I have a tummy ache little man.”

“Well, I have some saltines and ginger ale.  Can I help you get some of that right away?  Uncle Eric said you should try to eat some before you even leave the bed.  It’s better for that morning sickness you caught from the baby.”

“Uncle Eric told you?”

“He sent a text to Daddy to read to me.”

“Isn’t that sweet.  And you’re helping him out?”

“I am, I promised.  Don’t make me break that promise.”

A master manipulator already.  He spends too much time with Eric I think.’  “I won’t.  Can you put some ice in the glass for me?  I’ll open the soda.”

“Ok, then after you get out of bed, Gran has some biscuits for you too.”

Hunter stayed until he saw Sookie drink some soda and eat two of the crackers.  Once he was satisfied Sookie shoo’d him back to the kitchen to finish the breakfast he’d abandoned.  She read from his head that he was hungry, but wasn’t about to leave until he fulfilled his promise to Uncle Eric.  “I’ll be fine Hunter.  I’m going to take a shower; then I’ll be out for biscuits.”  He stood firm until she added, “I promise.”

A short while later, Sookie arrived in the kitchen and she didn’t feel much better.  Gran hadn’t heard it, but Potts heard Sookie vomiting in the bathroom.  She concentrated for a few minutes to see if it went on too long or if Sookie otherwise seemed to need help, but when she didn’t hear anything, she simply waited for her to join everyone in the kitchen.

As she walked in, she announced, “So, now I have to figure out what I’m going to do today, and the day after that and so on.”  With a big sigh, she plopped into a seat at the table, stared wantonly at the coffee mug in front of Potts and instead grabbed a biscuit.  Shortly after she’d eaten about half, Hunter was on his father’s phone.  “What are you doing little man?”

“My job.”

“You’re going to text him every time I eat something?”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“That’s gonna get old – and fast.”  She turned to Remy.  “So, can we go to the new house and meet with Alcide?  We can take the Smurf if he wants.  Maybe he’s supposed to log how long I stand versus sit?”

“Aunt Sookie, he hasn’t assigned that one to me yet.  I’ll ask him via text.”

They laughed as they exited the kitchen to head up to the new house.  “You gonna call this Tara like in the movie?”

“Well, I call it that for now, it’s just easier.  I don’t plan to keep it that way Remy.  I think I’ll need to spend more time here.  The house will have a vibe and it’s name will come to me.  Does that make sense?”

“Yes.”  He answered as he held the door open for her.

Alcide was catching up with his crew in the empty kitchen space.  “Back here Sweets.”

“How’d you know it was me?”

“I’ve got the windows wide open; it helps keep the construction smells down.”

“So what do you have for me to review today?”

“I have several cabinet ideas for you and Remy.  You already picked the appliances and we have the basic shape if the kitchen planned but now that Remy is custom making all the countertop bases and the cabinets, you can fine tune it to whatever you want.  You aren’t limited to a cabinet company’s designs.”

“That’s cool.”  Placing a hand on Remy to get his attention, she asked, “Any limits, anything from these idea books you can’t do?”

“Sookie, if it’s wood, I can craft whatever you want.”

She smiled brightly and Remy’s phone snapped a picture – with Hunter as the photographer.  “Now what are you doing?”

“You looked really happy; I thought a picture was a good idea.”

“You know Hunter; with you around I think I’ll be able to manage my days just fine.”  As she said the words, she scooped him up and snuggled him into her.  ‘I need all the help I can get, and Hunter is going to help me through this, I can see that now.’

OOOoooOOOooo

Later that afternoon, Eric rose in his bedroom at the palace.  It was early for him, but he needed time with Sookie before facing the Queen and Hadley, who should rise tonight as a newborn vampire.  ‘GODS!  What was she thinking.  How incredibly selfish of Sophie-Anne to add to our burdens.  Right now, she needs to secure the state, not soothe her grief.  I know it must hurt to lose two children at once, but she needed to control herself.  If I didn’t need to secure her position as Queen, I’d kill her myself right now.’

