Chapter 12 – Investigating
All errors are mine. Hope you enjoy learning how the kidnapping took place – and oh – other revelations!
“Do you need to rest?”
“No, it’s not that much further.”
“I don’t want you overdoing it babe.”
Sam smiled down at Frannie and gave her a quick peck. She was helping him to Eric’s office for a post mortem review of the kidnapping and rescue. It had been three days since the rescuers returned from fairy and Eric wanted to move forward with understanding how the fairies pulled the kidnapping off. Eric hadn’t wanted Sam to join so early in his recovery, but once Sam heard about the meeting, he was determined to go. With vampire blood, his wounds had healed. It was the recovery from silver poisoning that would take a while. He and Ludwig would be good friends by the time she finished with all the necessary blood transfusion.
They’d gotten off the elevator when Eric came up to them having heard them talking. “What are you doing?” Eric asked.
Frannie answered. “He insisted on going to the meeting and everyone had already left. Well, Gran’s still upstairs with the kids but she couldn’t help.”
Eric moved to help Sam. “Good thing we relocated upstairs and you had an elevator to help you get to the main floor.”
Frannie shook her head. “Daddy, I don’t think that would have stopped him.”
They entered the meeting room and Frannie was shocked to see the Jason lookalike, though older and missing a hand, bound to a chair in the room. At one end of the table, her mother sat with a sweet tea and a notepad. “Daddy?”
“Your mother is going to help interrogate Dermot.” Eric nodded to the bound man, “that’s him in the corner.”
“I guessed that was Dermot based on the descriptions I heard.” Her face showed she was confused and she whispered into Eric ‘s ear, “I didn’t know Mom was being outed as a Telepath? Isn’t this a Council meeting – as in public meeting minutes?”
Eric shook his head and whispered back. “For the sake of your mother’s telepathy secret, the meeting notes will record that Dermot provided the information as part of an interrogation.”
“Makes sense.” She shrugged, “I guess I never saw her ‘work’ before like this.”
Sam cut in now that he was settled into a chair. “And you won’t see it now. I don’t want you sitting in the meeting. Information about the kidnapping and the fighting that you don’t need to hear will be discussed.”
Eric kept his thoughts to himself. He actually agreed with the shifter, but decided that Sam could suffer the consequence alone. Feeling her anger, he knew it was going to be good; actually better than good, since it would be directed to the boyfriend and not ‘Daddy’. He smirked and waited for a moment.
Though irritation was coursing through her, Frannie smiled sweetly at Sam and kissed his cheek. “Okay Babe, I appreciate that you’re always looking out for me. Text me when you guys are done.”
“Will do Sweetheart.”
From Sam’s side, Eric grumbled, “She would have put up a fuss if I suggested she leave; a scathing look and a burst of frustration at the least. How did you get away with it?”
“She sees you as overprotective; she sees me as caring for her interests. Besides, she’s treating me like fragile glass at the moment. I can get away with more.”
Eric stood with his mouth open until Sookie said something. “Sweetie, is something wrong?”
Seeing everyone in attendance, he kept the incident to himself and took a seat while responding, “No. Let’s get started.” He turned to Godric. “My father will be leading the meeting.”
“Thank you my son.” Godric stood at the head of the table and the room looked at him expectedly. “To be clear, this is an official Council session. It is being held at the Northman compound in Louisiana since the bulk of our witnesses and rescuers live here.” He put his hands out to indicate the computer screens behind him. “All Council members are represented in person or via video conference.” He sat to add his last comments. “We will be reviewing the kidnapping and rescue; the results will serve as the investigation for the trial. There is no need to be concerned about Council protocol; it will be relaxed for this session.”
He nodded at Hoyt to start the meeting as they’d planned. “I’ll be keeping us on the agenda. Questioning Dermot is our first item.” He nodded to the end of the table. “Sookie, you’re in charge of this.” All those present were already aware of Sookie’s telepathy – except Dermot.
