Chapter 58 – The Package

Chapter 58 – The Package

August 5, 2004

Quinn knocked on Sookie’s door mid afternoon and she offered ‘their signal’.  He started thinking to her right away.  ‘I have nice news tonight.  You’ll need to make sure you don’t react.’

He’d entered at this point and started putting her tray on the table.  ‘We need to come up with a way for you to say yes or no or something to me.  For now, if you’re ready for the news, scratch your right ear.’  After waiting just a second, she scratched her ear so he continued.  ‘There are two spies here.  One is Stan’s and he’s already made contact with me.  He’s just not a vampire, so he doesn’t have complete access.  The other is a vampire, one of Eric’s.  Did you know that?  Wait; don’t scratch your ear again.’

“Babe, how are you today?  Is the bonding sickness a problem?”

“Yeah, it’s worse – I feel sick throughout the day.  I thought it was leftover morning sickness, but that should be going away, not getting worse.”

“Well, maybe your doctor can help.”

“No, he doesn’t know much about bonding sickness.”

You know Octavia is here and she’s feeding information to Eric.  Are you aware of Eric’s other spy?  Maybe you can touch your knee.’  Another confirmation from her, so he kept going.  He was really excited to give the update tonight since it was good news.  As soon as Sookie stood, she was off for the bathroom to get sick.  ‘Well, your husband is building quite an army Babe.  The folks from your home town are helping.’  He kept going as he had official business yet to review and she was still in the bathroom.  ‘They lined up TWENTY donors to rotate and feed the vamps at your farmhouse.  Some folks may be traveling to Vegas to spy and try to send you messages  Some were willing to become donors here but I told my contact not to allow that since donors frequently die here.’  He could hear her weeping over that one, and she mumbled about trying to get over the bonding sickness to cover it up.  How could anyone blame her?  That folks were willing to go out of their way, risk their lives for her?  He was impressed himself.  The daemon spy and Quinn agreed not to tell Sookie about some of the townsfolk participating in the fight.  That would just worry her.  ‘Sam and Hoyt are kinda organizing folks.  Oh and little Michael and his mother Angie are now staying at the farmhouse under Eric’s protection.  They’re locked in though, no outdoor time at all since they just can’t be seen.’

After a few minutes he called to her.  “Babe, I have some other stuff to go over while you eat, then we need to go see your doc.  Are you feeling well enough to come out?”

“In a minute Quinn.”  When she joined him in the bedroom and sat at her tray, she gasped at her food.  It was a drastic change from prior meals.  “What’s this?”

“That’s one of the things I need to discuss with you.”  ‘AND I’M SO SORRY!’  Quinn shifted nervously for a moment before continuing.  “There were some concerns made about you being at the optimal health for pregnancy.”  ‘This is all Yvetta’s fault.’

“What does that mean?”

“Well, some folks have raised concerns about the foods you selected for your diet.”

“WHAT?”

“You will have only lean meats, well cooked so there’s no concern about eating raw meat.  Any sugars have been eliminated, no sauces, fats, butters – well no dairy in general.  Only a few whole grain carbohydrates will be provided, mostly like the oatmeal you had – but no salt or sugar.  It’s healthy – but to an extreme since your meats are essentially dried out from being overcooked to remove any raw food risks.”

“I can’t eat this Quinn.  The meat is so overcooked I can’t cut it.  Just take it away.”

“Babe, you need to eat.  Have the vegetables at least.”

“I’m not hungry anymore.”

Babe, please.  You won’t do anyone any good by being sick.’  She ignored him and put the fancy lid back on the plate.  He decided to push more.  ‘I’m not only supplying you information, I’m to report back.  Your husband won’t be happy if you aren’t eating and keeping up your strength.’

Sookie kept her poker face but pushed the whole tray away from the edge of the table.  Quinn knew it was a clear signal that she was done.  “Is there any other business that we need to discuss Quinn?”

“I’ve gotten my sister assigned to you as your helper.  You’ll meet her later since I’ll be gone.  She’ll deliver your meals and clothing, clean for you, stuff like that.”

“Where you will be?”

“I have a meeting with a new potential customer for my events business.”

