We were unloaded from a black SUV in the middle of the road. Eric offered me a hand as I climbed out but I swatted him away. The SUV door was closed by one of the Authority guards and they drove away leaving Eric, Bill and I alone. "Well." I smoothed my skirt, flinching when the skin pulled around the scab on my arm where my tracker had been put in. "That worked nicely, despite the stakes attached to your hearts," I said bitterly. "I still think my plan was better."
"How did you not end up in a jumpsuit?" Eric asked pulling at the stretchy material.
I shrugged, "Salome."
"There will be time to worry about your outfits later, we need to find Russell now," Bill said.
"Where do we even start?" I asked.
"Only four of us knew where he was," Eric said. I grabbed the keys off the ground and hit the unlock button, head lights flashed in the bushes.
Bill snatched the keys from me. "I'll drive." I groaned and followed him to the car.
When we got to Fangtasia, Eric walked in ahead of me and Bill. "May I have everyone's attention, Fangtasia will be closing early tonight. We have some…business to attend to." Fangbangers grumbled as they left the bar. Bill and I walked in once the place was clear. Ginger was the only person left and she was quickly cleaning up the bar, she waved when she saw me and I smiled politely. I had never had an actual conversation with Ginger but, according to Rachel, she was pretty out of it after so much glamouring. I wondered if my powers worked the same way; Bill had known that I had used some sort of magic on him a few hours after I'd done it and it always wore off Rachel , but she had never be able to be glamoured by vamps only me. Fae magic was much too confusing and I had no plans to ever track down any other fairies to discus my powers with, not after Claudine.
Eric sat in his throne and I rolled my eyes. "You're so weird."
"You can join me," he offered motioning to the smaller chairs on either side of him.
I laughed. "No thanks, I'll pass." I sat down with Bill at one of the tables and we waited in complete silence for Pam to return.
After fifteen minutes of sitting I was considering getting up to hunt for Pam's stash of Cosmopolitan and InStyle magazines, when she burst in yelling about Fangtasia being open till four. "I sent them home," Eric said. Pam stopped and her jaw dropped a bit when she saw him. Tara stood behind Pam and I stood up quickly.
"Tara?" I asked.
"Hey Lily," Tara said. She smiled and her fangs popped out.
"Holy shit!" I turned to look at Pam and she shifted uncomfortably. We both looked at Eric.
"What is she doing here?" Eric asked calmly.
"I made her, while you were gone," Pam said. I grabbed Tara's arm which was covered in red splotches, which I really hoped belonged to her and not some innocent person she'd eaten for dinner, and wheeled her out of the room. Bill followed us down to Eric's office.
"God you're gross, how long have you been wearing those clothes?" I asked.
"A while," she said. I dug through some of the inventory boxes until I found an oversized Fangtasia t-shit, and handed it to her. I grabbed TrueBloods from the shelf above the shirts and handed one to Tara and one to Bill before going to the mini fridge where Rachel stashed Dr. Peppers and grabbing a soda for me.
"So what happened to you?" I asked.
"I saved Sookie, what else could have possibly happened. I used to think things Rachel said about Sookie were harsh but she's right isn't she? Sookie is the cause of all our problems. If we just sent her off somewhere maybe we'd be done with all this shit."
"People have had to save me too," I said looking down.
"Yeah well not as much as her, someone's always been saving her. You Compton twins are tough; you don't let others get hurt for you."
I thought about when I'd gotten in the middle of the witch war and how I'd gotten shot, no one was there to stop the bullet. When we were trying to get into the Emporium I'd been thrown against the brick building breaking several bones, no one had been there to catch me before I'd hit the ground. Tara was right, Sookie must have a fucking guardian angel making sure someone was there to save her every time. "So how are you taking it, being a vampire?"
"I tried to roast myself in a tanning bed," she said.
"Oh." I remembered the UV lights they'd turned on in the prison cells. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to put themselves through that pain willingly.
"Don't worry I can't do it again. Pam went all "as your maker I command you" on me." She sat down in Eric's desk chair.
"I'm sure it's hard to get used to but you'll make it through it. You're tough too, you took a bullet and survived so…"
She snorted. "Maybe."
Eric opened the door and walked in; Tara jumped up and left without saying anything else. I took another sip of my Dr. Pepper. "Not Pam," Eric said after a long silence.
"Is there anyone else you might have told?" Bill asked him, he glanced at me.
"Rachel and I thought he was dead," we said.
"Alcide could have told Rachel," Bill said.
"Rachel wouldn't do that. Are we really suspects now, Bill? Your own family?"
"You're right, I know. We have no leads, nowhere to look," Bill apologized.
