As they hovered over where his nest had been they saw vampires crawling from the wreckage and going off after whoever did this to their home.
Godrich turned to Eric, “Go to the Hotel Camilla and ask for the room reserved for Samuel Hoffman and tell them there will be injured vampires and humans arriving. I trust you to make the necessary arrangements for their care.” He plummeted to the ground and took charge of the situation.
Eric flew them to the hotel and did as instructed while Sookie texted Pam.
Sookie: Trouble. go 2 ground. be safe.
Pam: Will do. be safe.
They were soon in their room and neither one of them was very happy. “Eric, what’s going on?”
“I’m not sure yet. We will wait for Godric to arrive, then we will find out more. Meanwhile I need to alert Pam.”
As he was taking out his phone, “I already did. I told her there was trouble and to go to ground.”
“Very good my child, good initiative. She will do so since she knows you are with me so the message will have come from me, assuming my phone might be traced. Send one to Godric and ask him to bring disposables with him.”
“Give me his number then please.”
Sookie: fo. t. h. diapers? (from Eric Northman, Sookie to Godric, disposable cells?)
Godric: h. t. fo. closet. more in thirty. (From Godric to Sookie and Eric Northman. Phones in the dresser. He will bring more in fifteen minutes.)
Eric laughed. “Good, he’ll be here in fifteen minutes with more phones but there are some in the dresser.”
“Dresser? It says closet.”
“I know but we’re speaking in code so if anyone is listening in it will take them a while to figure things out.
When he gets here it will be close to dawn but we’ll try to cover all that pertains to you before you go down for the day. You may wake in a travel coffin tomorrow and I most likely won’t be there but I will try to send you some sort of message each dawn and dusk so you don’t worry and please listen to Isabel, treat her as you would me.”
“Why can’t I come with you?”
“Whoever is watching will be looking for the two of us together so if we split up it will keep them off the trail for a while, confuse them.”
“Oh. I’ll miss you terribly.”
“I’ll miss you too my love. We will soon be where they won’t be able to touch us. If I can’t arrange a meeting for you with your family and friends I will at least let the Shifter know what’s going on so he can let the others know you are well.”
He could feel her sadness and confusion so he pulled her to him and simply held her. By the time Godric arrived she was resigned to do what had to be done.
When he walked in she went and washed her face then came back out to find out what was going on.
“Sookie, Isabel survived so she will still accompany you to a safehouse where you should be safe.
I am going to give you your first Maker’s command. You are to treat Isabel as your Maker, do as she says without question, as your Maker I command it.”
She felt invisible bands tighten around her and she nodded to let him know she felt the command.
“Good, now only Isabel knows where you are going. That way the Queen can not get the information out of me no matter how hard she tries. If she is desperate enough she will try. Godric will be coming with me so he can tell her himself that he has called me away for an indeterminate amount of time. I am going to resign my sheriffdom and will meet you some place of Isabel’s choosing as soon as possible.
By the time you rise you should be at your destination and I will be at mine. I will let you know I am safe twice a night. You are not, under any circumstances, to come find me if I should miss a time.” He pulled out a bank card, “This is for one of my European accounts. It has $50,000 US in it and I will arrange to have it replenished whenever the balance drops below that. It is untraceable from here so use it as you need it. The code is 0701 and it’s a checking account.”
There were tears running down her face, “Why does it sound like you are giving me a final good-bye? I’m just getting to know you, I don’t want to lose you too.”
He pulled her into his lap, “I promise this is not a final good-bye. I will see you much sooner than you think, as will Godric and Pam. The sun is rising, off to bed with you.”. He swatted her bottom and lay there with her in his arms and held her until the sun claimed him as well.
When she woke she was in a travel coffin and it felt like they were still moving. “Isabel?”
“It is safe to come out. About the middle of the lid, where the catch is, there is a release. Just pull it.”
She pulled and the lid lifted easily. She climbed out and discovered they were in the cargo hold of a plane.
“Where are we going and did you pack any blood?”
“We are very nearly in Italy and there is some blood in the warmer.
You may call me Izzy while we’re here and you are Michelle Adele Hale. We are here on extended holiday, visiting my homeland, while you become accustomed to your new state of being.”
“Wow! We were just talking about travelling and here I am leaving before them. Are we going to do any sightseeing while we’re here?”
