Getting a hold of Callisto should have been easier than it was, but we suddenly had bigger fish to fry when Eric got a call from Gervaise while we were lying in bed together. Judging by the way Eric was speaking in clipped tones it was safe to assume it wasn’t just a call to catch up on local vampire gossip. By the end of the call I was a tad nervous about what was going on. About three sentences into the call Eric had switch to what sounded like German to me.
“What’s happening?” I asked after he hung up.
“Rogues were spotted in area four earlier today. Gervaise has sent a pair of his best fighters over to Hadley’s residence to keep an eye on things in case anyone shows up there. Another group has been dispatched to the hotel where we abducted Coltrane. Pam, Longshadow and I will be going to assist with the cleanup,” he informed me.
“What about me? What can I do to help?”
“Stay here where I know you’re safe,” he said.
“Eric, you’re only in this mess because of me. I want to do something to help.”
“Do you know how to fight?”
“Well no, not exactly-”
“Do you have any special weapons training?”
“Not really, but-”
“Then it would be best if you stayed,” Eric said.
“Fuck that,” I said as I as up. “I’m no damsel in distress and I’m not a wilting wildflower either. You can either take me with you or I’ll figure out a way to get myself there. Your choice.”
Eric didn’t look happy about it and I’m not sure what made him change his mind, but he relented.
“Fine, you can come along, but I want you to take more of my blood before we go.”
“Deal,” I agreed since I figured I had to meet him halfway if we were going to compromise.
While it was true that I technically didn’t need his permission to do anything, I wanted us to be on the same page. I couldn’t expect him to be the only one to do the bending.
“You know I might be able to tell you who the vampire is that’s been supplying the Rogues all this time,” I reminded Eric.
“We’ll see. We aren’t planning to keep any survivors unless we need to.”
I could only imagine how they might go about wiping out the Rogues. I hadn’t been able to handle it when it was just Eric and Coltrane so who knew what my reaction would be when their were more Weres just waiting to be tortured for information. Really, when I thought about it, it seemed the bigger concern to vampires would be finding out who was giving away their blood, and to werewolves, of all people.
Even I knew that was a big no-no.
Eric sent texts to Pam and Longshadow to let them know where to meet us, and then he tossed his phone to the side. I wasn’t crazy about taking Eric’s blood. I understood what he wanted me to. It would make me stronger and easier to find if we got separated but I didn’t want to become addicted to it either. I didn’t want to end up all strung out on it.
“Are you having second thoughts?” Eric asked.
“Could I get addicted to your blood?” I asked in response.
“I suppose that’s a possibility but not one I think you need to be concerned with,” he said. “I don’t want to overcook you.”
“Good, because I don’t want to be overcooked.”
Eric pulled my face to his to kiss me softly. I gave into it and slid onto his lap a moment later. He had a way of kissing me until I forgot about everything else. When he pulled away it was to bite into his wrist for me. He held up his wounded arm and my lips quickly sealed over it before the wound started to close.
He growled in satisfaction as I sucked gently. I could feel him hardening beneath me and the next thing I knew I was on my back an he was inside me. I pulled away from his wrist to cry out, and that only made him drive deeper into me. Because we were short on time it wasn’t very sweet or gentle, but an orgasm was an orgasm.
I came with a scream and Eric followed right after with a satisfied grunt of his own. He dropped on top of me and kissed my neck for a few moments before pulling out and rolling off of me.
I could feel his ancient blood working its way through me like it was the best cup of coffee I’d ever had.
“Come on, Lover, we must get going,” he said and kissed my forehead before getting out of bed.
Our rendezvous point turned out to be the home of the area four sheriff. Eric reminded me about the protocol of being around other vampires. That meant speaking when spoken to, obeying all of his orders and remaining at his side unless he gave me permission to wander. I quickly determined that while I might be a submissive in the bedroom I definitely wasn’t in everyday life.
“Northman, I never thought I’d see the day when you would take a pet,” Gervaise said after the introductions were made.
I was perched on Eric’s knee, feeling like an oversized parrot, only with a momentarily stifled vocabulary. Gervaise was as dark a black man as I’d ever seen. He wasn’t as big as Eric but that didn’t men he wasn’t just as strong. I realized that he also had that little bit of a glow to him that I thought I’d imagined on Eric when we first met.
“She’s quite the find,” Gervaise said like I was the Mona Lisa or something.
“Indeed she is,” Eric agreed with pride in his voice. He was stroking my hair like he was petting a kitten.
“She smells divine. Will you share her?” Gervaise asked with a lick of his fangs.
I prickled at the idea of being passed around like a human chalice. Eric knew how I felt about sharing. It had been in our contract that I didn’t want to be shared with another. It was a hard limit for me and I hoped that he was paying attention to my emotions because not a single part of me wanted Gervaise’s fangs in me.