"I know there's a deadline; I know everyone is stressed out. But we need to think about this rationally. Did Russell have any other kids besides the guy you killed?" I asked Eric.
"Talbot was the only one as far as I know," Eric said.
"We need to go to ground," Bill said. "Lily, you can stay at my house today." I nodded and turned to follow Bill out; I looked over my shoulder where Eric was deep in thought, he didn't even glance up as we left. Bill and I got into the car and I sighed.
"I don't even know why I still work at Merlotte's, or how I've managed to keep my job all this time. I might as well quit. There's no way I'm going to make it in today, I'm exhausted."
"I'm sorry about accusing you and Rachel, I know it wasn't you," Bill said.
"I get it; we all just want this to be over with. It would be a hell of a lot easier if I had dug him up."
The next morning Alcide was already up and dressed when I went downstairs to make my coffee. "Going somewhere?" I asked.
"I want to go talk to the Pelts, about Debbie," he said.
"You aren't going to tell them about Sook are you?"
"No. No, I have another story. But I can't let them keep looking for their daughter when I know they'll never find her."
"Give me a few minutes and I'll come with you," I said. I ran up stairs and pulled on a skirt and top, twisted my hair into a bun and then went back downstairs. "Ok let's go."
I held Alcide's hand as we drove to the motel where the Pelts were staying. He checked the piece of paper Gordon had given him to make sure we were in the right place before parking. "Want me to come in with you?" I asked.
"I think I should do this by myself," he said. He looked so tired and sad, I kissed him on the cheek and he tried to smile but it wasn't very believable. "Don't worry about me, I'm ok." He got out of the truck and I watched him walk up and knock on the door. Gordon opened it and Alcide walked in. I couldn't hear a thing and as soon as the door closed I hopped out of the truck and walked over to the room's window. It wasn't too hard to listen in to Barbra Pelt's head so I could hear the conversation and I leaned against the wall so they wouldn't see me.
I had been in people's heads before but something was different this time. Instead of just listening in I could feel her emotions, really feel them. As soon as Alcide revealed Debbie had been killed I felt like I was going to start crying, and that obviously wasn't normal. I could feel the other emotions in the room as well. Gordon was more angry than sad when Alcide told him that Marcus killed Debbie.
Sookie would be relieved, I thought bitterly. Even though Sookie was my friend I couldn't help but feel like everything she did hurt other people much more than herself and I hated her for making Alcide go through this. Why is it that Sookie always has someone there to save the day and fix her mistakes?
I didn't want to go near Alcide's emotions but when he started crying I couldn't help it. I slid down against the wall and started crying myself. Maybe it was because of the emotions in the room or maybe it was hearing him say out loud how much he had loved Debbie but whatever the reason I was really wishing I had stayed in the car. I pulled myself off the ground and got in the car trying to dry my eyes before Alcide came out. "What's wrong?" He asked getting in.
"I think," I took a breath. "I think I found another fucking fae power."
I slept almost the entire day till my phone started ringing obnoxiously around three. "Hello?" I answered groggily.
"Uh Lily? Did I wake you up?" Rachel's chipper voice asked.
"I guess you're getting used to that whole vamp time. Where were you anyways I've been calling you nonstop!"
"It's a really long story, but I guess you heard about Russell?" I asked.
"Yeah Alcide told me. Are Bill and Eric looking for him?"
"Yeah, it's crazy around here. The Authority is getting involved."
"The Authority!" She screeched.
"It's under control but it's probably best if you lay low for a while. They know what we are."
"Holy shit," she said taking a breath.
"Like I said, under control. Now what did you call me about?"
"Oh! I think…well I haven't had the flashes in months, not since Sookie vanished you know. But today I was with Alcide, he went to tell Debbie's parents about her being dead, and it was crazy! I could feel their emotions; it was like I actually felt what they were feeling."
"Whoa. Wait back up, Debbie is dead?" I asked shocked.
"Um yeah, long story. It's settled now."
"Ok…so you have a new power?" I asked trying to get caught up. I was still tired.
"Yeah, to replace losing the future-seeing stuff I guess."
I talked to Rachel for another hour then drove into town to get Sonic and run a few errands. When I got back to Bill's I finished my bacon cheeseburger and wadded up the bag to throw away inside. I opened the front door to see the house was a disaster area. The first thing I thought was that the Authority had come after Bill and ransacked the house but when I heard Jessica complaining from Bill's study I sighed in relief.
"What is going on?" I asked.
"We're looking for a bug," Jess said with a groan.
"If they were bugging you wouldn't it just be in the…" I trailed off when I realized Jessica didn't know everything.
