Chapter 56 – Shock
August 4, 2004 – shortly after midnight Las Vegas
Sookie arrived with Felipe and his entourage at Torre Agbar to attend a meeting with some local city council representatives. In the limo, Felipe had instructed her on his goals for the meeting: he needed to know which council rep or reps were the hold outs on getting his zoning approvals. She wanted to ask about the fate of the reps she identified, but she kept her mouth shut. Since they needed to walk through the public area, Sookie suffered the stares and thoughts of the humans in attendance. Most humans wanted to know why she was wearing a strange outfit and being led by a leash. Mentally sighing to herself, she realized she was relieved that at least they gave her a pair of ridiculously high heeled sandals to wear for the trip. The damn marble floors around here were cold on bare feet! She was mortified but she kept her shoulders square and walked forward. She would have loved to say she kept her head high, but that just wasn’t permitted. She didn’t deserve to see her Royal Supreme Sovereign, his entourage or the view they had. ‘Whatever cocksuckers. Wait til my husband comes and rips all your heads from your shoulders.’
The meeting went well since mind reading was something familiar to her. She didn’t like turning over two reps that were the holdouts but she had no choice. The only notable thing about the trip was Dario. He was part of the entourage for the Casino. She didn’t know if it was a regular thing or just this once. For some reason, even though he ignored her, his presence was comforting. Her concern at that thought was fear that she was just grasping at straws for anything good.
On the way back to the palace, she grew nervous because she knew from Quinn that she was going to see Harold. She thought perhaps Felipe wanted her to be checked out since at least as far as he knew, she’d just lost a baby. Since he’d tried to kill her baby, she really couldn’t think of any other reason he’d need an OB/GYN – specifically one that was a fertility specialist.
Bill yanked her right back into court allowing Felipe in first so she could do her usual submissive stance on the floor then move to his side when she was permitted. Unfortunately, Roo decided to make his presence known through some nausea so she really had to concentrate. It would be fun to puke on Felipe’s shoes, but likely not a good idea. Luckily she’d been able to take care of her human needs at the Casino and she decided not to drink or eat again for the night. She spared a moment thinking that Felipe was perverted enough to have cameras in all his public restrooms, but she doubted it.
Shortly after she was in position, Felipe was joined by his wife, Freyda. “My dear, I’m glad you could make this. The surprise I have for the telepath should be fun.”
“I agree. That’s why I’m here.” She looked around. “Didn’t you promise your pet that she could attend?”
“I did, she was so good to us last night; I gave her the privilege of delivering the surprise.”
Sookie did her best to ignore the two, but it was hard given that they were so close to her and she was on edge. Her wait wasn’t long, the door opened and much to her shock, Yvetta walked in guiding Harold. Sookie gasped which was actually good because she should have been surprised by Harold, but it was Yvetta that really threw her. The smile on Yvetta’s face was cocky as she greeted her. “Hello Sookie. You’re finally here.” It wasn’t a question so she felt no need to respond. “You look good on your knees.” Sookie didn’t look up, she didn’t respond in any way. She was proud of herself so she did that mental pat on the back thing.
That didn’t last long.
“Meez Northman, I guess you’re wondering why your doctor is here.” She could feel his stare but she didn’t look up. Nope, not her, she wasn’t going to react. “Let me tell you a story first. You see, a few months ago, we hired a telepath. I think you know him, a Mr. Barry Horowitz. Do you know him Meez Stackhouse?”
“Yes your Royal Supreme Sovereign.”
“Well, he was here for several days. He served me well as a telepath, though he does not have your strength. I asked him about that and he told me he had tried to suppress his gift for many years and as a result he was not as strong as you. He also told me he was improving so I believed he could become stronger, like you. You see, I wanted to be sure he had the potential to have the same power you do.”
Sookie truly had no idea where this was going.
“I must confess I did something a bit shameful when he was here. I set him up with a woman. I may have used a witch to help them get together. Do you think you can forgive me Meez Northman?”
“I’m not sure I understand, your Royal Supreme Sovereign. Barry is a homosexual.”