To distract himself, he decided to check for texts from Hunter.  After seeing how many had arrived during the day, it was obvious he was taking his job seriously.  Having reviewed all the details from Hunter, he knew how much Sookie had eaten, whether she’d gotten sick (Hunter knew from her thoughts, she couldn’t block him out when she was feeling that badly), how the cabinet decisions were going, and what things made her smile during the day.  Hunter had just earned himself his own mobile phone.  Sure, he knew Hunter was a bit young for that, but he’d get one that could be secured to only communicate with designated contacts.  Eric wanted to reward him for his efforts, plus the pictures from Remy’s phone were grainy.  Taking pictures of Sookie during the day was a brilliant idea and he couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of it himself.

The smiling picture on his phone nudged him to call her next.  She would be surprised since it was pretty early.  “Eric?  Is everything OK?  This is early for you in the summer.”

“I’m fine Sookie, we have much to do at the palace right now and I think my body is just responding to that.”  Before calling, he had decided to spend a few minutes just on pleasurable conversation then he would tell her the news of Hadley.  The fact that Hadley was a vampire wouldn’t be a shock; it was the timing.  He and Sookie would discuss it and decide who should tell Remy, Hunter and Gran.  “I wanted to tell you about what happened when I picked up the Queen last night.”

“Uh oh –what?”

“Nothing bad.  She was actually hidden at Godric’s.”

“REALLY?”

“Yes, I didn’t tell you because. . .”

“No need to explain.  I didn’t need to know.  So how is my Papa?”

“TONI WAS THERE!”

“Oh my God!  They went to Russell’s wedding together and now what, they’re an item?”

“Yes.  He’s extremely happy.”

“That makes me happy.”

“He’s also excited to become a Pop-pop.”

“You told him?  That’s great.  I’ll call him later for a chat.”

“I’m sure he would like that.  So, did you make any cabinet decisions today?”

“We reviewed lots of options.  Remy is working on some designs while I decide on wood and finishes.  Luckily, I’d already picked the countertops so that’s helping me with the finish selections.  It’s kinda overwhelming but that’s a good thing right now.  OH and your little buddy!  He documented everything I did today.”

“I know.  He even wrote me at 12:30 when you had really smelly gas.”

“I DID NOT HAVE GAS TODAY.”  He laughed at her indignation (Sookie NEVER liked to discuss her occasional gas) and after a moment she caught on to his teasing and started laughing about it as well.  “I think if you asked him to track farts and burps, he would.  He’s all too happy following me around doing his job.  You know, that little manipulator started this morning by telling me he made a promise to you to take care of me, and I couldn’t have him breaking a promise.  He’s an Eric junior in the ‘maneuver people category’ you know.”

“Music to my ears.  This is proof that I can train high handedness and sneakiness into our children.”  He stopped for just a second and redirected his thoughts.  “Can I talk to Roo?”

“Ah, I’m on the porch, do you want me to move to my room or something?”

“Not at all.  I don’t care if our family and guards know I talk to my baby.”

She misted at the words.  “Ok, moving the phone down now.”

“Hello my baby, it’s Daddy.  I heard from your cousin Hunter that you made Mommy’s tummy hurt today.  He was upset that the crackers and soda he gave you didn’t work.  Can you try harder tomorrow to leave poor Mommy’s tummy alone?”  He paused for a moment but Sookie didn’t move.  Likely, he was trying to determine if he could hear the heartbeat over the phone lines.  “I can’t hear your heartbeat Roo.  Maybe in a few days it will be a bit stronger.  We can ask Dr. Ludwig about that tomorrow since she’s coming to check up on you.  Daddy loves you very much.  I need to talk to Mommy again now.”

Since she could hear the conversation clearly, she pulled the phone back to her ear to continue.  “You . . . “she stopped to take a breath.  “You are the best husband and father in the world.  Do you know that?”  Since the crying was starting, he voice barely squeaked out the last words but he heard them.

“I’m only the best because of you min kära.  Please don’t cry.  I know it’s hard and you have hormones going wild, but we only have this one call at night, please don’t cry.”

Instead of Sookie, he could hear Hunter talking now.  “I got you Aunt Sookie.  Come on, Uncle Eric needs to talk to you.”  There was some muffled noise like the phone was rubbing on something and he heard Hunter talking directly into the phone.  “She’s almost done now Uncle Eric.  I moved to her lap and that seems to have helped.”