“I’ll look forward to meeting Frannie.”

‘She’s happy to be assigned to help you.  She’s got a locator on her.  If she tries to escape she will be punished.  At least she’s out of the cell.  She knows she can think to you but she won’t have updates from the spies, she’ll be put on lockdown in her room when she’s not working for you.’ 

“How is she?”

“It’s kind of you to ask Babe.  She’s hasn’t been feeling too good, but she’s going to see Dr. Finard for treatment.”

“Oh, I’m glad he can help.”

He headed to the door, all out of excuses to stay.  “Well, I’ll see in two days Babe.”

“Have a good trip Quinn.”

OOOoooOOOooo

A short while later, There was more knocking on Sookie’s door and a timid voice speaking to her.  “Hi, this is Frannie.  I’m here to escort you to Dr. Finard’s suite.”

“Enter.”

Both were shocked to see each other.  Sookie knew Frannie had been hurt while being held by the vampires, but she seemed too sickly for only having been held a few days – it must’ve been going on for longer than that.  Meanwhile, Frannie was thinking the same about Sookie.  She’d seen pictures of the woman online; since Quinn spoke of her after the Summit, she checked her out.  The woman pictured in the online article was wearing a long glamorous gown and smiling up at Eric Northman, the man that Frannie knew was now her husband.  In contrast, The woman seated on the bed in front of her was a shell:  Thin, gaunt and sad.  It wasn’t the hair, though that change was huge, it was really everything else.  She placed lunch on the table and moved to the bed and without hesitation, she hugged this stranger.  Sookie hugged her back gently, fearful she was hurting her and the girls clung to each other for several moments.  Finally Sookie pulled back and through her tears she giggled and said, “It’s nice to meet you Frannie.  I think we’ll be good friends.”

OOOoooOOOooo

Eric rose that night and was greeted immediately by Hunter.  “You took forever to wake up tonight.  I’ve been up from my nap for a while now waiting for you.”

“You seem excited, what happened today?”

“You got a package from Vegas.”  He shoved the box into Eric’s hands.  “It must be from Aunt Sookie, right?”

Eric knew this was likely not a good thing.  Sookie wouldn’t be permitted to mail anything to home, but he was unsure how to tell Hunter without really upsetting him.  He decided to take a page from Sookie and be Scarlett about it.  “Hunter, would you mind if I opened it in private and if it’s something I can share, I will?”

His little lip jutted out, but his words were mature, “Ok, I get that it’s probably something a wife would send to her husband.”

“Thank you for understanding.”

“Hey, you know your arm is really heavy when you’re sleeping.”

Eric was immediately concerned.  “Did I trap you?”

“Na, you just had a hand on my back and I rolled out easily, but it felt really heavy.  I slept really good, you kept it quiet.”

“You slept WELL Hunter.”  His head cocked to the side no understanding.  “In your sentence, you would say I slept ‘well’.  And I’m happy you had a nice sleep.”

“Gotcha.”

“Should we read before the sun sets?”

“Don’t you want to open your package?”

No, I really don’t.  It’s likely to be something meant to hurt me, and I don’t want to see it.  Fuck if I’m using Hunter to stall.’  He kept his thoughts to himself and told Hunter, “I’ve got some meetings to prepare for tonight, so I won’t have much time for you once the sunsets.  I can wait to open the package until after my meetings so we can read together now.”

The boy wasted no time on the offer.  “I’ll get my book.  It’s in the living room.”

When the sun set a while later, he told Hunter he needed to check on Pam and would be back up shortly.  Upon descending the stairs, he was pleased to see her skin was less grey and she was ready to try climbing the stairs herself, after she fed from Eric of course.  He spoke to her as she drank.  “The donors will be here early this evening, then I need to go to Fangtasia for a short while.”  She raised her eyebrow in question since she was still attached to his wrist.  “The rumors are growing and I decided to call a meeting for Sunday rather than continue to answer each question individually.”

She finished feeding and spoke.  “That makes sense.  Should I go with you?”

“Absolutely not.  You ARE much better but I don’t want to chance Victor or Lorena getting word that you aren’t 100%.  Just a few more days, then you can get out.”