“Yes, that’s why I needed the witch.” She wanted to ask why, but refrained. Something was telling her that this wasn’t good. What could Barry’s hook-up with a woman have to do with her? Felipe was enjoying the taunt and he was trying to drag it out as long as possible. The evening was going to be most satisfactory since he knew the telepath would misstep – possibly badly – when she heard the full story. “So, I picked one of our donors, one prized for her sexual prowess and had a witch give her a love potion for your friend Barry’s drink. I know he prefers men, but she was so skilled and that combined with the spell, I knew I had the right mix to entice Barry from the bar. He of course succumbed to the potion and left with her. His guard stayed outside the hotel door and he was heard gossiping about how his charge enjoyed himself. In fact, he enjoyed himself several times since she entertained him on two different nights. Of course, the witch’s potion needed to include something human men need when they age.” Turning to Freyda, he asked. “What is the drug my dear?”
“Viagra, mi marido.”
“Yes, Viagra. The witch added something like that so we could get the most out of Barry. You see, I had no idea how much sperm would be needed to ‘knock someone up’. That is the phrase, right Meez Northman? When you get someone pregnant?” Sookie couldn’t answer. She was getting a picture in her head, and it was not good. “Is there a problem dear? You look ill.” He looked around the room. “My subjects, I think she figured it out. You see, Harold here is going to help us breed little telepaths. We have the sperm, now with you; we have the egg and the womb. I’ll of course keep the babies for myself. Work on getting you pregnant will start while the vampires rest this day. I’ll expect an update when I start court.”
“Never.” She screamed before she could stop herself. In further defiance, she stood and tried to back away from Felipe. “You’ll never get your hands on any children of mine. NEVER! My husband will demand a trial. You can’t harm me as his bonded.” At least she had the presence of mind to keep Roo a secret but speaking out was enough for Felipe. His face turned dangerous.
Sookie stopped herself quickly and returned to her kneeling position but she knew it was too late. Felipe would punish her somehow now.
He leaned down from his seated position, moving his head close to the arm of the chair to speak to Sookie at her height. “Let me address your obvious concerns for my wellbeing. I’m touched, truly. Your husband won’t know about the baby until it’s too late. He can try to punish me via a trial next year – at the next summit – but the children will hopefully be here by then and none of this will matter. I assure you, I will be fine.” He let that information absorb into her brain for a moment before continuing. “Now we have to deal with some unpleasantness. I’m sorry to report that you already got your first warning on speaking out. You see, now we need to punish you; Yvetta will be assisting me.” Sookie cowed as Yvetta came towards her with some electrical device in one hand and scissors in the other. “Meez Northman, you are in need of a haircut. Stay still; we don’t want you to lose any blood.”
Two hours later, back in her room at almost dawn, Sookie had moved from anger and sadness into complete despair. It wasn’t her hair that caused the despair; it was worry about Roo. If Harold was going to impregnate her, her current pregnancy would come out. She was sure that they would rip Roo from her body when that happened so she could be impregnated with Barry’s sperm. She liked Barry – but she didn’t want his children and she certainly wanted to keep Roo. How could they possibly get out of this mess? Would Eric be in time to save Roo? Her fear started to spiral out of control until she decided to try something else. She did what she needed to do: She retreated into her mind and allowed herself to go numb until she finally fell asleep.
August 4, 2013 that same night
In Bon Temps, Eric was carrying Hunter to bed. He’d fallen asleep on Pam and with her weakness she couldn’t move him. Once Eric was back in the living room with Godric and Pam, Godric stiffened beside Eric and suddenly The Ancient Pythoness appeared: There was no bow, there was no kneel; there was only Eric barking his first thought: “How can you get in here without an invitation?”
“The teleportation is a fairy gift, and the land is fairy land due to the portal on the property. That grants me access. Prepare yourselves though; I have a handmaiden arriving with two others.”
As soon as she said it, one of her handmaidens arrived with Angie and Michael Finard, the child asleep in his mother’s arms. “How?”
“I pulled them from Vegas where they were being held.”
“But we were told the palace is lined by iron. How can you teleport?”
“They were being held in an outbuilding, an unlined outbuilding. Further details are unnecessary, we must move on.” She stared with her white eyes for a moment before considering. “By now you realize the reason Felipe wants your wife.”
“That information would’ve been good to know a few days ago.”
“You wouldn’t have sent her.”
“You’re damn right.”
“She needed to go to Vegas for other outcomes.”
Godric stepped into the fight, furious with his maker. “YOU ARE PLAYING GAMES WITH OUR LIVES. Are you enjoying yourself?”
