Eric stepped into his office to find an elegantly made-up woman waiting for him. Her hair was the color of dried blood, her skin pale as fresh cream and her eyes were devil dark. It was hard to tell if her lips were painted red, or if they were stained that way from a recent feeding. Her fangs were on display, and it was obvious she was unhappy about something. More than likely the human scent that hung in the air.
“Northman,” she said in an almost bored tone.
“Ms. Krasiki,” Eric closed the door behind him. “To what do I owe the displeasure of your company?”
Lorena offered a tight smile, and Eric presumed she was still angry over her failed attempt to bring her child to heel in Dallas. Lorena was a bit of a joke among vampires. She turned humans because she was desperate for companionship. Eric had met her centuries before when he was in Romania with Godric. She had foolishly abducted a gypsy girl and had tried to turn her, but the attempt had failed. Word was that the clan had located the missing girl in the midst of transition and it was only because the gypsies had uncovered the bodies at night that Lorena had survived. As punishment a curse had been placed on her that would keep her lonely for eternity, but there was no way to prove whether or not the rumors were true, and Lorena would certainly never discuss it.
“I heard about the death of your Maker. Very sad,” Lorena said with an evil smile on her face and Eric hissed.
“You’re in my territory now, Ms. Krasiki, where I believe your progeny resides. I could banish you from my area and you would be powerless to stop me,” Eric reminded her.
“But you won’t do that,” she said with confidence.
“I’m strongly considering it. You insulted my Maker by attempting to drain a defenseless human in his home all to teach your worthless progeny a lesson,” Eric retorted, and it was Lorena’s turn to hiss. “So I ask again, why are you here?”
“I believe we have a unique situation,” she said and took a seat. “I want what is mine. By all rights, William is mine until he meets the True Death but he seems to have grown quite attached to that piece of human backwater trash.”
Eric resisted the urge to lunge forward and rip Lorena’s head from her neck. She was an old vampire, but not as old as Eric. She also wasn’t very creative, or worth much as a Maker. Showing weakness was dangerous for vampires, and it was quite apparent to anyone what Lorena’s weakness was. She would do anything for that pathetic excuse of a child of hers. Lorena’s willingness to do anything to reach her ultimate goals, no matter how rash, was part of what made her a threat to the entire vampire population.
“My king has asked me to summon my child to my side. The assumption is that he will want to bring that little girl along with him,” Lorena said with disgust.
“Who is your king?” Eric asked, since he didn’t know which state Lorena currently owed fealty to. The last he heard she was living up in Washington state just outside of Seattle.
“Russell Edgington,” she said with a crooked smile.
“Where Sophie-Anne is currently visiting,” Eric supplied and Lorena’s smile grew.
“Very good, Northman.”
“You would like me to assist you in an act of treason against my regent,” Eric surmised.
“She has no claim on the girl, she’s merely interested in her talents. I would take her myself, but I would only kill her. A much worse fate would be an eternity with you, from all I can gather. After all, weak Maker, weak-” she didn’t get to finish her insult since Eric was around the desk and had Lorena by her throat before she could get the last word out.
“That is the last time you will insult my Maker, or I will end you,” Eric threatened.
Lorena’s smile returned and said, “If you end me, you will face Russell Edgington for your poor judgment.”
“You’re an underling, and one without power,” Eric sneered.
Lorena laughed and said, “My Maker is powerful. He is also my king.”
Eric released his grip, surprised to learn that Russell was Lorena’s Maker. That wasn’t a twist he was aware of, but it explained quite a bit. Bill had been turned in Mississippi, after all, and Russell had been Mississippi’s regent for more than 200 years. It stood to reason that Lorena would have been close to her Maker’s side at such a dangerous point in history. During the American Civil War there were plenty of near dead bodies to snack on in the south. Soldiers were already severely wounded so there was no reason to check the bodies for bite marks. Any additional blood loss would have simply been attributed to the wounds received in battle.
“The plan is for Bill to come to my side and for him to bring the girl so that Sophie-Anne can stake her claim. She will forge a blood bond with the girl and once her talents have been brought under the queen’s control, she will be tested to see what other power she might have. If she meets the queen’s satisfaction, she will be turned and become the queen’s bonded child,” Lorena revealed the whole plan.
“Ludicrous. If the AVL so much as gets wind of a human having been turned against its will they’ll lock away Sophie-Anne and throw away the key,” Eric shook his head.
Sophie-Anne’s arrogance and self-centeredness were starting to get the better of her if she thought the Authority wouldn’t weigh in heavily on this matter. Turning a human against their will was not only punishable by human laws, but by vampire laws as well. It was a policy that was put in place five years prior to the Great Revelation to give vampires the chance to acclimate to a new way of doing business.
