I occupied the corner booth, laptop open, staring at nothing in particular, but my mind raced. Sookie hadn’t refused to see me, but she might as well have. When Mustapha returned from her place this evening, he told me of the attack. I’d have to reward Warren for saving her life, but it would have to wait until I regained my rightful place. As it was, my hands were tied. I thought that I would go to her in the hospital, offering to heal her from the bullet wound, but of course she wouldn’t accept my help. I should be used to it by now, but alas, despite my usual clear-headedness, I had been unable to shake her from my thoughts. I needed to focus.
While lost in my head, Pam had joined me in the booth. I was unaware of how long she’d been sitting there, but it was long enough that when I finally realized her presence, she cleared her throat and launched right into her tirade.
“Alright Eric, spill it. You’ve been sitting here like a zombie for hours now growling at anyone who came near.” I’d been growling? This was news to me. “I’ve known you too long for you to play games with me and you damn well know it. So what’s the plan? And don’t tell me you don’t have one, I know better. You are Mr. Plan. How can I help?” Great, Pam was agitated.
“Pam, leave it. It is of no concern to you. You are where I need you to be.” I tried to keep my anger under wraps, but it was hard considering how easily she could goad me into exploding.
“Bullshit. So what? You’re just going to go kick ass and take names without me? You expect me to sit by while you risk your neck? Or do you expect me to believe that you’re just going to take this lying down…literally lying down? You’re just going to spend the next two hundred years fucking Freyda? Not to mention you can’t seriously believe that the Freyda and Felipe will honor that contract that you signed? You know they’ll just find some unaligned vampire or shifter with an agenda to abduct your precious fairy. And then where will you be? So. Tell. Me. The. Fucking. Plan. Before I rip off your arms and shove them up your ass.”
I took advantage of her pause. “Pam. Do you think I am some kind of idiot? Of course Freyda and Felipe will break the contract. That’s why I need you and Karin here: to protect Sookie as well as the rest of my people. What happens to me doesn’t matter.” I was trying to get through to her. If she left it would draw attention to me. They would know that I had something premeditated. They would know and they would stop me. That couldn’t be allowed to happen. I needed a distraction. I realized I did have something to keep her occupied while I slipped away. Long goodbyes were unnecessary between the two of us.
“I need you to go to Sookie’s house and make sure she’s okay. She wouldn’t take my blood at the hospital today and…” Which is, of course, when she decided to interrupt me.
“Oh for Christ sake Eric, stop thinking with your broken heart for two fucking seconds.” Pam rolled her eyes and crossed her arms like one of those obnoxious teenagers with an attitude problem.
“Pam, listen to me. I need you to heal her and give her some reason for the extra hundred years in my contract. She’ll already know the truth from Bill, but you need to draw attention away from my emotional attachment to her. You know impetuous she can be. One day she’s gonna take off the selfish blinders she’s wearing. Then she’s going to feel guilty and get all huffy without thinking anything through. Next thing you know she’s going to come stomping into Oklahoma and get herself killed and me with her. It’s harsh, but true. You know how emotional she can be, when she’s not acting like some brainwashed housewife.” I really hoped I was getting through to Pam, because there was too much at stake.
Pam laughed softly and her eyes lifted to meet mine. “Alright Eric, if it means that much to you. I will take care of your fairy princess. Is there anything else I can do for you? Although I hesitate to ask. You’ll probably ask me to go play besties with her every Friday night while we watch those old Buffy tapes of hers.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You have a bar to run.” She smiled as I continued. “But I do have one last favor.”
I pulled the envelope that was folded in two out of my back pocket. “I need you to hide this letter in her house while you’re there, preferably somewhere she won’t find it for a while. Take Karin in with you. She’s already there and will keep you from spilling what I know is boiling up inside you right now.”
Pam pretended to look amazed, but then shook her head, knowing that as well as she knew me, I knew her too. I knew that no matter how much she cared for Sookie, she was loyal and hated to see me treated so callously. I didn’t like the way things ended between Sookie and me. I would have preferred to talk about it like rational adults, but I also understood that her life had been difficult these last few years. I knew that there were some things that would stay buried until she was good and ready to deal with them: hopefully not too soon.
“Mustapha was supposed to hide it today, but unfortunately got sidetracked with the attack. You are the only one I trust to deliver it now.” I knew I was being ridiculous and I didn’t care. The letter might be the last words I ever said to her. I couldn’t just leave it and Pam knew that.
Pam took the letter from me and placed it in the Prada purse that matched her baby blue sweater dress. “I’ll get right on it, Master.”
Good. She was back to teasing me, which meant she didn’t realize I meant to leave Fangtasia before she returned. Oh, she’d be pissed, but better than the alternative. She might find some busty blond to tempt me with. I would be sorry not to have her fighting by my side, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision.
“Now get out of here you vile woman and try to be more obedient next time.”
She stood and edged her way out of the booth, careful not to snag any of the threads of her dress on the sides.
“And Pam?” She stopped and looked back at me not realizing it might be the last time. “Take care of our people. You will do well by them.” Before she could respond I continued, “now scoot, before I decide that you deserve punishment for your disobedient rant earlier.”
She laughed and flipping her hair over her shoulder her parting words to me were perfect. “You fucking wish Northman.”
I watched as the door closed behind her. Packing up my computer, I headed into my office to gather the last of my belongings. I erased anything personal from the hard drive of my desktop computer and shut it down. There was nothing left to do.
I walked out of the office, grabbed a True Blood from the bar for the road, and walked out without a backwards glance.