“Not tonight, old friend. Tonight I think we have more pressing matters,” Eric said, smoothly steering the conversation back to business instead of feeding and God knows what else Gervaise may have wanted to do with me.
“Another time then,” Gervaise smiled at me.
I smiled back out of politeness and because it seemed like the thing a pet should do. Really all I wanted was to handle this problem with the Rogues and be on our way.
“How many were spotted?” Eric asked. No need to mention who, specifically he was referring to.
“I have visual confirmation on six. At first dark a team was dispatched to track them. There was a second wave across the border shortly after that. The teams split up with some going to the hotel in Red Ditch and others tracking the scent. It’s unlikely that they were able to catch your scent, but even if they did their known addictions would make it reasonable for you to attack in your own defense,” Gervaise said.
His eyes shifted to me, looking me over curiously. I had no idea what he was thinking and I was damn happy about that. I wasn’t too interested or concerned with Gervaise’s opinion of me.
“Not that I’m questioning you, Northman, but why bring your pet along if you have no intention of sharing her?” Gervaise asked.
That sounded like questioning to me.
“Bait,” Eric answered without missing a beat. “It’s my understanding that the woman that Rogue was sent here to locate looks a great deal like my pet.”
Gervaise lifted an eyebrow and asked me, “And you’re alright with being dangled as werebait?”
“Anything to please my master,” I said without hesitation.
The growl of approval I got from Eric was enough to tell me that I had done well. I had answered perfectly. Maybe I was cut out for this crap but that didn’t mean I liked slapping on a happy face and acting like I didn’t have an original thought of my own in my head.
“Her training is impeccable, Northman,” Gervaise said, leaving me feeling like a show pony.
“Sookie is a remarkable woman. I am lucky to have found her,” he said sincerely.
His words settled my nerves a bit, and definitely soothed my rising irritation with Gervaise.
A plan took shape in regards to dealing with the Rogues. It started with Eric sending a blast text to all of the vampires in his retinue, warning them that Rogues were headed in that direction. Longshadow was sent back to Shreveport to lead them and disperse teams as necessary to deal with the werewolves. Gervaise checked in with the teams he had already sent out, and it was decided the best course of action was to dangle me as bait.
Assuming they weren’t relying too much on their sense of smell to confirm my identity, the plan would work. I knew Hadley well enough to be able to replicate her mannerisms down to the way she walked. I tucked my hair into a messy knot and put on a pair of sunglasses that belonged to Gervaise’s pet. With Eric in the passenger’s seat I drove from the house to the hotel where Gran had been staying.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Eric asked as I pulled into the lot.
There was a part of me that really didn’t want to, but if this would keep Hadley out of trouble for at least a little while it was worth it.
“Yes,” I said.
In doing this I wasn’t just helping Hadley, I was also helping vampires eradicate a dangerous enemy. There were more pros than cons. I parked in a space toward the end of the lot and then nearly got the life kissed out of me by a vampire that was very ready for a fight.
“Are you always this excited by the potential for bloodshed?’ I asked when Eric released me.
“Absolutely,” he answered.
The plan was for me to make it look like I was meeting up with a vampire to drain him. It just so happened that vampire was Eric. It sounded a little rudimentary to me, but sometimes the best plan was a simple one. When plans got too elaborate the margin for errors increased exponentially. We needed this to work so we could get on with our lives.
I didn’t want to have to worry about looking over my shoulder because some werewolf mistook me for Hadley. What I was wondering was why this was the first time anyone was stepping up to deal with the Rogues if vampires knew they were a problem. I got the impression from Eric that vampires were serious about protecting their blood. It seemed like a really bad idea to me to let an entire group of people wander around with an addiction to something so powerful that wasn’t easy to come by.
To get an idea of what we were dealing with as far as the number of people were concerned, I dropped my shields and listened for brains. Thanks to Coltrane I knew what werewolf minds were like, and I counted eight of them nearby. Double the amount we were expecting.
“There are eight werewolves close by,” I told Eric so he could relay that info.
I also counted nearly a dozen vampire black holes, and about two dozen human minds. What I wasn’t expecting was to hear Hadley.
“Shit! Eric, they’ve got Hadley!” I said in a panic that nearly matched my cousin’s. “I thought they were watching her house?”
“Not during the day,” he grumbled.
This wasn’t part of the plan. Hadley would just get in the way, no doubt. Unfortunately there was nothing to be done about but but get her back.
“Is she injured?” Eric asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t think so.”
“Alright let’s get out of here and meet up with the other vampires to strategize,” he said and I started the car.
We met up with the other vamps down the road a ways and it was decided that a blitz attack was the best bet. Hit them hard and fast. The best I could tell, Hadley was on the ground floor so other vampires could be camped out by the back of the room in case anyone tried to escape that way.
With the new plan in place we went back to the hotel. I said a silent prayer and hoped that the plan worked.