18 Missing Information
There was chaos at the table. "Why the fuck did you do that, Bill?" I hissed.
"To protect you. You were becoming too interesting; they wouldn't stop chasing you if you became any more valuable. The next step you were going to take was trading yourself for us, don't lie and say you weren't."
"If you're both dead I won't have anyone to stop them from taking me, will I?"
"Would both of you shut up?" Eric mumbled. I glared at him.
"Perhaps we should consider their proposal," Kibwe said. "Lily presented a valid argument."
"That was before we knew Russell Edgington was alive!" The kid yelled. He seriously had some anger management issues he needed to work out.
"They have their own way of getting things done and it has worked on Russell before. Best case scenario, Russell receives the true death. Worst case, Mr. Compton and Mr. Northman receive the true death and it's up to us to take care of Russell," Salome said.
"It works in our favor either way," Kibwe said. The Texan vampire started in on an argument with Kibwe and soon the table was a mess of unintelligible yelling again.
"Chancellors! Thank you, that will be all," Roman said. He dismissed all the vampires except for Salome. "Russell is the biggest threat to mainstreaming we've ever been presented with. He has become a hero for the Sanquinistas; it's sick what vampires in this day and age will admire. They must be stopped. Russell must be stopped."
"We'll bring him in," Bill said.
"Or die trying," I finished quietly. Roman snapped his fingers and three guards appeared to lead us away.
We were taken into a room full of fancy looking gadgets. Our bindings were cut and I was placed in a chair while Bill and Eric were stood in the middle of the room. We were like little marionettes being pushed and pulled everywhere.
A vampire who didn't look all that much older than me, in human appearance of course, entered and began going through things. "I've heard a lot about you three. I'm Molly by the way, the Authority's resident gadget girl. Here," she handed Eric and Bill two cross looking pendants on straps. "Take your shirts off and put these on." I couldn't help but admire Eric and caught Molly doing the same. I raised my eyebrow at her and she shrugged. "Hey, not my fault you pick 'em good."
"What does that do anyways?" I asked.
"Wooden bullet right above their heart. I click this button," she said holding up her iPhone to show me a simply designed app with what else but a big red button. "And splat. Basically it's out insurance; it tracks them and gives us an easy way to dispose of them, if we need to. I really hope we won't need to, that would be a shame." She took another lengthy look at my boyfriend's abs and I rolled my eyes. "Speaking of which, arm." She took my arm and injected me with a syringe.
"Ow. What was that for?"
"That's your tracker. It's the only thing we could come up with that your faerie blood wouldn't reject. Did you know you're practically invincible to all strains of most major fatal diseases? I can't wait to work with you more in the future, you're so cool!"
I spent the day asleep for the most part, I was still recovering from the Ileana fiasco and on top of that Russell was back, but it was hard to get any good rest. I had already taken triple the recommended amount of sleeping pills but despite their claim of dreamless sleep I was plagued with nightmares reliving being abducted by Russell in Jackson and new nightmares of him finding me and hunting me down now. I should be safe in Alcide's house, my house now too, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't. Russell had gotten to me before while I was at Alcide's apartment in Jackson. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and got in my car and drove to where Alcide was working. Thankfully it was only ten minutes away because I was dozing off at every stop light. I would've crashed into the building if I hadn't been so surprised to see Debbie's parents that I slammed on my breaks. They were leaving just as I got out of the car and I walked over the Alcide felling a little woozy, maybe those sleeping pills were finally kicking in. "Wasn't that Debbie's parents?"
"Yeah, I didn't know you knew them."
"I don't, just recognized them from a picture. What were they doing here? I thought you abjured Debbie or whatever?"
"Missing? Like missing as in she ran off with some sleazy V dealer or missing as in missing?"
"She was supposed to be going back to her parents in Jackson but she never made it. I would've thought she'd just made a stop to get some more V but…They found her car, her wallet and phone was still inside."
"You don't think she's…" I trailed off. I didn't want to say the word for fear that I'd sound a little too happy about the fact. It was no secret that Debbie and I despised each other. Ever since I'd kissed Alcide at her engagement party, though really she had no right to get upset she was getting married, jealous bitch. Ok, breathe Rachel. Now is not the time to get worked up over anything else, there's enough on your plate already. "Are you going to look for her?"
"The police are doing that, and like you said I abjured her. I don't want anything to do with Debbie anymore, I'm done with her."
"Ok," I said not really sure what else to say.
"Come on let's get you home. I'll have someone bring your car by the house, you look like you're about to pass out."
"Nightmares," I mumbled suddenly feeling extremely exhausted.
"Russell isn't going to hurt you, I swear. You're safe."
"I know." I checked my phone and frowned.