“We’ll wait a few days to see what’s happening back home. For now we can work on any skills you may have, maybe learn some history and just hang out for a while.
When we land you should check your phone for your message then turn it off so we can’t be tracked via GPS. They’ll be able to get hold of us on a landline when they wish to know. You might also let Pam know you’re fine and have gone to ground. Also tell her you will send a message twice a night until you see her again.”
About that time they felt the first bumps of the landing gear as it was being lowered.
“Not much longer now. We should be on the ground within the next half hour.”
Sookie moved over closer to Isabel, “I hate take off and landing. Please hold my hand?”
Isabel reached over and took her hand, holding it just tight enough to let Sookie know she wasn’t alone.
When they were finally on the ground Isabel led them through getting their luggage and customs. Even though it was still early in the evening it was still crowded. They were expedited through customs though since no one really wants to stand in a long line with a hungry vampire.
Once they were outside Sookie turned her phone on and there was her message.
Eric: Miss u already c u soon. 3
She sent back: Miss u more. Have arrived. 3
To Pam: Gone 2 ground. will mssg 2x a night til again. 3
With that message she turned her phone off and looked around her. The last streaks of colour were faintly streaking the night sky.
It was beautiful here.
They went to the car rental desk and picked up the car which had already been reserved for them. Since Sookie’s coffin had been on loan from Anubis they left it there. Isabel’s would be stored for her until they were told where to deliver it.
“Izzy, I really need to feed. The blood bags don’t last as long with me if they aren’t body temperature and those were definitely on the cold side.”
“Have you learned to hunt yet?”
“Not yet. We were trying to get my telepathy under control first since that would have caused more problems, short and long term, than not knowing how to hunt right away.”
“Very well. I know the Sheriff here. We’ll go there, announce ourselves and see where there is a convenient place with donors. How bad off are you?”
“The hunger is just starting so I would say 90 minutes tops before I will have trouble controlling myself.”
“We have time then.”
They drove for a short while before they came to an office building. Security stopped them at reception but allowed them to go on through once they were told that they were there to check in with the Sheriff.
“Sheriff. E ‘bello rivederti. Questa è la mia bambina, Michelle. Siamo venuti in vacanza prolungata, mentre lei si abitua alla sua nuova condizione dell’essere.” (Sheriff. It is good to see you again. This is my child, Michelle. We have come on extended holiday while she becomes accustomed to her new state of being.)
“Isabel, è un vero piacere rivederti. Quanto tempo si ferma questa volta?” (
Isabel, it is a true pleasure to see you again. How long are you staying this time?)
“Non siamo sicuri ancora per quanto tempo staremo. Parla solo inglese e svedese, così si può impostare la lingua italiana a suo favore?” (We’re not sure yet how long we will be staying. She speaks only English so can we switch to English for her benefit?)
“But of course lovely Isabel. Michelle, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
She curtsied, “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well.”
“Sheriff, she needs to feed, are there any willing donors close by?”
“There are. There’s a club about three blocks down if you are so inclined.”
“Thank you Sheriff. We will be staying at my villa if you should have need of me.” They nodded and took their leave.
“Michelle, if the club he’s talking about is the one I’m thinking of the clientele will be mostly vampire. The humans there are strictly for show and feeding. They will be heavily glamoured to remember nothing of what they see or do there. They will not remember us.
We must do something about your scent though. I am portraying you as my child yet you smell nothing like me. It would be best if we shared blood although sex would work as well, both would be even better.”
“Could we change it to Maker by Proxy? That way the different scent wouldn’t rouse as many suspicions. My Maker is being punished for some indiscretion or other and turned me over to you until he is released?”
“That would certainly explain your different scent but what could your Maker have done to cause such a lengthy sentence?”
Sookie laughed, “Let’s stick with beating a human near to death over an extended time, leaving her close to death, barely breathing. That IS what happened to me although it was Bill, Lorena’s child, that actually beat me that badly. He got six months in a silver wrapped coffin for it from the Magister with another six months added because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. It’s a story I’m not likely to forget although I don’t want to use his name if at all possible.”
“That will work. Yes. This club is more like an all out orgy so there will be plenty of naked vampires, humans too, and plenty of sex. You don’t have to partake in the sex if you don’t wish to, we do sometimes go in just to feed if we’re in a hurry.”
