He was sitting on the bus again, high above everyone else, smiling, watching as some poor schmuck had his penis chopped off for some transgression or other.
It was their turn.
“Next is Stackhouse/Northman/Ravenscroft vs Ball. Step forward.”
They all did from opposite sides of the clearing, glaring across at each other, each wishing the one across the clearing had met their final death.
“Ms. Ball, you have been accused of causing the death of a human who was under the protection of a Sheriff and her subsequent non-consensual turning.
Ms. Stackhouse, how are you finding being a vampire?”
She bowed her head to him, “It is taking some getting used to Magister but I am managing.”
“You are not angry with your Maker?”
“And why is that?”
“It wasn’t he who caused my first death, he did the best he could under the circumstances.”
“You believe Ms. Ball caused your first death then?”
“I do Magister.”
“How did you come to this conclusion?”
“She threw me against your bus, breaking my neck and back. One or the other of those injuries can be recovered from but not both so I would have died.”
“You are quite correct Ms. Stackhouse. You are happy with your Maker?”
“I am Magister.”
“Very well. I am pleased with your answers, your Maker has taught you well.
Ms. Ball, I find you guilty of causing a human’s death when that human was under protection. Your sentence will be carried out once your year in the coffin is complete. At that time your assets will become hers and you will meet your final death by meeting the sun. That is all.”
“What?! Noooooooooooooo!” She managed to break free of her guards and launched herself at Sookie but instead met an immovable wall of Eric and Pam who had positioned themselves in front of Sookie as soon as the Magister started announcing her sentence.
She clawed at them, tried to get around them to get at the one who caused all this turmoil but they would not let her near Sookie.
The guards caught her up in a silver net and dragged her away, howling at the injustice.
The Magister laughed, “Oh, and Ms. Ball? For your little outburst here you will spend five years in a coffin before you meet the sun.”
She howled even louder and struggled mightily against the net and her guards but they had a good handle on the situation this time. She would not escape them again.
On their way back to Shreveport, “Eric, why is he making her do the time in the coffin first?”
“I don’t know for sure Sookie but at a guess I would say it was so that she could anticipate her end, long for it because being bound by silver, even though it is not touching you, is quite painful and debilitating. He also knows she is just mean enough to not want to die and long to get out of there, to escape, to wear down her strength in the first days so she will be too weak once released to resist when she is put out in the sun.”
I think I can see why Bill is so mean though.
You’ve told me we retain characteristics from when we were human but we also gain aspects of our surroundings and how we are treated once turned.
I’m thinking Bill had a beast within him even as a human, one he was not willing to let out, or only in carefully controlled measures. Once she turned him the beast was released and she only nurtured that beast, not the parts which could have made him nicer, less of a beast.”
“Very astute my child. I suspect you are correct”
The rest of the ride was silent, each of them pursuing their own thoughts.
For Sookie’s part she was thinking about Lorena’s imminent final death. She didn’t like the fact that someone was going to die because of her even though that being deserved it wholeheartedly.
Even as a human she had not agreed with capital punishment. She thought taking a life for a life was simply wrong but thinking back to her bible learning she remembered something along the lines of ‘an eye for an eye’ but she also remembered ‘judge not lest ye be judged’. She sighed, she would just have to suck it up. She didn’t have to watch it but just knowing it would happen was enough to bother her.
She lay her head back on the seat and slipped into down time, rousing only when she felt a hand on hers. She looked and saw Eric looking at her with concern on his face. “Are you okay with this my child?”
“Not yet Eric, but I will get there. I am having a hard time reconciling my Christian upbringing with the thoughts and beliefs of the vampire community as a whole.”
Just then his phone rang. “Isabel, good to hear from you.”
“Eric, Godric has gone missing. Can you come?”
“My newest child and I will be there as soon after first dark tomorrow night as possible, it is too late to drive tonight.”
“Very well. Until then.” He hung up.
“Sookie, go pack a bag with enough clothing and necessities for a week. We are going to Dallas. I will explain more when I come inside.”
She nodded, leaving him in the garage and went to pack.
“Pam, Godric has gone missing. Sookie and I are heading to Dallas tomorrow night. You will stay here to deal with business until you are called for or we return.”
“Are you okay Eric? I know how much he means to you.”
“I will be fine Pam. I must go explain things to Sookie. I can feel her worry.”
“Of course Master. You will call before you leave?”
“I will.” They hung up and he went in search of Sookie who was in the kitchen drinking a blood.