“Do you think that is what is happening? I am using my sight to move people like pieces on a chessboard for fun? First, I have let your lack of respect go due to the circumstances, but no more. You will both remember your station and kneel the next time you see me. Second, have you ever considered that the sight is a burden and not a gift? To know you have to make a tough choice for someone you care about since you can see the impact of other choices.”
“I understand your burden, but can you not see how we could feel like your pawns? As for kneeling, you will need to command me for that. Kneeling is done out of respect and I have none for you right now.” The Ancient Pythoness’ eyes widened for a second but she returned to her normal stance and nodded her head. Pushing her child now would do no good. Godric continued. “I do not see why you cannot share more information though; would that not help with the success?”
“OR alter the success and not in a good way. Easy is not always better. This is one of those times. You are building the army you need. Arthmael is an excellent addition, I commend you for procuring him – and on the Queen’s dime before she departed.” In a human way, The Ancient One had raised her voice while speaking so she paused for a moment to calm herself before continuing. “I need to tell you a few things before I go.”
“FINE.” Godric gritted out.
“First, Angie and Michael must stay in the house with a privacy spell. No outside time AT ALL until this is over. Nobody can know they are here. The doctor has secretly been informed that Sookie is actually pregnant and he will help to hide that fact while he PRETENDS to impregnate her with the other fairy’s seed.”
“So Barry is another fairy?”
“Yes. The doctor has also been glamoured to not reveal Sookie’s existing pregnancy even if he is glamoured by another vampire.”
Eric grew infuriated as he thought through her power of teleportation. “If you can pop in and take care of all this – why not pop in and save Pam when she was captive? Or Sookie when she’s outside the palace walls – like at the Casino?”
“Easy isn’t better. There is more here than Felipe.”
“But you won’t tell us more.”
She shook he head then abruptly announced, “I must go,” Then handed Godric a bag of blood. “This is mine; give some to Eric and the rest to Pam. It will speed their healing.” Turning to Eric she added, “And do not be stubborn about it. You need your full hand.” To both of them, she continued. “Keep your family and now these two,” she motioned the Angie and Michael, “Safe. Remember, allies can be surprising and closer than you thought.” After those last words, she and her handmaiden disappeared.
“Fucking cunt!” They heard from the couch. “Someone should kick her ass. If I could move, I would.”
“Pamela,” Admonished Godric, “There is a child present.”
Eric moved towards Michelle. “Yes, speaking of which. Angie, let’s get Michael settled. He’ll need to share a room with my nephew, Hunter, until we have a better arrangement. I’ll give you Sookie’s room for now as well.” They walked upstairs to get Michael into the double bed with Hunter. Hunter woke briefly and Eric gave him a short update then told him to go back to sleep. He then guided Angie to the kitchen. “If you can list out your and Michael’s sizes and anything you need for comfort, I’ll have my dayman procure it for you as soon as he’s up.”
She spoke for the first time. “Why am I here? Why are you giving me Sookie’s room? Where is here? Will I ever see Harold again?”
Godric walked in and took over for Eric. “Eric, let me fill her in for you. You can get Pam settled in the daychamber since dawn is approaching. I will be down to feed her once again before I get in my coffin. I’ll be traveling back to Dallas today.”
“Michelle, this is my maker Godric. Godric, this is Michelle Finard, she is the wife of our fertility specialist Dr. Finard.”
He left as Godric started to fill Michelle in and gathered Pam to carry her downstairs. “How are you Eric?”
“I am fine.” He was lying and she knew it, but she was unsure of how to get him to open up or even if it was really the right thing to do. “Alcide told me what you learned from Barry. But the news from The Ancient Pythoness is good – about Finard knowing to keep the pregnancy secret.”
“I will admit that has me hopeful.” He offered his wrist. “Drink my child.”
“No, you are healing too. You’ll need your whole hand to defeat Felipe. I’ll drink from Godric again and the blood from the hag tonight then you can help me after that.”
“I was raised by the best.” They were quiet for a moment before she commented on the house. “We’ll be busting at the seams shortly.”
“I think we’re there now. I’ll move you to the new house tomorrow if you want. You’ll have more privacy with Amelia.”
“That was quite a reaction.”
“I don’t know when I’ll be well enough to get around on my own. For now, Amelia and I don’t need the privacy.”
“Alcide is up there, or Jason and now Arthmael. . . they can move you.”