“No sex. I’m not that comfortable with nudity and public sex is totally out of the question. I simply need to feed.”
“That’s fine. We’ll go in, find a couple of donors, feed and be on our way then. Did Eric give you any money?”
“He gave me a card for one of his European accounts although since I don’t speak or read Italian using a debit or bank machine might pose a problem.”
“We will use a bank machine, that way I can tell you what it says without being conspicuous.”
“That’s fine. I don’t need a whole lot but I would like to buy some blood to keep where ever we’re staying, some books or puzzles or something and maybe some clothes since I didn’t get much of a chance to pack so this is probably all I have with me.”
“Did he tell you how much was in the account?”
“Yes, he said $50,000 and that he would arrange to have it replenished automatically when it fell below that amount.”
“I have already arranged for blood to be stocked at the villa. I have a huge library, some of the books are even in English. I will even endeavour to teach you Italian if you like.
Here is a bank. Let me see the card.”
Sookie handed over the card. Isabel glanced at the back and handed it back. “Yes, the card will work at any bank in Europe. I think 500 Euros will be enough for what you need tonight. Come, let’s get your money and get you fed.”
They were soon on their way to the club. When they got there Sookie was surprised to be stopped at the door and charged admission. She reached for her money but Isabel just glared at her so she stopped and let Izzy pay. The price was outrageous though, twenty-five Euros each!
She tried not to look at what was going on around her but it was impossible not to see the different states of undress that people were in. Some were fully dressed in cocktail dresses and suits, some were in jeans and tees but most were at least half naked and almost all were in some sort of sexual position whether it was pleasuring themselves or having someone else pleasure them.
They quickly made their way to the donor room where there were humans lined up against the wall, standing perfectly still, with name tags stating what blood type they were. To her disappointment there were no O+ available so she opted for a pretty little thing who had a most enticing scent. She was an A- and tasted divine!
Once she was done feeding the vampiress the girl went to the couch and sat down, removing her name tag.
Sookie looked at Isabel for an explanation, “Once they have fed a vampire they sit on the couch to signal everyone that they are now unavailable. They will not be allowed to donate again until a week from now so they have time to build their blood supply back up. The owners here really do take good care of their donors. It wouldn’t do to let a Sino Aids carrier, or someone else who is unhealthy, through. Each donor must complete a questionnaire and medical examination before they are allowed to donate. If they wish to discontinue they are paid what they are owed and allowed to leave with no knowledge of being a donor. If they continue they are given a medical every six months to ensure they are still healthy. All medical care is paid for by the club owners and the donors live in a house together where a cook is provided to make healthy meals for them. They also have a house mother who lives with them to make sure they stay healthy and are happy.”
“WOW! Are they still allowed to work and visit with family and friends?”
“They are although they are paid well so most opt not to continue working. Some will do volunteer work or go to school or find other things to do to fill their daylight hours. If they choose to continue they are paid half their wages in cash so they will have spending money and the other half is put into an escrow account so they will have money enough to live on once they decide they no longer wish to donate or become too ill to do so.”
“WOW! It’s hard to believe that vampires, at least the ones I’m used to, would even care enough about humans to ensure that they are healthy and happy.”
“Michelle, the European way of life is so very different from the American way. You will see this the longer you stay here.
Europe has the highest concentration of older vampires. Most of the ones you will be meeting are at least 500 and some are much, much older. Some as great as 2000 and even a couple who are even older than that.
They have learned much during their centuries here. The most important one, next to survival at all costs, is that in order to have a healthy food supply you must supply them with the healthy food and ensure that they are happy and healthy. The only reason the donors are glamoured is because they will occasionally see things here that could cause mental or emotional duress so, in order to avoid this, they are glamoured.
Now come, we need to get some shopping done and then get to the villa. It is only a couple of hours until dawn and we have just enough time to get you a few things and drive there. I’m assuming your flying ability isn’t full blown yet?”
“No Izzy, my flying is still more of a fast levitation. I can get places with it but it takes two or three times longer than it does Eric to get places.”
“We will definitely need to drive then. I can fly but I am not able to carry a passenger with me as yet. So come, let’s get your shopping done and be on our way.”
They soon had their shopping done and were on their way to Isabel’s villa.