“Sookie, my Maker, Godric, has gone missing. We are going to Dallas to try and find him. I’m hoping I can track him using our bond although I’m sure he’s closed it off so I won’t suffer if he’s in pain.”
“Oh Eric! Are you okay? I know how I would feel if something were to happen to you!
He must be very special.”
“Yes, he is, but what makes you say so?”
“I can feel your love for him, stronger even than your love for Pam and myself. Besides, he made the wonderful vampire who is sitting right here in front of me. He has to be special to create you.”
“Sookie? Was that a compliment?” He was both surprised and pleased that she had complimented both him and his Maker
“I guess it was but it was true none the less.”
“I know Sookie. Thank you. Are you done packing?”
“Not yet. I wanted to ask if there was anything in particular you wanted me to take.”
“Just pack comfortable clothing although if we have time I would like to take you to see the sights while we’re there so maybe one of your sundresses? The red one perhaps?” He smiled a sad little smile and raised an eyebrow.
Has my vampire ID come in yet? You said it would take about a week.”
“I will ask Pam while you finish packing.”
She left the room and he called Pam back, “Pam, has Sookie’s ID arrived?”
“I was just going through today’s mail. Ah, here it is. It arrived today.”
“Good, drop it off on your way home.”
An hour and a half later she waltzed in, “Sookie, your ID arrived in today’s mail.”
“Good, can I have it please?”
Pam held it out to her but decided to play keep away. Sookie was chasing Pam through the house when she felt this awful pain vibrating inside her. She crumpled to the floor, doubled over in pain. Pam stopped what she was doing and went back to her, scooped her up and took her to their Maker. The closer they got the more the pain lessened. Once they were in front of him the pain stopped altogether.
“Pam, what has happened to her?”
“Master, she crumpled as soon as she felt your call. You have never called her before, have you?”
“I have had no need to.
Sookie, my child, I’m sorry I hurt you. That was me using our bond to call you to me. I suppose I called too loudly considering we were both still in the house.”
She nodded, upset. “Could you have at least warned me about it first? I have never felt pain that intense.”
“I should have explained it before now but you have been constantly by my side so didn’t think of it. Let me try it more gently this time.”
She felt a slight tickling at the back of her mind and she quirked an eyebrow at him. “That’s much better. It’s not painful now but it does tickle.
Pam, you can put me down now.”
She was set upon her feet, a little unsteady but she managed to stand on her own. “Could I have my ID now please?”
Eric looked at them incredulously, “That’s what all that was about? She was playing keep away with your ID?”
They nodded, grinning, they had been having fun too.
“I will pass this off as stress from Godric missing. In future take it outside. Now give her her ID so she will have it when she needs it.”
The ID was handed over and put in her purse where it wouldn’t get lost.
“The dawn is coming. Pam, are you staying here for the day?”
“I think I will, this way I can see the two of you off before I head over to Fangtasia.”
“Very well. I have some things to do before I go to rest. I will see you both later.” He left them in his study and went to complete his preparations for tomorrow night’s departure.
“Pam, what’s Godric like?”
“He is one of the kindest vampires I’ve ever met. He truly likes humans. He would have loved you in your human form and he will now as well. You have no need to worry about his liking you, after all, he puts up with me.” She laughed.
“I’m glad. I think I’m going to go read for a while before I go down for the day. I’ll see you tonight.” She went down to their bedroom and found Eric there, tears on his face, head in his hands.
She came up behind him and put her arms around him and held him, letting HIM know she was there for him. He put his hands on her arms and simply felt. He felt the despair of not knowing the fate of his Maker, the love he could feel radiating from Sookie, the concern he could feel from both his children.
“Eric, is there anything you need me to do for you before we go to bed for the day,” she whispered.
“I have packed, all that’s left to do is plug in the warmer so we will have warm blood for the trip.”
“I will go do that then I will come back and hold you as you have held me through the last week.” She pulled away from him and went to the kitchen to plug in the warmer. When she got back he was still in the same position she had left him in.
She could feel his despair, his worry about Godric, the other feelings swirling through the bond. She got undressed and knelt behind him, putting her arms around him once again, “Master, let me take care of you for tonight.” She lay down, pulling him with her.
He curled into her, laying his head on her stomach and felt her running her fingers through his hair. He felt comfort. Something he hadn’t felt since Godric had released him centuries ago.
They were still like that when they rose with the setting of the sun the next night.