“Eh, I’m fine here.  With the Smurf staying up later, somebody has to keep him company.”

“Of course Pam, it is a duty for you to fulfill.  Should I load Brother Bear in the DVD player, or is there something else that you would prefer?  Maybe Shrek or Ice Age?”

She huffed.  “I love Brother Bear but he’s obsessed with Hulk right now.”

“You know why, right?”  She just shook her head.  “One of two likely reasons:  Sookie loves superhero movies or he knows it’s the first movie Sookie and I watched together.”

“He’s strangely obsessed you guys just like you are to each other.  It’s a little disturbing.”

“You’re just jealous that he likes Sookie better than you, and he likes me best of all.”

Honestly, Pam was just happy to be having a light hearted conversation with Eric.  He needed it.  Hell, she needed it.  She egged him on.  “It’s only your quiet he likes.”

“Maybe at first, but he says that I ‘get him’.”

“I’ll concede only because we’re fighting over a little boy that tried to sneak live worms into your house for his sleepover; I don’t need that kind of affection.”

“The worst part is that Sookie told him the story of when she’d done that as a little girl, therefore causing the whole incident.”

“Huh, I didn’t know that part.  Now, when you have baby Pam, I’ll train her in all the lady ways from the start.  No worms, no snakes, none of that little boy stuff.”

“We aren’t naming the baby Pam, Pam.”  The usual eye roll came from Pam and he ignored it.  Instead, he dropped the conversation and reached out his hand to help her from the bed.  “You ready to try the stairs?”

“Yes.  Just stay close.”

When she reached the top of the stairs, Hunter was there waiting for her and clapping with the enthusiasm only a 4 year old could bring.  “You did it!  You did the stairs on your own.”

“I did Smurf.  I think you should reward me by letting me pick the movie tonight.”

His face puckered like he was sucking on a lemon.  “You’ll want something sappy like Brother Bear.”

“You like that movie too.”

“Yeah, but I don’t CRY at the end like a girl!”

Her eyes narrowed in mock anger, but she smirked at him.  “Don’t you have dinner to eat?”

“Nah, we already had dinner, Gran made pies, that’s why everyone’s in the kitchen.  I’ll see ya in a few, I want blueberry.”

They laughed as he ran out of the room to the kitchen.  While watching him head out, Pam noticed the package on the bureau.  “What’s that box?”  Moving closer to check it out, she realized why it was still unopened.  The package from Vegas was likely a taunt of some kind.  “Do you want me to open it for you?”

“I’ll open it when I return from Fangtasia.  I don’t want to give anything away that could be reported back to Felipe or Freyda as a victory on their part.  They will likely have someone in place to watch my behavior.”

“No doubt.  In fact . . .”

She was cut off by Eric’s phone ringing.  “It’s Victor.  Can you inform the eaters in the kitchen?”

“Of course.”  Pam only needed to hand her head out the door and shout into the kitchen “Hostile on the phone.” And the kitchen went silent.  It was a tactic they’d all discussed to ensure mostly that Hunter, and now both boys remained quiet.  The family didn’t want anyone to know they were on the property or that they meant anything to Eric and Sookie.

With the family quiet, Eric answered the phone.  “You haven’t been to Fangtasia.”

“Correct.  I haven’t been to Fangtasia in a while.  I don’t manage the bar myself any longer.  I hired staff weeks ago for that.  I do have Sheriff duties there tonight, so I will be in.  Do you have anything specific you needed from Fangtasia?  A donor?  A TrueBlood?”

“Just meet me there in 2 hours.  I need to review your tribute.”

Eric had planned to attend his meetings and return home before midnight.  Victor would be there at 10:30 – according to their phone chat, if he kept their meeting short, he should be home just in time for Hunter’s bedtime.  Just in case, he walked to the kitchen to alert everyone to his schedule.  Someone would need to help Pam put Hunter to bed if he wasn’t back.  The scene in the kitchen stunned him:  Hunter was buried in his blueberry pie – literally.  “Hunter?  Did Gran run out of forks?”  Gran snickered at his comment.