“But they can’t keep me company.”
“Like Gran and Hunter.” Through her embarrassment at expressing a need like this, she nodded. “No embarrassment. I’m staying here to be close as well. I’ll need to explain to Michelle that vampires will be coming and going through her bedroom for a while.”
“Yes, better than surprising her.”
“Let me go take care of that. Godric will be down soon. I’ll be back to rest.”
He called Potts on his way up the stairs. Dawn was quickly approaching, and he needed to alert someone who would be awake during the day about Angie and Michael. He could hear that his maker was finishing his conversation with Angie and she was weeping softly. Her husband was in a dangerous place, and keeping Sookie’s pregnancy a secret while there was a risk to his life. Would The Ancient Pythoness see his death as acceptable? He trusted in no outcomes any longer. That she would have sacrificed their baby for some overall need – without fully explaining it infuriated him. To Eric, that meant no life was beyond risking for whatever it is she wanted. It had better be worth it.
He introduced Angie to Potts and covered a few other details that Potts would need to address during the day while Godric fed Pam. The sun was just about to rise so Godric moved quickly from the chamber to his coffin as Eric also moved to safety from the light as well. Their goodbye was brief. “I will see you soon min son. I know Felipe has his fealty ceremony coming up. Perhaps Rasul can give you an update on Sookie when he returns, maybe you can call him.”
“I would like to be there myself, but Felipe insisted I already pledged my fealty. He would see it as a reward to at least see her now, so I’ll just speak to Rasul before he goes. That’s a good idea.” They hugged briefly and went their separate ways.
August 4, 2013 mid day – Las Vegas:
She was woken up by the usual knocking on her door and heard it was Quinn. “I have your breakfast here Sookie.” ‘I know about your hair already so give me a second to look at you before you look up.’
“Enter.” Sookie appreciated the comment. It meant Quinn knew he would be shocked to see her and he wanted to spare her from his initial reaction. She’d already heard the gasps and in some cases laughter as she was returned to her room earlier in the morning. Quinn first put the breakfast tray on the table before looking at Sookie and he was glad he did. Yvetta had cut the equivalent of a pony tail from Sookie’s hair so the remaining hair was misshapen and short. As he looked at Sookie he realized it wasn’t the short hair that concerned him, it was her defeated stance. Before this, even while acting as the submissive pet, Sookie still had her shoulders squared and her jaw would be tight as if she was still carrying her pride. Today, she was slumped on the bed; her whole body leaning down. He hoped it was just that she was tired. ‘I’m good Sookie.’ She looked up and Quinn regretted saying he was ready to see her – because he was not but he steeled himself as best he could. Her eyes were the worst part. To him, they appeared dead. All thoughts that her demeanor was related to exhaustion were gone; it had only taken Felipe two days to break her down. “I have a questionnaire from the kitchen so you can alert them to your favorite foods, dislikes and allergies. I’ll stay while you complete it. ‘You must look like your concentrating on the form while I think to you.’ She took the questionnaire to the table and began reading it. ‘Don’t list foods you don’t like. If you really won’t be able to eat something, list it as an allergy. Foods you dislike will be used as punishment. I’ve already heard Yvetta bragging about coming up with that.’ He stopped the mental talk to inform her of her day. “I’ll be taking you to Dr. Finard in about 2 hours, so you’ll need to prep for that.” ‘I only have slave outfits to offer you though; several were placed in your closet last night. ALSO be aware that the doctor’s room is under surveillance – cameras with microphones.’
“Is there anything special I need to do to prepare?”
Quinn shifted nervously. This wasn’t going to be good. “I’ve been asked that you shower. Vampire smelling is superior and while you still smell sweeter than the average human, your lack of shower since your arrival is starting to take over – even after just one day.” She looked horrified. ‘Oh GOD, I’m sorry Sookie. I shouldn’t have told you about the bathroom. That’s probably why you aren’t showering.’
He could see she was thinking through something then the edges of her mouth moved a bit upwards. “Is the shower an order or a request?”
Quinn’s mouth twitched as he fought his smile. This was good. If she was able to think like that, the fighter was still in there. “It’s a request for now.” ‘Babe, you can stink to high heaven as far as I’m concerned. You keep fighting them as best you can.’ He was so happy he forgot about calling her babe, but she didn’t react so he figured it was ok for now.