“Thank you Hoyt.” Sookie said; then she turned to Dermot. “Let’s start with your supposed death.” Sookie made some notes in her notepad. She was confused by something so she clarified with Niall. “Great-Grandfather, he says he used glamour to have Claudine report that she was visited when he passed away – I mean when he faked his death.”
Dermot tried to cut in, but Eric cut him off immediately. Sookie responded to his unasked question. “I’m a telepath.”
Checking her sheet for her next question, she looked up. “How did you manage to get Neave and Lochlan through the port. . .” She hadn’t finished asking the question when the answer popped in. “Same, he used glamour at the portal on the fairy side. Returning to fairy doesn’t have the same security.”
Niall was shocked. “I didn’t realize he could glamour. All these years?”
Sookie shook her head. “No. Breandan discovered the talent and helped him develop it. Breandan also masterminded Dermot’s fake death and Dermot’s been working for him ever since. Well, not after you killed Breandan, obviously. He teamed up with Neave, Lochlan and a handful of Breandan’s followers to pull the kidnapping plan together.” She paused for a moment and she scowled at Dermot. “He selected Moyra specifically. Her kidnapping would hurt the most.”
Eric was perplexed. “Why?”
Sookie heard the answer from Niall’s head and gasped. “She’s a healer? What does that mean? How did Dermot know and not us?” She spun to look at Claude. “Claude? Did you know?”
He looked at his father. “No.” While he was angry for Sookie, he suggested they return to Moyra after they were done with Dermot.
With a nod, Eric agreed and asked, “How did he know anything about our lives, our schedules? They had to know when to strike to get Moyra.”
Sookie stared at Dermot and she started to lose focus. She guessed he was using the brain power he had for glamour to block her. Her head shook in frustration as she tried harder. Eric could see she was struggling. “Min Kara, what’s wrong?”
“He’s blocking me. I’ll need to touch him.”
Eric nodded and moved to hold Dermot’s arm (the one that still had a hand) for Sookie to touch. It worked and she was able to get more. “He . . .” She paused, struggling to get the word out. “He tortured a fairy couple coming here to earth for fertility treatments to spy for him. They saw the invitation for my graduation at Dr. Finard’s office. Once he had that lead, he followed up with some of the University staff to get more details.” She was quiet again then pulled her arm back. “It’s gone. Whatever glamour talent he has can block me.”
“Do we need more?” Niall looked around the room.
“I’d like to know the names of the unwilling accomplices and if there are any followers left on your realm.” Godric asked. Leaning toward Niall he added, “Wouldn’t you?”
Niall squared his shoulders and answered, “Of course. Yes.”
Claude gave out a frustrated sigh and Godric pointed to him. “Something to add Claude?”
Niall gave a warning look at Claude but the man ignored him. “He’s too busy trying to get Dermot back from Earth. He wants to free him of his Breandan brainwashing and have him back.”
Eric sneered. “Let me guess. He’s valuable breeding stock.” The scab on the old wounds from their first meeting with Niall had been picked off by the kidnapping and now that Eric started, he unloaded. “That’s your sole motivation for everything isn’t it? Breeding, expanding the fae race? You probably didn’t go after all Breandan’s followers because it meant you’d need to kill more fairies.”
“BINGO!” Claude announced.
“Be silent Claude!” Niall barked out.
“No more! I represent all Fae on the Council and you’ve bound my hands for years.” He put his hands on the table and leaned across to tower over his sitting grandfather. “I will not hold my tongue. This Council is for the good of all. You kept the threat of Breandan’s followers to yourself, for years. I won’t cover for you with the Council any longer.”
“I’ll pull your seat Grandson.”
Godric had heard enough, he interjected forcefully but calmly. “You will not. I run the Global Council and oversee all Councils. Claude remains. If I need to protect him from his own kind, his Grandfather, then so be it.”
“I don’t need to stay for this.” He moved to Dermot. “I’ll have the Royal Guard come and secure Dermot for transport to Fairy.”
“Neave and Lochlan are yours.” Eric stood. “Dermot is mine.”