Through blueberry goo, Hunter sputtered out, “Jason started it.”  Sure enough, when he looked at Jason, he saw he was also eating right off the plate – no fork.  Eric raised his brow in question and Hunter explained.  “He was demonstrating his ‘pie eating contest’ skills.  Since I still have my bath to take tonight anyway, Gran gave me the OK to try it out.”

“Tell me someone videotaped this?”

Alcide laughed.  “Potts and I did.  She filmed Jason, I got Hunter.”

“I want copies of that as soon as possible.”  Alcide nodded.  “Everyone, I have to leave for meetings at Fangtasia now.  I hope to be back for Hunter’s bedtime but just in case, someone will need to help Pam.  She’s better, but I don’t know that she can get him to bed on her own.”

From the living room they heard.  “ERIC!  I can take care of the Smurf!”

“Just in case Pamela.”

Potts offered.  “I’ll come back here to help.  What time is the Smurf going to sleep these nights?”

Remy offered.  “1AM for now.  I’m usually asleep by then, but can stay up.”

“I’ll take care of it.”  Potts confirmed.  “You need to rest for work – we want that kitchen and the office done for Sookie when she returns.”

With that handled, Eric got ready to go.  “Goodnight all.  Hunter – no goodbye hug for you.  I’d never be able to explain why I smell so strongly of blueberry.  I bet Pam needs a hug though. . . ” Eric requested a word with Remy so they walked outside before he left.  They heard Pam groan about blueberry all over her outfit and shared a chuckle before Eric started his conversation.  “I appreciate Hunter’s shift in hours.  He’s a great . . . distraction.  I do feel badly about it though, aren’t you giving up . . .”

Remy cut him off.  “I’m only missing my breakfast with him since we’re all busy at the new house.  I have lunch when he’s just getting up for breakfast and still join everyone for dinner.  He needs to spend time with you and Pam since he’s really hurting over this separation from Sookie too.  You and Pam help him with that.  He loves Gran, but she isn’t able to distract him like you guys do.  It’s the right decision.”

He simply nodded while he pulled on some gloves.  Remy’s face showed confusion.  “I may need to make a public appearance tonight.  The humans at Fangtasia would not be happy to see missing fingers.”

“I can’t get over how blasé you are about that.”

“Oh, this IS a bother, but in comparison to everything else going on – it’s really nothing.”

Remy changed topics.  “I’ve been thinking about something.”  He paused until he had Eric’s gaze.  “I want to fight with you.  When the time comes, I want to help.”

Eric was shaking his head as soon as the Remy got his first sentence out.  “We’ll talk about it.  You’ll need to convince me, I don’t want to risk Hunter’s family.  Not now though, I really must go.”

“I understand.  Have an uneventful night.”

“Indeed.”  With that, he took to the air.

Remy stayed outside for a short while.  His feelings were in turmoil as they had been for several weeks.  He knew he had started falling for Sookie.  Not that she’d done anything to encourage it, it just happened.  It was likely seeing her as a mother figure to Hunter.  It was part of the reason he had so readily shifted Hunter’s schedule to be up later.  His thoughts about Sookie were hard to control and he needed to reduce the time they spent together.  It was selfish, he knew, but he couldn’t stop what he felt and consequently thought.  Besides, Eric and Pam were great with Hunter and they all benefited from the distraction.

He continued to think about his situation.  Hunter loved him, this Remy knew from the boy’s actions and Sookie’s confirmation.  The problem was, Hunter didn’t see him as the person he most wanted to be with.  That person was Eric.  He felt like he should hate Eric, but he didn’t or rather couldn’t.  Sookie and Eric had changed his life – and Hunter’s life for the better in only a few months.  Consequently, he couldn’t help but feel grateful to both of them.  It was the future that scared him.  When all the drama was over, Hunter was NOT going to want to return home.  That gave him pause.  As his father, Remy knew he could just take him home and be done with it.  He just wasn’t sure that was the best thing for Hunter.  One thing for sure, it would be the best for him to leave the farmhouse when this was all over; he needed the distance from all things Sookie as he knew nothing would ever come from his feelings.  He had these thoughts often in the past few days, but he never came to any conclusion.  As with every other time, he stopped the thought process and changed focus.  Tonight, he had a child covered in blueberry that needed a bath.