“You’ve done an outstanding job today Hunter.  You will certainly help Sookie through this time.”  While he was certainly happy that Hunter was there to help, he needed to have the next conversation without Hunter.  Unsure of how to proceed, he decided to give Hunter a ‘fake’ task to give him a few minutes to talk to Sookie about Hadley.  “Hunter, while Sookie and I finish talking, can you go check with Alcide about radiant floor heating?”

“SURE!  What do you need to know?”

“Just ask him if the install is going properly.”

“You got it Big Dude!”

“Later Little Dude.”  Hunter handed the phone to Sookie and ran off to talk to Alcide.

“Sookie, has he run to the main house yet?”

She chuckled, which was good to hear.  “Off like a bullet.  What do you need to tell me that he can’t hear?”

“You’re quite perceptive.  I’ll be quick so you can digest this and put up your shields before he returns.”  Taking and unneeded breath, he continued.  “Sookie, the Queen turned Hadley.  She should rise tonight as a vampire.”

A moment of silence was followed by Sookie’s outburst.  “WHAT A SELFISH BITCH!  Just what we need:  A distracted Queen and a newborn!”  Even though Eric couldn’t see it, she covered her mouth at her words.  “Oh I’m sorry Eric that was disrespectful.  I do like Sophie-Anne, but right now, she needs to consider the welfare and security of her State, not her personal grief.  This just puts all of us at even greater risk.”  From New Orleans, Eric smiled.  Even Sookie understood the implications of the Queen’s actions.  ‘She’ll make a wonderful Queen someday.  Wait, what was that?’  He shook his head out of his own thoughts and returned to the present conversation.

“I completely agree with you.  In fact, I was mulling over the situation before I called you and I had the same thoughts – almost the EXACT same words even.  Maybe we spend too much time together.”

“Impossible – especially not now.  So what do I do with this information?”

“Remy, Hunter and Gran need to be told, but I can see to it that the Queen has Hadley call if you want.  She could be ravenous and a little disoriented though.”

“I can shield it from Hunter and you can send me a text if they plan to call themselves or not.  I know you’ll be too busy to call me.”

“I hate that.  You know that right?  I wish this wasn’t happening.”

“OH – speaking of wish.  I LOVE the bracelet.  Each charm is so personal to us or me.  Eric, it’s just perfect.  I also love when you text me ‘wish’.  I guess some folks would think you should text me ‘I love you’ and you can.  To me though, that words means more than just an ‘I love you’.”

“To me as well.  I must get ready for my night.  God’s Sookie, I have to be in a suit every night while I’m here.”

“Poor baby.  I get morning sickness, and you have suits.”

“A burden to bear while apart.  No, that’s not right, the burden is being apart.  The suit doesn’t matter.”

“And morning sickness is actually a good sign – it can indicate a healthy pregnancy.  We’ll know more tomorrow night.  You still want me to call you for the visit with Dr. Ludwig?”

“Please.  I’ve already informed Rasul to give me two hours for that; he’s in charge of scheduling while I’m here.”

“Good.  I love you and wish we could be together.”

“And I love you and wish we could be together.  All three of us.  Sleep well my love.”

“Get that Queen a husband sweetie.”

He chuckled and ended the call.  The chuckle died almost immediately as he thought of his next task.   ‘Now to meet the newborn princess.’

OOOoooOOOooo

“Are you here to report more failures?”  He was furious.  First the opportunity to get close to the telepath to plan for an extraction was missed several times.  Then, Victor wanted to make-up for that by killing the Queen to take the state only to botch that and extending the time to get the prize.  This new plan to kill the Queen in her weakened condition – and quickly – had better work.

“No sir.”

“Then tell me, what do the spies report?”