The fact that Jessica was turned against her will was overlooked because it was a punishment put in place to tame an unruly vampire who thought himself above the laws. He staked a vampire because his sense of humanity had prevented him from allowing a human to die. His punishment was to take a human life, not only to replace the vampire that was lost, but also to remind Bill of what he was.
“Only if she gets caught and we both know her first order of business would be to issue a Maker’s command for Sookie never to reveal that she had been turned against her will,” Lorena said with a shrug and a coy smile. “The way I see it, Northman, I can get Bill out of the way and you can get the girl out of mine. You made it quite clear in Dallas that you have interests in her.”
There was a knock on the door just then, and it wasn’t Pam.
“Enter!” Eric called and the door opened to reveal Yvetta standing there all dressed up in her trashiest lingerie. Eric couldn’t be less interested if his undead life depended on it.
“Master, I come to offer myself to you,” Yvetta said with that gleam in her eye he knew all too well.
“I’m not hungry,” Eric said, but looked to Lorena. “My guest, on the other hand…”
“You are a pretty thing,” Lorena’s fangs ran out.
Yvetta looked a bit startled, but then was beckoned forward by the female vampire.
“You don’t mind if I have a taste of her, do you?” Lorena asked Eric.
“Not at all. Her blood is pure Estonian,” Eric informed Lorena, who’s brows lifted.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had Estonian before,” she gushed at the exoticness of the blood, but Eric already knew it wasn’t anything special.
Yvetta came forward, her eyes on Eric’s as she entered the room. “Master, I-”
“Silence,” Eric said sternly, and Yvetta’s eyes went a little glassy. “You will let her feed from you, as you offered yourself to me.”
Yvetta stood perfectly still while Lorena circled the scantily clad woman, taking in every inch of her.
“She’s quite stunning, Northman. You have good taste… mostly,” Lorena smirked, and then roughly reached up to grab Yvetta’s hair.
Yvetta didn’t make a sound as Lorena’s fangs slid into her neck. The vampire drank her fill, and when she pulled away she left the wounds open. Her eyes were glassy and she swayed a little on her feet. Lorena began to pet Yvetta as if she was a kitten, and the pets quickly evolved into loving caresses. If Eric didn’t know any better, he would think Lorena had just drained a fairy.
“Master, my wounds…” Yvetta started to sway on her feet as well, and Eric knew Lorena had taken a bit too much.
He was about to go around the desk to seal the wounds when Pam came rushing into the room at vampire speed and pulled Yvetta away. “Master, you have an urgent phone call. I’ll see to the bloodbag.”
Eric knew by his tie to Pam that something very important was going on, but he didn’t know what. Lorena followed Pam from the room, calling after Yvetta the whole way. Eric went back to his desk and picked up the call that was waiting for him.
“Northman,” he barked into the receiver.
“Eric, it’s me,” Sookie’s voice filled his ear. “Whatever you do, don’t drink Yvetta’s blood. She’s taken a tonic for a love spell. She’s trying to trap you.”
Eric hissed and hung up the phone without saying another word. The Estonian whore would pay for this.
Eric sped from the room and found Pam in her office, holding Lorena back from further attacking the human. It was obvious by Pam’s irritation that she was also aware of what Yvetta had done. The stupid human smiled in a swoony way at Eric as he approached her.
“I knew you cared for me,” Yvetta said with love in her eyes as Eric loomed over her.
“I should snap your neck,” Eric hissed, and Yvetta gasped.
“Pam, take Lorena elsewhere while I deal with Yvetta,” Eric ordered, and Lorena was immediately battling the order.
“But I love her. I need her. Yvetta is everything to me,” Lorena pleaded, her arms outstretched toward the bleeding human as Pam attempted to drag her out of the room.
“Chow, a little help,” Eric said in a normal tone of voice, and the other vampire appeared an instant later to help Pam with her task. “Lorena, you will leave my area and not return again. You are hereby banished from Area 5.”
“No! No!” Lorena screamed over and over as Chow and Pam fought her out of the bar. “My beloved, I will come for you! No one will keep us apart!”
Eric stared deeply into Yvetta’s eyes to find that she was still staring back at him with love and gratitude. That quickly changed when Eric’s hand shot out and wrapped itself around Yvetta’s throat. Her eyes went wide and she fought his hold, but it was no use. His hand remained there until she went limp, and then he tossed her over his shoulder to bring her downstairs.
Yvetta had a lot of explaining to do before Eric ended her.