OOOoooOOOooo

At Fangtasia, Eric was pissed.  It was midnight and Victor had NOT made his appearance yet.  He was stuck and he was certain it was on purpose.  He wasn’t concerned about the farmhouse, they were all secure.  This was all about Victor proving his power.  He kept reminding himself that Victor would need to leave early to make it to Vegas.  Felipe’s fealty ceremony was tomorrow night at first dark, and Victor was required to attend.

Eric texted Pam about his delay, and she confirmed that Potts was in the house with her and the Smurf.  This relaxed Eric only a bit.  With Pam not up to par, he had been worried about Hunter since Gran and Angie, the only other adults, would already be asleep.  Amelia was around, and could probably help if there was an accident or something, but Hunter sometimes found her thoughts painful, so the two kept their distance.

Victor strolled in at nearly 12:30AM, Rasul in tow.  “Your tributes are down.”

“My calculations are correct; I prepared that paperwork myself.  My tributes are based on profits, and with the two new staff I hired for Fangtasia, my profits at Fangtasia are reduced.”

“I hear about other businesses you own.  They aren’t on the reports.”

“Norse Enterprises is.  You get tribute based on Norse and Fangtasia.”

“You own a telecom company, a security firm, stock in many different places and my favorite” he looked at his notes, “an ice-cream parlor?”  His eyebrows rose on that one.  “Where are they on this report?”

“Those companies are owned by Sookie Northman.  Since Nevada dissolved my marriage, her income has no bearing on my tribute.  If you’d like to reinstate the validity of my companion contract and pledging, then I will add them back in.”  Truth was in addition to having most of his wealth in offshore accounts; he transferred huge portions from Norse Enterprises to the new holding firm owned by Sookie for this very purpose back when he was sent to protect the Queen.  He didn’t want to plan for this eventuality, but he did and now that planning was paying off.  As a result, his first tribute, due 48 hours after the takeover, was nearly half of what he sent Sophie-Anne.  He truly didn’t care about the money.  It was the power play.  It was seeing the look on Victor’s face right at this moment.  It almost made up for the fact that Hunter would be asleep before he got home.  Almost.

Eric’s reduction in tribute, combined with the losses in Area 4 and 3 (both Cleo and Gervaise perished in the takeover and their areas would not produce tributes for a while) would be a serious hit to Victor’s income.  Eric heard from some vampires that Lorena was using ‘yell, scream, threaten, and torture’ as her management style in Area 4.  Those vampires were discreetly informed that Russell and Stan would house them for 90 days without the need to pay tribute while they decided on their next steps.  Meanwhile, each vampire was met with upon arrival in Texas or Missouri and assessed for their possible place in the takeover.  Louisiana was bleeding.  This gave Eric some minor satisfaction:  It was good to have friends.

Rasul, who had remained quiet throughout the exchange, ended the staring contest between the two vampires.  “My Lord,” he practically spit out, “we must leave to make the plane.  Lorena is meeting us.”

“Very well underling.  That reminds me though Northman; you will address me as ‘My Lord’.”

“Yes My Lord.”  He said with a bow.  ‘PRICK!’

Victor decided to get in just a few more jeers.  “I’m very excited to see your human tomorrow at the fealty ceremony.  Felipe told me he handpicked her outfit himself.  It’s certain to be eye catching.  She was a modest thing before, wasn’t she?”  With difficulty, Eric kept his face void of any reaction.  Internally, he spent a moment dreaming of the tortures he would inflict upon everyone involved, and that kept him going.  A tut tut sound came from Victor as he started speaking again.  “Poor thing.  She’s so overweight that I’ve heard she’s on a special diet now.  You should thank Felipe.  When he does return her to you, eventually, she’ll be much thinner – much better that way.  I don’t know why you let her get so fat to begin with.”

Victor moved like he was getting ready to leave then stopped.  “Is there any special message I should deliver to Sookie?  Anything you want me to tell her?  I don’t know when you’ll see her again, so this is a great opportunity I’m giving you.”