Niall scoffed. “You have all the other fairies for your fairy blood fountains. Dermot will be in my custody forever.”
“Dermot will be the face of the kidnapping for Earth. He stays here and his punishment will be known to the public. Too many humans and supernatural know that Moyra was kidnapped. They’ll need to know what happens now. I want to use Dermot as an example if they try.” He grasped Sookie’s hand. “Sookie, my ever efficient wife, is already working on a media plan.”
Niall laughed at Eric. “You can’t punish him publicly. Humans will never understand.”
“In Louisiana, Dermot is guilty of aggravated kidnapping of a child. He also attacked Sam, giving him silver poisoning in the process, one of our own was killed in Moyra’s rescue, and now we’ve discovered he tortured others. His sentencing will be public; viewing or participating in the punishment may be for supernatural only. This is why we have a Council. The human government’s laws stop at the state lines. There are no provisions for kidnapping to another realm; silver poisoning means nothing when to us it’s attempted murder.”
“And what of the other fairies?”
“Also to be decided to by the Council.”
“THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!”
“The Fae agreed to be part of the Supernatural Council; you will abide by our rulings.”
Once Niall realized he was cornered he backed down, for the moment, knowing he’d have words with Godric after the meeting. “Let’s focus on the kidnapping.” He looked at Sookie. “Is there any way to get through?’
Hoyt suggested, “Is vampire glamour stronger than his glamour?”
“Let’s try that. Good idea Hoyt.” Eric replied then moved to sit across from Dermot. It took him a moment to capture Dermot’s gaze and worked to erase his control. A few moments later, he asked Sookie to try again.
Eric’s glamour worked and she was able to obtain the names of the fairy couple and others that Dermot used and endangered to get to Moyra. One question was eating at her. “How did you know Moyra was a healer?”
He answered directly. “Everyone knows you coddle that child; it’s evident in any of the video or pictures I’ve seen of you on the news, online, or printed in the paper. I didn’t know she was a healer, you happened to get that from Niall’s mind from asking me this very question. Now that I know, it makes sense that I’ve heard she’s always being held or touched in some way. I took her because she’s obviously the weakest of the children and therefore overprotected and over loved.”
Sookie sneered. “You can’t over love, fucktard.” Without missing a beat, she looked at her notes while Eric chuckled at her comment. Sookie didn’t have any additional planned questions, but a new question came to mind. “How does your glamour work? How could you use your glamour to escape our prisons?”
Until the investigation, Dermot had been sedated to both treat his handless arm, and ensure he did not escape. Sookie knew Eric would want him conscious so he could appreciate his captivity and all the activities Eric had planned for him. Sookie’s thoughts almost had her laughing out loud. With Frannie dating Sam now, he was going to need an outlet for his frustration. She almost felt bad for Dermot. Almost.
She made notes as Dermot thought out his answers. After a moment she smiled. “That’s a relief.”
“What’s that min dotter?” Godric asked, proud of Sookie for being so thorough with her questions.
“I was concerned he could push or something without a person seeing his eyes. He can’t. Like you guys, he needs to make eye contact.”
“Very good.” He nodded to her. “As usual, a very thorough interview Sookie.”
“Thank you Papa.”
“Hoyt.” Godric said and he knew they were ready for the next item on the agenda.
Hoyt informed the group that the second item was a review of the rescue. Godric led the participants through the weapons, resources, and steps. The rescue team was present, except for Glad and Diantha, currently in mourning. They agreed to the facts from the rescue and moved to the third item on the agenda.
“Next is the verdict for Dermot for the kidnapping of Moyra Northman and Sam Merlotte’s assault. The other victims will be contacted for a future investigation. I must ask,” he looked around the room and on the video conference, “Do the council members have what they need to make a decision?” Every member confirmed and they voted. Not surprising anyone, Dermot was found guilty on both charges. They agreed to hold off on sentencing until they completed the investigation of the remaining charges. In the interim, Eric graciously agreed to hold Dermot until they met again. Ironically, several Council members asked to visit Eric over the course of the next few weeks.