“Thank you. Here is the form.”
She started on her breakfast; today she had oatmeal but when she tried it, she made a face. “What’s wrong babe?”
“No salt? And usually I add sugar to my oatmeal.”
“I’ll have to ask later, I won’t be able to get down to the kitchen and back to get you anything before the oatmeal gets cold. I have other tasks to complete before then.”
“You can just take this away. I’m not that hungry this morning.”
“Babe, you need to keep your strength.”
“Actually . . .” She ran for the bathroom for her usual morning sickness. “Jesus,” she yelled, panicked to give an explanation, “When is someone going to tell my stomach the hormone shift is over?” Hopefully Dr. Finard would back up her story that she could still have morning sickness after losing a baby, but she was doubtful that would come off as valid after a few days.
“I’ll take the tray and come back for you at 1PM to go to Finard.”
As planned, Quinn collected Sookie and brought her to Finard’s room – well suite. He had a bedroom separate from what looked like a replica of one of his exam rooms in Louisiana. When Quinn opened the door to let Sookie in, he thought to her, ‘Finard has no cameras in his bathrooms.’ “Thank you for delivering me here Quinn.” She added to herself. ‘I’m not showering here since they don’t like my smell – they can remove the cameras in my bathroom then I’ll shower. Fucktards. Hope my stink makes them sick.’
“No problem Babe.”
Sookie couldn’t help herself. She ran into the room and embraced Harold and he returned it. Both shed a few tears for their families, each other and themselves before breaking apart. He was thankful he’d been told of Sookie’s heritage and gift when he started thinking to her. ‘My family has been rescued and I was told they were being brought to your husband for protection.’ Sookie was visibly relieved. ‘I know you’re pregnant and I’m going to cover that up. I didn’t think anything to you last night for fear of how you’d react in course. Of course, your husband needs to bring the cavalry quickly because at a certain point, we can’t hide a baby. The message I had was clear this would all be over before that was a problem. How far along are you? Can you figure a way to tell me?’
“It’s good to see you Harold. How long have you been here, 10 weeks or so?”
“Not quite that long.” ‘So 10 weeks. Eric needs to ask fast. We can’t hide it much past 14 to 16 weeks, especially in the type of outfit you’re wearing. I’ve seen them around on the others. I guess that’s standard issue. I’m sorry Sookie.’
“Well, what happens now, I just lost . . .” Tears weren’t hard to create given the circumstances, and it all needed to look real so she had a quick cry before finishing. “My baby. I don’t even know what happens to my cycle with a miscarriage.”
“Well, I’m a little nervous to tell these vampires that we essentially need to wait for your next period to gage anything.” ‘And then we have to figure out how to fake a period if we are here too long.’ “I’m going to do an exam now to be sure everything seems OK after the miscarriage. ‘Don’t worry; nothing about this is a risk to the baby.’
“Fine.” To complete the exam he stood in front of Sookie’s private parts the entire time since he also knew cameras had been placed in the room. He wanted shield Sookie as much as possible. “Doctor, why do I still feel morning sick?”
While he worked, he answered, ‘well, that’s a problem too if you’re still sick after another week. For a few days, I can easily say your body still has the hormones that caused it – after that . . .’
Sookie chimed in to his comment, though she made it appear to be a new thought. “Unless it’s already bonding sickness. Though that seems too soon. Do you know anything about bonding sickness?”
‘Go with me.’ “Very little, I only just started studying it with Amy, ah Dr. Ludwig since taking you on as a patient. I may need to request a consult. You exchanged blood while pregnant?”
“Daily?! From what little I know, you’re going to get the sickness pretty bad then. It’s possible the blood is also looking for the baby, contributing to your nausea. When did you have your morning sickness?”
“When I got up then again about 9 or 10 at night.”
“And now, do you have the symptoms at other times?” ‘Say yes; then start faking it at various times during the day.’
“Come to think of it, it was later in the afternoon when I felt sick today. Maybe you’re right.”
He draped the sheet back over Sookie and moved to help her up. “Everything seems good, except you seem thinner than when I last saw you.”
“The morning sickness was bad and now I’m not eating much.”
“Well, please start eating more, I want you healthy by the first time we try the IUI.” ‘Sookie, you need to eat more, you look gaunt.’
“I’ll try. I need to use your bathroom.”