"It's just I haven't heard anything from Lily in a few days, or Bill." Or Eric. I added silently. Did I really expect Eric to check in? We hadn't exactly parted on bad terms but we hadn't parted on good times either. Come to think of it we hadn't really even parted at all. I was happy for Lily if she was happy with Eric, I knew she'd be happy for me and Alcide, but Eric and I were going to have to have a chat sooner or later. A lot of things had happened between us in the past year that could really use some flushing out but I wasn't going to be able to do that if he didn't text me back.
We were taken to new quarters spread out around the facility, I didn't know how to get to Bill or Eric's room without asking a guard to take me there and I guess that was the idea. I convinced my guard to let me visit Eric for a few minutes though the guard wouldn't leave the doorway as I talked to Eric. "I feel like throwing myself out of a window. Except there aren't any windows here so that's out of the question," I said flopping onto Eric's bed. "Why is Bill so stupid? I had them, they were eating out of the palm of my hand and then bam, Bill had to go open his big mouth."
"They're vampires, they've had centuries of practice at lying, you never really know what choices their going to make. Bill thought it was a good idea, and we are alive aren't we?"
"Temporarily," I grumbled.
"We'll find a way out of this, we always do," Eric said sitting on the bed next to me.
"This is different, this is the Authority." I searched his eyes hoping to find some of the cocky Eric that knew exactly what he was doing but instead I just found uncertainty, even though cocky Eric got on my nerves this was worse because if Eric was afraid this was really bad. I kissed him and pushed him back on the bed rolling over so he was on his back and I was straddling him. The guard at the door cleared his throat and I looked over my shoulder at him. "This very well could be one of the last moments I ever get to spend with my boyfriend. I'm not stopping just because it makes you feel uncomfortable." He hesitated but didn't leave. "Oh for god's sake, does it look like we're planning to over throw the Authority or some shit?" He stood there for another second before turning around and leaving. "Now, where were we?"
When I got back to my room Salome was sitting on my bed reading a magazine. "Oh there you are darling; I've been waiting for quite some time."
"What do you want?" I asked cautiously.
"Just to chat." She patted the bed next to her and I sat down. "I like the three of you, really I do, and I want to help you out. Bill and I-Well let's just say I've convinced him to work with me. Now with you around I hardly expect Eric to fall for the same tricks and I'd rather not make an enemy out of your on your first day here. So I need your help."
"You kept us alive; I guess I owe you something. What do you need?"
"We'll get to that, patience. Have you heard of the Vampire Bible?"
"Kibwe mentioned it, though I don't know anything else about it."
"So Bill hasn't taught you everything he knows then? Nan had us under the impression you were being groomed to take over Louisiana should something happen to Bill."
"But I'm not a vampire," I said confused. No one had ever mentioned to me that I was some protégé.
"That can be easily remedied. The Vampire Bible speaks of how before Adam and Eve there was Lilith. Have you heard of her?"
"Isn't she a demon and Adam's first wife?"
"Human lore," she said dismissively. "Lilith was a vampire, created in God's image."
"Therefore God is a vampire." I snorted. "Someone ought to tell the Fellowship of the Sun. What else does it say?"
"It says that the purpose of humans is to feed vampires, in so many words. It's where the Sanquinistas come from, they interpret the Bible literally. But as you know most vampires no longer feel that way."
"What does it say about the rest of us?" I asked.
"Werewolves, shifters, witches…faeries?"
"It's been so long since I read it. I do recall a passage 'I will make vampyre in my image, according to my likeness, and let vampyre rule over all creatures: beasts of the earth and faeries of the heavens.' But it has been a long time. Would you like to read it?"
"I'll loan you mine. Now, let's talk about Nora."
"I'd rather not," I said.
"You don't like her do you?" Salome asked.
"She doesn't like me; I tend to not take well to people who'd rather have me dead."
"Why doesn't she like you?"
"How should I know? Maybe she's jealous, she are Eric are-" I stopped short realizing what I was about to tell her.
"They're siblings. Don't worry, I already knew."
"How? Eric said no one knew."
"I knew Godric, wonderful man before he lost his way. Did you meet him?" She asked.
"No, I just heard stories. I hadn't moved to Bon Temps yet."
"That's a shame, he would've liked you. You said you thought Nora might have been jealous, but is that really what you believe?"
"She hates humans, I can feel it. But she's Eric's sister…"
"And you don't want to hurt him by making us believe she is Sanquinist."
"I don't know for sure, it's just an assumption."
"Well you were right. Lucky for you, you didn't get on that boat. You'd probably be dead now; Sanquinistas wouldn't work too hard to protect you, especially when you smell like you do."