“My Lord, I should be seeing her in two weeks for a blood exchange.  That’s per Lorena’s information.”

“Well, a message until then?”

“No My Lord.”

“NO?  I’m shocked, I thought you loved her.  Certainly you would want to take advantage of this chance.”

“I would prefer not My Lord.”

“Very well.  Rasul, collect my papers please.”  He headed out the door.

Once the door was closed firmly, Rasul spoke, knowing it was safe in the soundproof room.  “I’m sorry Eric.”  Eric simply nodded.  “Is there anything I can do while I am there?”

“I need to ask a favor of you and I’m trusting you with something very important.”

“I’m with you Eric; I’m only putting on a show.”

“I know . . . Sookie didn’t lose the baby.”  Rasul’s eyes grew wide.  “I need you to get as close as you can and listen to see if you can detect the heartbeat.  Thalia wasn’t able to, so I’m hopeful.”  Rasul was about Felipe’s age, so Eric was confident if Rasul couldn’t hear the baby there was a good chance that Felipe couldn’t either.

“Will do.  I’ll send you a text with a yes or no.  Can I get her a message?”

“Tell her she will survive.”  It was barely a whisper, but Rasul heard it.

“She will Eric.  She will.”

After Rasul left to join Victor in the car, he sent a quick text to Pam that he was on his way and took to the air.  Sometimes, Eric’s juvenile side showed itself and tonight was one of those times.  Flying over Victor’s limo as they pulled out of the parking lot, he raised his middle finger as a message to ‘his Lord’.

Pam would be so proud.

Eric was surprised to see Potts on the front porch when he arrived home.  He knew she needed little sleep, but she also enjoyed being close to her mate, Alcide, who did need the full night in bed.  “Potts, what has you out here this evening?”

“Alcide and I were summoned to Vegas for the fealty ceremony.  He wants to show off the assets he acquired.  We leave tomorrow to be there at sunset.”

“I had thought you would be attending; can’t believe he waited until the last minute to notify you.  Alcide is a Packmaster and deserves respect for that position.”  He shook his head.  “I guess Victor and Felipe are just trying to throw us off.”

“No matter, we’re fully covered for security here, so I’m not worried about that.  Remy and Alcide met to review the building plan with the foreman for the next few days in case Felipe keeps us there.  We will be fine.”  She stood to head up the hill to the new house.  “I’m off to bed.  I’ll try to call you, but I’m unsure what will be permitted.”

“Understood.”  He turned to the door.  “Wait.”  Potts was back on the porch with Eric right away.  “If you see her outside court, can you have Alcide give her a message?”

“Sure.  Do you want to write it out and leave it on the kitchen table?”

He nodded and thanked Potts before entering the house.  Pam had moved the Vegas package to the living room when she and Potts put Hunter to bed.  It was the first thing Eric saw when he walked into the room.  It was like a beacon calling to him and repelling him at the same time.  It needed to be opened and Pam sat on the couch quietly as he made his decision.  After 5 long minutes, he grabbed the box and sat next to her.  The box contained no scent of Sookie’s so he was hopeful when it first arrived until he realized a spell could easily cover the scent.  He opened the box to find a black sealed bag.  “Gods Pam, do you think there are more bags within this one?”  Then he noticed the note and he and Pam read it together:

Eric:

It’s so nice to see Sookie again.  Rest assured I’m helping Felipe with her transition to court life.  It’s the least I can do given the lovely send off she gave me.  I thought you might like a souvenir of her first punishment.

Yvetta

She’d added a lipstick kiss to her signature.

“It’s clearly intended to torture you in some way.  Let me open this for you.”

“No.  Given what I’ve heard from Vegas, if she can withstand her torture, I can do this.”

When he ripped the seal on the black bag he was hit with her scent.  At first he thought it was an actual gift from her until he reached in.  He knew exactly what it was when his hands first felt it.  Given the size of the bag he knew what they’d done.  In that position, one hand in the bag holding the contents, the other hand holding the bag he froze.  He was so still that Pam worried something had happened to his hand, though his face gave nothing away.  “What is it Eric?”