“Sure. I’ll just record my notes.” ‘The bathroom has no camera. I hear you have cameras in yours.’
Still wearing the sheet somewhat for warmth, she left the bathroom a few minutes later and walked to the doctor’s desk. “What schedule are you on?”
“None. I’ve simply been kept here, food delivered, prepping my exam room until you arrived.”
“I guess I just stay here until someone comes for me.”
“Yes the door is locked from the outside anyway. You can nap on my bed if you want. I know you’re up all night.”
“I am. A nap would be good.”
‘Yes, for you and the baby.’ “I’ll just stay out here.”
“Where is she?” She heard much later, how long, she didn’t know.
“In the bedroom sleeping. I’ll go wake her for you.”
“She’s due in court in an hour so make it fast.”
An hour later, Sookie was being yanked to court while Bill offered grunts of complaint that she had not showered. None were directed at her as questions or orders, so she kept her mouth shut. Something she vowed to do for the entire night unless spoken to. She had very little hair left to cut and she didn’t want to think about other punishments. She followed her usual protocol and got on the floor but tonight, Felipe kept her there for long minutes. The outfit that had been selected for her tonight was a ribbon of fabric just covering her nipples with most of the breast exposed, creating a V down her front, just barely covering her sex and then it basically turned into a thong up the back. She cringed thinking that in her submissive position, anyone behind her saw her ass.
Once he told her to rise, she moved to her standard kneel next to his chair. Tonight, the end of her leash was hooked to Felipe’s chair and she was told it was because she’d stood the night before. After that pleasantness was done, Felipe called Harold in. She glanced around as much as she could and noticed most of the room was empty. ‘Interesting, he usually likes showing off, wonder why there are so few in here.’
Harold reported that, just as he’d told her before, they would need to wait for her cycle to begin again after the miscarriage. When pressed for a date, Harold offered none stating that for some women that happened right away, some women could take as long as three months. He also indicated that Sookie was either still suffering from nausea and sickness from the pregnancy, which could happen after a miscarriage, or bonding sickness was already starting. Felipe was not happy.
“Yvetta, do some online research to determine if the comments about her cycle starting are valid or not.”
“Yes Master.” She bowed and left – showing off her ass in something even skimpier than Sookie’s outfit. The woman was a pole dancer after all.
After Yvetta left, he turned to Sookie to address her directly. “Look at me.” She looked up as instructed. “I have decided on a nickname for you. I tire of saying Northman all the time. Besides, the name I just came up with is more indicative of your true purpose.” It wasn’t going to be pleasant; she knew this, so Sookie braced herself for this attempt from Felipe to further beat her down. “I have come up with incubator. You see, incubator, you are only growing these babies, but I will keep them since babies aren’t in contracts. Once you have grown me some babies I will have no use for you for a while and you can return to your bonded. I may have you back again for more babies depending on how many you push out at one time.” Sookie wanted to spit back that her babies ARE covered by the contracts but she remained quiet: it would do no good to tell him this information. Eric or his lawyers could – and that was only if it was needed. She showed NO reaction to the name and allowed him to drone on talking to Harold for a few more minutes.
From his position on his throne, Felipe detected Sookie’s movements while he was speaking. She seemed to be concentrating on something on the other side of the wall behind them. Felipe’s maker was in that room presently and had planned to make himself known at court tonight. The telepath shouldn’t be aware of that though – unless. “I was informed you cannot read vampire minds. Was that information incorrect?”
“I cannot your Royal Supreme Sovereign.”
“Then explain what you are focusing on behind us.”
“Well, your Royal Supreme Sovereign, I can feel your minds. Not the thoughts. It’s like a void. The one behind you reminds me of Godric. That’s what caught my attention.”
‘Interesting. My Maker reminds her of Godric.’ “You will meet that vampire shortly. I have some other business items first. Here comes my next appointment now. Ms. Fant, please step forward.”
Octavia walked forward and bowed. “Your highness.”
“I told you I would call you when I was ready for you to begin your task and that time has come.” Gesturing to Sookie, he continued. “I believe you know my telepath?”
“I know MRS. Northman, yes.” Felipe didn’t miss the set of her jaw and the emphasis on the ‘Misses’ as she spoke the telepath’s name – indicating the witch recognized the marriage.