"Was there something you needed my help with?" I asked.
"I want you to trust me, Lily. We can work together." Salome got up and walked out of my room leaving me even more confused than I had already been.
I checked my phone for the tenth time since we'd been driving to Bon Temps. "I'm sure Lily is fine," Alcide assured me again.
"I hope so."
"We can stop by Bill's place and see if she's there on the way back if you want."
"That would make me feel a lot better…Or worse." I banged my head on the head rest behind me. "Everyone in my family just disappears all the fucking time. It's like we aren't allowed to have normal lives for five minutes without someone getting abducted or almost dying or hell getting possessed by a ghost."
"Breathe Rachel. We'll find Lily, ok?"
I took a deep breath. "Ok." We pulled up outside Merlotte's and Alcide and I walked in. "Sook!" I called when I saw her blonde head duck around a corner. I walked towards the back hallway and grabbed her arm. "You need to talk to us. You can't avoid us forever."
"What do you want now?" She asked.
"Debbie is missing," Alcide told her.
"I heard. Sherriff Bellefleur came asking questions around here today."
"They found her car by your house," Alcide said.
"I heard that too."
"Sookie would you stop being so fucking stupid?" I begged. "You get on my nerves most of the time but that doesn't mean I want you dead!"
"I appreciate your concern, Rachel, but I can take care of myself."
"What else is going on Sookie, what else happened?" I asked.
"Its fine, Rachel. I promi-"
"Oh shit, Tara!" Lafayette yelled from the kitchen.
"Tara is here?" I hissed. Sookie took off and Alcide and I followed behind her. Lafayette was on the ground in front of the open freezer. Arlene and Sam ran in behind us. "You put Tara in the freezer?"
"Hey Rach," Tara said stepping through the open door.
"Tara, oh my god, are you ok?" I asked.
"Really Rachel? I'm a fucking vampire and you're going to ask if I'm ok? I know you are your sister are fangbangers but, god."
"Don't talk to her like that," Alcide said stepping in front of me. Tara popped her fangs out and hissed at him. She brushed past us and walked out the door; Sam caught her arm and stopped her.
"These are your friends they just want to help-"
"Stay the hell away from me, for your own sake," she said and then she was gone in a blink.
"Everything's fine then?" I asked looking pointedly at Sookie.
"So Salome, huh?" I asked Bill causally in the elevator. He looked at me funny. "Oh she stopped by, we had a nice talk about the Vampire Bible, Sanquinistas, oh and you." He looked down.
"She did pay me a visit as well," Bill said.
"Though I'm positive the two of you got a little friendlier than she and I did."
"You try very hard to make all situations uncomfortable for me, don't you?"
I shrugged. "Kids are supposed to embarrass their parents. What does she want anyways?"
"I have no idea," Bill said shaking his head as the elevator doors opened.
Alcide and I walked out to his truck and Sookie followed us. "Either tell us what's going or leave," I said.
"I didn't want to drag you into the middle of this," Sookie said.
"It's too late, we're in the middle," I said.
"I started to tell you the other day but Lafayette stopped me. When I got home Debbie was there, she was crazy I guess she was on V. She had a gun and she was going to shoot me but Tara stepped in front of me just in time and…"
"Debbie shot Tara," Alcide said.
"I got the gun I was afraid, I should've called the police but I didn't. I…" Sookie trailed off.
"Sookie you didn't?" I asked shocked. "The bleach smell in the kitchen…Oh my god Sook."
"I killed her."
"And you weren't going to tell me?" Alcide asked. "You were just going to lie and pretend you had no idea what happened to her?"
"Yes, no, I don't know Alcide, but you loved her! I couldn't just tell you, I didn't know-I don't know what you're going to do now." Alcide punched his truck and then leaned over the side trying to breathe. I wrapped my arms around him and pressed my head against his shoulder trying to comfort him. "Alcide I'm sorry I-"
"I don't want to hear it," Alcide said.
"Alcide, what are you going to do? I need to know if you're going to tell anyone." He turned and walked around the driver's side of the car.
I pushed out of my way Sookie but stopped before I opened the passenger door. I don't forgive you for not telling us, but I'll try to help you if I can.
I got in the car and closed the door. Alcide didn't say for a while. "Do you still want to stop at Bill's?" He asked.
"It can wait. Like you said, I'm sure Lily is fine." I wasn't entirely convinced of that but dragging Alcide anywhere in the state he was in just seemed cruel. "I'm sorry about Debbie, I know you loved her."
"Debbie made a lot of mistakes, I don't know if she could've ever recovered from them but…"
"She didn't deserve to die." Did I believe that? Probably not, but I was going to be supportive. He was hurting and I could try my best to fix it.