“It’s. . .”  He truly couldn’t get the words out so he took a breath.  Pam grasped his chin to turn his face.  What she saw in those eyes caused her to wonder if she wanted to know what was in the bag.  She saw despair.  No way in hell was she going to allow him to fall into despair.  She stared back at him – willing her strength to HIM.  With the intensity of her gaze, he had no choice but to focus back on her eyes.  Eyes that held compassion and love for her maker, eyes that were truly afraid of his answer, eyes that would help him through this new strike against him and Sookie.  After several long moments, he spoke.  “It’s her hair.  Judging from the size of the bag, it’s . . . it’s all of it.”

This information made Pam want to crumble, but she didn’t.  She needed to be strong and practical.  She kept her face stoic as she processed this news and decided hair would grow back.  “It’s hair Eric.  It’s clearly meant as an attack against you.  Anyone who has seen you together knows you love her hair.  Don’t react; don’t wallow; don’t give them an inch.”  With a gesture towards the bag, she continued.  “This will grow back.  You’ll fill her with your blood each night to speed it up.”  When he hadn’t yet moved she continued.  “I mean it.  You told Remy that your fingers are nothing in comparison to everything else.  Those fingers, her hair – both are nothing in the big picture.  Were you lying to him?”

“No.”

“Then compartmentalize this.  We have the detailed floor plans from Alhambra; they arrived today via Alcide’s connections in the building community.  Let’s pull them out and plan.”  She stood first and grabbed his hand to take him along.  “You need to get word to Dario to help us fill in the holes on what each room is used for.  Come on, we have work to do.”  She reached for the bag and resealed it.  “I’ll put this in your tee-shirt drawer.  You should enjoy the scent.”

“I can’t enjoy . . .”

“It’s done.  You can’t glue it back, so you will enjoy what you can from it.”

It was a while before he spoke again.  “When did you become the master?”

“When you needed it.”

It took him a moment to respond.  “I did need that.  Let’s plan the attack.”

In the kitchen after securing the hair in a drawer, Pam pulled out multiple copies of the floor plans so they could make notes and adjust as needed.  The inclusion of secret passageways and tunnels when the palace was built would make moving around much easier.  When they felt they had a preliminary plan, Eric took Pam to her bed chamber and together they read the update from the spies that night.  Thankfully, there were no surprise guests or punishments.  They both blew out a breath; then relaxed.  After Amelia was in the bedchamber ready to care for Pam until the sun rose, Eric went to his bed.  With about two hours before he would be pulled to rest, he decided to follow Pam’s advice and find something positive over the package.  He painstakingly pulled the hairs from the bag and gathered them into a braid while little Hunter snored softly next to him.  Sookie’s birthday gift from the boy was on a shelf in the bedroom with the purple gift ribbon wound several times around the stuffed Roo’s neck.  Cutting two sections of the ribbon, he used it to secure the ends of the braid.  After completing this task, he actually felt a bit better.  Pam had been right, the hair and fingers were nothing.  Giving the braid one last sniff and a kiss, he returned it to the bag that seemed to hold the scent and placed it in a drawer.  He swore he would open it only one day a week until she returned so he could savor the scent as long as possible.

Ready for his final task of the night, he settled into bed with a notepad and pen to write Sookie’s message that Alcide could hopefully deliver.  It needed to be short, it needed to be suitable for the wolf, and it needed to tell her everything in a few words.  He started with, ‘Min kära, I wish  . . .

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 58 – The Package

  1. Wow I sure hope Yvetta doesn’t get off easy. What a f’ing biatch. Victor needs to pay…..dearly. The AP has a lot to make up for with all this crap Sookie and Eric are going through…… Big picture or not.

  2. Ugh! Yvetta just… ugh. You know what I mean! Grr! Glad that Sookie has Frannie now, she needs all the support she can get! Great chapter!

  3. I’m thankful that Sookie and Frannie have each other. Also, I’m glad Pam reacted as quickly as she did regarding Sookie’s hair. She’s right, it’ll grow back and anguishing over it won’t do Eric any good. At the very least, now he really has a part of her with him…even if he would prefer it to still be on her.

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