“I need you to break the blood bond she has with Northman.” Sookie’s stomach lurched in horror but except for a momentary sway on her knees, she stayed firm. “Ah look. My telepath does not like that. She’s squirming a bit. I’m doing this for you incubator. You see, this will give you the opportunity to stay here with your babies after they are born rather than returning to your bonded. I’m sure you would like to stay here.”
“I’ll never choose to stay here with you.”
With a long sigh, he scolded her. “When will you learn? We don’t have time for a punishment now, but we will take care of that before dawn. Octavia, can you tell me how long it will take to break the bond?”
“I will need to research this. I know of no way to break the bond.” ‘Don’t worry Sookie, I won’t do it. First, I really don’t know of a way TO do it, and if I find something, I will stall until your husband attacks.’ Internally, Sookie relaxed at Octavia’s words. She believed the woman and was confident that if anyone could stall, she would. “I’ll need access to texts. Collecting them from other monarchies will be my first task.”
“Bill Compton will be your assistant and will draft correspondence for my signature as needed to make your requests.” Felipe was pissed about this. He did need Octavia to participate in breaking the bond, but he’d planned on having his own witch/daemon leading the effort. Somehow, he’d been killed between New Orleans after the takeover and his return to Vegas.
“Thank you your majesty.” ‘This will be his downfall Sookie,’ Octavia bowed as she thought to the girl. ‘No other monarch will want to help except New England.’
“You will speak of your actual task to no one. As far as anyone is concerned, you are simply looking for new protection spells. You are dismissed.” As Octavia walked through the doors, the room filled. That answered Sookie’s question from before. He kept the room mostly empty so there would be no evidence of his attempt to break the bond.
Once the room was full again, the council representatives she had identified the night before were being dragged into the room. The guards holding them stopped about 10 feet from the dais. “Your majesty, the council representatives as requested.”
“Excellent.” Now standing, he moved to the men. “Gentlemen, we have a problem. You are both not voting in my favor, as you are aware. This will be resolved at the next council meeting.”
“I won’t change my mind. The environmental stud. . .”
“SILENCE!” Laughing at the men, he continued. “I didn’t say you would vote differently, just that it will be resolved. I have two friends who are ready to take your spots on the council.”
The man who was silent before spoke. “I will not give up my seat.”
“No, you will die. You see, you were both seen leaving together and we have that car ready to be loaded with your dead bodies and then placed into the scene of an accident. It’s a pity we can’t drain you, but that wouldn’t fit with a car accident.” Sookie was ready to be ill. The section of the room where the two men had been placed had a drain in it and she believed the killing was about to happen, right here, right now. She didn’t need to wait long before Felipe ordered the kill.
Happy to be looking down to not witness their deaths with her eyes, Sookie took her mind elsewhere. The sound of bones crunching was hard to ignore, but tonight she decided to decorate the nursery in her head. In her dream state, she found the perfect Winnie the Pooh bedding in the muted colors she preferred. The crib would be a dark wood to contrast. Gran had their old rocking chair in the attic and she imagined having it refinished as part of her dream nursery. So lost in her mind, Bill had to tug her leash to get her attention.
“Miss Northman! Answer me.”
“Mr. Compton, I did not hear the question.”
“I asked you to move, and when you didn’t I needed to get your attention. You answered none of my questions, so I had to yank your chain.” He smirked at her. “And I do so hate to do that you know.” She wanted to glare but didn’t. His comments paused as if he was giving her the opportunity to speak out or even lift her head, but when she did not, he continued. “I need you to move to the left as we are having another chair set on the dais.”
After being unhooked from Felipe’s chair, she shifted as needed and the new chair was brought in. Shortly after that was in place, a vampire entered from behind the dais and several in the room bowed or kneeled. Sookie was already on her knees so she stayed in place. Call it a feeling or what some call spidey sense but based on the feeling coming off this vampire, she equated him to Godric, but an unpleasant Godric – if there was such a thing. Combining that with the description she recalled from Godric; she felt like she was meeting Appius and her stomach churned at the thought. This whole situation, she realized, WAS bigger than just Eric besting Felipe. The Ancient Phythoness wanted THIS vampire gone. ‘Why the hell didn’t she just do it herself?’ Sookie questioned in her head.
“On the floor incubator.” To motivate her, Bill tugged on the leash and practically pulled her in front of the elder vampire. She assumed her position and stayed.