“Yes Sir, I have much to report.”  Victor hated the past two weeks.  The plans they’d made had fallen though, the spies found nothing helpful, the Queen had not died as planned already and now Felipe’s master had arrived and taken over the pursuit of the telepath.  He really didn’t want to think about where Felipe had been for the past two days, he knew it wasn’t good.  “The ears we have in New Orleans have reported The Northman’s arrival at the palace.  He’s tightening up security and for now, we haven’t found a way in.  The consensus for the moment is:  We can’t take over with him directly protecting the Queen.  We do have a great advantage though.  The Queen made a replacement child and they are confined to a coffin for the turning process.  The even better news is that this new child is actually the telepath’s cousin.  We can capture her during the takeover and use her against the telepath.”

“A newborn will distract the Queen.  Her distraction and the bonus that we can use the new child against the telepath IS good news.  And the telepath?  Is she with him?  Can we distract him?”

“Oh, I think we can use her to distract him even though she’s not with him.  She returned to Bon Temps, her former home.  We have a tail on Eric’s dayman.  He’s running errands, or it appears that way, gathering supplies for the humans and Weres.  I had some of our Weres attempt to get on the property, just to test and it was impossible; it’s been warded.  There’s a party coming up for the telepath’s birthday.  The dayman was overheard making arrangements for the catering and inviting some guests.”

“How will guests get on the property?”

“Unknown.  I don’t think we can get on the property for the party, but we can use the party to learn more about the wards.”

“Yes I agree.  Explain what you meant about using the telepath to distract Northman.”

“I found a witch that can cause a miscarriage for a price, she’s not linked to us at all – it’s just a financial deal for her.  Northman will fly to her if she’s losing the baby.”

“Why would he do that?  He’s breeding her telepathy?  He would think he could save the pregnancy?”

“He’s not breeding her for telepathy – he loves them, they are his weakness.  Trust me.”

He loves them?  Northman has lost his mind.’  The older vampire grew frustrated as he kept needing to ask for every little detail of this second his own child had appointed.  “What does the witch need to execute the spell?  Does she need to be on the property?”

“No, she only needs to put a spell on something the telepath eats.”

There was a moment of silence before Victor felt the blow to the side of his head.  “WHY does my own child put up with you?  Do I have to ask every little question to pull information from you?  What happens after she eats something?  How can we get her to eat whatever is spelled?  Victor, give me the details.  Do I need to teach you the same lesson I am currently teaching my child, your King?”

“No sir.  I plan to see what food Mustapha delivers to the house and assess how we can administer the spell.  From there, Sookie only needs to eat it and within a few hours the baby is expelled.  Per the witch, it happens rather quickly and therefore painfully.  That should get Northman’s attention enough to leave the Queen exposed.  We will need to be waiting at the gate so to speak.”

He nodded and continued with questions.  “Where is the Gaul?”

“He remains in Dallas, though it appears that he was hiding the Queen before Northman arrived since the plane with Northman and the Queen arrived from Dallas.”

“Why did we not know this?”

“There were no instructions to watch him until you arrived two nights ago.”  Victor shook his head.  “I’m still unclear on the need to watch him.  We already missed the Queen’s presence there, the risk of discovery. . .”

CRACK!  Victor was blindsided again – this time with a harder blow and he felt a section of his face had caved in from the broken bones.  “DO not question my orders.  I want the Gaul watched; you will watch him.”

As soon as he could speak, he replied.  “Yes Appius, as you command.”

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16 thoughts on “Chapter 50 – The Queen’s Second

  1. Pingback: My day is full of hay | magsmacdonald

  2. You snuck Appius in there so stealthily; a little schadenfreude for me every time Victor gets smacked around.
    I have to cackle whenever you mention Godric’s domestic arrangements.
    T

  3. Damn Appius! Such a horrible thing! It figures he would know a witch who could do a spell to cause a miscarriage. He’s despicable. Thanks for such a great chapter & can’t wait for more!

  4. Love how you have so carefully weaved the strands of this tale. The careful construction of the plot combined with your wonderful character development and enjoyable writing style are so enjoyable. I’m hungry and keep wanting to read the next chapter … well, obviously I have read the first 50 chapters in two days now because I cannot put down your story! Thank you!

  5. i figured that was who Felipe’s maker was and that is why he is such a dick… shit and heads are gonna roll…. and where is Niall during all if this , i thought he and the AP said a week for whatever they were talking about. until later KY

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