"Well there doesn't seem to be anything here fortunately," Bill said. He touched my hand and I was able to hear him clearly Don't tell Jess please, as far as she knows you, Eric and I were on a business trip. I don't want to worry her
"So we're done then?" Jess asked.
"Yes, I guess so. I'll have the cleanup crew but everything back in order. Shall we grab a Trueblood?" Bill asked taking Jess's arm. "And a Dr. Pepper of course for Lily. We can have some family time."
"Bill, what has gotten into you?" Jess asked laughing. "Lily, what did you do to him on your trip?"
I held my hands up in surrender. "It wasn't me!" I tried to sound light and carefree but it was hard, knowing that this may very well be some of the last time we'd all get to spend together.
"So tell me about this party you threw," Bill said to Jess.
"Ooh you threw a party? Do tell," I encouraged.
"Just a few friends nothing fancy we played guitar hero, no one got eaten so…a good day you know?" She looked embarrassed and I laughed.
"You better invite me to your next party," I said.
"Um duh, you're practically my sister. Get Rachel too, we'd be unstoppable. Maybe the three of us could go to Fangtasia together some time."
"Yeah sure, how about next week?" I asked. I wonder if I'll even be here next week…
"Yay! Girls' night out!"
We had migrated slowly from Bill's office to the living room and we were standing in the middle. Bill put his arms around us and hugged us tightly. I put my arms around Bill and Jess and squeezed, who knows if I might get to hug them again.
"Do we really have to go see Sookie?" I asked. We were almost to Hummingbird road and even though I knew it was too late to turn back now I could still try.
"I want to tell her what I said to the Pelts," Alcide said.
"Couldn't you just call her?"
"Plus I'm worried about her," he finished.
I rolled my eyes. "Everyone is worried about Sookie."
"Aren't you too?"
"Fine yeah, I'm worried she's about to go off the deep end. But honestly, I know there's nothing I can do to stop it. Besides there's always ten people there to catch her she slips."
"We still need to go over there; you're running out of clothes."
"Fine. Only because I'm tired of wearing the same jeans every day."
We pulled into Sooks driveway and parked. I hurried out of the car and ran up the front steps egger to get this over with. I knocked and I heard her yell something through the door and took that as the ok to come in. "Hey Rachy!"
"Sookie are you drunk?" I asked.
"Uhm I had a few drinks I guess," she said.
"Well Alcide needs to talk to you, so I'm going to go pack." I went down the hall to my room and grabbed my cute purple suitcase from under the bed. I started tossing all the clothes I could find into it and then filled a few smaller bags with shoes and beauty products. When I was done there was hardly anything left in the room to show that I'd been there before. The only items I left were a few things Eric had gotten me while we were dating, I didn't really want to carry those over into my new life. Well I did take that cute Alexander McQueen clutch he got me for Christmas, but it's Alexander McQueen! I rolled my bags down the hall where Alcide was explaining to Sookie what he had told the Pelts. Sookie jumped up and hugged me. "Oh my gosh!"
"I'm so sorry. I'm so grateful to both of you!" She hugged me again and then pulled my down on the couch. "You have to at least let me give you a drink."
"Just one," I said.
"I'm going to need more than one," Alcide said sitting next to me.
Several drinks later the Debbie situation had been but on the back burner and we were all talking and laughing like we hadn't in such a long time. "What happened to us?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" Sookie asked.
"We were best friends!"
"One day you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and started being a bitch," she said with a shrug.
"Hmm maybe, or maybe it was your fault."
"Can we start getting along again?" She asked.
"Ask me when I'm sober," I said. She laughed and we clinked classes and drank another. I turned around and kissed Alcide.
"Oh god you two, get a room!" Sookie said.
"But couches are kind of our thing!" I said.
"Ugh fine, getting kicked out of my own living room. I see how it is." She stood up and grabbed the bottle of vodka on the table and my untouched orange marzipan that smelt nasty, and headed upstairs.
I walked up next to Bill and Eric who were watching the scene in Sookie's living room. Rachel, Sookie and Alcide had been drinking and laughing and now Sookie was leaving and Rachel was making out with Alcide. I sighed, "Why am I not surprised?" I wished that I could go back to a time when I could just get drunk and have fun; I hadn't been able to do that in who knows how long.
"Don't we have somewhere better to be? Somewhere where we Russell might be?" Eric asked and I realized this was probably even more awkward for him; standing with his current girlfriend while his ex girlfriend made out with her new boyfriend.
"Sookie and Rachel might be helpful," Bill said.
"As much as I don't want to drag them into this, Bill's right. Come on let's go in."