Eric granted all requests.
Following Council procedures, Hoyt concluded the meeting officially with Dermot’s verdict. After a short break, a smaller group met to discuss the fate of the other fairies brought back. Eric had no need for fairy blood personally, but he wanted to share with his friends. He and Sookie disagreed on this point so they agreed to disagree before the meeting. She chose not to participate in the discussion. She didn’t fault her husband for his position; that didn’t mean she had to agree with it.
By the end of the conversation, the four captured fairies would be shared throughout the States, distributed geographically via assigned holders: Stan in Nevada, Odair in Great Lakes, Russell in New England and Antonio in Florida.
Hoyt closed out the meeting and the teleconference and called Sookie back. Remaining in the room where the immediate Northman family and staff, Niall and his grandson.
Already in a foul mood, Niall sneered at Godric. “Something to say Council Head?”
“Something to ask.” He stood to stand next to Niall and spun his chair so he could lean on the arms and loom over Niall. “Why would you withhold information about my grandchild, Eric and Sookie’s child, from all of us?”
“I wasn’t sure until I visited at your Easter. Once I confirmed it, I left.” He looked to Sookie. “You remember I departed suddenly claiming I got a call.” Sookie nodded. “I returned to fairy to discuss it with Claudine. She was forbidden to tell you. We needed to understood what this meant.”
“That’s why I haven’t seen Claudine for so long.” She looked like she’d had a realization. “Or you until Moyra was abducted.”
“I know you can read my mind.”
“Tell me more. What do you mean, what it meant?”
Niall told Sookie that Moyra, like Hunter and the triplets, had a full spark, rare for hybrid, and she was strong. Claudine and Niall had determined that Moyra could bestow healing, not only on fairies, but any species. Sookie was shocked. Niall turned to her and smirked. “Everyone loves her, you know this. Being around her makes anyone happy.” Sookie realized the truth in his statements but Niall still gave her more evidence. “You’re still sleeping with her, aren’t you? You were at Easter time. Probably the best sleep you’ve ever had.”
Eric interjected. “I don’t think she can heal vampires then. I had nightmares the other night.”
“Give her some credit. You dreamt for the first time in 1000 years, she’s not a miracle worker.” Eric nodded and conceded the point.
Sookie was horrified. “I’ve been stealing my baby’s happiness while I sleep?”
“No Sookie. It doesn’t work like that. Claudine can explain now that it’s known.”
Sookie hugged her arms to herself and she tried to understand what this meant. Claudine was hundreds of years old. Moyra was three. ‘Will my baby struggle with this like I did with telepathy? How can I help her?’ The room was quiet as they also thought about the news. Finally Sookie blurted out, “What did you mean, what it meant?” She narrowed her eyes at Niall. “You’re right about my reading your mind and you can just forget it. Moyra will stay on Earth. I don’t care what her spark can do.” Sookie gasped. “I’ll kill you myself before I would allow you to take her.”
“Sookie, I was going to wait until she’s older and then convince her. Same as your other children with the spark, though Moyra is the strongest.”
“Over your dead body!”
“This is why I kept this a secret. You’re upset about the ramifications of finding a full spark.”
“Keeping secrets seems to be your specialty, Niall. What right did you have to keep this information from them? The training that Claudine can offer?” Godric questioned. “They,” he pointed at Eric and Sookie. “And their children are not political alliances. They are family. This is not how you treat family.”
Sookie leaned in to follow-up, “Speaking of how you treat family, I’m curious as to why you held back from fixing these three,” She pointed to Eric, Godric, and Pam, “from the sun until this emergency? I want your assurances that the promise you made to Claude – fixing any vampires in Eric’s line – will be upheld.”
“After the way you treated me today? I owe you no answers or further healings.” He stood now. “I kept my mouth shut while we were discussing Dermot as a Council, but know this. Dermot is my son and is returning with me, as will the four fairies you divvied up as blood slaves. I’ll pull the entire Fae race from the Council if needed.”
