"Um, I said that the guy I was talking to tried to drug me so you would be vulnerable when you drank from me." Eric glared at me, and I finally understood what it meant to be on his bad side. I was horrible to him, and after everything he did for me this evening, or heck, everything he has done for me ever, I wouldn't be surprised if he picked me up and threw me in the alley and never spoke to me again. He looked down, pulled his phone out, pushed some buttons very quickly, and jammed it back into his pocket with such force I thought his jeans would rip.
"Explain. I want every detail of every second you were out there." He crossed his arms and waited.
"Okay, well, umm...me and Pam decided to act like we were together out there, to explain the bite. Since all the girls hate me because I'm with you, we thought it would be better if they thought we weren't together, so they wouldn't think about beating me up. Pam showed me a blonde girl acting weird and I listened to her but didn't get much of anything, so we went around to another girl and she showed me a guy who bought her a drink that made her feel funny. I found the guy and he didn't broadcast well so we moved closer and he was near the dance floor so we danced and...uh...you know..." I trailed off, not wanting to anger him further. His eyes narrowed, and I felt his fury hit me like a ton of bricks.
"Yes, I know very well what happened next. Continue. Tell me what you heard."
"Uh, well, he thought a lot of nasty names about me, and since I was dancing with Pam, he decided he would drug me to get to her. He's part of the Fellowship, and said that Steve Newlin would be proud of him. Apparently he had orders directly from him. And he went to get me a drink to spike, and that's when...you showed up. And, uh, when I went to the bar, he gave me the drink and was excited because he put more than normal in, enough to knock out three or four of you, and he almost danced when you came over and called me lo- lover." I stuttered over the word. I had a feeling I wouldn't be hearing that from Eric for a long, long time, if ever again.
"Is that all of it? You are not omitting anything about this human?"
"N- no. He wasn't easy to listen to. That's all I got."
"Very well. Sit there." He looked at one of the chairs in front of his desk. I sat down on the edge of the chair, ready for anything. "Bring in the Fellowship dog!" He bellowed at the door.
Immediately Felicia and Pam entered, carring Ryan, tied to a chair. Ah, that's what he was texting. They set him down in the center of the room and walked out. "Pam," Eric called her before she could close the door.
"Yes, my lord." Uh-oh. This was definately bad, very very bad.
"Stay. You are to witness these proceedings. You are my second-in-command and are obligated to attend any meetings that affect my area." He never looked at Pam, or even in her direction.
"Of course, my lord." She did more than bow, she actually curtsied. She dipped so low I thought she would fall, but of course she didn't. Pam rose just as gracefully and took a position against the wall next to the door. She never lifted her eyes from the floor.
"Now, Ryan, is it? You are going to tell me everything. And I do mean everything, do you understand?" Ryan said nothing. He calmly looked up at Eric... and spit on him. My eyes nearly popped out of my skull, and even Pam looked up as her jaw dropped. Eric merely took a tissue from his desk, wiped the spot as well as he could and threw the crumpled wad into the trash. "You will pay for that later, but I have questions first. You would be unable to answer them if I break your jaw before asking."
For the first time, I saw fear on Ryan's face. Eric noticed and grinned at him. His fangs weren't showing, but they didn't need to be. "Do not forget, vermin, that I have had centuries of practice interrogating humans, and I know many ways to get my answers. I will not elaborate out of courtesy for the other human in the room, except to say that if you do not fully cooperate with me, you will wish you were dead, long before you are." I gasped, unable to hold it in. I had never seen this side of Eric. His head snapped up and his eyes met mine. For a split second I saw pain flash across his face before the mask of cool rage came down. "Ah, Sookie. I seem to be in need of your unique services. If you would be so kind."
He went to a darkened corner and pulled out a chair identical to the one Ryan was tied to. Eric positioned the chair in front of the other one, and I sat down on the edge. Ryan's hands were tied together in front of him, so I reached over and settled my right hand on top. I could instantly hear him as clear as if he was speaking out loud. Understandably, he was nearly incoherent with fear. I closed my eyes to concentrate. I nodded, and Eric started speaking again.
"Ryan, I believe you have already made my lo-...my associate Sookie's acquaintance." Ouch. I felt the pain echo across the bond at his words. "I am going to ask you a few questions. You are going to answer me completely and truthfully. If you are considering lying to me, Sookie will inform me when you do. Know this: I am not unreasonable. If you answer my questions honestly, I will let you leave here in one piece, alive and well. If you do not, well, I leave that to your imagination." I flinched as I was overwhelmed with increasingly disturbing pictures of punishments he imagined Eric inflicting on him.
I felt him trembling and opened my eyes. He was stark white and a cold sweat had broken out all over his body. I patted his hands and made soothing noises. "Eric is being honest, Ryan. If you tell him the truth, I promise you that you will leave here unharmed." Ryan stared into my eyes and I could feel him relax. I glanced at Eric and closed my eyes.
"Who sent you here, and why?" Eric decided to be as concise as possible.
"Steve Newlin, from The Fellowship of the Sun. He said that you were one of the most powerful vampires in the state and taking you down would be a major coup." I could feel Eric watching me, waiting for my response. I nodded to say that he was telling the truth.
"Why attempt to drug my bar patrons?"
"Steve said it would be the best way to get to you. He told me to drug as many of the fangbangers as I could, because the more vampires that went down, the better. And he also said that since people who want to be with vampires are no better than vamps themselves, it didn't matter if they overdosed or if the stuff didn't agree with them." I opened my eyes and glared at Ryan. It made my stomach turn to do it, but I nodded.
Eric continued questioning Ryan for over an hour and to his credit, Ryan did not even attempt to lie once. In short, Steve Newlin had people watching me, and since I had no contact with vampires for a long time, he decided to take a different route. Ryan had no idea what the substance he was putting in people's drinks actually was, but he knew it was strong enough to knock the average vamp out for almost a week. He handed over what looked like a tin of breathmints, and said that they dissolved instantly in liquid. No smell, no taste, no way to tell the drink had been altered. He also had no idea where Steve Newlin was hiding, as they always met in a public place. I searched his mind for a long time to find that, but to no avail. When he was finished, Eric untied Ryan and signaled to Pam. She touched Ryan's arm and he looked up at her, instantly dazed, and she went to work erasing the memory of this evening as she led him outside.
When the door closed I stood up and stretched, glad to be off of that uncomfortable chair. I turned and saw Eric looking at me from across the room. I didn't feel any emotions through our bond, and his face had no particular expression. I was unable to meet his gaze for more than a second, and I stood there awkwardly, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. Finally, I couldn't take the silence any longer. "Eric, it's pretty late an-" He cut me off by placing one finger on my lips. I didn't even see him move.
"Sookie, this is not the place to discuss these things. Let us go where there are no other ears to hear us." He was avoiding contractions, which meant he was still upset. Understandable, considering all that had happened in the last few hours. I 'yielded' to him, I made out with his second-in-command, and I was almost drugged in order to kill him. The Fellowship was not only targeting him and his bar, but his customers as well. The new weapon was undetecable and I was sure it would spread like wildfire. All this, on top of the fact that tonight was supposed to be the night for The Talk, made for one emotionally drained vampire.
I gathered up my things and we went out back to his car. I slid in at the same time he did. He pulled out of the parking lot and turned towards Bon Temps. "Are you taking me home?" I wanted him to say yes so I could go home, bury myself in my bed and not come out for a week or two.
"No. We are going to my house. We are not avoiding this any longer...my lover."