“My child, you have made me proud by taking over Louisiana and procuring this . . . what do you call her?”
“Incubator, I like it. As a reward for your success, your current restrictions are lifted.” THAT was curious to Sookie and she decided to spend time pondering it later when she needed to retreat into her mind. For the moment, she was still on her knees with her head and arms all the way on the floor, waiting for the order to get up. Felipe and Appius continued with a few discussions while she was still on the floor and finally, Felipe told her to rise and take her position.
“Incubator, this is my maker. You will follow his orders as you do mine, in fact he, as my maker, can override my orders. Have you ever heard of my maker?”
“I believe I have your Royal Supreme Sovereign.”
“You have? What do you think you know?”
“I believe part of his name your Royal Supreme Sovereign is Appius.”
Appius smiled like a loon and exclaimed. “You are correct! What a surprise that you have a brain and you can use it, so uncommon with humans.
Felipe interjected, “And do you know anything further?”
“Only some rumors your Royal Supreme Sovereign.”
“Well do tell.”
“Will I be punished your Royal Supreme Sovereign if you don’t like the rumors?”
“I have heard you are brutal and evil.”
Appius spoke up this time. “AND those rumors would be correct! You have pleased me. Someone write that down, a human pleased me today.” He looked around the room waiting for someone to confirm they’d actually written it down. Compton, the brown noser that he was shouted out that he’d recorded it. “To correct that you only know part of my name, I will tell you my full name. It is: Appius Livius Ocella.”
When she remained quiet, he smugly informed her, “You may thank me for sharing my name.”
“Thank you, Sir.” She had NO idea what to call him since he wasn’t part of the monarchy. When he laughed at her, she figured she was good.
Felipe ended the conversation with Appius. “Now for your punishment Meez Northman. Bring in the girl.”
‘Girl, what girl?’ Sookie thought. Then her eyes went wide when she saw her: Hadley was being led into court and in silver chains. Sookie’s heart wrenched: Hadley already looked broken and she was being chained to a post, much like Eric had been and a vampire was walking in carrying in a whip. ‘This is what everyone meant by them hurting others to punish me. I can’t take this. It’s only the second day.’
After they finished with Hadley, Bill was told to return Sookie to her room. Once there, she collapsed on her bed and cried herself to sleep.
Because of the upcoming fealty ceremony, Quinn was up before dawn planning. Felipe had a tight timeframe and Quinn had a trip coming up just before the ceremony forcing him to work longer days now. He was working in the back of the throne room when he heard something that made his blood run cold. It was Felipe and his maker, Appius. Though he was across the room, he still heard them through a small opening in the door.
“Has the doctor been told we want a litter right away?”
“He has been told to give her the drugs to make that so. We can have her back a few months after she gives birth to have more.”
“How long do we need to wait for the children she has before we can breed them?”
“They must hit puberty, 12-15 years. I have also learned that breeding humans from the same litter can cause mental and physical problems.”
“I don’t care about that. We’ll breed some to create telepaths and we’ll turn some to see if telepathy stays. You’re sure her blood is going to taste like the male you had here a while ago?”
“Nobody but Northman has had her, but others have told me they smell the same.”
“We’ll need to plan on two litters. I want plenty of children for experimentation. I also want to find some way to get a sample of her blood.”
“But a blood offense against a bond. . .” Quinn heard a loud crack and a whimper followed by Felipe begging forgiveness.
“Find a way to get the blood without a direct blood offense you idiot.” There was a moment of silence before Quinn heard Appius continue. “Why do you keep talking about returning her?”
“I can’t justify keeping an asset here forever. I have no precedent for that. I can however hope she CHOOSES to stay after she realizes her children really aren’t going with her. This will be easier once the blood bond is gone too.”
“Yes, we must break that bond.”
Quinn was horrified. They wanted to breed Sookie to create multiple sources of telepathy and tasty blood? They were planning to break the bond too. There were rumors about a small court session that was held and nobody knew what was discussed; it must have been about breaking the bond. He vowed to himself then and there that he would not only try to help her stay be more comfortable, but he would aid in whatever rescue her husband had planned. The only chance he had for getting word was the Sheriff’s ball since he was managing the affair. Perhaps he could get Eric there a day early.
He needed help, he needed to share this information with someone. This situation was so much bigger than just breeding Sookie to have another telepath. He needed an ally.