Sookie was shocked. Sure she knew he was mad, but this was extreme. “You’d pull your people from Earth? You’d stop the progress made with breeding?” She threw her hands in the air in frustration. “Because of your pride? Because you got caught with your pants down – by letting Breandan’s followers get the upper hand?”
“Fairies will be better off in their own realm. We’ll just cash out our holdings as needed and leave Earth for good.” He stood as if to leave. “We should never have crossed over.”
While Niall and Sookie bickered, Claude had been texting on his phone. Having witnessed a steady decline in the Prince of Fae’s mental health, he was prepared for his Grandfather’s actions. Four Royal Guard entered the room and took Niall into custody. “This is treason.” The old fairy yelled.
Claude stood formally in front of him. “Niall Brigant, I hereby remove you as the leader of the Fae. The Fae High Court has approved these actions. You will be secured for your retirement in your home on Fairy. Claudine will be stepping in as the rightful heir.”
Claudine entered the room and nodded to everyone and officially accepted her role. “I accept in front of these witnesses and under the direction of the Fae High Court.” One of the Royal Guard moved to stand with her and the two teleported away.
Once a kicking and screaming Niall was teleported from the room, Claude turned to those remaining. “I apologize for springing this on you. Essentially, I was hoping he’d lose it publicly, well to the Council at least. It proves the need to those who haven’t witnessed his decline personally. I thank you Eric for granting the guards permission to enter your home.” Eric nodded and Claude directed his next statement to Sookie. “As far as fixing you so you can daywalk when you become a vampire? Well, any of your family?” Sookie looked at him with hope in her eyes. “Claudine will have that ability once she’s fully installed as the Princess of Fae. It’s part of the ceremony’s magic. She’s going to take care of you and your family forever Sookie. She’ll also explain more about Moyra. It’s nothing to worry about. I know you were burdened by your talent when you were younger. Healing isn’t like that.”
“Thank you Claude. I’m sorry you had to do that to Niall though.” Sookie offered, having heard from her cousin’s thoughts that he didn’t want to shame his Grandfather, but it was necessary. “Will you still be on the Council?”
“I will. Claudine and I were both eligible to step up – but since she’s already given birth, she was the right choice. We know she has an heir.” He offered a smile. “Spending time with you and the kids is too entertaining, I was ready to fight for opportunity to stay on Earth.”
“You like the triplets too much Claude.”
“Sookie, you could write your next book based on the triplets antics.” Claude was serious.
Eric chimed in. “You haven’t heard the latest.” He paused so he had everyone’s attention (he did love bragging about the triplets.) “The three escaped from their cribs the other day, then blocked Sookie from seeing how in their thoughts.”
Hoyt added. “We recorded the second escape on video; so far there haven’t been any more attempts. I’m sure they’re working on it though. Those kids are mischief makers.”
Sookie stood. “Speaking of kids, it’s time for their night snack. Everyone is welcome.”
The group met up in the kitchen where the normal chaos was underway with Gran trying to corral the kids. When she heard others arrive, she turned and said, “Thank God. They are all especially antsy tonight.”
Sookie raised her eyebrow at Gran. “Maybe you’ll remember that before you let them all have coke with dinner.”
Gran had the decency to look guilty. “I forgot I was keeping them for your meeting.” She looked around. “Sam back in bed?”
“Yeah, Eric needed to help him. The meeting was too much, too soon I think.”
“Frannie’ll fix him right up.” Gran said with a twinkle in her eye.
Eric walked in as she said that and added. “You got that right Gran. She was fussing at him before I even turned to leave the room.”
“And you can finally talk about them as a couple without a scowl on your face.” Gran smirked as she commented.
“I haven’t been sc . . .”
Eric’s response was interrupted by Claude barking out a laugh. They spun to see Moyra standing there with her hands holding an almost empty bag of potato chips; the triplets were all sitting around her, chip crumbs coating their hands and mouths. Moyra looked up at the adults and smiled before she said, “Oops.”